CRTC wants Canadians share their views about creating a “national code for wireless services”

Ian Hardy

October 11, 2012 2:01 pm


In April the CRTC announced that they were looking into creating a “national code for wireless services.” This would bring forward several ideas that some carriers have already adopted, specifically easier to understand carrier contract terms and conditions, carriers giving consumers 30-days notice of any contract changes, consumers giving carriers 30-days notice of their intent to cancel their wireless contract, and that all advertising should show the total cost including monthly fees.

At the time, CTRC’s Acting Chairman Leonard Katz, said they wanted to see if “the wireless market has changed enough to warrant its intervention” before implementing. In a press release today the CRTC has taken a slight step forward, now asking Canadian consumers to get involved.

Jean-Pierre Blais, Chairman of the CRTC stated “Our goal is to make sure that Canadians have the tools they need to make informed choices in a competitive marketplace. In the past, Canadians have told us that contracts are confusing, and that terms and conditions can vary greatly from one company to another. We are asking them to assist us in developing a code that will help them better understand their rights as consumers and the responsibilities of wireless companies.”

If you’re interested in having your say, the CRTC will keep the consultation submission open until November 20th, then have a public hearing on January 28th, 2013. Here’s the insight that the CRTC is looking for:

- The terms and conditions that should be addressed by a code for cellphones and mobile devices
- to whom the code should apply
- how the code should be enforced, and
- how the code’s effectiveness should be assessed.

Check it out here at the CRTC
Via: CNW

  • superfly

    Two year contracts Max. Nuff said

    • S S

      Second that!

      I would just add there should also be no loop-hole allowing for greater commitments of any type. For example, no three year tabs (a la Telus/Wind). Any type of phone subsidy should be for a maximum of two years.

    • Joe

      Yup. I was going to post your exact first sentence when I read the title.

    • NFCforDummies

      Align Canada with the rest of the world and Ban any contract longer than 2 years!

      ..Or force operators to sell 3yr contracts with warranties (3 yr warranties) and watch them drop to 2 yr max in two days!

      Manufacturers, operators, and planned obsolescence are designed in two year cycles all over the world but in Canada!
      its time for the CRTC to defend Canadians not ROBELUS’s 3yr contracts and their new $73 plans!!

    • Keith

      I would find 2 year contracts to only be a slight improvement. We really need to adopt the everywhere outside the Canada and the US standard of reducing the monthly plan for a fair amount when we bring our own phones.

    • WOW!

      We want reasonable Data plans prices! seriously..they rip us off by providing the most expensive data plans and it is limited to 6GIGS, I believe they should raise it to 10 GIGS and who ever exceeds this limit should be throttled to 1mbps without extra charges

      This will prevent people from using their phones as their main home internet and clogging the network which will make it slow and will give us more data and freedom and if we by pass the 10Gigs then we can check the email and browse

    • OGOD

      I agree tab is a rip off. Wind is 3yrs, even fido changed their contract…it works same as TAB, but still call it “contract”. It doesn’t matter they call it “TAB” or “CONTRACT”, they still lock you for years.

      If you do some math on virgin’s super tab, it takes you 6years to pay off ur iphone. It said: sign on our super tab with out sign into a fixed 3year term. When you cancel it, what will happen? Same as contract, PAY FOR IT!

      We are the only stupid country who still signing 3yrs stupid contract with our smart phones…stupid contract(TAB) with smart phone!?!?totally WTF. Everyone got their smart phone with 2yrs contract and paying the same price for their phone in other countries.

    • skippypaccino

      or Every phone on a 3 year contract must be 0$ and make phones on 2 year contract a maximum off 199$

  • Kid.Canada

    -No Contracts (Tabs or Flex Tabs are fine)
    - carrier unlocks your phone without a penalty one you’ve paid off the full price of the phone or contract ends.
    - REAL Competition, not this “monkey see monkey do” crap these carriers are doing like better plans than one another and not all copying each other and releasing the same plan and call it “competition”

    • anona

      Nothing you can do about “Monkey see monkey do”, that’s business. Real competition was the introduction of Wind/Public/Mobilicity.

      And I prefer contracts to tab. Would not want contracts to disappear. But 2 year MAX.

