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CRTC releases a draft of the “Wireless Code”


Late last year the CRTC started the discussion of creating a “national code for wireless services.” This code, with the assistance of input from Canadians, potentially would have wireless contracts be easier to understand, simple language of what’s involved with terminating your account, offering unlocked devices, plus possible banishment of the 3-year contacts.

The number of wireless subscribers in Canada is approximately 28 million. Over the past couple months the CRTC invited Canadians to have their say and a total of 3,500 comments were received in writing and another 600 comments were submitted via their online discussion forum. After reviewing all the comments, the CRTC published a working document on the proposed code today. In their press release they highlighted a number possible features, some already exist, but missing is the end of the long term contracts.

The CRTC stated that Canadians want:
- A clearer understanding of their wireless services and fees.
- The ability to unlock cellphones on reasonable terms.
- Online tools to monitor usage and any additional fees.
- The ability to set a cap on additional fees, such as those incurred from long-distance calls, usage of voice minutes, text messages, data usage and roaming.

There are some interesting notes and seems to be some work ahead to bring this to life. There’s still a pondering issue of who the code is for, all wireless subscribers or different standards for pay-as-you-go and pay-in-advance customers. Here’s some takeaways:

- “The Wireless Code will be administered by the Commissioner for Complaints for Telecommunications Services (“CCTS”) and enforced by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (“CRTC”).”

- “Any advertisement that is incorporated by reference into a contract will include the total amount the consumer must pay for the services on a monthly recurring basis. The advertised price must indicate whether it includes sales tax and government-mandated fees.”

- “Service providers that offer “unlimited” plans must explain at the time of sale and in the personalized information summary whether there are limits to the “unlimited” plan and whether the service provider retains the discretion to move the consumer to a “limited” plan if these usage limits are exceeded. Service providers must also explicitly explain, in their fair use policies, the amount of use that will trigger the application of the policy.”

- “Where the service provider has provided a locked wireless device to a consumer, it must provide the consumer with the means to unlock the device after no more than 30 days of service, at the rate specified in the contract and personalized information summary.”

Jean-Pierre Blais, Chairman of the CRTC, stated that “The draft code is still very much a work in progress and intended to encourage more discussion.” They are opening the online discussion once again and want your feedback on the Wireless Code.”

Check it out here at the CRTC.

  • Crank

    Sounds like they’re putting the screws to Wind and their lies about ‘unlimited’ data. Good on them.

    • geokilla

      There are no lies though… It is unlimited. Just throttled after a certain amount.

    • seroevo

      @geokilla

      It may not be a technical lie, but it’s still dishonest by way of misleading.

      It’s like advertising a rental car with unlimited mileage, only to find out after 100km you are limited to a speed of 30km/h. You may still have unlimited mileage, but obviously it was intentionally misleading.

    • One at a time

      I wish the CRTC stop with the penny pinching-baby steps, step in the right direction- measures and.

      MAKE THREE YR CONTRACTS ILLEGAL…just like in the rest of the world NOW!

      Then we can talk about a “Draft” of other things… if the CRTC wasn’t in the pocket of the Big 3 this “Draft” would make me think that they are just buying time.

      THE MOMENT the CRTC bans 3 yr contracts in Canada, it will in one simple moment align Canada with the rest of the world, will make things easier/cheaper for people to switch operators in the search of the best plan for their need ans it will MAKE IT ESSIER for Windows and RIM (talking about helping CANADA, and Canadian JOBS) to enter the market.

      With 3yr contracts in place its close to impossible to penetrate the market in a cost efficient manner, since most people are on a 3yr contrct and have to wait to “Be free” to even consider switching to a different ecosystem.
      Im surprised that Nokia, Microsoft and RIM haven’t put any pressure NOW!

      CRTC: Please ban 3yr contracts NOW, and then you can keep on going with the draft.

    • Mexico Ron

      Sounds to me like it could just was easily be applied to Rogers and their always dodgy definition of “unlimited”. Rogers unlimited talk plans have always meant things like unlimited evenings/weekends or unlimited texting. Yet they called them and advertised them as unlimited talk and text plans. They wasn’t just dodgy, it was on outright lie. The usual Rogers shills would claims that so long as any aspect of the plan could be interpreted as unlimited, it was honest advertising.

