Government driven Price Plan Calculator squashed due to “technical limitations”

rate-plan-calcIt’s well know that us Canadians pay a great deal of hard earned money to have a cellphone, not only for the actual device but to carry a monthly plan. We rank in the top 3 for the highest monthly costs. Wouldn’t it be nice to see if you’re getting the best value every month, perhaps a tool that can help you choose which carrier has the best plan?

Apparently the Office of Consumer Affairs (OCA), which is part of Industry Canada, developed an online tool to accomplish such a task. They called this project “Which Cell Plan? A Calculator” and it literally was an online calculator designed and tested to help wireless customers select the best plan. Tens of thousands of tax-payers dollars were invested and Decima Research conducted focus groups in Halifax, Vancouver and Montreal took place (price tag of $60,000) but Industry Minister Tony Clement dropped the much needed tool due “technical limitations”.

Even though the focus groups responded in a positive manner to the online rate plan calculator, the real reason according to Government records are that our wireless companies were not pleased with the idea. They believed it would promote lower-cost plans. The Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (CWTA), Bell Canada and TELUS met with Clement’s office in April and voiced their concerns… soon after, the project was scrapped.

Who is really running the show when it comes to wireless in Canada? Is it our government, or the carriers? Is this rate calculator something you would want?

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