Video: Rick Mercer creates “The Stupidest Thing Ever Said” Commemorative Plaque

Ian Hardy

February 20, 2013 4:09pm

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The CRTC recently proposed a “Wireless Code” that all carriers would adhere to. Last week several carriers voiced their opinions on the draft and many questioned the fine details, but most agreed that it was a step in the right direction. However, CBC’s Rick Mercer took one nugget of gold and made a skit about data plan rates. David Fuller, TELUS’ Chief Marketing Officer, went on record stating that “I think a lot of customers don’t want a monthly cap on their monthly cellphone bill.”

Source: YouTube
Via: Twitter

  • Maz

    Only carrier executives can be this dumb & ignorant. Hail “Rick Mercer”!

    • jack

      I know David well and this quote is taken very uncharitably out of context. He is a very thoughtful executive and is constantly working to make TELUS services better value for their customers.

      No, I am not employed by TELUS. Take a look at the corporate giving campaigns that David and the team have helped develop and then ask what Rick Mercer has done for Canada.

    • GrapeApe

      To what Jack was saying, it’s funny how this was taken out of context.
      It’s not that people don’t want a Cap per se, heck how many times have you all reveled in your $25-all-in and the $0 for everything concept?

      However what he was saying was people would prefere a $25 plan +/- reasonable usage costs rather than making everyone pay a $70 capped plan, where low usage people heavily subsidize high usage user who hammer the network.

      Of course everyone thinks that it can be a flat rate $25 plan as if there are no costs to providing these services and it were returned to a government utility where taxes hide those costs too and a true monopoly leverages economies of scale and doesn’t waste efforts on competition and marketing. However, no one wants to return to either the slow pace of a gov’t utility nor the low-service model of the fly-by-night ‘only in it to be acquired’ model that is no more interested in overall benefit than any other model but has less of a stake in it.

      Of course this doesn’t make for as interesting a skit as simply making it sounds like he’s saying “no one wants to pay a flat rate $0 plan…” that the gag/skit implies.

      However reality is never as attractive / funny /popular as the ever popular “all for none” concept that everyone champions as where the market should go… along with of course the outcry for ‘no 3 year contracts’.

      Anywhooo, funny skit, but kind of a low-blow in reality, and the kind of dirty-pool pot-shot that people take at the CBC itself.

  • dizzle

    3 piggies are what we surrounded by in canada. somebody needs to file a law suit and a big juicy fat one to fix these crooks up.

    the government is a sell out to these corporations. so dont expect much in your way and this my friend is a guranteed. same pigs different costumes.

  • Tom

    That’s just one of many. When a rep from a consumer group suggested that the amount of the phone subsidy should get a separate line item on users’ bills (e.g. so they could see how that was and how how much was paid off), the head of Bell said that it wasn’t a subsidy at all – that the discount you get on your phone is a sort of ‘thank you’ for signing a 3 year contract.

    • Mike

      It is. You get a discount and in return they get volume. It’s like how some supermarkets will sell you something at a lower price if you buy 10.

  • MapleHamwich

    Hopefully the CRTC code goes through with customer suggestions, not carrier. My understanding was this was something the CRTC would impose on the carriers, not present to the carriers and then ignore if they didn’t like it. The carriers should really have no say in this matter.

  • placator

    What he meant, if you look past the out of context, typical CBC/Mercer bias, is that Canadians don’t want a monthly cap on their monthly DATA USAGE on their cell bill.

    • Tom

      Actually, I think it was about whether the carriers’ would allow customers to request a cap on their roaming usage.

      Normally, a cap could be considered a bad thing – your service suddenly stops until you change the cap – but given crazy high our roaming rates are, a cap would really be useful in this case.

  • Tim

    Good ol’ Rick Mercer.

  • RBC kills Ally

    Robelus and our beloved Banks are pure evil. Money corrupts everything.