      Don’t hate on Wind for unlimited that gets throttled. Hate on Rogers for their unlimited that is absolutely limited.

    • Mexico Ron

      Seems to me that the CRTC didn’t consider the input from the public at all and instead went to the carriers and asked what sort of fluff regulation they would like to see or be willing to accept. From all the comments about banning 3 year contracts and locking of phones, there is nary a word about contract length and a snowjob regarding unlocking of locked phones under some vague, nebulous conditions.

      CRTC has clearly demonstrated their complete and utter collusion with the carriers with this pathetic draft.

    • deltatux

      Actually, WIND and Mobilicity both explains that their “unlimited” plans do impose a speed limit after a cap. Unlike the Big 3, at least they won’t charge you overage when you go over.

      I don’t know about you, but unlike the Big 3, WIND and Mobilicity’s caps are very reasonable at 5 GB (WIND) and 6 GB (Mobilicity). Most people won’t go over it and if they do, they won’t get bill shocked like they would on the Big 3.

      Most people can live with slower speeds than having to resort to dipping into their savings just because they went over their limit.

    • One at a time

      Its been demosntrated that banning 3yr contracts is the biggest measure That the CRTC can do to create a dynamic Telecomm industry in Canada; at the same time this measure will save hundreds of dollars to each and everyone of the 28M wireless users.

      -Then according to the article the CRTC has identified several points but NONE OF THEM IS the bannnin of the 3 yr cons???

      -The Draft started last yr, then now they see that its a work in progress??

      -I have an idea: how about instead of keeping on developing the draft, you START ACTING ONE measure per month??
      If you don’t have to pass every measure through the board of directors of the big three, and you REMEMBER that you are supposed to be on the side of the Canadian Consumer and not on the side of the Canadian Industry, everything will be easier and faster: here some examples to be implemented on January 2013:

      -Ban 3yr Contracts (As of Feb 01 the max con is 2yrs)
      -If people sign any contract, provide people with the UNLOCK code for free (they are paying for the phone….after all they are on a contract) after month 2 or three and if their payments are good to date.

      The rest (define a clear vocabulary/clear to undestand bills) etc etc can wait, if you want to take your time on this, but on the 3yr contracts ACT NOW! PLEASE, PLEASE????

    • T1MB0T

      Geo nice way to hide behind the wind banner.. Unlimited means no limits. That’s a lie. Much like the tab contract. did jabroni not say no contracts? yeah.. thought so.

    • Darth Paton

      T1MB0T: So if Wind cannot call their unlimited plans unlimited, then what do they call them? Because technically any user on an unlimited data plan can use an unlimited amount of data, just at limited speed. Wind is not being untruthful in saying users get an unlimited amount of data! And really, how does this hurt consumers anyway? The only people that use over 5 gb of data a month are those that abuse the system. Also, the Wind Mobile website clearly states that all data is subject to the fair usage policy, and then gives a direct link to the fair usage policy! So quit your complaining and shut the hell up!

  • Lexcyn

    And yet nothing about 3-year contracts being too long.

    • Martin

      I’m sure to get down voted for this but,
      the CRTC is unlikely to get rid of 3 year contracts. After all it is the consumer that ultimately chooses to sign them.

      And for the most part it is not the CRTC’s role to dictate how businesses should be run, so as long as people want their ‘free’ phones except 3 year contract to stay.

    • HerpDerp

      3-year contracts are too much of a cash cow with them. If the CRTC honestly went after 3-year contract (or even instigated policy that significantly discouraged them in some way) then the CRTC bosses wouldn’t be able to get high paying jobs at Rogers and Bell afterwards. Why won’t anyone think of the corrupt bureaucrats?

    • Keith

      @martin,

      “the CRTC is unlikely to get rid of 3 year contracts. After all it is the consumer that ultimately chooses to sign them”

      A person signs a 3 year contract and gets a $700 phone for $100 and pays $80 a month.

      Or a person does not sign a contract, pays $700 for a phone and still pays the same $80 a month.

      And you call that a choice? Dumba$$.

    • Bob J

      People not wanting to sign a 3-year contract =/= 3-year contracts being unfair.

