CRTC urged to hold public inquiry into telecom industry’s sales tactics

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CRTC urged to hold public inquiry into telecom industry's sales tactics
Jean-Pierre Blais, CEO of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, addresses the Canadian Chapter of the International Institute of Communications, Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2016 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

OTTAWA _ The CRTC is being urged to hold a public inquiry into the sales practices of the country’s major telecommunications service providers.

The formal request to the federal regulator comes from the Public Interest Advocacy Centre, an Ottawa-based non-profit group that often battles with Canada’s major telecommunications service providers and regulated media companies.

PIAC executive director John Lawford calls for CRTC chairman Ian Scott to investigate recent media reports about high-pressure sales tactics used by least one major company.

He focused on a CBC investigation that suggested the older adults are especially vulnerable to accepting services that they may not want, or to accept free trials that will become billed services unless cancelled.

Lawford says in his letter that an industry-wide inquiry into telecommunications services would serve a similar role as a probe into banking sales practices that’s being conducted by the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada.