Industry Canada’s new video says they’ve brought ‘more choice, lower prices and better service’ to Canadian wireless

Ian Hardy

February 8, 2014 9:25 am

Industry Canada has created a video that declares “wireless services in Canada are getting better, becoming faster and with even more choice.” The 30-second ad will most likely hit your TV and highlights a few recent announcements that James Moore and hit team are incredibly proud of: 15-day trial periods, removal of 3-year contracts, reducing data roaming plans, and including notifications of potential overages.

This is an offshoot of the “More Choices” campaign that first started when Verizon was rumoured to enter our country.

At the end of the spot there are 3 people, possibly actors, who say “More Choice. Lower prices. Better service.” Is this true? Have you experienced more choice, lower prices and better service from your wireless provider?

  • Sequoia46.2

    Prices have gone way up for monthly plans. I’m disappointed in Industry Canada.

    • JoMore

      Not if you include the same features. The $60 1GB fab 10 needed caller id and voicemail ($12) and unlimited LD ($10) to be the same as what’s offered now.
      So $82 with 1GB vs now $85 with 2GB. You shave a year off a contract AND cancellation is based on subsidy.
      Not saying we are leading the world by any means, but we are better off now than before.

  • Igor Magun

    I might agree on better service, as some of the new regulations are indeed beneficial, but prices have gone up since the two-year contract was introduced and choice hasn’t gotten any better. Your only real choice is between the Big Three or Wind, but the latter isn’t any good if you need LTE or service out of town.

    • hardy83

      The two year contract is thanks to the CRTC, it has nothing to do with the feds.

      The only thing the feds have really done is open the market up to foreign investment and completely botch that up.

    • realitycheck

      Just like how many restaurants raised prices by blaming ‘HST’, the big 3 used 2-year contracts as a guise to implement higher prices(ARPU).

      -increased data prices
      -increased upfront phone prices for 2 year plans requiring a plan that cost a minimum of 60dollars(?).
      -flex tab? they offloaded all the financial burden onto the customers.

    • hardy83

      The only real way prices would fall is with direct government intervention. Capping the markup on services like wireless.

      Also, for anyone that says free market, this country is not a free market and never was. Even if it’s just the government making it cheaper for companies to operate, that is cancelling the concept of “free market”.
      “Free market” never has, and never should, exist.

      The new roaming plan from Wind is directly related to the CRTC going after the mark ups the telecoms had on roaming fees.
      Probably the best example for that argument.

      Throwing away wireless frequencies and loosening the foreign investment laws regarding telecom will solve nothing, other than make the conservatives “look” fiscally responsible in their yearly financial report because of an influx of 1-4 billion dollars.

    • Davan Mills

      We need more local competitors like Videotron, MTS, and SaskTel. They’re highly effective at driving down the prices charged by Robellus in the areas lucky enough to have them. Maybe Kickstarter can help?

    • Justinn Parkinson

      If you’re counting Koodo, Virgin, Fido as BIG 3 then I agree with you, but the “Value Brand” companies are a seemingly better option than Bell, Telus, Rogers. I find WIND to be reasonable, unfortunately they are not readily Nation Wide yet.

  • Zed

    Better service? I don’t think so. More choice? Not really. Lower prices? I’d say yes, even though they are slightly higher now. It hurts the most those who want high end phones with the highest subsidy, but besides that, mid-range prices are almost the same (in some cases better) than last year.

    But two years contracts are beneficial in the long term and prices will stabilize sooner or later to what used to be before. The best thing to do now is buy your own phone and go with a MTM month that over 2 years will have saved you hundreds of $. (example, I’m paying $49.50 for everything unl Canada and 3GBs, the same thing with a subsidized iPhone/GS4 would cost more than double)

    • VinceBabin

      Here is where I’m confused… I have 2 plans, one is a Note 3 the other is an HTC one. Both are at that rediculus $85/month. I paid Nothing for both phones, but they will both be paid in full at the end of the 2 years, how is that possible… They say the new rates are related to the price of Tue subsity… Note 3 800$ HTC One $649. My monthly is the same… Shouldn’t the HTC be lower because it costs less on the payback?.