    • Tom

      @Martin,

      It’s not about banning 3 year contracts. It’s about empowering consumers so that they have options for 1 or 2 year contracts (if they are willing to pay more up front) at reasonable rates.

      I’m rather surprised that they totally ignored the issue that came out #1 by a mile during their consultation process.

    • Keith

      If people would just get a bit smarter so we would have a consistient message we might get somewhere. There is nothng wrong with 1, 2 or 3 year contracts if we have real choice and the monthly plans are reduced accordingly. As it is the they price the phones on 2 year contracts at $500 or so wile keeping the monthly plan the same to force everyone into 3 year contracts.

      Personally I would only find 2 year contracts to be a slight improvement over 3 years–I want it like most of the world outside NA where if you bring your own phone your plan is reduced by around $20. My carrier doesn’t have a phone I want so a 2 year contract is just as bad as a 3 year.

    • liljohnny

      So Keith, rather than go for a $700 phone go for a cheaper one if you can’t afford it. I want a Ferrari but I own a Honda because thats what I can afford, pretty simple really.

  • geokilla

    Nice to see these drafts. However what’s missing is the crucial 3 year contract! Get rid of that!

    • joeee

      I don’t mean to be rude, but who cares about 3 year contracts. Under the proposed Code, you can cancel your contract at any time and pay the termination fee (the remaining device subsidy). The contract term is essentially irrelevant. You’ll have to pay for your phone one way or another, even if contracts are capped at 2 years.

      The real battle is ensuring that the cost of service (the plans) do not include costs associated with device subsidies. They should be separate. This way, unlocked phones become more attractive because you can get a cheaper plan than those with subsidized devices. It’s also fair. If you have an unlocked phone you should not be paying for a subsidy, which you’re not getting.

  • NinjaInASuit

    I have one question, why caller id is not standard? Why charge extra for this feature?

    • BB10

      Thats not really anything the CRTC could enforce. Caller id will always be a luxury, not a necessity, wether we all expect it to be included in a plan or not.

    • HerpDerp

      It’s a source of 100% pure profit to the telcos and the CRTC bosses want jobs at the big 3 after their stints are up. They won’t do anything to seriously jeapardize that.

    • Caller ID

      That was one of my biggest surprises when I first arrived to Canada, Caller ID is standard in Mexico, Spain and I’m sure most European countries

    • Tom

      Why can’t the CRTC regulate that? Caller-ID is the sort of tricky gotcha that makes it harder for people to act as effective consumers in a free market.

      A good, free market economy helps consumers act as effective economic agents, e.g. making it easier for them to compare prices.

    • One at a time

      Caller ID is a feature that HAS TO BE DISCONNECTED by operators: due to the digital nature of calls, EVERY CALL HAS A Number signature, or in other words CID is always on and operators is have to spend time and money DISCONNECTING IT.
      CID IS NOT A LUXURY and shouldn’t cost anything extra!!

      Voice mail on the other side it does require a separate infraestructure (data servers) that cost money time and resources to manage, VM should cost something extra and is and will be a Luxury!

      The point here is:
      CID should be part of every plan (it is on prepaid) and the “poor man’s VM” could be to check your missed calls and call them back. Charging $8 for CID is simply ludicrous!!
      —–
      Bell has a special now for a simple Residential line with no features for $13.95 per month and they charge you $10.95 for CID or Voice mail !! you can get a phone with a VM machine built in for $100 and you still save money in one yr!

  • Blackberry Gangster

    MAKE ALL THE RATE PLANS CHEAPER! We as Canadians are getting charged up the wazoo for next to nothing!

    • Brad F(anboy)

      We as Canadians are being charged more because of our extremely low population density. If you compare us to Great Britain, we have 5% of the population in an area that’s 4000% larger. That kind of coverage costs money.

    • arsenal2010

      Bradley, that is a Big3 myth. A vast majority of Canada is not covered at all, unless you decide to use a satellite phone. Do not buy anything that comes out of the Big3 mouths. They are after your money.

  • Jim Balsillie

    No 3 year contract removal, no care.

  • Rich

    How many of us glanced that over, noticed some missing key things in there, and immediately thought DISBAND the CRTC?

