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My cell phone provider has overcharged me, what can I do?

Many cell phone customers have been overcharged at one point or another. While some have been able to resolve the issue, there are people weren’t able to get the assistance they were seeking.

So if you have been overcharged, what can you do?

Step 1: Address the issue with your cell phone provider

Generally, you should try to talk to the company first before going to file a complaint. Sometimes these issues can be resolved with a customer service agent. If the agent can’t help you, ask to speak to a manager and see if the manager can help resolve your issue.

Step 2: Write an email to the company

Before going through a complaints process, you should write an email to the company, setting out your complaint and asking them to remedy the situation. Ideally, you should ask that they get back to you by a certain time and you should give them a reasonable amount of time to respond.

Step 3: File a consumer complaint

If you have done all of the above and the company hasn’t gotten back to you within a reasonable amount of time, or refuses to refund any portion of the money you can file a consumer complaint.

Most provinces and territories have provincial and territorial consumer complaint bodies that deal with complaints against businesses.

For example, British Columbia has the consumer agency called Consumer Protection BC. People who have complaints about credit reporting, consumer contracts, gift cards and consumer credit can make a complaint there.

People can either submit a BC complaint form by mail, fax or email, or they can call the agency to speak to someone directly.

Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission

Telecommunication companies, which include cell phone providers, are federally regulated so complaints should be directed to the CCTS, which is regulated by the CRTC.

The CRTC released the federal Wireless Code with which all cellphone service providers must comply. The code obliges service providers to:

  • Limit cancellation fees;
  • Unlock wireless devices, so they can be used with other service providers;
  • Offer a trial period for contracts, so you can try out a service without having to commit to it right away; and
  • Set default caps on data overage charges and data roaming charges.

If, despite what your contract says, your cellphone service provider overcharges you, they may be in violation of the code.

If you want to make a complaint against your service provider, you would need to contact the Commissioner for Complaints for Telecommunications Services.

The CCTS can be contacted by phone, email, mail, or fax.

The best place to start, when making a complaint, is by calling the government agency before a complaint is submitted, to ensure that your specific complaint is directed to the correct agency.

Read more:

Do You Know Your Rights as a Wireless Consumer?

Choosing a Cellphone Service