Competition Bureau says consumers should negotiate for lower prices

Comments

  • Jo

    HahahahahahahahahaHahahahahahahahahaHahahahahahahahahaHahahahahahahahahaHahahahahahahahaha

  • Grumpel

    You deal with it.

    -The Government.

  • Stephen B Morris

    BWAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!! Seriously though, this guy is out to lunch. Unfortunately we are paying this clown’s bill.

    • It’s Me

      He has a job where he can wash his hands of his responsibilities and hand it off to the people he works for, all while collecting a handsome paycheque. The less he does the longer he stays employed. Wouldn’t you?

  • Jason

    So should I go to Best buy and start telling them I will only buy this computer if you knock $100 off the price, or should I go to Food Basics and say “take $2 off fruit loops and I’ll take it”. I haven’t switched my plan in over 6 years because you can’t get 6GB of data for under $100 anymore.

    • He’s kind of right though. There was a story here just a few weeks ago about a special 6gb plan some carrier would automatically give you if you mentioned Freedom Mobile.

    • Eluder

      That’s the problem though, this should be available to everyone not the customer that has the exact conditions the greedy big 3 are looking for.

    • Whether or not that’s the case is a separate argument. I was just saying that the statement he made in specific (“you can’t get 6GB of data for under $100 anymore.”) wasn’t completely accurate.

    • It’s Me

      Head of CB comes just short of outright acknowledgement of collusion between 3 main parties that control the market and have almost complete market power. Hard to how one can acknowledge that and then be disingenuous enough to suggest consumer can vote with their wallets. That’s kind of exactly what can’t fix collusion/price fixing amongst dominant players that control the market. That’s exactly why we have such regulators.

    • He literally said the exact opposite. He basically said that companies will charge what they think the market can bare and unless people vote with their wallets than they are right.

      Having things cost the same isn’t necessarily a function of collusion. Do you think the price of the Galaxy S, iPhone and Pixel are the same because Samsung/Google/Apple colluded to fix prices or because people showed a willingess to pay X, and every sane company followed that up by charging X?

    • It’s Me

      Literally, he said “That could undermine the coordination that you see”
      Coordination on price is collusion. It’s price fixing.

      He then qualified his statement, likely because someone might question why the head of the CB would admit to collusion and then put the onus on the victims of the “coordination”. Hence the subsequently contradictory statement.

    • His viewpoint is very clear. You’re being disingenuous if you try to take one word and infer a meaning while ignoring the entire context and content of everyhting else he said.

      His position couldn’t be clearer. People aren’t serious about switching and as a result the slow uptick of prices will continue to reflect what the market can bare. I don’t know why people look for conspiracies when the events their commenting on are more plausibly the results of simple market forces.

    • It’s Me

      You wanted literal. (And slow uptick in prices? It’s been pigs at the trough gorging themselves, not a “slow uptick”. Talk about disingenuous)

      Words matter. When the head regulator says there is coordination, that should be concerning. Whether he subsequently spins that so as not to look incompetent is not nearly as relevant as that single, simple acknowledgement.

      Here’s another statement from this regulator, in an official report a couple weeks ago:

      as a result of coordinated behaviour among Bell, TELUS and Rogers, mobile wireless prices in Canada are higher in regions where Bell, TELUS and Rogers do not face competition from a strong regional competitor. Conversely, the Bureau concluded that where Bell, TELUS and Rogers face competition from a strong regional competitor, prices are substantially lower. The Bureau concluded that the lower prices are caused by the presence of a strong regional competitor who can disrupt the effects of coordination among Bell, TELUS and Rogers.

      Twice in a matter of weeks, the competition bureau has acknowledged such coordinated pricing by parties they’ve found to exert near total market power. That’s the definition of anti-competitive behaviour and nearly a public accusation of price fixing a collusion.

      But you want to victim blame and ignore the actual problem.

    • Why should that be concerning? You’re applying the meaning you want to that word. It doesn’t at all necessitate collusion and if you pay attention to the context you will see that they use it in a way that doesn’t.

      I guess its always hard to argue with people who have a victimization/persecution complex.

    • It’s Me

      Silly mean for assuming coordination means coordination…

      I guess one can make up other definitions to apply. Makes it easier to victim blame. Let me guess, women shouldn’t wear short skits either. If they make that choice, aggressive men are the women’s fault too. Because that’s exactly your reasoning.

    • If you think that’s my reasoning you should work a bit harder on shoring up your QED skills. Maybe logic 201 or 301 would have been helpful.

      But I guess if you can’t see the difference between purchasing a cell phone contract of your own volition and being beaten and raped, I can understand why you’d have trouble grasping more nuanced things like context and market forces.

    • It’s Me

      I guess analogy is too difficult for some people. No one is saying they are the same thing. But the tendency to victim blame is the same and relies on the same mindset that abuses could be prevented by the abused.

      Also, your definition provided was for market coordination. The definition of price fixing is the behaviour of coordination of prices through agreement between parties. The only thing missing from the CB’s statement was an accusation that they had explicit agreements to coordinate prices. It’s entirely possible that our cartel don’t have conversations to coordinate pricing. It’s entirely possible they come out with identical plans, requiring months of prep, at the same time. Does it matter? Net result is identical, though not necessarily against the law. So no fines, but customers get just as abused. When the small cartel that controls the market coordinates, the market can’t dictate pricing. They cartel uses their control of the market to dictate pricing, which only works if the cartel coordinates, with or without formal agreements.

    • No, analogies are pretty simple, they contrast the relationship between a->b by using an extremely exaggerated example where the subjects are different but the underlying relationship is the same. The problem here is that not only are the subjects different (which is perfectly valid for an analogy) but the relationship between the subjects is different. In one situation you have a person willfully engaging in a contract with another party and in the other situation you have a person not willfully engaging with the other person, but having actions forced on them. Those to things are diametrically opposed. The relationship between a->b is not equal to the relationship between c->d.

      Yes, the definition was for market coordination which is what the guy was talking about. That’s why I said context matters. If you take his statements in context its clear that he believes these companies are engaged in coordination in the economic sense (which is basically the process of independent entities coming to similar prices based on market signals). It goes back to my original point about Apple, Samsung and Google having coordinated prices – do you think this is the result of collusion or of them just responding to market signals on what they think they can get away with charging?

    • It’s Me

      And yet you implied that analogy was that rape and cell contacts were the same. “you can’t see the difference between purchasing a cell phone contract of your own volition and being beaten and raped”. Your words. You’re right, analogy is fairly simple, yet clearly still beyond some.

      Since you need the help, the analogy was not comparing rape with cell phones. It was your behaviour that was spotlighted. Your tendency to excuse the abuser and blame the abused. Maybe you don’t see the behaviour of the big 3 as abusive.

      What’s clear, is that he was expounding on the report his org made a few weeks ago that mention coordination of pricing.

      As for Apple and Samsung and the rest, (A) that is a hyper competitive, cut throat market with numerous aggressive players any of whom are well positioned to grab market share with even a slight misstep (while the big 3 position is secure) (B) Apple’s pricing, in USD, hasn’t changed for many years so not sure what signals they are sending out (C) neither is competing in a protected environment that shuts out competition while our carrier became the giants they are due to protectionist regs that fostered their growth. Samsung was actually caught in price coordination scams in the past (memory and monitors I believe) and paid hefty fines. They might not be the best example for you. But let’s pretend Apple and Samsung coordinated prices. That’s makes it ok for our cartel to do the same?

    • That’s not an analogy, it’s a basic deductive statement. In your opinion; a = b (that’s the part you attempt to prove through the analogy). Once you’ve made that proof, then the argument –

      a = b
      my opinion on a = c
      therefore my opinion on b = c

      follows. That’s not an analogy, it reduces to a basic syllogism. The only analogy here was the attempt to prove the relationship between cell contracts and rape. The syllogism never needs to be proved because it’s deductive – only its premises need to be proved. That is to say, if we agree that a = b and we agree that my opinion of a = c, then there is no debate whether my opinion of b is c. The only argument here is whether a = b, which you think it does and I do not.

      I’m not trying to argue what is or isn’t OK. I’m just saying that prices coordinating themselves is a natural state of certain markets and not dependent on secret collusion. I think we can agree that Apple, Samsung and Google did not have some meeting somewhere to secretly decide what the price of the iPhone, Galaxy S and Pixel will be; neverthless they are priced similarly.

    • It’s Me

      It was analogy, meant to clarify how your victim blaming consumers is comparable to others that victim blame. In no way did imply an equivalence between the two things being excused. You’re trying to be pedantic, though I’m not certain to what end. It’s an interesting diversion though.

      No one said the cartel has formal or secret agreements. But I think any reasonable person can understand why price fixing is illegal. Some might even see it as wrong, whether it’s illegal or not. Consumers have little to no ability to affect prices when a cartel fixes prices. Coordination of prices has the same effect on the market whether the parties go as far holding discussions or not.

    • My point is simply that it can’t be victim blaming when I don’t see the person as bieng a victim of anything. I don’t really think it can be argued that a person buying cell phone service is a victim.

      I guess it’s just frustrating for me because I was so excited years ago when the new entrants came on the scene. It seemed like change was finally going to happen. I wasn’t prepared for the enormous amount of apathy the average person showed. I’m not taking people who had no access to wind. I’m talking about people who worked and lived in areas with amazing coverage and when asked why they hadn’t switched to wind seemed totally indifferent. Now those new entrants are mostly done, process have cover back up, and the same people who did nothing to help themselves before are asking the government to fix it.

    • It’s Me

      I fully understand you don’t see consumers a victims here. I do. Not victims of some horrible crime, but victims of anti-competitive actions of the dominant players. Their behaviour might not have cross legal lines, but the effect of the same. They are still victims of the behaviour whether legal lines were crossed.

      I get what you are saying about the new entrants and it’s unfortunate people that could switch didn’t switch. But the new entrants didn’t meet the needs of enough people. If if you had great coverage at home, maybe not at work. And certainly not national network coverage (which Canadians and our regulations helped build out).

      But that’s the past. As you say, most are gone now. Freedom remains but still has too many unfortunate limitations, even in the best case. Switching to them would mean sacrifice and still would likely do little to break the cartel. They are too big, too entrenched, too closely knit, too coordinated and the obstacles to growth and infrastructure too great and long term for a new entrant to overcome without regulation to further foster competition. We’ve had decades of regulation fostering and protecting the incumbents. Why is is out of line to expect regulation to shift to benefit consumers now that we’ve helped grow the incumbents into some of the largest companies in Canada and amongst the highest margin, highest profit carriers in the world.

    • I just don’t know what government can do. They can’t force people to switch. A lot of people in these comments are suggesting MVNOs, but we have MVNOs.Most people likely see and ignore one of our biggest MVNOs – PC Mobile – on a weekly basis.

      BYOD PC Mobile is $38 base (unlimited national talk/text) with flex data at $6 per GB. It runs off Telus network.

      It might not be a huge difference, but if people are complacent the big 3 won’t change anything. They worked hard to create competition and so many people simply didn’t care. I feel like they’re in a “You can bring the horse to the water” situation and are now frustrated by the complaints.

    • It’s Me

      Personally, I am with PM and it’s a good start, though it still means being with the big 3. I even think that in the last 6 months we’ve actually seen a softening of prices, mostly I think because of the sudden, though limited, bad press they’ve received about their abuse of their hegemony. Unfortunately, there is nothing stopping them from reversing those small decreases, because if they do so in a coordinated fashion, where else are you going to go? Especially with BYOD, where there is no obstacles to sudden price increases.

      Our MVNO’s are not full MVNOs. Of the 3-4 levels of MVNOs, they are at best “light” MVNO’s, which are effectively just resellers of network access. When I was with PC Mobile a few years ago, their customer service was all handled through Bell. I think today those reps now announce themselves as PC Mobile, it is it still Bell CS offices. Most of the rest of the MVNOs are just rebrands of CityFone, itself owned by Rogers. Full MVNO access means an independent entity is able to gain full access to the MNO network, but they then provide all other service, from customer service, to network access provisioning, SIM card allocation, etc, etc, etc. We don’t have that yet in Canada.

      Certainly it would not be simple for the regulators to fix our mess. But their job is to ensure that the market works for consumers and business, not just for businesses. Abdicating their responsibility isn’t necessarily the best option either. One idea might be to mandate full MVNO’s in Canada, something not uncommon in the US and elsewhere. But again, the regulator, CRTC in this case, took two years, acknowledged a problem with the market and denied the request for mandated MVNO access at the behest of the big 3. They should revisit the decision.

