Today, the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has implemented a new wireless code of conduct that allows Canadians to cancel their phone contract after 2 years without paying a fee.
Another change also includes new regulations on data charges. If you go over the limit on your data plan, the data charges will be capped at $50 per month, while international data roaming charges will be capped at $100 per month.
As well, individual and small business consumers will be able to have their cellphones unlocked after 90 days, or immediately if they paid for the device in full. Canadians will be able to return their cellphones within 15 days and specific usage limits if they are unhappy with their service.
The changes are good for Canadian customers, as we pay some of the highest domestic rates. In fact, a story earlier this year resulted in a Canadian family being billed $22 000 for roaming charges during a vacation in Mexico. To put prices in perspective, Rogers pay-per-use charge is $30 to stream one minute (one MB) of a YouTube video. This is six times more than its competitor Telus, which charges $5. Bell has a rate of $8 to stream per MB.
“Every day, Canadians rely on wireless devices while in their homes, at their jobs, at school or travelling abroad,” said Jean-Pierre Blais, Chairman of the CRTC. “The wireless code will contribute to a more dynamic marketplace by making it possible for Canadians to discuss their needs with service providers at least every two years.”
The code will take place starting on December 2 this year. It will apply to all Canadian cell phone companies.