APPENDIX A: Content Analysis Methodology

The data gathered for this study was analyzed in two parts. The content analysis team first looked at eleven problem areas identified by the CRTC in its initial call for comments.156 After reading a sample of a few hundred responses and discussing the initial findings, these problem areas were added to. This resulted in twelve key problem areas or specific complaints, which related to contracts (lack of clarity, changes to service without consent, automatic renewals), unexpected additional expenses (due to unclear pricing, termination or roaming fees, bundled services, replacing broken or lost hardware out of pocket, security deposits), and poor service (from representatives who are rude or shift responsibility, or by having service disconnected due to miscommunications or errors).

In discussing the topics that respondents tended to highlight, and which complaints they had in common, four main priorities were isolated, based on how people felt they had been negatively impacted by their service providers and where improvement was needed. These categories are increased transparency, a need for real choice, the need for fair contracts, and a desire for reliable and respectful service. Some respondents were quite specific in addressing these broad problem categories, for example labeling the practice of trapping customers in contracts as being ‘anti-choice’. Other comments were more descriptive and less analytical, but clearly illustrated a specific problem with a service. These experiences were documented through the specific complaints categories, which were then organized according to which broad priority categories they were representative of. Almost all the horror stories include several complaints and many have multiple priorities.


156. CRTC. (2012, October 11). Telecom Notice of Consultation CRTC 2012-557. Retrieved from

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