    • jPhoneUser

      tabs r the biggest rip offs.

      say u get a 500$ phone 0$ on tab and 0$ on contract.

      if u take a 70$ plan. after 36 months ur tab balance will be 248. u have to clear that to get out of the carrier. basically ur paying 63$ a month for a plan and 7$ for subsidy.

      in case of contract ur paying 13.8$ for phone and 56$ for the plan. only wind promises 3 yr pay off on tab balance.

    • Big Ang

      “Monkey see, Monkey do” only happens because we, the consumers, allow it to happen.

      Years ago, one of the Big 3 had to have been the first to have 3 year contracts. Did we, the consumers, complain and go to the other 2 companies instead? Or did we, the consumers, just take it in stride and continued to sign up with that company completely ignoring the new 3 year contracts?

      That first company didn’t lose any (or maybe very few) new sales after introducing the new 3 year contracts. When the other companies saw this, they realized that they introduce the 3 year contract and very few clients (as in us) would complain.

      To this day, many of us complain about 3 year contract, and then the vast majority of us continue to sign up for a new one.

      A friend of mine complained for months about being in a contract and the various extra fees he had to pay to leave Rogers even after his contract was up. He complained, complained, complained. Then he signed up for a new 3 year contract with Bell. Or did he start with Bell and then went to Rogers? Doesn’t matter, same thing. I kept suggesting that he go to Wind or Mobilicity for lower rates and no contracts, but he never gave it a serious thought.

      I don’t understand why many people just complain and then don’t do anything about it.

  • jonny

    dont let them bill you for an extra month after you cancel.

    • Big Ang

      Can we please hire the Snowbirds to write that in the sky in full view from the CRTC’s headquarters?

      Having to pay an extra month…..sorry……being FORCED to pay an extra month because you can’t cancel a month in advance when you want to move your number is a colossal rip-off.

  • Techsmith

    Requirement to unlock subsidised phones on request when the contract is finished or bought out, or when paying full price for the phone with no contract, free of charge. It frustrates me that I chose Virgin for my iPhone contract, and them and Bell are the only national carriers that cannot unlock it, even out of contract. Telus and Koodo will even do it within contract for a charge! Rogers and Fido does it when the contract is finished for a charge. My phone value has tanked, and I’m not happy.

  • leo

    No 3 year contacts. The average life of a cell phone is 1-2 years, and by then the device is almost obsolete.

    • Joe

      Obsolete is a strong word. My 5 year old Nokia E71 still works fine, and I only got a new one because of first world problems with it.

    • gwydionjhr

      I agree with Leo. Phone batteries really start to tank at about the 2year point. As OEMs move towards sealed phones this becomes even more problematic.

  • S S

    Make sure you leave a comment on the CRTC page!

    They don’t read your comments here on MobileSyrup.

  • Andy

    - 2yr Contract max
    - Contract based on savings of phone (pay $100 for $600 phone, cancellation would be $500)
    - Allow payments on savings of phone to reduce cancel/early upgrade cost
    - Cancel within 24hrs (not this 30day stuff)
    - Carriers must unlock once phone is paid at no cost (automatically?)

    fair, no extra cost to carriers doesn’t affect what they charge monthly (the actual/only service they’re supposed to provide).

  • LJK

    @superfly @kid.canada yep you’ve pretty much summed up what the entire nation wants. we’ve waited long enough.

  • Rich

    If they drop the contracts to 2 years, your monthly rates will go up by at least 20% (just as they’re higher in the US). The carriers will -always- collect.

    - With that said, I’d like out of control roaming fees to be assessed.
    - Elimination of “long distance” calling within Canada.
    - Consideration of allowing foreign companies like Verizon to come in.

    • NFCforDummies

      The 3yr contracts are an instrument from operators to:
      Reduce Cost of Acquisition (offers to make you their client)
      Reduce Competition
      Keep you for a longer term.

      Rate plans shouldn’t increase at all if the max term is 2yrs; the price of PHONES is; but this will allow people to see that an iphone 5 is $900 and too bloody expensive!