      Another option might be to break up the big 3 into wholesale and retail providers, with a strong firewall between them. Already, Fido, Rogers Wireless, Chatr, etc, are technically MVNOs to Rogers RCI, the MNO. Bell Mobility and Telus are similarly structured with their main and flanker brands being MVNOs of their MNOs. Placing a firewall between the MNO and their wholly owned MVNOs, along with mandated 3rd party MVNO access, would force those MNOs to compete for the business of the MVNOs.

      Another option would be to impose price controls on domestic roaming and MVNO access rates. Parliament and the CRTC already looked into this and imposed some limited controls, but they could go further. This would be inline with what has been done with landline ISP, which resulted in thriving competition and network development. It’s also inline with regulation of landline local calling and long distance rates.

      Regulators have a responsibility to regulate. The above options, separately or combined, along with others, could go a long way to improving the competitive environment here.

    • I agree things could be done. I’m just jaded in my belief that people would act on this.

      From living and working in an area with great Wind coverage, I was really frustrated by the low uptake among the people around me. I would hear things like “I think it’s easier to just stay with Bell since I have a bundle” from people who put 0 effort into actually researching it. It’s crazy because it said right on their bill how much they saved and it was nowhere near what they would save by switching all the lines in their family to wind.

      I could relate to gov officials feeling the same frustration when they do stuff like lose a huge amount of potential income in spectrum auctions to try and create competition, only to have people ignore those new competitors for the lamest reasons. To clarify, I accept there are people who were not in a position to benefit from Wind and the others,;but I’ve had so much experience from people who were ideally situated to move to Wind but didn’t out of laziness, complacency or some other factors I don’t understand.

    • Sledge

      With regards to the bundle I was offered one that would mean if I switched out halfway through my contract I would need to buy out two other devices. Moving only the expired contract would result in my plan being only 30 less for two devices as for three. These numbers make it very difficult to move. People still need to do it, but I get how difficult it is.

    • Sledge

      I believe that Bell provides everything for PC Mobile except for the kiosks themselves. Have a look at the phone selection.
      That said they are slightly cheaper so I wish people would go with companies like them but the feeling that they suck is evident.
      I would love to see if there is an item in their contract forbidding them from advertising though. Seems strange that there isn’t a big deal about them being a “deal”.

    • Jason

      It was the big 3 that did that but only for a week and only if you lived in an area that was covered by Freedom mobile

    • Unorthodox

      He is not right at all. Being a 1st gen immigrant I suffered a lot from all kinds of sneaky sales people benefiting from my language barrier. Not the case with me anymore, but we all know how many “victims” are out there at this very moment.

    • This doesn’t address that at all. Saying you couldn’t get a plan is not the same thing as saying they don’t exist.

  • Jason van de Laar

    Ok next year I will execute a most epic contract argument with my Rogers rep. The buck is officially passed.

  • Andrew

    Considering how much of a joke the Canadian Competition Bureau is at least Pecman’s statement made me laugh

  • tremsr

    Trust me…I’ve dealt with many a retention rep and nowadays this doesn’t fly. You call to say that you can get a better deal elsewhere and they pretty well tell you “go ahead and get it then”.
    Just signed on to Videotron 3gb + 3gb promo with unlimited streaming for $55 taxes in and I couldn’t be happier, don’t miss Rogers one bit (Rogers is a partner network but I’m not paying Rogers prices for the same service).

  • I agree with this guy. Too many people complain about crap but never vote with their wallets. I look at stuff like American Apparel going bankrupt at the same time that people complain about jobs going overseas.

    If you cared about competition, then you’d support the companies who are competing (and deal with the slightly crappier service). If you aren’t willing to vote with your wallet, don’t expect someone else to help.

    • Jesse

      You can’t really vote with your wallet when they all offer the same prices…..

    • Wind/freedom doesn’t offer the same price. The flanker brands are cheaper. Data only plans are cheaper. If people moved to any of these options in any sizable numbers you’d see movement in the market, but people are fine with the status quo so why would they change.

    • Jesse

      Freedom/wind? Lol good one. Because they’re available everywhere… yes their flanker brands are a bit cheaper but even those are more expensive than they should be. Other than there recent promo plans that they had in the last few months. Which are all gone now.

    • But even where they are available they haven’t made a huge dent. They never will be available everywhere if even in the places were they’re viable people largely ignore them.