  • Alfred

    Umm… is the CRTC ignoring the fact that the most comments back in the fall is that Canadians don’t want a 3-year contract?!? Why is that not in the “draft”?!?

    • DJ

      If the majority of Canadians don’t want 3 year contracts, then why to the majority of Canadians sign up for them? By offering the contracts, the providers are giving Canadians what they want. If you don’t want a 3 year contract, then DON’T SIGN UP for one. If enough Canadians do this, then they won’t offer 3 year contracts anymore.

      Supply and demand. The sheer idiocy of some people….

    • Yeria

      Why should 3-year contracts be banned? Because this is how the term is written:
      Go-monthly: $699
      1-Year: $649
      2-Year: $599
      3-Year: $99

      Would you be that stupid and sign a 2-year contract when the offer looks like that? Try making the term like this:

      Go-monthly: $699
      1-Year: $399
      2-Year: $199
      3-Year: $99

      and see if people STILL only sign up for 3-year contract. Supply and demand? Yeah, the supply is feeling the pressure of demand when there are only 3 people selling the identical products and ironically, the demand of what they sell is only increasing (service) and the demand of what drives that increase can be only purchased through them (phones). Yeah, I’m sure this system will work.

      Sheer idiocy of some people.. yeah, I agree but it ain’t people against 3-year contracts.

  • steve stark

    I told you idi ots to worry more about competition, lowering costs for consumers, removing cash grab data caps… But no, you all cried over 3 year contracts which don’t even have termination fees any more.

    You should all never procreate. Seriously.

  • ile2010

    3 year contracts seemed the be one of the main complaints, yet there’s nothing about this.

    Reasonable terms for unlocking? Reasonable for whom? The only reasonable term is if a customer owns the phone outright, you unlock it on the spot. For free. Plain and simple.

    Nothing here on caller ID either.

    I don’t know why I actually expected something positive from the CRTC.

  • cellguy

    no one realy has “3yr contracts” they’ve all kinda gone with tab based. The discount the carrier gives you is divded by how many months you have in the contract. Yes the companies in the states have 2 yr instead of 3 yr for the same price, but we have 28 million users in canada, the states has like 270 million.

    • ile2010

      The tabs are worse than contracts. In many cases, it takes longer than 3 years to pay off the tab.

    • everythingsablur

      @ile2010, check on the terms of the Tab with the various carriers. Some (I think Wind comes to mind) will cap the payback of the tab at 3-years. Once your Tab is 3 years old, whatever balance was on it is cleared as if you paid it off completely. So in that case, it is not worse.

    • BB10

      waaaayyyyyy longer. Like 7 years.

    • pacalis

      Great thinking here. There are only 5.4 million people in Finland. They must have, like, 10 year terms. :P

    • One at a time

      While paying the Tab it actually would take you 7 yrs; both Koodo and Virgin have the BEST PHONE PRICES on tab.

      While the big three “For some reason” always have phones in the $600-650; Koodo and Virgin have phones in the $300 range with the S3 at $550! plus their plans are way better than the big 3 and now both of them have Battery killers too! (I think people call it LTE)

      This Draft feels like the CRTC is going to the big 3 and ask them what are the things they would “sacrifice”

      No activation fees and they call it a big triumph??
      The big triumph would be to align canada with the rest of the world and have 2yr cons max!
      The design-cycle of the iphone and android phones is two yrs (BB10 is five years, but lets not talk about that) so why not copy the US and the rest of the world for once??

  • ile2010

    And let’s not forget about competition. Allow foreign telcos in. I don’t need a law to mandate lower prices. Competition will do that without legislation.

  • Britney C

    @crank. Yes, this thing was started to put the boots to a company trying to offer lower prices. Not at all because of the shady business practices of Robelus. Thank you for your spot on comment about the Canadian Wireless Industry.

  • seroevo

    So if a company advertises “unlimited,” but if it can become “limited” after you’ve reached a certain point, they must specify both that this can happen and what the limit is.

    How about they just ban the use of “unlimited” if it’s not unlimited? If you can hit a point where you are then moved to a limited plan, then that’s not unlimited.

