Number portability came into effect in March of 2007 and people have embraced it to give a new carrier a go. With customers swapping in and out during contract periods has also seen the rise of unpaid balances… which Rogers states costs them “millions of dollars each year”.
Rogers filed a request with the CRTC asking that all carriers “to be responsible for the unpaid balances owed by customers who switch providers”. Makes sense as you sign up with a clean bill and should leave with a clean bill. It should not be up to the new carrier to go chasing for costs that were not originally their responsibility. So somewhere along the way there is a sweet loophole. The CRTC said they are reviewing the request.
Rogers says “Customers porting out mid-contract with unpaid balances are costing Rogers, and most probably other wireless carriers as well, millions of dollars each year. The task of collecting these unpaid balances is made much more difficult once a customer ports their number to a new carrier as the relationship has been terminated.”
However, Michael Janigan, executive director at the Public Interest Advocacy Centre, says that it’s just not about unpaid bills but a bigger picture is about market share. Stating rivals like TELUS, Bell and now Wind are slowing taking business away from them. “This is the clear downside of long-term contracts for a supplier and now they want regulation to solve a problem brought about by market forces”.
With new competition… you must find new creative ways to keep customers and your shareholders happy.
Check out the entire filing here at the CRTC (PDF)