      Canadian prices should be about $100 more than the prices in the US on 2 yrs; the rest of EVERYTHING should be the same!
      so we would have:
      Ouright price (OP)
      1yr Contract (OP) minus $200
      2yr plan $99-$299
      pick your plan make your choice (buy the phone from Google Koodo or Virgin :) )

  • andrew

    “Our goal is to make sure that Canadians have the tools they need to make informed choices in a competitive marketplace” gooo on. I understand that it costs more in canada cause of size, etc, but spending a year on this site and engadget and see what other countries are paying for cell service the above statement is horse crap.
    I just switched my phone plan on telus and it costs me 45 a month for voice 35 and lite 10 (100mb a month for 10 dollars). the next option up is $35 for 2 gigs. that is rediculous.
    I used 6.7 mb last month and it cost me 17 dollars.
    I own my own phone and dont want a bullshit contract. all these plans are no 70 for a decent plan. wtf.

  • GENERAL WONG

    the 2 most important things:

    -2 years contract max.(UK Did ban 3 year contracts last year)
    - Carrier must unlock phone for a maximum fee of $20 after 3 months.

  • nrj4life

    Two year contracts maximum, like the majority of the world. Phones should be unlocked free of charge once contract has expired, or it’s cost paid in full. No access/recovery fees. I should be able to pay one rate. Terms of upgrading to a new device should not rely on contract length. A renewal on a 2-year term plus paying the remaining subsidy on the phone. I should not be forced to pay any extra charges to change my device because it fails one year into my contract. There also needs to be a reasonable return/exchange policy upon entering into a contract of at least 14 days, unlimited use, to test the product and the companies’ service. Exchanges for DOA devices during warranty period (through no fault of the user), whether done by mail or in store must be replaced with a brand new device. We pay for a brand new device to function, not a used one.

    This is what I have submitted. Like S S has said, please comment on the CRTC page. Voice your opinion for change in the upcoming year!

  • Mark

    Submitted my comments. Hopefully you all did too. I’m pretty sure the CRTC doesn’t read or care about comments on some website.

  • 45

    Free punch and pie for everyone.

    • 45

      Wait, wait! Even better!

      Abortions for some! Little American flags for others!

  • TZM

    I submitted my comments as well.

  • Jon

    Warranty should match contract length. If you have a 3 year contract why do you only warranty your phones for 1 year?

  • Shaggyskunk

    When, not if, the carriers get caught for collusion, false advertising and general misrepresentation – how about the CRTC order them to pay the fines back to the consumer.
    Stop the carriers from charging bogus fees for public ip addresses, and voice mail & call display.

  • superfly

    Two year contracts Max. $199 for superphones. $99 for smart phones. $0 for superphones and smartphones near end of life. Rate plans remain the same.

  • Osman

    Ban the locking of phones. Its just evil

  • sneakypoo

    Sounds like a band-aid solution for lack of competition and lazy incumbents. If Robellus wasn’t hoarding all the spectrum, there would be actual competition and customer care would be improved organically without having to impose artificial industry standards.

    The 2008 entrants barely got the crappy 1700MHz, and only because the incumbents were left out of the bidding for that chunk. Now with 700MHz next year, Robellus will swoop it all up, and leave useless scraps for the “competition”, and the status quo will remain. They already have more spectrum than anybody else in the world. I think there should be rules to how much they can hold, so if they choose to buy up the 700MHz, they would have to give back other frequencies.

  • Dman

    Agree on everything. But Warranty stuff isn’t always the carriers faults people. Over the counter exchanges is a great idea. But in reality 75% of the repairs I take in end up being cause the person took their phone into the shower. Or forgot that rain is water. “I never got it wet”. Want your rates to go up? Make the carriers to pay for the excess dead devices, or pay for a service tech in every store to make the determination there.

    Other wise. 2 years is what I would like to see. And the return of unlimited voice/text/data from national carriers. A reasonable “all you can eat” option.

  • Tyler

    As others have pointed out, make sure you post these comments on the CRTC website. I just put in mine but we need everyone to voice their opinions.

  • Don’tCare Anymore

    Bell will unlock my iphone after I pay off the remaining year on my contract as I am leaving the country.
    Since ones credit rating is not worth anything outside of your home country, where is the impetus to pay my bill or anything should they refuse?
    In other words, when I’m ready to leave they’ll unlock it before they see another penny from me.