    If you are banking with Ally, check your account…

  • CRTC

    Dear Dizzle:
    Once we finish the current hearing about things that Canadians want to get, we will have another hearing about things that Canadians Don’t want.
    By 2014 we will have another hearing about what to do with the hearings and then another where we invite the top people from Rogers, Bell and Telus. If they accept the chances we will proceed. Otherwise we will hear their recommendations and will do a second round of hearings in 2015.

    Hope this clarifies the case.
    Best regards,
    CRTC: To serve and protect..

    …Rogers Bell and Telus.

    • Daniel AJ

      Why didn’t you have your say? Its not like it was for Telco’s only?

  • Sweet

    Still not as shameful as Bell’s attempt to justify charging $75 to unlock phones. Fortunately, an exec from (I believe) Wind described how to unlock phones so the CRTC could see exactly how ridiculously easy and cheap it was to do so.

    • ToniCipriani

      eBay. It’s not illegal to unlock phones via 3rd party here.

  • zzzZZZzzz

    By the time the cell phone industry gets regulated here, people will move from cellphones to something else (see wrist phone, google glasses project, etc)

  • Rick

    You should speak to their technical service dept. Even though every one (many on Telus too) I worked with had no problem with reception, the tsd said they couldn’t help me as there was no guarantee I could get Telus reception indoors. All they had to do was take a look at my phone but nope, so 2 years later, Fido and happy as heck!

    • some guy

      lol… Oh it’s people like you that make me laugh.
      You did what the only solution was, switch carriers. There’s nothing that those Telus reps could do to make signal penetrate into your house better.

      Google signal interference and signal penetration.
      It’s all about location, location, location. If there’s a Rogers tower closer to you, congrats! But blaming the tech support people who can’t change the laws of physics…

      *slow clap*

      Bravo. Bravo indeed.

  • Sweet

    If people wanted a cap on their data usage all the time they would be using pre-paid plans.

    Some people want caps and of those, some (perhaps most) want it only when they roam.

    Once again, people are picking sides when what we need is both capped and non-capped service in order to satisfy the needs or all customers.

    That’s why a usage cap should be optional. If a customer chooses to have a cap, they should receive warnings as they approach the cap and be given a choice to ignore the cap for the time being. As the carriers rightly pointed out, and I can confirm this because I was on a pre-paid plan for a few years, you don’t want your service to cut out when you’re in the middle of something important.

    Give the customers both options, and let the customers choose which one they want.

    • Daniel AJ

      @Sweet the cap IS optional. That is, you, as the customer, could set higher limit than $50, according to the Wireless Code Draft. So you could set a limit as high as you want, even 1 Mio Dollars, if your credit limit is high enough.

    • Daniel AJ

      @Sweet There is no free cell phone market in Canada. (free as in free market, not free as in gratis). You can’t go to a Bestbuy or Staples and buy the phone you want unless it comes through one of the operators. (Recent exception: Nexus 4 on Google Play).

      They have shut the market and even forbid amazon.com to ship phones to Canada. Canada was the ONLY market were Sony Ericsson had an exclusivity contract – they were not allwed to sell to anyone but Rogers. This only ended in 2011.

      And even if you buy through one of the operators at what they say is the full price, you’d still get a locked device!

      Then, if you manage to get a phone by yourself (by driving south of the border, for example), Rogers would still charge you the SAME amount as if you had taken a $600 subsidy. I’ve checked this week. Now I read they are planningm to introduce a 10% BYO discount – that’s still much less than the subsidy they claim to give on a 3 year contract.

      The much ado about the 3 year contracts and cancellation fees is only fighting the symptoms of an inherently uncompetitive market. The big 3 have shut the market for devices so they can invent prices and limit choice, resulting in higher profit margins. People got angry and they think the problem are cancellation fees and subsidies. They are not. These are only the symptoms.

    • GrapeApe

      @Daniel AJ, Sure it’s a free market, just not a very well informed marketplace.

      YOU and anyone else can buy whichever phone you want unlocked at places like Expansys.

      However the Free Market also allows for companies to be free to leverage what works best for them, and while Online stores can make a name for themselves and profit from having a wide selection of unlocked phones available to all, places like Best Buy etc want to keep inventory in check and guide you to phones that fit the majority of consumers, especially those consumers not savvy enough to shop online to begin with.

