Provincial watchdog received over 1,000 complaints about the Ontario Cannabis Store

Oct 31 2018, 8:35 pm

Over 1,000 complaints have been made to the province’s watchdog about the Ontario Cannabis Store.

According to the Office of the Ombudsman of Ontario, Ombudsman Paul Dubé confirmed on Wednesday that his office has received complaints from customers frustrated with delayed deliveries, billing problems and poor customer service.

“I have informed the OCS that we are seeing a high volume of complaints and we are
monitoring their response to these issues,” Dubé said, in a release. “We have assigned a team of staff to triage complaints and resolve them quickly wherever possible, and we are in regular contact with senior officials of the OCS.”

The Ombudsman added that their office is uniquely positioned to assist organizations with addressing backlogs and implementing effective complaint processes.

The most common complaints thus far about the OCS’ first two weeks of operations involve delayed deliveries, poor communication with customers and those seeking to escalate complaints, and orders that were incorrect, cancelled without notice or could not be cancelled.

The Ombudsman said that it is an office of last resort, which means it does not intervene unless existing complaint avenues have been tried.

“As is our normal process, we are monitoring complaint trends and flagging them to the appropriate officials first. We also look for potential systemic issues that could warrant a formal investigation,” Dubé said.

The discussions with OCS allegedly show that it is working hard to resolve the issues generating these complaints, according to the Ombudsman.

If it can alleviate the issues in an effective and timely manner, a formal investigation might not be required.

According to an update from the OCS on the last weekend, over 150,000 orders were made through their website in the first week of operation post-legalization.

And with the Canada Post rotating strike in the GTA last week, delivery times were majorly impacted and many customers will continue to see delays.

But the OCS said that over the past weekend, “tens of thousands of packages were picked up by Canada Post for delivery to customers.”

OCS also added that it is working closely with Canada Post and distribution centre staff to ensure packages are moving as quickly as possible.

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