CRTC releases data on device unlock revenue made by Canadian carriers


  • Tim3Tripp3r

    Brings to mind a Dire Straits song (after all it’s TBT): Money for Nothing and your chics for free.

    • It’s Me

      Locks are a legalized scam to begin with so it makes sense that they make a pile of money on the backend of their scam.

      No legitimate reason to lock phones ever. Honestly can’t believe their are still people that think locks are related to contracts. Locking phones really should be illegal. They are as legitimate as any other protection racket.

    • Just Jess

      Ok, that’s weird. I read your comment and this song is playing on the radio!

  • Dimitri

    What else is new. The carriers know they WILL make money like this so they keep charging that fee for unlocking. After the 2 year contract is done and ur down paying for the device, the unlocking should be free but the carriers will never do that and the CRTC won’t implement that Sadly. If only non techy people knew unlocking any device other then a iPhone can cost u $25 or less at any cellphone shop or online. IPhones everyone charges around $100if ur lucky for less.

    • Mikie

      sad but true.. two samsungs I’ve owned now and both times various sites online thast charge 10 bucks never was able to get me a working code.. had to call the carrier both times (rogers once and videotron once) and both times .. 50 bucks worked first try. .. so.. worth the hassle as much as I absolutely hate paying it..

      But I sure do love my 8GB 58$ plan 🙂

    • ComebackKid777

      I’ve always used eBay for unlock codes and never had a problem. Most places guarantee that the code works or else they will reimburse you.

    • KiwiBri

      I used some online Canadian based site for my codes. Worked great on galaxy s5 and s7 edge

    • With Samsung phones, it’s been an issue recently with unlocking the newer models. They’re asking for the MCK & NCK codes in many cases.

      Even with that, you can do it for $30CAD (save yourself $20 + tax instead of going through the carrier).

    • ComebackKid777

      $25? $10 on eBay. I’ve done it multiple times and never had a problem. Always works.

    • KiwiBri

      IPhones are not that cheap to unlock

    • ComebackKid777

      Yes I know. Never said it was. I was referencing op who said $25 for any phone other than an iPhone.

    • At the moment, you cannot iPhones cheaper than the carrier. Last week, there were options to unlock Rogers/Fido iphones for under $20 CAD. The price have crept back upto above $50.

      Motorola can be unlocked for under $3. LG, Alcatel, HTC, ZTE < $5
      Samsung, Sony, Blackberry, Nokia can be under for under $15.

      If you're paying anything above the prices mentioned above, you're paying too much!

    • Mo Dabbas

      your prices are spot on to what I pay for unlocking.

  • Jon Duke

    If they made this much, it means there’s no way the fee will ever disappear.

    • easyIPTV

      This is what people are ignoring. The shareholders won’t allow this cash cow to disappear.
      If the CRTC makes unlocking free, the carriers will implement something else twice as worse & expensive.

      Just look at the elimination of 3 year contracts people!

    • Jon Duke

      You and I agree. Good thing I’m not alone seeing this.

  • Chris Chen

    the great cell phone scam

  • Scott

    So they’ve made $37.7 million to undo something they put there in the first place…. un-freaking-believable!!

  • hardy83

    I really hope after changes are made to the wireless code, banning unlocking fees is one of them.
    There should be no artificial barriers to stop consumers from having more freedom of choice when it comes to moving from carrier to carrier.
    The only barrier should be the tabs/contracts people sign and they already no longer exceed the price of the phone.

  • Vito R.

    “Included alongside the unlocking fee numbers is data that shows 218,675 devices were returned within the customer trial period — not an exceedingly high number considering these are nationwide numbers”

    Hmmm. The only way to know if this is “not an exceedingly high number” is to put it in perspective by telling us how many phones were sold “nationwide” in that period.

    • Ipse

      It sure looks like a high number to me. Don’t remember seeing that many “second hand” phones in stores….which means those are sold as new again.

    • mola2alex

      Carriers use returns as refurbs and loaners

    • Mo Dabbas

      These are probably returnings within the 15 days satisfaction guarantee. So the customer probably picked up another device. It’s a good business for them to do so because you lose the money you pay on the phone (that 200 or 100 contract price thing). Carriers don’t explain that satisfaction guarantee well and a lot end up paying the contract price for two devices. I was about to fall for it once it once with fido but when I was making sure there are no extra cost, it was then when I was told how I’ll lose what I paid for the device I want to exchange and I have to pay contract price for the other device.

    • Vito R.

      I don’t think many people pay for two devices. If there is a booking error like that it’s quickly noticed by the customer and corrected by the company.

  • easyIPTV

    CRTC needs to stay out of this.
    Like eliminating 3 year contracts and other disasterous inititiaves by the CRTC for the customers, it will end up costing the customers more. The carriers will ensure of that.

    • MoYeung

      Defeatist attitude?

    • easyIPTV

      More like, not being native and ignorant.

    • Mo Dabbas

      What’s wrong with being native!!

