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Online Consultation: Help Develop a Wireless Code – Phase 1 Comments

Thank you to all who participated in Phase 1 of the CRTC’s online consultation on the development of the Wireless Code, which ran from 13 November to 4 December 2012. All comments submitted in the online consultation are listed below and will be taken into consideration by the CRTC as it develops the code.

Discussion Topics

What should be in the Wireless Code?

The clarity of wireless contracts

Separating Service & Device Repayment in Billing

There will no doubt be many calls in this forum for changing/removing the standard 3-year contract. As long as carriers also sell their services on a monthly, contract-free basis and also their devices outright (and the wireless code should require them to do so), I don't see this as a big of a problem as many others likely do.

What I do see as a related problem is that billing for contracts doesn't clearly distinguish between the cost of services provided (minutes, data, etc.) and the cost of repayment for a device advanced to the customer (Paying back the cost of the phone I got for free when signing the contract). If these two charges were clearly separated on the bill, and the remaining money owed against an advanced device clearly linked to cancellation charges, consumers would be freer to switch carriers and be less confused about cancellation fees.

I propose that the wireless code require:

1) All wireless services offered on contract to also be offered on a contract free, month to month service.

2) All devices sold by carriers with contracts to also be sold outright.

3) Services and device repayment to be clearly separated on monthly billing, and directly linked to cancellation fees

WHAT WOULD I CHANGE?

.. about my current contract?

1) It's Rogers' inclusion of "Materials" in the Terms Of Service, which basically means any web page describing any feature I have constitutes part of my contract.

The problem with this is that Rogers likes to delete old web pages when they re-price (price hike) a service so I lose my record of that part of my contract ... unless I spend a month of Sundays snarfing all over Rogers' sucky website, trying to print pages which is often problematic because of Rogers' use of tabs and popup-windows (which don't print worth a darn).

2) Imbalanced terms - I have 3 months to dispute a change, yet Rogers, in their contract of adhesion, gives themselves 6 months to bill me after I've used a service.

I'd like to see a symmetry (congruence) in what the carrier has a right to do, and what I have a right to do.

DUPLICATE SUBMISSION - DELETED

FORMAT OF CONTRACT? WRITTEN!

The contract should be provided in a *written* *MACHINE-READABLE* form (e.g. text file, or PDF file that contains the actual text and not graphical representation of the document as would be found in a 'scanned' page) unless specifically declined by the customer in which case it should be in printed form on dead trees, mailed to the customer's address.

WHEN IS CONTRACT PROVIDED TO CUSTOMER?

1) At the commencement of the contract
2) EVERY TIME a change is made to the contact, or the customer's services received
3) Any time a customer so requests

KINDS OF ISSUES IN CONTRACTS: ALL

All matters relating to the relationship - rights and responsibilities of both parties - should be in the contract.

- Any and all fees, including limitations and exceptions
- Any details related to anything fee-related (e.g. what are the local calling areas, identifying *each rate centre* and which other rate centres are local if the customer is in that first rate centre area making an inbound call; as well as what rate centres can a customer be located in and still *receive* calls without them being long-distance)
- All fees related to all roaming and international calling (e.g. for each country, to each other country)
- Any and all 'legal disclaimers' or 'details' for each and every feature, service, or facility contracted by the customer - i.e. ANY AND ALL LIMITATIONS
- Pricing, in most-commonly-used units (e.g. $/GB and not c/kB nor $/MB)
- Time limits (e.g. for the carrier to refund an overbilling or monies-owed post cancellation) and penalties for the carrier not meeting these deadlines
- Penalties to the customer for non-performance of their responsibilities
- Penalties to the carrier for non-performance of their responsibilities
- There should be no fees ever charged to the customer which are not enumerated in the contract
- Escalation contact info for problem resolution (both within the carrier and without - e.g. Ombudsmen, CCTS, Arbitration, Courts), *** including mention that the customer need not traverse the full escalation-path of a carrier before making a complaint to the CCTS ***
- the contract should not communicate to the customer that they can only escalate to arbitration (and not the courts) if that is not the case in that customer's province (e.g. s. 7 of Ontario's Consumer Protection Act forbids enforcement of arbitration-only clauses -- http://www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/html/statutes/english/elaws_statutes_02c30_e... )
- the contract SHOULD NOT include any information that is not relevant to that customer's services (e.g. don't 'confuse' me with legalese about wireline internet service in my *wireless* contract; don't 'confuse' me with details about 'visual voice mail' if I don't have that service, etc)

-- IN THE CASE OF A CHANGE TO THE CONTRACT -- the customer should receive not only a full copy of the new contract, it should clearly indicate WHAT HAS CHANGED

Contracts should be simple enough to put on a business card. The way carriers take what should be a simple equation and break it down in to so much minutia is a clear attempt to confuse customers.

The number of times I have been misled or misinformed by agents of Bell and Telus leads me to believe they are rewarded for something other than truthfulness or helpfulness.
With both of these outfits I came to the practice of saying that I wanted to speak to someone about cancellation, just to get routine busies done. I would sometimes wait on hold for half an hour(which is an unreasonable wait to simply cancel a plan), but it was worth it.
Sometimes the "retention department" people would tell me the agent had not intentionally misled me, they were all new, or not really trained or whatever.
I hope the code will instruct service providers that the must not call pretending to be soliciting feedback on service issues if they intend to use that call to try to sell me something.
As a result of how I have been treated by these outfits, I will never ever sign up for any telephone, television or internet service they provide.

I commend the CRTC on creating a code for Wireless Contracts in Canada. My hope is that this will benefit the Canadian consumer in the long run. I also commend the fact that the CRTC is asking Canadians for their input on what wireless code should include.

Here is what should be included in wireless contracts:

1. The prices of plans (including minutes and data) should not only be clear to understand, but lowered in cost (similar to the United States, Europe and the rest of the world)
2. Contracts should have a limit of two (2) years (like in the US, Europe, Japan, Australia, etc) or, the Telecom companies should offer a two year option in addition to the three year one to give consumers more choices
3. The total amount that the phone costs should be disclosed before the signing of the contract. In addition, on each monthly bill during the contract it should state how much has been deducted from total cost of the phone
4. Roll over minutes and data should be added to plans – if you do not use your limit it should carry over to future months
5. All fees should be disclosed in the contract there should be no hidden fees and if there are the provider should be charged a penalty for violation of contract agreement
6. Cancellation terms need to be simply spelled out with a clear example of the cost that will apply. It should also be pro-rated with the months remaining on the cost of the phone
7. The contract should state what will happen if your phone is lost or stolen
8. The option to upgrade to a new phone should be offered after two years into the contract
9. A wire less contract should not be more than one page of text
10. The term "Unlimited" has to be defined more clearly in telecom contracts.
11. There should be an option to have phones unlocked for use while outside of Canada
12. The contract should state what happens after it expires, for example is it automatically renewed or is it month by month

What should be in wireless contracts?

1. Contracts should clearly state the key parameters of the agreement, including:
a. Fixed monthly payment (in Australia contracts also include the fixed minimum that you will have to pay during the contract life. i.e. $25 x 24months = $600. I think this is also a good idea)
b. The length of the contract (and penalties that apply if you leave early)
c. What will happen if your phone is lost or stolen
d. What handset or device is included and how to unlock the device at the end of the contract (IMEI or serial number included)
e. How many days of notice are required to terminate the contract (most companies add another 30 days after you say you want to cancel, but I can’t see why you need to provide any notice if they can turn the phone off right away?)
f. What the first payment will be (they double bill you in the first month) and what your expected monthly bill will be (based on the average other people on that rate plan pay)
g. List of all features, their associated prices, limits and overage charges. e.g.
i. 100 minutes - $25.00 – overage at 35c per minute
ii. 100MB data - $10.00 – overage at $1.00 per MB
iii. Voicemail - $5.00 – calls charged at standard rate
iv. Long distance inbound – 85c per minute average
v. Etc..
h. It should say if calls are billed by the minute or second.
i. If the customer takes international calling, a rate table should be provided
j. All warranty information

2. Contracts should not include the 2 pages of fine print.
a. Instead the agreement should refer to an industry agreed list of terms and conditions that are signed-off by the regulator and common to all wireless providers. This would include issues of ownership, fair use policies, privacy, information sharing, use of service, indemnity, licensing, liability.
b. The terms and conditions should not include any pricing, return information, ability to change terms, monitoring, charges or payments.

3. Todays contract allow the wireless companies to monitor their users for example Bell’s terms say
a. “Bell has the right but not the obligation to access, monitor, investigate and preserve a record of any content transmission or other use of the Services. You consent to any such activities that are undertaken to satisfy any law or to enhance operating efficiencies, improve service levels, assess client satisfaction, or protect Bell or its clients from use of the Services contrary to Section 15”
b. I think that this allows Bell to access, monitor, investigate and record any content or use as long as it enhances their efficiencies (which is very broad) or improves service levels (also very broad), assess client satisfaction (very broad), or protect Bell or clients (very broad).
c. I believe they only reason a wireless carrier should be allowed to access, monitor or preserve or record a conversation is if there is a court order to do so.

4. Finally the contracts should clearly differentiate what you are paying for the handset from the service, so:
a. If a customer cancels, they are not obliged to pay for the service going forward, just the cost of the handset
b. If a customer brings their own device they will only have to pay for the services (current carriers give a small discount of 10% which means they make even more from customers who buy their handsets outright.)

The clarity of wireless contracts:
1. Costs of Data/MB inside and over contract limit.
2. Cost for Text messages inside and over contract limit.
3. Language definitions need to be clear. The term "Unlimited" requires a legislated definition for all Canadian telecom contracts.
4. Data Types and the data you will be billed for needs to be defined in the contract. Will GPS Data count towards the data purchased? Will music from the carriers store?
5. The amortization period and total cost of a phone in a contract plan needs to given.
6. A wire less contract should not be more than on single page of 8-12 point font text
7. Cancellation terms need to be simply spelled out with an example given of a cancellation payout cost calculation
8. Definitions of personal data that can be colleted by the carrier should be clearly expressed in the contract terms
9. Third party warranties and their terms must be clear expressed in the contract document

First of all, this will cover multiple areas within the scope of this project, but here goes:

* All phones MUST be unlocked, right from the moment it's purchased!! I travel extensively, and would love to be able to bring my phone on my next trip to Argentina and Brazil. I would like to be able to buy a local pay-as-you-go contract there, use my new iPhone 5, and then discard the Brazilian SIM card when I return home to Canada. Last year I had to Jailbreak my old iPhone when I went to Spain and Portugal in order to do the same thing. I shouldn't be forced into jailbreaking (or paying the Telco's ridiculous unlock fees)!! If the Telcos are so worried about you leaving for another company, all they have to do is simply offer great service, at a reasonable price - and nobody would leave!!!

* Limit to one year contracts (2 max). Technology changes waaaay to fast for 3 year term contracts. People start to feel trapped after 2 years, and that's when resentment and unhappiness really starts to kick in!

* Lower data, text and talk fees (more in line with Europe and the rest of the world). We pay amongst the highest rates in the world! Why? I read a report that states the following:

"On a yearly basis, American cell phone users are spending about $635.85 on cell phone service. Spanish cell phone users pay about $508.26 for the year. And Canadian cell phone subscribers pay about $500.63. By contrast people in the Netherlands and Finland pay the lowest amount for cell phone service, only $131.44 per year. And cell phone users in Sweden only pay $137.94 per year."

Why such a disparity in pricing?!?! It's ludicrous that we have to pay so much money. More and more people would like nothing better than to ditch their traditional home land lines, and just go with the one mobile number per person. We can't though, simply because the rates are too high to use at the same volume as a traditional home phone. It makes it very difficult to displace the the notion of a one home phone number household. Why? They are actually making more money if they do...

* When I phone for technical support, I expect that I will get someone on the other end of the line that speaks English (or French as needed) as their NATIVE language, and is FLUENT in it. No offence, but we are an English (and French) speaking country (officially). I can't speak for the service in French, but a lot of times, I get someone in Mumbai (or the like), and I find it extremely difficult to communicate with them in English. Why?

Hopefully they will listen to at least some of the comments that are being made - Canada's mobile phone industry is the laughing stock of the world!! I know this due to the amount of travel I do, and friends visiting from all over the world - come on CRTC - you have a chance to do the right thing here!!!

Easily Accessible Information
The wireless code should include a provision to ensure that customers can easily access information regarding their contracts. For instance, it would be beneficial if additional long distance charging fees are clearly stated on the company’s website and not hidden or buried within the website.

The prices of plans should be in plain terms; easy to understand. The prices should not only be clear to understand, but lowered in cost, similar to home-phone prices.

The wireless code should require that companies notify a customer if he/she is close to, or has gone over, his/her data limit, along with an indication of the exact charges the customer will incur if the data limit is exceeded.

Discrepancy of Fees
Most fees are not properly explained to each signee. A detailed account of each fee must be provided to the customer so that they are aware of what they are paying for. In addition, each fee needs to be explained in terms of where it comes from and how one may unknowingly gain overages or end up using the product incorrectly and incurring fees on a bill they are unaware of.
The clear defining issue is lack of clarity. Wireless companies need to explain in “layman’s terms” what services they are providing, how customers will be charged, what each fee means, what their product can do effectively, the most effective use of said product, and allow for adjustments within a reasonable financial level that allows for profit and serves the customer.

Contract Stability
The wireless code should also include a provision ensuring that wireless companies keep their contracts with their customers from shifting unnecessarily. The current practice of changing contracts regularly ensures that customers are often prohibited from being fully-informed about the company’s contract stipulations.

