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

Rescue boat theft marks third in 3 years for Agassiz-based SAR team

Eight-metre Spirit of Harrison rescue vessel was stolen Friday night, found Saturday morning

CRA scam the email edition targeted the Mounties in Chilliwack

Fraudsters claim to be from the Canada Revenue Agency but the CRA never operates this way

COLUMN: Student voices give me hope for the future

Student Caleb Pennington wanted to know why something was taken off the agenda. So he asked.

Chilliwack newcomers celebrate multicultural community

Local Immigration Partnership helping new Canadians and refugees settle into new life

VIDEO: Rubik’s Rumble a hit at Chilliwack middle school

Students fill gymnasium for first annual tournament focusing on popular puzzle toy

VIDEO: NatureKids “critterscape” at Cheam Lake Wetlands

A group of children helped keep invasive species in check at the local park

Anti-pipeline protestors block Kinder Morgan tanker near Seattle

Protest was spurred on by the 28 anti-Kinder Morgan activists arrested in Burnaby

Some surprises in new book about B.C. labour movement

“On the Line” charts history of the union movement back to the 1800s

B.C. cyclist races to first win of the season in New Zealand

Casey Brown captures Enduro title by more than two minutes at Crankworx Rotorua

Horse found stuck in muddy field rescued in Maple Ridge

Maple Ridge firefighters set up a pulley system to drag the horse to solid ground

VIDEO: Two Maple Ridge contortionists have sights set on Cirque

The Pair competed at the Viva festival in Vegas and are now auditioning for spot on America’s Got Talent

Notorious Russian troll farm also took swipes at Canadian targets

Targets included oil infrastructure and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Cirque du Soleil aerialist dies after fall during Florida show

Longtime performer fell while performing in VOLTA

Canada earns second Paralympic Games silver in 20 years

Held 1-0 lead in para hockey game from 12:06 of first to dying seconds of third and lost in overtime

Most Read