      Also something I learned, when a phone goes “on sale” they just take that amount off and tack it onto the subsity.. Ex $99 on sale for $0 on 2year term. Subsity jumped from $549 to $649. They never have any true sales. Now most will never be affected by this as most just pay the term, but if you have to buy a new device mid contract your buy out if you take it will be that much higher.

    • Justinn Parkinson

      Some sale work in the sense that S4 on Telus was $179 in-store+subsidy and then the sale price is $79 in-store+subsidy. So yes some phone are cheaper on sale. But I do agree with your issue of the subsidies taking just as long for a phone simply $100 cheaper etc…

    • VinceBabin

      I might not be reading your right.. this is how Bell explained it to be: Price at Store + subsity = Off contract price. When they put the phone “on Sale” it’s Discounted Price + (subsity+discount) = Off Contract price. They take what ever amount they are putting the phone “on Sale” for and tack on to the subsity price.. Ex : HTC One Goes for $649 off contract, was $149 regular, sale price was $99 and I had a $50 loyalty credit. I paid $49.00 in store, I owed $600. They did not take the loyalty credit off as a discount, they just moved it to my repayment area. Not a big deal because most people just stay on contract for the full term.

      Bell, Rogers and Telus never put things on sale, they simply shuffle the initial payment..

      Since they all get paid off in 24 months now, your best value is to buy the most expensive phone for the lowest initial price, that way, the big 3 get less per month as income and more goes towards the phone… Note 3 currently at $199 upfront, $600 subsity means that out of the $85/month, $25 has to go to repaying the phone. Where the Alcatel Idol X is $0 upfront, $249 subsity means that out of the $85/month only $10.38 has to go to repayment, bell Puts $75 in pocket for Alcatel, $60 for Note 3.

    • Justinn Parkinson

      You’re totally in the right, let me try and put it in my own example. Koodo Large tab covers $500 S4 is worth $674, normal price is $174 In-store is there is a sale that sets it to $99. $500 still get put on tab but you pay $75 less in-store. There is some minor saving but not a lot.

      I think you can save money on some sales, but where I think we are on the same page is that it’s a rip off cheaper devices get paid off in the same amount of time whether it be more expensive or cheaper.

    • VinceBabin

      Ok yeah i see what you mean, Bell doesn’t do that, They take that $75 discount and put it on the $500, making the “Tab” $575. They never lose money, they always get the full amount paid back. If you tend to jump from phone to phone, no contract is best, if you have a habit of destroying a phone after a year and need a new one, pay as much upfront and it will be easier after, if you tend to stay on contract, pay as little and make bell take a smaller cut.

      Just writing this pisses me off lol

    • Skippypaccino

      I would suggest buying your phones at best buy or future shop…They always offer better deals on phones…2 Christmases ago i got a free htc one s (i sold it on ebay and bought a nexus 4) and 150$ instant gift card for future shop…( plus i’m with fido and i pay 56$ unlimited everything and 2 gigs of data) Those 2 stores bend over backwards to give you better deals…

    • Garrett Cooper

      Yup, sold cell phones at FShop for 4 years, plus a few years at other stores prior. Knowing what I’d do, I would never go into a carrier store to buy a phone, you’ll get the worst deal. BB/FShop offer the best discounts, and they eat the discount opposed to going towards the subsidy. At least they used to, I don’t think that has changed but it’s been a few years since I left.

    • Justinn Parkinson

      There’s also shops inside Superstores and Zehrs that have all carriers and offer PC gift cards rather than simple FS cards. usually there’s price matching as well it’s always good to shop around.

    • Skippypaccino

      id rather have a 150$ gift card at Future shop then at loblaws…. But you’re right shopping around first is always the best way to go

  • HD Z

    The art of saying something and doing the complete oposite lvl Harper

  • HD Z

    Telus SharePlus 1 GB plan is 90$ /mo. 5 years ago I could get unlimited 3G data…

    • VinceBabin

      I had a very nice $35+$15/month plan, unlimited local, 1000 LD , Fab 10 and 2gb share.. I was offered a Note 3 to replace my HTC One lemon, but I had to resign up… What they didn’t tell me was that my current plan was not valid because it was a 3 year plan… So I got forced into a $85/month Unlimited calling and 2 gb data share

    • HD Z

      I have unlimited Fab 10 + 5gb 65$/mo…
      Share plan are noob telus crap. Any phone can share it’s 3G/4G connection to any Wi-Fi device.

    • VinceBabin

      By share I mean I share my 2gb with my wife on her Cell plan.. Not tethering any carrier that tries to charge extra for tethering is just stupid, if you want to make money on sure charges let the customers use their phones as modems! The sur charges would be monumental!

  • Thomas C. Riddell

    They only two who good prices are looking to be Bought Wind and mobilicity praying that not big 3 get there hands on them and some buys them both

    • Thr1ve

      Yes, they’re cheaper, but their service is crap (no LTE), their coverage is extremely limited (limited to a handful of big cities/areas), the devices they offer are mostly junk and you have to buy them outright or pay far more than the big 3 for a subsidized phone… In other words, you get what you pay for, and with Wind and Mobilicity, you’re not getting much.

    • Columbo

      They have no LTE but their service is very good in big cities (speaking from experience – in Vancouver at least) and they offer pretty much all the top devices, one exception being the iPhone. And if you get their $50 plan, which is still cheaper than all the competitors, you get a $400 subsidy off your phone. Or you know, buy the Nexus from google and get the $30 unlimited plan and save hundreds a year. Wind is a great option if you live in a major city.

    • Garrett Cooper

      Key part being live in a big city and stay in the city. Wind works for some people, and not for others. At least there’s an alternative.

  • sicsicpuppy

    Whatever they’re smoking ,I’d like some too …..

  • Brandin Chiu

    I love how they say “We’ve done our job” for a recent advertising, offering changes enacted over a year ago. What exactly did they even DO this year, besides run around panicking about a potential Verizon invasion? I have seen zero progress and zero effort put in post Wireless Act.

  • Wild

    Make sure to clearly remember this video and bring forth the issue when it is time to vote in the upcoming election people.

  • L Joel

    My 60$ plan is now 120$.. yep they did good

  • Pascal Cadorette

    More choice?? Better prices?? We probably don’t live in the same “Canada” Industry Canada and I because here, the prices has gone to the roof, they have doubled and there less than a choice. As of Dec 2nd, once you take a plan in a group of plan you can’t change unless you cancel your service. You can’t change your account from a Corporate account to a personnal account without losing all of your loyalty benefits and starting to 0. There is no flexibility anymore with cellphone plans and cellphone contracts.

  • Thr1ve

    I’d love to see the figures that show these supposed lower prices… Even if you average out the total cost of the old 3 year plans compared to the new 2 year plans, it now costs Canadians more for a cell phone contract over 2 years than it did back when we had 3 year plans… If anything, prices have skyrocketed along with device costs. As for service, it’s marginally better now than it was, then again, this is expected. The only people who have more choices are those who live in major cities, the rest of Canada has had the same choices for the last decade or more, and no, the “cheaper” (and I use this lightly) versions of the Big 3 don’t count (Fido, Koodo, Virgin etc)…

  • beyond

    I agree with the other comments here, there is less choice in wireless plans. They bundled together every feature into the plans with no way to pick and choose which features you need or want anymore. So your stuck paying for stuff you may never use.

  • jacksontrigggs

    I love how industry canada blocked the ability to comment on that youtube video. Deep down I think they know the shitstorm of fury they would unravel by letting Canadians speak their minds.

  • Sean McConnell

    Ah yes, Conservative government… Aim for the stars but hit the dirt, then manipulate data to say you hit the horizon; openly declare “victory” when the battle is lost and move on. Its no surprise the mobile market played out in the same fashion when they win votes from the public and then focus on meeting the needs of corporations in their actions.

    • realitycheck

      Sounds like the employment report…. net gain of 5000 new jobs this year, only they forgot to mention we lost 5000 full time quality jobs and gained 10000 low end, part-time, on call positions with minimal benefits. Total number fudging….

  • Comrade Yeti

    I hate that argument. $1680 is over 2 years, and $1800 is over 3. So what about months 25-36? You’re just not going to have a phone at all? It’s really $70×24 + $50×12 (BYOD discount) = $2280. And that is $480 more dollars over 3 years.