  • Sam

    CRTC IS A USELESS JOKE. Just like with the t.v. volume thing. They make a law. NOBODY follows the new law. I write to them demanding they do something and the scum write back and tell me to write the broadcasters complain. Sure, it would be the same as calling the police and having them tell me to complain to the criminals. What a completely useless waste of tax dollars.

    • Dave

      Not true! they job just to be sure that all the tax payers get screw by Robelus, no exception. Your tax dollars are at work so you should be thankful that we’re living in the best country in the world.

  • loom star

    I will propose consumer should have 100% choice of freedom ,in regarding choosing a mobile device which should build without any limitation(ie’: Dedicated only one carrier network of choice within the device). Device itself should also offer openness [UN-locked] to the owner. This doesn’t risk or thread carriers in normal business models, whether contract and non-contract consumers, as well as prepaid users who decide to pay the full price to own the device. Even contract user still have restriction the condition that have to fulfill with the carrier or ditch the contract with the penalty.Again the contract condition must fulfilled the commitment by the contracted user before others carriers provide difference options.

  • deltatux

    2 years max for contracts and carriers must offer cheaper plans to those who are not on contract like many places around the world.

    I thought this was standard when I was travelling to Asia and the States but when I came back, I was like, wtf is this?

  • kungriffey

    just added my comments…hope to see results soon!

  • Fartknocker

    Aww. isn’t that adorable, the CRTC pretending they care about consumers.

  • Wind Mobile and Mobilicity rock.

    No ridiculous data charges , especially when you travel and go abroad or are roaming.

  • Hardened

    1. No 1 person should need to provide 30days notice to cancel a contract: we’re NOT prisoners or clients under contract to providers!! (THEY serve US!)

    2. The contract entry price should reflect the price of the mobile NOT the services! Providers should ALSO take ownership of full supporting warranty of mobile devices for the entire length of the contract & NEVER subject full retail fees -or- new subsidy contract for end users that wish to upgrade -or- wish to upgrade before end of contract expiry IF no more than 1yr warranty is provided.

    3. Mobile devices should continuously drop in price at FAIR MARKET VALUE at current time (not segmented/overvalued/undervalued based on region/city/province – EXCEPT the latter where sales taxes are Legally binding my LAW). Thus if a device launches at $600 Full Retail – 6mths in the future same said device should have a value of $300 ($600/12 * # of months shelf life). Should same said device used in this example carries a two-year warranty: ($600/24 * # of months shelf life at current time reducing the the full retail price) $150.
    [Wait I think I have my calculations in assessment wrong but you get the idea!!

    4. REFURBISHED Devices should have near retail quality: all backlights, LED, displays and buttons should have NO defects (nonworking/discolouration/scratches/scuffs/etc – essentially these parts replaced.

    Some other things to consider as well.
    Hardened.

    • d3v14n7

      1. “we’re NOT prisoners or clients under contract to providers!!”

      Actually, you ARE under contract, that’s the entire point… I do agree that the 30 day notice should be removed, though.

      2. That’s just ridiculous, what happens when you bring your own phone? You get free service? Please… And the rest of that is extremely unrealistic…

      3. They do drop in price on contract, well everything but the latest iPhone of course, but that’s an Apple issue, not a carrier issue. And seriously? 6 months after release and already half price? That will never happen…

      4. They already do, otherwise you can return it and get it replaced with another fully functional, near mint condition phone…

      The only realistic suggestion you made was the first one, the rest will NEVER happen, ever… Keep dreaming buddy…

  • pacalis

    1. Max 2 year contracts.
    2. Fines to carriers for billing for app slamming.

  • Bad Apple

    Jeez, All of you wishful thinkers. CRTC is just mocking you. Bell has it in it’s pocket. They just testing waters before they will screw everyone again. Old Von Frankenstein left, new guy has done nothing, we are still stuck with whatever is available. BS all over. So what there is (a) Wind? So what there are other new wireless providers?. There should be a plan with coast to coast coverage w/o ld charges, as well as vm and cd in it. So what I submitted my comment on CRTC’s website? New Von Frankenstein and Co. do not care!

  • Scatoclysm

    Phones should be unlocked free of charge at the end of a contract, once a contract is cancelled and all fees paid, or if a phone is bought outright forms carrier. If the phone is bought outright from a carrier I’d be ok if the was a minimum 90 days of it being active at that carrier to stop customers from other carriers raping a supply of phones.