    • rgl168

      why would I want to pay for crappy service? In that case I’d rather take that money and donate it to charity.

    • I can’t answer that question for you but I can say that unless some amount of people are willing to pay for slightly worse service then there isn’t ever going to be a viable competitor. Things have been smooth with teksavvy for a while now, but when I first signed up it was a rollercoaster. There were prolonged periods were I was running my home network off a 3g modem with a Wind SIM.

      The likelihood of someone coming to Canada and building out a network on par with the big 3 on not launching until that’s complete is near 0. It goes along with what this guy was saying. People aren’t willing to make even the slightest compromise in the name of supporting a cheaper competitor and as a result cheaper competitors have almost all failed.

    • rgl168

      How many years have this been since they operated initially? I signed up for their data plan about 5 or 6 years ago and I was having nothing but problems. So I discontinued that service. 2 years ago I decided to try again, and guess what – no improvement whatsoever.

      I have them the opportunity and the benefit of the doubt; they blew it.

    • People don’t support local, that’s a fact but this is different. He didn’t even address the real issue. The issue is that the solutions are known. MVNO’s go in and out of business because they get swarmed by the big marketing pockets the Big 3 have.

      They need to educate people on what is out there and what is possible. We are in the age of marketing thanks to the big players and more people wouldn’t brush their teeth if Crest didn’t have commercials. They need to take that same approach to help smaller players.

    • But is it fair to put the onus on the government? Loblaws runs an MVNO but nobody really even knows the exist. is it because they don’t advertise enough or because people don’t really care?

    • People won’t know until they are educated and we pay these units to make things better. So far they have done nothing so some education wouldn’t hurt

    • Sledge

      People know they exist. People also see them as just a reseller of Bell. This is also worsened by the big three insisting that the service on their MVNO’s is poor even when it is their network.

  • Ricky Bobby

    We have a competition bureau?

    • It’s Me

      Apparently not.

  • TomsDisqusted

    Way to abandon older people. Or did he not notice that it is more often older people who take the Robellus plans as they are.

    They are simply not as good as playing all these stupid games of saying the right thing to get escalated and comparing all the different plans with their conditions and gotcha’s, and why should they have to be?

  • Leif Shantz

    More BS from the Monopoly Bureau…..

  • Aaron Hoyland

    Horseshit. You can’t “shop around” because each of the carriers have the EXACT SAME PLANS. Unless you live in SK/MB/QC, you don’t have any options. And no, unless Shaw Freedom Wind drastically improves their coverage, they don’t count.

  • rgl168

    I guess they expect every consumer to drop his knees and bow to telco’s loyalty department to get the best prices.

    • Sledge

      Sadly these days you may actually get a worse day by doing this. I called in and they were giving me a plan with “shared data” that would only save me a few bucks as long as I didn’t use as much data and I kept all three devices with them. Additionally I would NOT qualify for a subsidy with this plan.

  • Leif Shantz

    I can see the bureaucrats doing nothing but twiddling their thumbs….

    • What’s your suggestion for what they should do? Should the government directly decide the price the carriers charge?

    • It’s Me

      They did it with local phone service. They did it for long distance. They set rules mandating 3rd party access to landline ISP and pricing. Why not better regulate a ostensibly regulated industry? There didn’t seem to be any concerns with over regulating them when it was meant to protect them and artificially promote their growth.

    • Leif Shantz

      One word: MVNO’s!

    • They have these. Just people don’t really know about them.

    • It’s Me

      Real MVNOs not the facade we have here.

  • Arman

    That’s why I switched to Carrytel and now only pay $39.99 per month for unlimited download. If you live in Toronto you should check them out, I think they even have service in Ottawa and Quebec.

  • It’s Me

    “That could undermine the coordination that you see”

    You know what else could undermine the coordination we see? The regulator in charge of enforcing anti-trust laws and regulations to step up and enforce anti-trust laws and regulation. That happens to be the Competition Bureau. They have one job. To protect consumers by fostering competition. He, as the head of the Bureau, has just admitted they’ve completely abdicated their only responsibility.

    • MoYeung

      Look who is talking. Why are you still living in Canada, seeing how Canadian government has failed you miserably? What’s your excuse?

    • It’s Me

      I like it here. No one said it was perfect.