    • Kamarov

      We are talking about the increase in price of 2 year terms versus 3.
      You pay less on a 2 year term than a 3 year term, under normal
      circumstances. You have to realize that the Big Three as businesses that
      want to make money, not make you happy.

    • Comrade Yeti

      Over 3 years you pay more. At the 2 year mark you’ve paid more. I’m just saying any argument where you say that 2 years is cheaper than 3 ignores the fact you’ve subtracted a full 12 months of payments from the equation. By your logic a $1000 plan with a 1 month term is cheaper. Because 1000 is less than 1680.

    • realitycheck

      If you are talking about 2year term prices you should have compared the new 2 year plans to the OLD 2 year plans. Dont forget to quote the handset prices for 2 year plans.

      EVERYONE wants to make money off me, should I bend over and give it all? By the numbers prices have all relatively skyrocketed and its UNFAIR and that is why we are looking towards the government to regulate.

  • Christopher Côté

    I don’t understand why ppl complain about the new system… We save 1 year of contract and we paid the same price for the cellphone!!

    In 2013, they give me 500$in credit for my 4s…For 3yr!! Now, they give you 500$ for 2yr… They are not financing company, they do that to be sure you’ve not to pay 700$ for having your toys…

    Yeah, it’s now 70$ per month instead of 50$… but the new plan are unlimited nationwide… No more fees for long distance or local… CallerID, voicemail and texting include! Needing more??

    If you want to pay less… You ll have less services!

    Chris

    • Peter

      could not agree more with you. People want everything for free. Ridiculous

    • HelloCDN

      Hey Chris, are you the Chris who works in one of the DT Vancouver Telus stores? Cuz I have questions about some of the charges that appeared in my bill that you said would not appear!

  • Peter

    Am I the only one who wishes the government was saving us money on our gas bills instead of phone bill? I spend considerably more money on fueling my car than my cell phone. All this government noise to save us what? maybe $5-$10. And even at that, their strategy isn’t event working, everything went up in cost

    • realitycheck

      Why cant they focus on both? Its not like we only hired 1 person to manage Canada.

    • Tom

      I own a Chevy Volt so I spend less on gas every month than on my phone bill :P (and my bill is $39).

      But yes, I see where you’re coming from. The government should focus on lowering the prices on things we actually NEED in our lives, not things that our livelihoods don’t really depend on. Sure one could argue that not everyone needs a car, but enough of us do because of inadequate transit for the route to work. On the other hand, the lack of a cell phone doesn’t affect my ability to go to work, to do my job, to get groceries, etc. In addition to lowering gas costs, start lowering the cost of groceries and electricity!

  • realitycheck

    When they got rid of 3 year contacts, I saw prices literally double before my eyes. From 6gb $30 when the iphone came out to 1gb for $30 dollars… Basically they save so much money by taking away data and pushing all these useless unlimited voice features on us.

    I long for the day when all these wireless companies turn into DUMB pipes…..

  • DX

    What political BS. There is no more choice than this time last year. May actually be less with Wind and moblicity going downhill. So the networks are faster hey? (maybe in some major cities but defiantly not in rural Canada) so then they add download caps (1 to 6 gig) what ever happened to unlimited Canada wide data like EVDO/1X? Oh and now you can’t use data outside of your home network (400mb or they slowdown data to 128 kbps) if your not using One of the big 3. Prices lower? Your kidding right? My provider (MTS) will not even give a BYOD discount. So I end up paying for a subsidies phone though I run Nexus devices, Oh and I still pay the illegally charged system access fee. Better service, that one makes me laugh, have you ever drove across Saskatchewan with Rogers service? Try it, then come back and tell me about improved service, oh and if you do get signal its only 2G at that. I might as well break out the old CB radio and whip anttena.
    CRTC can go stick there heads in the toilet.

    • Davan Mills

      Disregarding grammatical nuances, I must say that I wholeheartedly agree with your statement.

  • HelloCDN

    So I suppose the fact that 2 of the BIG 3 increased their pricing twice within 7 months is supposed to be better? WTF are they talking about? How is 2 years better than 3 years if the prices went up, meaning that consumer’s expense is basically the same?