      That you complain about not being able to buy an unlcoked phone simply shows which group of consumers you belong to… the APPLE kind that needs you hand held to purchase and then someone else to hand-hold you through your 1337 Jailbreaking / Unlocked device.

      The marketplace is free and open, however it’s heavily populated by roaming SHEEP bleeting about how bad things are in all aspects of their lives.

  • Porilaisten

    I watched the hearings, all the carriers said they offered 1 and 2 year contracts but consumers didn’t want them. No one said that it might be because of this:

    1 year – $50 discount
    2 years – $75 discount
    3 years – $550 discount

    • cayaguy

      Fido = 2 year contracts. Most phones are $0-$100 2 year term. Done. Only silly iphone that requires 3! I would agree elsewhere in the world you can get an iphone on a 2 year term but Canadians just bend over and take it to get what they want we are cheap! god forbid we pay 200 dollars for our iphones on 2 year term!

    • ReallyFido?

      In response to cayaguy:
      Fido eh? two years plans work really well for the lower end phones which are mostly what Fido offers. Take any of the new phones on the market and on a two year term, your paying 400 for the GS3 and $350 for the Z10… Bell and rogers will only make you pay 150-200 for cancelling a year early
      you tell me if its worth it?

    • Sweet

      Well if Canadians weren’t such cheap bastards and bought their phones outright then they wouldn’t have to sign contracts. If there was enough demand for buying phones outright, then independent retailers would be able to sell phones at prices determined by market forces, instead of prices dictated by the carriers. It used to be like that until high-priced smartphones became popular. Nowadays, they can’t sell phones at prices that can compete with the subsidized prices, so they don’t.

      Those who are interested in buying phones outright should let independent retailers (e.g. WirelessWave, FutureShop, BestBuy, etc.) know.

    • GrapeApe

      Well, what exactly is wrong with that?

      You think things will magically change with 2 year contracts or 1 year being the max and suddenly it’s $550 rebate for 1 year?

      Then you’d complain that it’s a 1yr instead of 1 month or even a contract at all.

      Seriously, it’s the lack of education on the part of consumers.
      These people must think the 72 month payment is the same $ as the cash price on a car?

      Obviously too many people aren’t smart enough to qualify for smartphones if they can’t figure out a these basic finance concepts.

      I also love how most of the people whom I meet in person who complain about their contracts always have a high-end phone and not a cheap basic phone and are constantly burning through all the latest services and apps to adle their minds. The people who use their phones for work (and pay their own bills) are far more vigilant about this than those who treat it like a toy and complain about the cost for all this great technology, but are quite fine blowing their money on smokes, pubs or the latest rims.

  • gold

    Hilarious, tell ‘em Rick!

  • John

    That’s right Telus, we want more charges! Don’t worry we want unlimited charges to our bills.

  • ron

    I don’t agree with Rick Mercer. I don’t want a cap, I have lots of money to give to the cell phone companies…

  • Koala MeatPie

    I WAS THERE. I was there, in back of them. Never have I hear a room snort soo loud.

  • Cap Cap

    I don’t think people realize that when the CRTC says caps, they mean they want the cell phone companies to literally shut off your phone service so you don’t go over your usage. i dont want that! I’m smart enough to monitor my use

  • Dex

    I don’t want my bill capped! Also, while we’re at it… I love 3 year contracts! All hail our telecom overlords!

  • ace

    these execs have unlimited plans, they dont see what they spend… if they did maybe they would understand…

  • Sweet

    The carrier’s execs aren’t stupid. They know exactly what they’re doing.

  • Graham

    +1 Patrick McKenna! Go Harold!!

  • bassbeast

    Or you could, oh I don’t know, NOT CHARGE US $200 FOR ROAMING?!

    Jeez, for what it costs to move those bits around these days, you’d think our bills would go down, but instead they keep reaching ever upward. How is it that the only thing that consistently gets cheaper over time – technology – somehow keeps creeping?

