Canada’s Rogers and Bell accused of pushing services onto unsuspecting customers

"We're giving internet service to customers who actually do not have a computer,” said a Rogers employee.

Call center employees for Canadian cable operator Rogers Communications have told the Canadian Broadcasting Company (CBC) that oppressive sales quotas are causing them to push products and services that customers often don’t need, or in some cases, don’t even know they’re getting. 

"We're giving internet service to customers who actually do not have a computer,” said a CBC source identified as a Rogers employee working in a “major call center in Ottawa.”

"You're supposed to look at a customer's account and sell them cable, home phone, home security, a credit card—whatever is missing,” the employee added. 

FREE DAILY NEWSLETTER

Like this story? Subscribe to FierceVideo!

The Video industry is an ever-changing world where big ideas come along daily. Cable, Media and Entertainment, Telco, and Tech companies rely on FierceVideo for the latest news, trends, and analysis on video creation and distribution, OTT delivery technologies, content licensing, and advertising strategies. Sign up today to get news and updates delivered to your inbox and read on the go.

The accusations mirror those against some U.S. operators. CenturyLink, for example, was sued in Alabama last summer for overbilling customers, some of whom were surprised to see they had signed up for certain services upon reviewing their bills. 

RELATED: CenturyLink faces Alabama lawsuit as tide of fraudulent billing claims rises

The Rogers employee told the CBC that he often doesn’t disclose $49.99 installation fees, $14.95 internet activation charges and $25 mobile phone activation hits, leaving it to the subscribers to find out about these charges when they peruse their monthly statements. 

"Even customers who have home phone service, I say, 'How about I add a second line for your home phone and I'll give you a discount for your other product?' Which makes no sense,” the rep said. 

"It feels really bad," he added. "But you have all this pressure on you. All your managers are around you, telling you to sell, sell, sell.”

Responding to the allegations, Paula Lash, spokesperson for Rogers, told the CBC, "While we do not believe the concerns raised represent our values or sales practices, we take them very seriously and we will work with our team to respond to these concerns."

Similar accusations against Bell Canada, meanwhile, have spurred the Canadian Radio Television Commission, the country’s FCC equivalent, to launch an investigation into the operator’s sales practices.