In the News
When Sean Grassie, Kristianne Anor and Tara Hristov headed to cellphone retailers in the Ottawa area recently, they weren't your average customers looking for a cellphone plan — they were University of Ottawa law students, on assignment as mystery shoppers.
Their mission? To test the consumer experience at the cellphone counter.
The students and the team's co-leader will present their "frustrating" findings today in Gatineau, Que., at a week-long CRTC public hearing into misleading and aggressive sales practices by Canada's telecom service providers.
A coalition of groups representing consumers, seniors and low-income Canadians is recommending tough new rules to rein in the sales practices of Canada's telecommunications firms.
The groups made a joint submission Tuesday during the second day of CRTC hearings in Gatineau, Quebec. The CRTC is looking at whether cable and internet companies have been using aggressive or misleading sales pitches to sell their products.
John Lawford, executive director of the Public Interest Advocacy Centre, told CRTC commissioners the problem is severe even if cable companies won't admit it.
"The companies are in denial. They have major sales problems," Lawford said.
Roughly two weeks after Canada’s Big Three carriers refuted claims of aggressive or misleading telecom sales practices in a Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) request for information, Rogers, Bell and Telus have filed new documents doubling down on their belief that there is no unsavoury telecom sales problem in Canada.
This September, there are only two students in Riham Mohamed’s house, instead of three. She’s the one not going back to school: Ms. Mohamed is finally licensed as a pharmacist in Canada, able to practice the profession that she held in her home country of Egypt.
It was a long journey. Ms. Mohamed is a single mother, and settled with her two children, now 14 and 11, in Mississauga when she immigrated in 2012. She paid her bills working part-time for minimum wage as a pharmacy assistant, while also studying part-time at the University of Toronto. To afford tuition, she took out a $17,000 loan, which isn’t much less than her annual income.
VICTORY! $80 million in savings for low-income families with $10/month internet but our campaign will continue
On June 6, the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development marked a significant step towards realizing ACORN’s Internet for All campaign, as he announced a new program offering affordable internet for low-income households. The Connecting Families program targets National Child Benefit recipients and provides 10mbps internet with 100gb usage for $10 per month. Around 220,000 households - up to 600,000 people - are expected to benefit, keeping approximately $80million in the pockets of low-income parents.