  • Sean

    Will this be an actual law enacted through the House of Commons, or just some weak code by which the carriers will have the option to opt out and, therefore, have absolutely zero effect within the industry?

    Also, the 30 day unlock sounds wrong. Shouldn’t it say “after no LESS than 30 days”?

  • Jake

    I am moderately amused by the people that think 3 year contracts are too long, yet are the same people who want a fully subsidized device whenever they want. If you don’t want 3 years, pay more for the device upfront, buy outright and go monthly. You have a choice.

    • Sean

      Agree 100%. If you don’t like the terms of the contract, nobody is forcing you to sign it. Save your nickels (because there won’t be any pennies) and pay for the phone outright, unlocked and be the beneficiary of freedom.

      The only thing the Telco’s care about is the bottom line. When people collectively hurt the bottom line, only then will real change take place.

    • DCJ

      The problem with this idea is that, while it works in theory, in practice it does not. For example, if I want to get a Windows Phone right now, I can buy one off-contract with any of the Big Three. The problem is, at least according to the Microsoft Store employee I spoke with, that I must still pay for at least a month with the company I purchase the phone from.

      Now, obviously that’s a problem with Windows Phone in particular, but if you purchase a phone at full price, why wouldn’t it be unlocked? Microsoft won’t sell it to you that way because they desperately need to get into the market, and they don’t want to piss off the Big Three. If full-price phones had to be unlocked, this wouldn’t be an issue.

  • theone

    it still amazing how uneducated some of you guys are about business and subsidies
    Lower contracts mean = Lower Subsidies

    and CRTC does not have legal right to tell a company how long their contacts can be and you choose I cant stress that enough YOU CHOOSE to sign a contact no one is forcing you

    you dont want a contract buy your phone

    the plans are the same with or with out contract

    • pacalis

      The average useful life of a phone is about 2 years 2 months. The WORLD, and every device company in it, is innovating on this renewal period if not faster.

      Due to a total lack of competition and Canadian norms of consumer acceptance, Canada’s three year contacts create consumer incentives to adopt new technology slower than the rest of the world.

      You may think it’s great that Canada’s ICT sector is a total toilet, but I think that this regulation is needed just to have us keep pace.

  • CorruptMorons

    Instead of having to “monitor usage” they should force telecom companies to offer unlimited usage. This is the 21st century. 1gb of data is not enough for anyone who uses any form of online media streaming, 200 minutes is not enough talk time for anyone that is not a shut-in or do not want/own a home phone.

    • Myke

      If you need more than 2GB of data, get an internet connection. No one NEEDS data. Mobile data is a luxury, not a need. ISPs don’t even offer unlimited data, why would a mobile provider? I do most of my streaming AT HOME. I don’t need to be doing it when I’m not home. You’re the type of person who wants everything for free, doesn’t want to take the responsibility of monitoring their own usage. I bet you whine and complain about how high your bills are from your extensive usages. Grow up.

  • hmmmmm

    @ Jake

    My thoughts exactly.

  • Mike

    A limit on “unlimited.”
    Then don’t call it unlimited.

  • Jake

    @ile2010. With Rogers, you are incorrect. It is never more than 3 years to pay off. On the last day of your 3 year contract, your Tab is clear. The subsidy you receive is divided by 36, thus that dollar amount decreases off the Tab each month you have the device. You don’t pay more than what you were subsidized initially, and each month you keep it, the cheaper it gets. Much better than cancellation fees. Koodo on the other hand….not the same story.

    • ile2010

      Wind also wipes the tab after 3 years. Not everyone does this.

  • theone

    LOL man you guys are funny reading some of the comments you want cheap phone, low rates, less contract lol

    ya and i also want to s**t out GOLD every morning…. I swear i thought business was mandatory in Canadian high schools how are you guys so clueless?

    your not going to get a phone for cheap if there is no contract… and lower rate plans = high phone prices

    remember they are subsidizing you phone for you
    so if the phone is 649 and you get for 0 and you plan is 50 a month its take 13 months just to brake even

    • Sean

      Business is not mandatory in school, but English is.

      “its take 13 months just to brake even” – HAHAHAHAHAHA

  • Joe

    3 year contracts are considered ancient history in most countries, and Canada is viewed as living in the dark ages in general. Unlocks for all, short contracts, good rates, reasonable fees are standard everywhere. Only Canada and US linger in the dark on this.

