Comwave

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Comwave Telenetworks
Industry Service
Founded 1999
Headquarters Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Number of locations
1600+
Area served
Canada
United States
Products Telephone services
Voice over Internet Protocol
High-Speed Internet
Owner Yuval Barzakay
Number of employees
200[1]
Website Comwave's Official Web Page

Comwave Telenetworks is Canada's largest privately owned telecommunications company. Based in Toronto and run by president and CEO, Yuval Barzakay, Comwave was established in 1999 and it serves over 500 cities in Canada and over 1,100 in the United States. Comwave claims to be an industry leader in Voice over IP (VoIP) and offer home phone services,[2] small business phone lines,[3] mobile calling, and high-speed internet.[4] Comwave offers number portability, to keep your number when you change carriers, and has been battling other carriers to protect this right for Canadians.[5]

In September 2012, the company launched the ePhone app for Android [6] (now available on iOS as well). This VoIP Softphone app helps users avoid roaming and long distance fees by providing a free alternate telephone number in the North American market of their choice.

In May 2012, Comwave launched its Hosted PBX platform.[7] Comwave Hosted PBX is a cloud based phone system for business that bundles together Polycom telephones, phone lines, over 40 business class features, long distance and a private digital secure connection, for a fixed monthly fee. Comwave Hosted PBX phone systems are managed by Comwave 24x7 on a secure private connection.

Predating Apple's iPhone, beginning in 2004, Comwave offered a bundle of hardware and services, sold as an alternative to traditional phone service known as the iPhone.[8] They no longer offer this service under the iPhone name.

In April 2013, Comwave launched its high speed internet services across Canada. Their plans are all inclusive and include your modem, dry loop, and in-home installation.[9]

Management[edit]

  • Yuval Barzakay - President & CEO

Telemarketing Issue[edit]

In April 2013, Comwave Telenetworks paid a $100,000 fine by the CRTC. The fine was a result of 33 calls made between April 1, 2011, and March 18, 2013 to people who had registered their phone numbers on the do-not-call list by independent telemarketers hired by Comwave. The company has voluntarily agreed to stop telemarketing and report any customer complaints it to the regulator yearly.[10]

Consumers Issues[edit]

In spite of Comwave receiving Consumers Choice Award, in 2012, there is a growing number of issues reported by Comwave customers. Among the most common is the complaint of customers being tied to a 3-year contract with the advertised offer. Several hundred reviews [11] attest Comwave's customers growing concerns, in what appears being signed up without full disclosure with regards to the contract term and penalties.

Legal Issues[edit]

On September 13, 2016, Comwave Telenetworks was fined $300,000 by the Canadian Competition Bureau for Misleading Advertisements.

The Bureau concluded that Comwave's advertisements misrepresented the charges consumers would face for their services, and that the advertised prices were not attainable because of additional non‑optional fees.

The Competition Bureau had determined [12] that despite Comwave marketing their Voice over IP (VoIP) Home Phone Services & High Speed Internet Services as Unlimited, Comwave had applied a monthly minute cap onto their VoIP Home Phone service, as well as a monthly Bandwidth cap onto all tiers of their Internet service regardless; per Comwave's Fair Usage Policy for Internet.[13]

The Bureau has also concluded that while this information was being disclosed in their fine print, and that Comwave's staff had been instructed to provide some of this information to customers when they call into their call centre, it was not sufficient enough to prevent the advertisements from being misleading.

Under a consent agreement filed between The Commissioner of Competition and Comwave Telenetworks,[14] Comwave Telenetworks had agreed to pay $60,000 towards the cost of the Bureau's investigation.

Comwave Telenetworks had also agreed to establish a Corporate Compliance Program to help the company avoid any similar issues in the future, as well as to change their advertisements to accurately explain their services to customers; in order to relieve the Bureau's concerns.

References[edit]