Cellphone code caps roaming fees, gives early exit from contracts

Advocates say CRTC changes give wireless users more control

Consumer advocates are applauding a new wireless code of conduct that lets Canadians cancel wireless contracts without penalty after two years and sets caps on data roaming charges.

The new code unveiled Monday by federal regulators applies on new contracts for mobile phones and other devices starting Dec. 2.

Besides the ability to escape three-year contracts without fees after two years, the new CRTC rules cap data overage fees at $50 a month and national and international data roaming fees at $100 a month, unless the user explicitly wants to use more.

“Canadians may finally now be freed of the worst of cellphone bill shock,” Public Interest Advocacy Centre executive director John Lawford said. “We hope that consumers will now be able to enjoy their wireless service fully and without fear.”

He said the code should reduce the mobile device costs of many users

“It also makes it easier to switch companies because those costs are limited and are clear,” Lawford said.

Individuals and small business users will also be able to have their phones unlocked after 90 days or immediately if they paid the full price.

A 15-day return option is also promised to those who are unhappy with service, along with an easy-to-read contract and an ability to accept or decline key changes to a contract.

“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,” CRTC chair Jean-Pierre Blais said.

It’s not yet clear how major phone companies will react to the new rules.

“We already do a lot of what is in the new code,” Telus spokesman Shawn Hall said.

He said Telus replaced contract cancellation charges with a device balance some years ago and already offers phone unlocking and a cap on international data roaming.

“We are thus well positioned to support this new code,” Hall said, calling it “a strong and friendly set of protections.”

Just Posted

Surrey councillor says proposed police force ‘fails’ abused children

Locke says transition plan would mean fewer officers for Sophie’s Place

Threats charge against Surrey’s Jaspal Atwal stayed

Atwal, 64, was at centre of controversy in 2018 over his attendance at prime minister’s reception in India

‘Chest Air’ show in Surrey for storyteller/author Ivan Coyote, prior to city’s Pride festival

‘I want to stop the gerbil wheel a little bit,’ says award-winning artist, who has moved back to Yukon

South Asian Mental Health Alliance receives $112K to train 100 ‘youth ambassadors’

The first batch of 25 youth will begin training in Surrey next week

Delta police donate recovered bikes back to the community

18 bikes were donated to R.E.C. for Kids, a non-profit that provides sports equipment to kids in need

PHOTOS: Elusive ‘ghost whale’ surfaces near Campbell River

Ecotourism operator captures images of the rare white orca

Deadline for cabinet to decide future of Trans Mountain expansion is today

International Trade Minister Jim Carr described the decision as ‘very significant’

Victoria mom describes finding son ‘gone’ on first day of coroners inquest into overdose death

Resulting recommendations could change handling of youth records amidst the overdose crisis

Dash-cam video in trial of accused cop killer shows man with a gun

Footage is shown at trial of Oscar Arfmann, charged with killing Const. John Davidson of Abbotsford

Suicide confirmed in case of B.C. father who’d been missing for months

2018 disappearance sparked massive search for Ben Kilmer

Eight U.S. senators write to John Horgan over B.C. mining pollution

The dispute stems from Teck Resources’ coal mines in B.C.’s Elk Valley

Dinosaur statues from defunct Dinotown theme park stolen in Chilliwack

The dinosaur figures once graced the theme park but were destined for Chilliwack fundraiser

Langley’s oldest and last strip bar shuts its doors

The Alder Inn, in operation since 1957, has reportedly been purchased

Otters devour 150 trout at Kootenay hatchery

The hatchery has lost close to 150 fish in the past several months

Most Read

l -->