How Cell Phone Service Hits Home

Key Findings: Priorities from Canadians

Canadians feel that the wireless market is broken and want it to be fixed; they want more choice, better prices, and reliable service. Citizens feel the incumbent service providers who have a controlling share of the market are acting solely in their own interests, so policy-makers need to step in to protect customers. Citizens also note that Canadian wireless services are lagging behind other industrialized nations, both in terms of quality and price, prompting some customers to take their business across the border and pay the fees for using an international service provider in Canada. Finally, the level of anger in the written submissions was high, making it clear that Canadians are frustrated. One respondent even submitted a story that was fourteen pages long.44

Canadians want effective policies to enable fair service and affordable cell phone options through a level playing-field. This citizen response was typical of calls for change:

I applaud this initiative to tackle the poor service reality that is endemic to the industry [...] it appears that [wireless service providers] hold all the cards and we as the consumers are left with little ability to affect their behaviour. Please remember that the CRTC is there to fundamentally protect the consumer and ensure the service provided by the companies is fair in value, service and in the interests of the Canadian public.45

The content analysis of detailed citizen stories revealed twelve key problems with our cell phone market. These twelve problems are the challenges that Industry Canada and the CRTC must address; a full understanding of the lived realities of Canadians is the first step to meeting these challenges.

Figure Three

Canadians' Twelve Key Problems With Our Cell Phone Market

Canadians' Twelve Key Problems With Our Cell Phone Market

 

Footnotes

44. Citizen Submission, Batch 5 p. 273-286
45. Citizen Submission, Batch 2, p. 389

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