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CRTC gives the Canadian telecom oligopoly a slap on the wrist

alexd

Administrator
Staff member
It is a start. Next, they have to address the exorbitant data cost and lackluster data speeds for internet connectivity.

Canadians can cancel their wireless contracts after two years under new CRTC code of conduct

By: Madhavi Acharya-Tom Yew Personal Finance writer,

Canadians can cancel their wireless contracts without fees after two years, under the new wireless code unveiled Monday by the CRTC.
The wireless code also caps charges for extra data at $50 per month and charges for international data roaming at $100 per month to prevent bill shock, the CRTC said in a release.
The new rules by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission will apply to new contracts for cellphones and other personal mobile devices starting Dec. 2.

“Every day, Canadians rely on wireless devices while in their homes, at their jobs, at school or travelling abroad,” Jean-Pierre Blais, chair of the CRTC, said in a release. “The wireless code will contribute to a more dynamic marketplace by making it possible for Canadians to discuss their needs with service providers at least every two years.”
The CRTC said that, among other things, individual and small business consumers will be able to:
  • Terminate their wireless contracts after two years without cancellation fees, even if they have signed on for a longer term
  • Have their cellphones unlocked after 90 days, or immediately if they paid for the device in full
  • Return their cellphones within 15 days and specific usage limits, if they are unhappy with their service
  • Accept or decline changes to the key terms of a fixed-term contract and receive a contract that is easy to read and understand.

The wireless code will apply to all service providers in Canada, in particular where customers pay a monthly bill after using their services and, where applicable, to pre-paid wireless services, the CRTC said.
“The wireless code is a tool that will empower consumers and help them make informed choices about the service options that best meet their needs. To make the most of this tool, consumers also have a responsibility to educate themselves,” Blais said.
The CRTC’s public consultation on the wireless code attracted over 5,000 participants, including individual Canadians, who shared their views on an online discussion forum, in writing and at the public hearing held in mid-February.

from the star:
Canadians can cancel their wireless contracts after two years under new CRTC code of conduct | Toronto Star
 

alexd

Administrator
Staff member
Does this apply to contracts already in place or for new contracts only??

That seems to be the loophole according to the Star story. If it is only for new contracts it doesn't change anything as the telecoms could just 'grandfather' existing contracts into the future indefinitely or at least until the next CRTC ruling 10 years from now.
 

alexd

Administrator
Staff member
I don't have a contract at all. I am wondering if I can walk into a telus store and get my phone unlocked on Dec 3 and if so, how many hundreds of dollars that will cost me...
 
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alexd

Administrator
Staff member
I emailed the CRTC to get clarification on whether it apples to all contracts or just new contracts, and also to find out when exactly it comes into effect. The star says December 2 but no date appears on the CRTC news release.
 

SneakyPete

TRIBE Member
To me this is the biggest and best restriction, although $100 is still high.
I think they just cut off your roaming after you reach that threshold (unless you ask them not to). It doesn't mean you can roam as much for $100.


I emailed the CRTC to get clarification on whether it apples to all contracts or just new contracts, and also to find out when exactly it comes into effect. The star says December 2 but no date appears on the CRTC news release.
December 2nd. New contracts only.
 

coleridge

TRIBE Member
I think they just cut off your roaming after you reach that threshold (unless you ask them not to). It doesn't mean you can roam as much for $100..
Yeah I just realized that too and heard it confirmed. Too good to be true if it had been the other way around.
 
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Deus

TRIBE Member
I don't understand why people roam in the first place when out of the country. Data is so cheap in other countries just get a new SIM (or a cheapo phone) in the new country and some cheap data.
 

videotronic

TRIBE Member
I don't understand why people roam in the first place when out of the country. Data is so cheap in other countries just get a new SIM (or a cheapo phone) in the new country and some cheap data.
the main reason would obviously be that the majority of the people this this country have subsidized carrier locked cell phones.
 

Bumbaclat

TRIBE Member
So I guess people who recently signed 3 year contracts are getting hosed.
Not really. They are just on the unfortunate side of phasing in of a new system. Somebody has to be the last group to get on the new contract. Also, I don't think the CRTC has the power to reverse signed contracts.
 
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SmoothOperator

TRIBE Member
few months ago signed a Bell 3 year $65 a month contract with 6 gig of data. i'm cool.
Same with Rogers except I pay $57. Even still though, when your phone wears out in a couple years, you're going to wish you hadn't signed a 3 year contract. You'll be paying out of pocket for a new phone.
 

SneakyPete

TRIBE Member
It says in the code the highest they can set the prices is the manufacturer's suggested retail price. Aren't (non subsidized) phone prices pretty close to that right now?
 
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