Complaining in Canada

Written complaints

Canadian organisations, whether shops, stores or utilities, don't write letters responding to complaints, instead they telephone or simply ignore the complaint.

I have written to a number of organisations making complaints but have only received one written response, that was from a bank. In all other cases the complaint has either been totally ignored or a telephone call has been made.

My experience of complaining in Canada :

Complaint
Response
Sears department store - performed a credit check without telling me that they were going to

Sears manager could not understand that by performing a credit check he had adversely affected my credit rating because refusals count against you even though you are newly-arrived in Canada.

Primus telephone company Made charges that were not part of the original contract and could not justify them or show that they had the contractual right to make the charges. Agreed to refund all unjustified charges to date plus another six months if I agreed to pay them after that.
Boardwalk Rental Communities Made charges for electricity after we had left an apartment and added late payment fees, never apologised or offered any reparation for their error and the work needed to show they were wrong.
Save on Foods, grocery stores Did not respond to a letter asking whether or not one of their products contained colouring material, none was stated on the ingredients but the colour of the product looked unreal.
Canadian Air Transportation Security Service Responded by telephone to a letter expressing no confidence in the director or the service. Explanation was that the agency delivered a service on behalf of the government but had no responsibility for setting policy. Response received within 7 days and made by a knowledgeable person.
Air Canada ground agent refused my wife and I an upgrade on a flight after it had been booked and confirmed. Responded by telephone about 2 weeks later; could offer no explanation for the agent's behaviour. Could not propose any resolution other than to credit our Aeroplan accounts with 5 000 miles each. An acceptable outcome.