    • Thr1ve

      Except that consumer expenses aren’t the same as before, we’re paying far more now than we were when we had 3 year plans…

  • Cormang

    The plan I went with 4 and a half years ago is better and cheaper than what they’re offering today. Please, tell me, how in the hell is it getting better? This makes no sense. We still have extremely small amounts of data included with our plans and pay ridiculous amounts for additional data. The big 3 are still charging for “long distance” when calling across Canada. Long distance doesn’t exist! How in the hell can they charge extra for it? It should be criminal to charge me for something that can’t be justified.

    • Tom

      They’re not charging for national long distance any more. You just happen to have a grandfathered plan where long distance wasn’t included.

      Even before the two-year plans were introduced, the Big 3′s subbrands had eliminated surcharges for national long distance, caller ID, and voicemail.

      When the two-year plans came into effect, the Big 3 parent brands stopped those charges because they wanted to fool the customer into thinking they were getting a good deal (since they were raising rates and lowering data caps). “Hey man you’re paying $20 more for half the data, but you get unlimited nationwide calling!”

  • Martini

    Except Public Mobile and Mobilicity are soon to be no more, and the Big Three continue to raise their prices. Interesting definitions of “more choice” and “lower prices.”

    • WhoCares1000

      You’re right. Have you read the 700 MHz auction rules. You have to pay for the whole 20-year lease up front. How does that help the new guys?

  • Plazmic Flame

    $70/month to $120/month?? Lowered prices??

    Clearly with have i****s running things…

  • Rory

    I had a serious laughing fit when I saw this commercial during the Olympic ceremonies, especially when they said the bit about “more choice”.

  • Dylan D’Croix

    Everything has gone up in price…. i don’t really see more choices. But I do like how all carriers have a “tab” like system, where if I wanted to upgrade all I have to do is pay off my phone.

  • Davan Mills

    PERSPECTIVE.
    Assuming that you want continuous, uninterrupted service:

    Over 6 years, the end cost to consumers is as follows:
    Two three-year contracts: 2*(50*36) = 3600$
    Three two-year contracts: 3*(70*24) = 5040$

    That’s a staggering difference. I invite everyone to try accounting for it.

    • realitycheck

      the 3 year contacts would get 2 phones (hardware upgrade) in the 6 year time span where as the 2 year contracts would get 3. I believe that is the rationale for the price increase.

    • Thr1ve

      A single device costs nowhere near $1440, especially not after the subsidy, after subsidy, that extra device would cost what? $200, $300 at most for something like the Note 3? That still leaves $1140… Any way you look at it, we’re paying far more now than when we had the 3 year plans. All carriers really screwed us when everyone fought to have 2 year contracts, what we should have fought for instead is a 2 year contract with no price increase (except for the increased subsidy from that missing year)…

    • Thomas Milne

      Looking at the phones being offered as free one could argue that the difference is in the free phones offered. Since the companies are not guaranteed to make money over 3 years they have to choose cheaper phones to bundle with their plans.

    • JoMore

      You are not comparing apples to apples. I’ve worked in cellular for 5 years now and the old $50 had 500 mb data and no caller id or voicemail ($12 add on) or long distance ($10 add on). Current $70 has 500 mb and those features included.

      Now it’s:

      Two three-year contracts: 2*((50+12+10)*36) = $5184

      Three two-year contracts: 3*(70*24) = $5040

      And PLUS you’ve now had 3 devices instead of 2.

      I invite you to try accounting for same feature set (without loyalty discount).

    • Samuel Gomez Recuero

      You are wrong Sir. I have not work in cellular like you for 5 years but I have been a cellular customer for 15 and I can tell you that my old 50.00 plain included 500mb, caller id and voice mail. (and fulle voice mail at that)

    • Thr1ve

      And now add the upfront cost of the devices, back during the 3 year plans, you could get a newly released, top of the line flagship smartphone for $99 to $149 at regular price, now these same devices are $199 to $249 at regular price… So even if what you say was actually the case (which it wasn’t), you still end up paying more the the new 2 year contract than the old 3 year contracts…

      3 year contact + 2 devices ($149*2) over 6 years = $5482

      2 year contracts + 3 devices ($249*3) over 6 years = $5787

  • juleso

    This is pure propaganda and yes as thinking and observant people already know, prices haven’t really gone done. It’s really disappointing to see taxpayer money being spent to spread claims not supported by fact.