  • theone

    yes joe and what is the cost of he HANDSET is those countries?

    if you look at the rogers FLEXTAB system its the best way to do business in High technological country like Canada and US

    people want the newest and greatest but they want it for cheap when ever you want

    that’s not how business work they need make profit and answer to share holders

  • Mike

    Why are people acting like they’re FORCED to sign a 3 year contract? Nobody’s making you sign a contract. Don’t buy a device on a 3 year term then complain about the 3 year term.

    • Mike’s Daddy

      Have you seen the spread in handset price between a 3-year and a 2-year contract? We’re talking $99 and $599, respectively. And you are telling me that no one is forced into a 3-year contract? Come on, man, think!

  • Dylan K

    Keep the 3 year terms, just make the 2 and 1 year options reasonable. Also, Reading the synopsis of the draft here shows people complaining about how companies need to state all fees plainly per month, hasn’t this been standard for a few years now?

  • Miknitro

    Did the big three draft this?

    That is completely toothless and does nothing for what has been asked by us.
    Looks like we been led down the bs trail again!

    Screw u big three!

    • Xenodice

      They can ignore it since you are not forced to do a 3 year term. get over it, dont like it buy unlocked. glad to see this, cause i lawld hard when everyone cried and laughed at me for me saying they wont do nothing, they cant, it your choice, not theres, not the governments, its yours! dont like it, dont do it!

    • Arbo

      @Xen Let the foreign competition in, and the market will regulate itself VERY quickly. Then you, and then rest of your ilk, will see what the real prices are, not the ones that are currently inflated by our lazy, protected, cozy Big3.

      Some people, geez…

  • Steve

    I’ve never expected anything that benefits modern society from the CRTC, and as always, I see they keep upholding my non-existent expectations

  • Porilaisten

    Almost ALL of the comments on the CRTC’s website is about 3 year contracts, I don’t know how they can ignore this.

  • Superfly

    The crtc is controlled by government. The government is socialism. So hence you take what they say as truth. They don’t care that we want 3 year contacts eliminated, they just don’t talk about to prove to us that it really is not important to us. Government controlled media. I thought only in the USA with the gun control does government control the media

  • ExcessDan

    3 year contracts aren’t going anywhere but it’d be nice if they would force providers to have reasonable discounts on 2 and 1 year contracts. The difference in credit towards a phone between a 3 year and 2 year is usually several hundreds of dollars which is pretty silly. There are no reasonable options to take a 2 year credit.

    • Porilaisten

      The discounted difference on smartphones on a 2 vs 3 year is like $50 to $480 or more, it’s ridiculous. And most of the time you can’t get the phone without a 3 year and they won’t let you buy it outright anyway!

    • Arbo

      Gentleman, both of you have intelligence. Thank you for your contribution to this thread, and for understanding how things really are.

      I’ve seen a few posts here, possibly from people affiliated with the Big3, that are trying to convince us that the contracts are fair, and that the prices are reasonable. To these people – a warm and hearty F*CK YOU ;)

  • Henaway

    I’m not on a three year contract. My former carrier was bought out last year. They offered unlocked phones (with no locked option!) and 0, 1, or 2 year contracts. I’m not sure what I’m going to do when I decide to get a new phone. I really don’t want a 3 year Rogers plan, but until someone else enters the market, they’re the only option. (Incidentally, my cell bill more than DOUBLED after Rogers took over.)

    The end of three year contracts needs to be in this bill. Look at the pace of change in the phone industry – who do you know who is still running a two year old handset, let alone three?

  • JHK

    3 years definitely is horrible but buying it out-right or even signing up for 1 year just makes absolutely no sense unless you have lots of money to blow – which in that case you wouldn’t even be reading about this article.

  • shawn

    People are saying you aren’t forced to sign a 3 year contract but I would disagree. When I ordered a sim card for my unlocked phone from virgin on a month to month plan I was given a three year contract. If I did not noticed it and got them to correct it I could be locked into it now.

    Also the default non discussed term for every new subscriber is a three year contract unless they explicitly ask for a shorter term.