      Now, if someone hates it here and thinks china is better but can’t get back to china, I can see where they would become a depressed, pathetic whiner.

    • MoYeung

      After slanderous remarks, derogatory and harassing comments, it comes down to YOU CAN SAY CANADA sucks, because you were born and raised here; when i say the same thing, i have to leave?

    • It’s Me

      I wasn’t born here.

      No one said you have to leave. You said you want to leave. You said you hate Canada. You said Canada is fully of criminals that stole your money. You said life was better in China.

      But you stay in Canada and whine. You’ve said it’s because you can’t afford a ticket home but that is unlikely. Some people can’t go home because they aren’t allowed to. Undesirables are undesirable.

    • MoYeung

      “I wasn’t born here.”

      That’s not what you said before.

      “You said you hate Canada. You said Canada is fully of criminals that stole your money. You said life was better in China.”

      Talj about putting words in my mouth AGAIN.

      “You’ve said it’s because you can’t afford a ticket home but that is unlikely. Some people can’t go home because they aren’t allowed to. Undesirables are undesirable.”

      I told you it was purely financial reason, but you CHOOSE not to listen. You pick and select different imaginary elements and weave a tale to disparage me? Is that what Canada taught you to fo?

    • It’s Me

      Oh mo. Poor slow mo.

    • MoYeung

      Are you suffering from schizophrenia? You lambaste Canada on your other replies (failure to regulate industry, collusion and anti-competitive practice), yet you continue to harrass me here.

    • It’s Me

      Poor, slow mo.

    • MoYeung

      See, you are repeating yourself again!

    • It’s Me

      Poor. Slow. Mo.

    • MoYeung

      Repeating yourself again!

    • It’s Me

      Poor mo slow?

    • MoYeung

      Repeating yourself again.

    • It’s Me

      Mo po? Mo slow?

    • MoYeung

      Rambling and repeating yourself?

    • It’s Me

      Mo po. Mo slow. Mo go?

    • MoYeung

      Repeating yourself again?
      In any given year, one in five people in Canada experience a mental health problem or illness.

    • It’s Me

      Oh? Po, po mo.

    • MoYeung

      Repeating yourself again?
      [crazy guy talking to himself]

    • It’s Me

      Po mo. Slow mo.

    • MoYeung

      Google the article “Growing number of migrants renouncing Canadian immigrant status” Published on: March 7, 2017 | Last Updated: March 7, 2017 10:17 AM PST

    • It’s Me

      Poor slow mo.

    • Lulzon

      Suggesting moving to avoid consumer competition problems is the most ignorant, asinine thing I’ve heard all week.

    • MoYeung

      As you can read below, this guy harassed me before. This has nothing to do with the news story.

    • John Smith

      Also, blame the politicians since they have not given all the tools for the competition bureau to create / enforce better competition for the consumers.

    • It’s Me

      They have the tools, they just don’t have the will to use them. And the politicians have their share of blame. The previous government gave them a mandate but didn’t go far enough and didn’t bring enough pressure on the regulators to take action. They bumbled the whole portfolio. The current government could care less about wireless. Unless Bimbo gets a chance to take his shirt off or pose for photos he has no interest.

  • Sebastian

    #victimblaming

  • will

    They say we should shop around….Won’t make a difference, as they all offer the same prices. When there’s a promo, all 3 do the same promo….No point on shopping around.

  • Jim__R

    Perhaps the Competition Bureau would like to facilitate this by pressuring the CRTC (or whoever the relevant body is) to require that cell phones sold in Canada be unlocked.

    Just saying.

  • Adderbox76

    Canadians ARE taking steps to see those prices come down. One of those steps was to CREATE A COMPETITION BUREAU!!!

    This guy is ‘effin clueless. Take millions of dollars in taxpayer money to run a study and come to the conclusion that it’s THEIR fault. I hope this guy gets destroyed.

    • Yves Thibault

      Agree 100%. Bloody politically appointed bureaucrat with his head stuck up some politicians back side. Blame the consumers for lack of competition…..what a bonehead.

    • It’s Me

      Yup. Twice is a month he and his org publicly state the big 3 are coordinating prices. The same big with with almost complete market power. Yet, with almost no leverage in the market he expects the consumer can somehow overcome such coordinated pricing behaviour amongst the close knit cartel.

