Quebec consumers were protected in several ways when “Bill 60” went into place in 2010. Specifically from a wireless perspective, carriers were prohibited from hiding fees and had to advertise all prices, a 60 day notice became mandatory before any contract changes – at which time the customer has the option to cancel at no penalty, plus the Early Termination Fees (ETF) cannot exceed the handset subsidy and reduces every month a customer is in contract.
Bill 35 was recently passed in Manitoba, this will bring similar protection to those located in the province… but its Rogers that is stepping out to “lead the change” and will be making some adjustments to the how their wireless contracts are structured. According to a leaked internal doc, “Rogers is proactively making changes to how customers in all remaining, non-regulated provinces are serviced when cancelling or making changes to their existing wireless services.”
Apparently Rogers will be putting a similar Bill 60 structure in place across Canada where those wireless customers who wish to cancel their service will have to pay a “service disconnection fee”, or “Economic Inducement”, of $12.50, plus the hardware subsidy cost – “Hardware Savings / # of months in term X # of months remaining in the term”. So here’s how it would look:
Let’s say you signed up for the iPhone 4S 16GB on a 3-year at $99, your “Hardware Savings” is $550 (retail price is $649). If you decide to cancel your Rogers contract at the 1-year mark, your cancellation fee will be $550 / 36 X 24 = $366.67 + $12.50 service disconnection fee for cancelling = $379.17.
This will be carefully worded as another “Rogers first”, something that is tentatively pegged to go into place late January 2012. We’ll have more info on this soon…
Update: We’ve now received a slew of additional tips that this will also extend to Fido customers.
Update #2: This will impact those who activate or renew on January 22 or after.