    • chik

      For those who buy phones from Robelus, the difference between the 3 year pricing and 2 year pricing is hundreds of dollars. Additionally, many new phones are ONLY available if you sing for 3-years.

      So tell me again how no one is forced to sign a 3 year contract? I’m listening.

  • Big Ang

    One of the big problems with the 3 year contract is that it doesn’t make economic sense for a client of Robelus to buy the phone outright to avoid the contract. Why? Because they will end up paying the same monthly fee as the client who received a subsidized phone.

    Instead of outlawing 3 year contracts, why not mandate the separation of your monthly cell service fee and the amount you’ll pay for your phone spread out over 2-3 years?

    For example

    Now:

    Get an iPhone 5 for $200 and pay $80/mth

    Future:

    Get an iPhone for $200 + $15/mth for 36 months, and pay $65/mth for your cell service.

    That way people who bring their own phones, or use an old one that’s been paid off, can benefit from the lower monthly payments, while people who want the latest and greatest phones and don’t mind long contracts can continue.

    Basically exactly what T-Mobile is trying to do right now.

  • beyond

    What about this? Why has this not been included and they focused more on restricting data and airtime… rather than restricting the price
    i.e.
    The MAXIMUM the provider can charge should be the highest available price point plan the provider has to offer at the time of the charge. Or the next plan to your based on the amount extra you used.

    So if I pay 20$ per month for 100 minutes and go over by 50 minutes. I shouldn’t be charged an extra 50 minutes X 0.45 cents = 22.5$ which comes out to 43.50$

    Because say they have a plan that’s $30 for 200 minutes. I should be charged at that rate for the month not $43.50 !!!!!!!!!!!!!

    This is important, and I don’t know why more people have not recommended this and keep focusing on the stupid 3yr contract issue which is slowly fading away anyway. (i.e flextab with rogers, windtab with wind, etc)

  • James

    @pacalis – BS. Canada is not behind in all areas. We rolled out HSPA and LTE long before Europe and most of the world(LTE is still being rolled out or debated in most of Europe). We get handsets from select OEMs ahead of Europe with a few notable exceptions. It’s just not true.

    As mentioned earlier, speak with your wallets on 3yr contracts. If you want the latest iToy or android every 2/3 years then be prepared to pay for it. Don’t come crying every time you signup for a contract. Unless there’s a monopoly which there ISN’T in Canada the CRTC has no business telling companies how to run their bread and butter operations.

    • alt88

      There is a duopoly here in Canada – Bellus and Rogers – and both of them have coffee with each other every morning, before they head out for a round of golf. Then CRTC members sit on board of directors of that duopoly, and vice versa. It’s all there in plain view.

      Wind, Mobilicity, and Public are so tiny, they are still insignificant.

      So no, there is ZERO competition in Canada. Please prove me otherwise.

  • The Real

    This is bullshit the crtc was running on about 3 hr terms and being to be able leave a contract with only a 50 dollar pay out wtf happened to all that hype coming out of the crtc ?!!!!!

  • Miknitro

    I sense big three has released their shill hounds to quash any back lash.

  • Mike

    I am also tired of earring than lower population mean the much higher investment for telecom company.

    Remove all cell tower in New York and replace with the number of cell tower of Montreal. The result will be be a crappy network if it work at all.

    More population also mean more investment in urban center were 80% of the population is anyway.

    If they can get rid of three years contract so we can.
    If they want to keep it they must give real choice, like fair distribution of the rebate or a reduction of the monthly cost if you buy without subsidies.

  • Adm

    People who want to ban 3 year contracts need to smarten up. You already have the option of going on 30 day pricing, you already have the option of signing a 24 month contract, and you already have the option of prepaid. Banning the 3 year contract will limit your options, and does not provide any new benefit.

    The CRTC needs to help make the market competitive with more choices for consumers… we do not need more restrictions which limit our choices as consumers.

  • ry29

    Not that I think the CRTC can mandate this, but I just want the USA T-Mobile model put in place here. If you BYOD, your monthly plan is less. If you pick up a subsidized device, the bill is split into Monthly Plan, and ‘pay off your phone subsidy’. Simple as that.