  • Ron S

    Carriers should not be able to lock a phone I paid for to their network. once it’s paid for its mine to go wherever. That’s the first step to allowing consumers to move from carrier to carrier when a better deal comes along. Unlocked phones for sale would also bring the price of hardware down, you’ll have more competitors selling phones.

  • Friartuk

    Ummm no, simply do a comparison of big 3 plans, they are all the effing same. There is no competition. We need to shut down the ctrc, open the borders and key the competition in !!

    • I think he meant if all the people in the GTA got on a plane and flew to Thunder Bay to take advantage of their lower rates, we would be better off. That or use dixie cups on strings to make calls until they cave and lower prices.

  • I agree that people do settle with the high prices but where are we shopping? I can either pay $90 a month on a low tier plan with Bell or $90 a month on a low tier plan with Telus and Rogers. The best you get these days during upgrade is the same price point you had on your old plan (possibly) with many of the features removed that you love.

    Is this guy new to Canada? Was he employed shortly before this interview?

  • CRTC and competition bureau are totally useless and just a waste of tax payer money.

  • JD

    Can we shop around and negotiate for a better CRTC or Competition bureau?

    • luminusboy

      well said! all these people who work in CRTC and competition bureau are usually connected with the BIG 3… This is the reason why big players like Verizon can not come to our market who is capable of giving BIG 3 a true competition….

  • David Rawlins

    Wow! I could go over to Bell who charges pretty much exactly what Telus charges or I could go to Rogers which charges pretty well exactly what Telus charges. (So weird how that happens… almost like they have agreed to collectively set prices so there’s no real competition.)

    Now of course if I lived in Saskatchewan instead of Alberta I could get lower rates from all 3! I wonder wonder wonder what could be the difference? /s

    That’s it… time to start writing nasty letters to the CRTC and competition bureau again.

  • Salinger

    In case anyone needs a script on how we, as consumers, can take Mr. Pecman’s advice and single-handedly reduce prices, here is a quick rundown of how that conversation would go….

    Consumer: I’m going to leave and go to Big 3 Co # 2 if you don’t give me a better plan.
    Big 3 Co # 1: Your plan with us is $90/month for 1GB of data with calls and texts. What is Co # 2 offering?
    Consumer: $90/month for 1GB of data with calls and texts
    Big 3 Co # 1: LOL Bye!

  • Omar

    He does have a point, and I agree somewhat with Hunter18 (with that said, I don’t think the collusion between the Big 3 pricing is conspiracy – unlike Samsung/Apple/Google the Big 3 offer the EXACT same product at the EXACT same price).

    People need to start speaking with their wallets more. Everybody wants a fourth national carrier, but nobody is willing to invest and make it happen. It won’t happen without support by Canadians. That’s why supporting carriers like Wind/Freedom is so important. The service isn’t great now (however it has bee improved) but if people invest in it, it will improve. If not, the Big Three will just continue eating them up, like with Chatr and Public Mobile.

    The CRTC and CBC clearly won’t do anything about the lack of competition in this market… This is almost like an official statement saying so. So it’s up to us to speak with our wallets, literally the only voice the Big Three actually cares about.

  • Sledge

    Have these people ever actually tried to negotiate? Front line people cannot negotiate. They literally are not allowed to. If you call in without an existing account you can’t negotiate. All you can do is beg for a cheaper plan from your current provider or go with “Freedom”.
    Also has anyone actually gotten the essential information before signing? I have tried and the reps have all been confused and stated that until you agree to the contract you can’t see it.

    • mola2alex

      If everyone was unlocked and not in contact, price competition would happen but it is consumers desire for shiny new objects that keeps prices high

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  • Andrew Holt

    The Wireless Code/Laws need to be adjusted as follows:
    1. Make selling locked phones illegal.
    2. Data that is included in your plan rolls over. As in if you get 5 GB of data a month in your plan, and only use 1 GB of that data in the month, the remaining 4GB remains for you to use later on, with no expiry. Why not, you PAID for that 5GB, they telecos have no right to take it away. Could you imagine buying a tank of gasoline at shell, but if you didn’t use all of that tank in a week, Shell would come and siphon the gas out of your vehical? It’s ludicrous, and should be considered theft and illegal.