  • Dave

    Here this the poll:

    A)- get rid of this CRTC (useless tax payer suckers)
    B)- Get rid of these greedy low life Robelus
    C)- All of the above

  • Big Ang

    For the benefit of Canadians, companies should not be allowed to hoard spectrum.

    Rogers has TWICE as much spectrum in Canada than the largest cellphone carrier, Verizon, has in the US.

    If Verizon can provide good service with the amount of spectrum they own, then why does Rogers need TWICE that amount?

    Make Rogers give up some old GSM spectrum that was gifted to them decades ago. Not all of it, but some. Then set up an frequency auction to sell that spectrum to any company except Rogers, with the provision that any company cannot have more than a small amount. As “old” as the GSM spectrum is, I’m sure that the new entrants will make good use of it.

  • d3v14n7

    Hahahaha! Since when does the CRTC care what Canadians think or want? I hope all of you know that this won’t change a damn thing with carriers in Canada, the CRTC is only trying to look like it’s fighting on our side, behind the scenes, they’re pocketing the bribes taken from Robellus and laughing all the way to the bank…

  • Jay

    Disband the CRTC altogether and introduce an oversight committee that we can actually trust. THEN ask us to share our views.

    Hold all branches of a wireless company accountable and to the same standard as their “head office”. Too many times I’ve been told “sorry, we wont sell you that shinny new phone out right”.. Why not? “because were privately owned and we dont have to adhere to the same policies that head office does. You want it? Order it only and wait 8 days”.

    *#$% you. If you have a Rogers, Bell or Telus logo plastered on your booth in the mall you should be held to the same standard as the corporation you’re shilling for.

  • Toto

    Follow Europe’s mobile industry.
    Coming from the UK where competition between the providers, I never had a pay a single penny for all my phones and contracts for over 9 years. I’m not saying Canadian providers should make everything free but there must be a middle ground to stop ripping poor Canadians off.
    Mobilicity and Wind are going in the best directions for customers in terms of pricing. They should be given more bandwidth to expand.

    • d3v14n7

      The problem with Wind and Mobilicity is that they DON’T WANT TO EXPAND, they want to stick in big cities where the population density is highest in order to reap maximum profits for less work/costs… Wind can easily afford to buy any spectrum they need and expand anywhere they please, but instead they’d rather complain all the time about not having spectrum GIVEN to them and publicly state that Canada sucks,that it was a mistake for coming here and so on… If they’re saying that publicly, imagine what they’re saying in private… Sorry to say, but Wind is not a solution, they’re only here to exploit the wireless situation in Canada and make as much money as possible, nothing more… They don’t give 2 sh*ts about their customers or Canadians in general.

  • gezaim

    Max 2 year contracts. Just submitted comment on CRTC website.

  • beyond

    I think more important is overage fees – i.e. when going over the number of minutes in your plan, you should NOT be charged indefinitely with no cap on the charges. Right now if you go over you can accumulate thousands and thousands of dollars in overage fees. The amount they can charge you should be based on existing price plans that they have. So say their most expensive plan was $90 for unlimited talking, then that could be the MOST the carrier can charge you for going over your monthly minutes. Not $3000 dollars!!!!!!!!!

  • Cant Believe this isn’t reinforced already

    1) Reinforcement of cell-phone freedom act (all companies are violating the law in this respect still by charging for unlock/distributing only carrier locked phones)
    2) Limitations on contracts (2 years max no loopholes)
    3) Dramatically reduced cancellation fees on contracts (freaking rediculous)
    4) Data caps limited to throttling post 6-10 gb (depending on systemic capacities) without thousands of dollars in charges (many Canadians can get contracts for cell phones that expect them to pay thousands of dollars in overages, yet can’t get a credit card limit higher than 500$)
    5) Required network quality/expansion rates scaling appropriately with what customers are charged
    6) Useful daytime/long distance calling plans integrated into base plans and not only served as addons at inflated prices

  • pbibby

    2 year contracts max

  • Jade

    Just wondering on how existing customers with Virgin Mobile’s super tab will be effected? Since the supertab is being discontinued, does that mean existing customers supertab balance be removed?