  • Telusdoesnotcare

    Hey there Telus rep,

    how about you listen to what customers want and get some HIGH END Windows Phones on your network! How about you get more than cheap HTC phones or the Nokia 620? Why don’t you guys make a deal with Nokia for the 820 and 920?

  • Chris

    I don’t understand why people would want a cap and why anyone would be stupid enough to enforce a cap. This is basically saying I want to use lots, but I don’t want to pay for lots. Think about going to a restaurant and eating $300 of food and then complaining about how there should be a cap at $50. If this sounds bizarre to us, then why are we expecting telecom companies to do this?? Why are things all of a sudden different when it comes to your cellphone bill?

    • Daniel AJ

      Chris, if you want a higher Cap, you can set it higher. It is up to you, the customer. YOu can call and say “I want a cap at 1 Mio Dollars” or whatever your credit limit allows for.

      It is like saying to the server in the restaurant: “Please stop serving us when the bill reaches $xx. That is all we can afford.” If you don’t say anything, the server would come and say: “Do you know that yo have already spent $50? We aren’t processing this order unless you instruct me that you are fine with a bill higher than $50.” Then you can say nothing or you say “Sure, I want that bottle of wine, feel free to charge me more.”

    • pacalis

      It’s more like you get all you can eat for $50 at table one, but you move to table 2 at another part of the restaurant (roaming)and it costs 100 times more. Surprise!!!

  • Chris

    Thanks Shawn. To the comment about not charging you $200 above….why don’t you not use $200?? Why don’t you buy a roaming package? Why don’t you shut your data off?? Who eats and doesn’t pay? So why would you use data and minutes and expect not to pay for it??

  • MaX

    If you use a CANADIAN phone outside of Canada without asking for the the rates for data/text/voice roaming or at the very least, ask how to avoid high charge after hearing about horror stories in the media ALL…THE…TIME, you are an i***t.

  • Rhiney Maceachern

    Nexus 4 quad core processor 2g ram, instant OS updates. Google play store $369 UNLOCKED ! If Rogers,telus or Bell were selling this phone it would be $600 locked to a three year contracted,and locked to there network

    • Dirtychoncho

      Yeah Rhiney, thats why Wind is selling for 549! Or $249 on TAB(fancy word for contract!)

  • John Stark

    Rhiney, Google is subsidising the Nex 4 on the play store – that’s not the true cost of the device sold to the carrier!

    The subsidized incentive benefits both – carriers get a guaranteed contract length at the cost of the subsidized phone and customers get a phone for a fraction of the price. I don’t know why people complain about getting free stuff in exchange for a commitment (people tend not to change carriers every year anyway).

  • husher5142

    I think, the real problem isn’t caps etc its the lack of a combined network and the overcharging fees of customers switching between towers. Roaming should cost a fraction of what’s being paid atm. Having each company charged every on/off is the whole reason why the prices for roaming are astronomical AND I might add that companies cannot guarantee that tower 1 with company X is going to have better receptions than that of tower 2 with company N. With no guarantee who gets the wireless signal vs the other there should be a standardized cost metric that’s reasonable.

  • GrapeApe

    @bassbeast how long have you had a cell phone?

    If your bill keeps going up it’s because you keep using more (heck most people who use the same as they always have have grandfather plans they’ve used for years). However you’re likely using alot more which is why you’re paying alot more.

    Those of us who have had cellphones for decades and in many countries, know that cell prices have come down greatly, but people rely on them more as their main source for all connectivity and so their bill goes up, but the cost per min/byte/etc has gone down SIGNIFICANTLY.

    @TDC, what’s wrong with the ATIV? It’s a high end Windows phone, and like my ATIV Tablet PC it’s pretty good. You may prefer the Nokia or the HTC, but it’s not like there’s nothing. Considering the size of the WP8 market, despite all the marketing again, having one high end and one discount model makes sense, more than being stuck with a ton of models and inventory.
    And as mentioned before, why complain, just go buy whatever the F you want at places like Expansys.