    • Joseph Smith

      1. No. Locking the phone protects carriers from fraud. Otherwise people would sign up for a subsidized phone, turn around and sell it to someone else who could then use it on another carrier without carrier A knowing about it. Once a phone has been paid off by either completing a contract or buying out of it, then it should be allowed to be unlocked without having to pay a charge on it, but not before.

      2. That would be great, but then you can also kiss goodbye to 10 and 15 GB plans, as the carriers would likely limit the plans to a couple of GB to minimize the amount you could possibly carry over. Want to use more than a couple of GB in a month? Gonna cost you way more than it does now.

    • Andrew Holt

      That’s why carriers get your credit file. If you don’t pay, they send you a bill and eventually will take you to collections. Phones are only locked to make it difficult to switch carriers. Many countries have already outlawed phone locking.

    • Joseph Smith

      Somebody who is setting out to defraud a company surely isn’t worried about being sent to collections. A LOT of damage can be done long before it hits your credit profile. It’s at least a couple of months before a carrier is at the point where they can shut you down for non payment, and months before it can go to collections. The phone is long gone in that case if it’s unlocked. Locking the hardware to the carrier for as long as it’s unpaid for helps cut down on that fraud.

      Again, I agree there should be no charge for unlocking it, but only if the device has been paid off by finishing your contract, buying out, or paying for it outright. If you haven’t paid the carrier for the phone by one of those means, then it SHOULD be difficult to switch carriers, no?

    • Joseph Smith

      Getting a credit profile is no guaruntee that someone isn’t going to defraud you. it can take months before not paying a cell bill goes to collections, and longer yet before it impacts your credit score. Someone who is intent on doing this can run around and sign up a whole lot of phones before it impacts negatively on them, and those people aren’t worried about that. They’re in it for the short term score and not the long term consequences.

      Phones ARE locked to make it difficult to switch carriers. I don’t think a phone should be locked if you’re purchasing it outright, or if you’ve paid off your agreement with the carrier. In these cases I’m all for having it unlocked automatically, or at the very least with no charge from the carrier. But while you haven’t yet paid off your phone? Don’t you agree that it SHOULD be difficult to walk away from a company that you still owe a debt to?

    • mola2alex

      Data isn’t a physical good, it is a service. Your argument is like saying you should be able to carry over unwatched tv shows from your cable providers because you paid for those shows last month. You pay a monthly fee to access a service and that is what the service gets you. It’s not to say carry over data cannot happen but your analogy to a consumable physical good doesn’t make sense.

    • Matt

      Here’s the hole in both of your arguments that are great on the surface but don’t make business sense. A phone locked to a carrier is generally sold at less than the MSRP, with having the device locked to that carrier it is meant to help insure that you are likely to stay with the carrier. If you are willing to pay the MRSP for the device I am on board with getting the phone unlocked for free when it’s paid out. But for example with Koodo you could get an iPhone SE 16GB for $360 with the tab, why would they take the hit on the cost of the device and also unlock your device for free. Want an unlocked device for free, go to the manufacturer and buy it from them then get a plan that fits your needs
      This leads into your next point. If you have 5GB and only use 1GB then you are stupid for not changing your plan to a lower monthly cost

    • BigM

      I think Andrew has a point there,
      – Unlocked or locked, you have a contract with the provider, hence you cannot leave until the contract is over, or you reimburse the provider for the phone before leaving. so they get their investment anyhow. so unlocking argument really not valid, but I can see providers using that to keep the consumers from leaving.

      – I have a data plan with 3GB allowance and not always I use all of my data allowance, but I have paid for it, so it makes from consumer perspective sense to roll over the remainder and use it later. having said that pretty much no provider offers that except Google in US and we are in Canada.

  • xanth18

    I did. I told Bell to get ALL of their crappy products out of my house. They no longer get one red cent from me. I’ve moved to lower, better options.

  • Vincent M

    I have been with CIK Telecom for two years, the service has been good so far. Both downloading and uploading speed as promised. There has been only 1 time connection issue, I called the customer service and the tech support team is very supportive, responsive and patient to my issue. They even called me back to confirm that every thing was running smoothly. One day after the issue was fully resolved. According to my experience, CIK Telecom is the best ISP in the market in terms of PRICE and SUPPORT. Highly recommended to anyone who needs the internet service.

    • dongbatuo run

      I agree with you. Low price and acceptable service.