    • MoYeung

      Marginalized, injustice, you name it…

    • It’s Me

      shift from 3 to 2 year terms didn’t result in the massive increases we saw. It was just an easy excuse used to convince people that didn’t think the excuse through. It was a smoke screen for jacking up rates, but rates would have gone up anyway. 2 year terms accounted for roughly $5-$7 of the $40-$80 increases we saw.

      The carriers abusing customers is no a valid reason for not trying to fix the very broken environment.

    • GottaLoveCapitalism

      Please show your math to get to $40-80. Those 6GB plans for $60-65 were not that common if that’s your reference point.

      With Rogers/Bell/Telus it was $65 for 1GB & 200 mins + 10 faves before the 3 year contracts went away. Now its $85 to get the same value. If you take out your $5-7 in subsidy, that’s a $13-15 increase. Also keep in mind devices have gotten a LOT more expensive so that $5-7 figure is probably too low.

      Certainly not saying its not a large increase but at least base your claims in reality.

    • It’s Me

      Sorry, your position isn’t fact based. It therefore makes your position incorrect.

      A) 6GB plans were very common for years, both as addons and in plans.
      B) I personally had 6gb and unlimited Canada wide, with ~$500 subsidy for around $55 for years. Others paid $60-$80. That would now be roughly $120 and no possibly discount.
      C) who cares if phones have gotten more expensive? Subsides have remained at a max of around $500. That’s a complete red herring.
      D) the $5-$7 is perfectly fine. $500 subsidy over 36 months was ~$14/month. Over 24 it’s ~$21. Pretty basic math.

      Sorry math and facts are inconvenient to your narrative.

    • mola2alex

      I think obviously the response might have been disproportional but as a business, if you can blame the regulator, why not try to get the cash? I do think crtc should have only made 2 year an option…

    • It’s Me

      2 years were always optional. For years before the wireless mandated them (or rather made 3 year effectively banned) the big 3 offered 2 year terms. No one really knew about them because the price difference between them and 3 year was negligible but the subsidy amount was about the same as no term, so they were lose-lose.

      As for blaming the gov for their cash grab, yes that was just good business. They get to increase their already massive gouge and people who buy into their pitch blame someone else. Perfect play.

    • Raymond Bungay

      I agree here. I use Rogers for all my services, Internet Ignite 70, VIP cable, home phone with Canada wide LD and 500 minutes US calling, and cell phone Talk and Text plan $45.00 a month that turns into $40 a month after fees and discounts, but the whole package costs me $181.18 for all of the above. As much as Rogers tries I do not have data my choice I was offered 1GB “free” a month but looked into overage charges and said no. If it were what others offered like 5GB I would have accepted, but 1 GB is useless. As a Rogers Customer since they arrived in NB I figured they could do better but at 70 I am ok with it.

  • MoYeung

    Japan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications has legislated that all smartphones and tablets released after May 1, 2015 by NTT DoCoMo, au by KDDI and SoftBank Mobile (the three major carriers in Japan) must be sold without a SIM lock upon request from customers and without any cost to the customer involved. Before that, only NTT DoCoMo and au by KDDI would remove the SIM lock after the phone is kept or used at least six months after purchase.

    *When will “loser” Canada catch up?


    Firstly i think its always a good idea to buy the phone outright to avoid unnecessary unlocking charges and surprise charges in monthly bills from these big companies. When these companies are selling you a phone for $0 down or $100 down for a $900 phone, they will no matter what recover that money in bills and unlocking fees at end of the contract. And the worst thing is you are stuck for 2-3 years with them. Always buy the phone outright its a one time pain but happiness of freedom forever.

    • mola2alex

      Most don’t do that discussant when there isn’t really a decrease in rate plan for byod

  • David Foggia

    I’m buying my devices from police auctions Canada from now on. Criminals always unlock their phones

  • downhilldude

    This will be another of those backfiring assists from the CRTC, where they mandate all phones be sold unlocked, but then the price of the phone and the plan go up even more than the cost of unlocking the phone.

  • Raymond Bungay

    I took an older IPhone 4S into our Rogers store. It belonged to my daughter who upgraded hers to the newest model. I was not charged anything for it in fact they gave me a new SIM card for free. I don’t have a data plan, by choice, so thought for sure they would put some type of charge on the service? But happy to walk out with a “new phone” to me that use only as a phone or to take the odd pic.

  • Raymond Bungay

    With only 3 major carriers in Canada, the big three rip offs don’t care about most. The younger to mid age crowd need the service and the big three know this. They will still control the market place and we the customer will continue to lose. Some of the offers in the US are mind boggling. Friends and family in the US have much more choice at far lower prices, from Sprint to Verizon and everyone in between.

  • Hi Mohammed,

    Our charge to unlock a Samsung Galaxy S7 with Rogers is $18 CAD

  • Just Jess

    Ack, the CRTC should step in. Essentially a 2 year plan is a payment plan, after the 2 years you’ve paid for the phone and the provider should unlock it for you at your request, free of charge. This is why I don’t buy my phone through a provider.

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