  • MattyMattMatt

    With everyone doing device subsidy over the term (which Bell will finally be announcing in Feb), what does the length matter when your total cost ends up being the cost of the phone anyway? At least with the three year I can get some credits against the phone and then till bail out.

  • Neil

    Have a 3 year contract, but do not make 2 year contract phones that much more expensive. The US is a good example of 3 year and 2 year contracts at reasonable pricing.
    The CRTC could suggest 2 year max. in their guidelines, the Government of Canada would then have to pass into law the maximum term. (as the UK government)

  • guy

    I doubt the CRTC could ban 3 year contracts. Such is up to the consumer to buy the 2 year contract instead. However what the CRTC can do is enforce linear time vs subsidies. For example with the current system:
    (Phone cost after subsidy)
    0 year: $600
    1 year: $560
    2 year: $490
    3 year: $100

    Adjusted Linearly this should be
    0 year: $600
    1 year: $435
    2 year: $270
    3 year: $100

    This would give both companies and consumers a fair playing ground and plenty of choice.

  • Kelly

    The issue I have is when a new phone is being launched, we are “forced” to renew on a 3 year contract. I called Rogers twice and they told me in order for me to get the new BlackBerry 10, I have to lock in on a 3 year term. I can’t buy the phone outright. That is wrong considering I’m an existing customer and have been with Robbers since 95′. Why isn’t the CRTC looking into this?? I posted on their forums and feel like I wasted my time expressing my concerns in regards to 3 yr contracts, not being able to buy a phone outright when it’s launched, force to change my services, etc. I am very disappointed in the CRTC. I thought they would do right by us consumers.

  • 1234

    Is there difference between buying out the 3-year contract after 2 years vs signing a 2-year contract? I’m guessing if they banned 3-year contracts the carriers would just increase the upfront pricing of handsets.

  • Dpants

    Here is an idea. Instead of all you guys complaining about term, lets do this…you can all pay full retail price for your device and go no term. This means when you break it through fault of your own, no credits from customer care, no loyalty credits, etc.

    Most comments speak of not wanting to sign 3 year contracts..Here is an idea, don’t. You are not forced to sign anything and ultimately most people do because they want the most expensive phone at the cheapest cost. Canadian consumers spend too much time complaining and whining as opposed to actually doing something about it.

    If you want to get rid of 3 yr contracts, stop signing them and the companies would have no choice but to re-evaluate their plan of attack.

    I work in the cell industry and I can tell you that if you run the math on buying a phone outright with the option to pick any plan vs. on a contract at at set plan, that 9/10 times it is cheaper to buy outright. Problem is people dont want to spend $700 up front on their phones. So stop pointing the finger at the big 3, when your consumer habits allow them to dictate how they will provide service. They can do it because you enable them to do it….Its called accountability and our society today lacks it!

  • peter

    The CRTC stated that Canadians want:
    - A clearer understanding of their wireless services and fees.
    =so from 10 pages they will go down to 1 in micro print with normal font saying contract on the top.

    - The ability to unlock cellphones on reasonable terms.
    =$5-20 online… i guess no one knows this. how can you make it better?

    - Online tools to monitor usage and any additional fees.
    =most of them have current usage apps

    - The ability to set a cap on additional fees, such as those incurred from long-distance calls, usage of voice minutes, text messages, data usage and roaming.
    =this is already available to some extent

    how about making the 3 year contracts not carry high fees if one wants to cancel the plan. currently you have to give up your savings, 1st born, favorite pet, kidney. just to leave.

  • royf29

    Just FYI about 3 year contracts, Bell does not even offer it anymore. Its 0 or 3 years.

    Well not true they do offer it with normal phone (not smart phones)

  • Damreal

    Screw the CRTC and them noty acting on 3 yr soul sucking contracts !! At least the U.S gives 1 and 2 yr options unlike our country here in Canada! I for one will just wait on legislation to be passed as it was up North and parts of Western Canada in certain provinces for the usuper of most contracts to bow out only paying the provider at 50 dollars. It is supposed to pass in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick very soon !!! This will nulify 3 yr tersm anyway if folks want to leave their provider without the backlash of still being 2yrs or even 1 yr left on their 2 yr terms !!

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