  • StatelyAutomaton

    Declare victory regardless as to actuality? Sounds like something the Harper government has had its sticky fingers on.

  • Apocalypso

    *Looks incredulously*… Are you freaking serious??
    Apparently the people at Industry. Cana

  • Wufai

    More Choice – in terms of choice of phones from carriers? Yes. more expensive plans to choose from? Yes.
    Lower Prices – lower roaming prices? Yes (but still expensive compare to the completition and international rates). Lower Monthly rates? NO.
    Better services? Honestly I don’t see any difference.
    Overall I think our wireless industry got worst, putting aside the argument about 2/3year contracts and phones. Last year I got a plan for X dollars, with a free phone on a 2 year plan. This year I can’t get my girlfirend the same plan for X dollars, it’s either pay more or get less service, and this is factoring the BYOD discounts.
    Disappointed.

    • Tom

      Better service is actually the truth, if you take into account how the incumbents are building new towers or upgrading existing ones to LTE every year. You won’t feel the effects unless you live in a small community that only just got its first LTE tower or something.

      If you mean better customer service, or improvements to current LTE speeds, etc, then no, nothing has changed at all.

    • SV650

      Yes, but unfortunately, the coverage gaps are being filled VERY slowly if at all. So if I travel from my home town, I do not see much in the way of coverage until I near the next.

  • Tom

    Lower prices have not come to the Big 3 and their subbrands, thanks to the two-year contracts causing the providers to charge more for less. Even if you bring your own phone to get a discount on the new 2-year plans, they’re still a raw deal compared to the older plans that existed before the 2 year contracts became standard.

    Lower roaming rates don’t count as lower rates, at least not for people like me who carry foreign prepaid SIMs for travel. Besides, the lowered roaming rates only apply to the US.

    Better service – I suppose you could say that most of the carriers have built new towers recently, and the incumbents have brought LTE to places where it didn’t exist 1-2 years ago. But that’s the bare minimum customers expect. All around the world carriers are expanding coverage and/or upgrading existing towers. Nothing to brag about.

    More choice – Uh what? Regional carriers don’t count, Mobilicity is in serious trouble, and Wind is just staying afloat.

  • 204Guy

    What… I have unlimited nationwide everything with 5gb of Data for 60 bucks. If I want to get this now it’s going to cost be well over 100 bucks… Lower prices my a*s.

  • Lebking

    Lower prices?? Here’s an example of how that’s not true. Right now on my 3 year contract I’d pay ($65×36)+$200 for the phone which would equal to $2540 for 3 years of service. My plan has 12gb shares data, unlimited incoming, cid, VM, unl msging and 550 mins. Right now if I want that plan I’m gonna have to pay around let’s just say $100 a month if I could even find the same plan for that cheap so ($100×24)+$300 for a phone would be $2700 for 2 years of service not 3.
    Point being: screw them and their lower prices

  • Giordano Bruno

    Does the government of Canada believe that Canadians are illiterate morons? Lower prices? PLEASE source any website that can quote lower prices before the Consumer…… whatever it was called.

    • gmd

      Their math is wrong everywhere.

      Take any phone
      – E.g. LG G2 $99 on 2 year term with Bell, $699 month-to-month

      subsidy per month: $600/24 = $25, all things being equal

      Bring a paid phone to Robellus, you get 10% off

      Say 10% is $8. We’re far from $25.

      It’s like exchanging currencies at the bank: Rates are different depending which way to go, and you always loose some money in the transaction. But never this much. Makes bank rates sound reasonable…

    • gmd

      Industry Canada should force them to bring the price of the devices out of the equation.

      Service (plan rate + extras + usage charges) $xx.xx
      Paying back the phone: $xx.xx

      When you are done paying the phone, you should only pay for the service.

  • disqusmy

    They need to close down the simulated competition of the “value brand” of big 3, they bring it up just to kill the new entrants. It is pretty obvious. .

  • KiwiBri

    smoke and mirrors.. smoke and mirrors!