I have to disagree with the availability of contracts in Languages other than French and English. How did they even enter into a contract if they do not understand French and/or English?

If people come to Canada, they should be expected to speak either official language.

End of line.

I agree.

The cancellation fees should be based on the hardware pricing of the phone, like they do it in Quebec.

Plain Language: Like banks today, operators must be forced to put legal terms in simple language and must provide a copy of the Account terms / Contract before the client is asked to sign or submit to a credit check.

Penalties: Operators must not be allowed to charge penalties exceeding the amount on account for the cost of hardware given to a client. Service should not be considered committed revenue - if the service is good, customers will not need to cancel contracts.

Cancellation: Cancellation of the contract should be permitted if the provider has not delivered a satisfactory service level. This could be due to the service not working as advertised (coverage, dropped calls, non-working phone) or even due to service issues (inaccurate billing, promised discounts not being applied, inability to get access to customer service - have you been on hold for 40 minutes lately??). Also cancellation charges need to be reasonable. No more $400 charges because someone got a job in another province.

I was interested in signing a new contact with Bell Telus or Rogers and I had asked all three of these companies for a copy of a standard contract so that I could look over the terms before signing up. I was told by ALL three of these companies that it was only after I completed the credit check that a contract would be printed up for me to read. I was also told that the average length of a contract is over 15 pages - who will read all that? There's no reason the process should be this complicated and lengthy.

"#3.) Unable to secret deals to existing customers via retention to undermine competition. "

Absolutely!

I think this is the source of so many problems in the current system. For example, this system will allow the carriers to sidestep many of the rules that are now being adopted: the new rules will only apply to the published prices which few of us here take anyway.

As well, this system is harmful to Canada's seniors and other, less-aggressive consumers. I can do the negotiating for my parents and in-laws, but many seniors don't have anyone helping them and will end up paying way more then the rest of us. It isn't right.

This 2-tier pricing system has become such an important part of the carriers pricing strategy that I doubt we will get this wish, but that is a shame as there is no other single change that would improve competition and reduce complexity and confusion more.

Clarity of Contracts:

In all contracts between individuals there must be legal wording. It is so there is no misinterpretation in the eyes of the court.

Wireless contracts have became so convoluted as to hid most of the information in "Plan A" or "Plan B" wording. It makes it hard to understand when a carrier then changes what those plans refer to after the contact is signed.

Standardization:

Years ago the government of Ontario imposed a standardized contract for the sale of automobiles. At first it created a lot of resistance, but later it showed how it protected not only the individual, but the company selling the vehicles.

Like that standardization, wireless device contracts should also have clear and precise explanations. It should list out all options/features being offered to the individual at the point of signing and the responsibility of the individual themselves. After each "legal wording" paragraph should be a layman's explanation. That explanation will must have the same meaning as the legal wording does but not using excessive language that could be deemed confusing.

Every offering in the service must be spelled out and every possible charge explained. It will then show the cost of such to the customer leaving them with no way to misinterpret the billing that they are accepting. It must also outline the legal responsibilities of the carrier when any problems arise with clear contact information via phone that is not a chargeable number.

The address of the agent and their name must be included in the contract as well as the carrier's name and contact information including and not limited to:

Name
Address
City, Province
Postal Code
Phone number
Fax number
Email address

Such information must be common knowledge to all that are signing the contract.

Each contract must include the appointed Ombudsman assigned to oversee complaints by listing the:

Ombudsman Name
Address
City, Province
Postal Code
Phone number
Fax number
Email address

This is what i have come up with for clarification of the contracts.

Regards,

Doug

Data in Canada is more expensive that most anywhere else in the world. We are a tech leader and we charge huge price for 1gb 6gb of data. Then you go roaming and forget about it...
Provide data at reasonable prices is required... or when yo go in the us, provide phones with dual sim chips so we can buy us data when we travel.

the one year contract deals SUCK. Agree..

The big three are making fortunes and they should either provide a better rate on the monthly contract if you purchase a phone. Go to 2 year as the standard but the rates should be lower - 100 max on a 3 yr. At the end of teh contract they agree to either buy back/trade in the old phoe against a new phone or unlock the phone for free.

Roll over minutes and roll over DATA - you do not use your allocation you can bank it. Does not expire.

If you purchase a phone out-right - on or off a contract or pay off your contract, your provider should have to provide a unlock code so the phone can be used elsewhere. Purchasing a unlocked phone is always preferrable but the phone companies will only unlock phones on request and want to charge 30 - 50 for this service. This should NOT be the way. Either sell them unlocked even under contract or they provide the proper unlock code

Every provider should be required to provide their customer, or proposed customer a written quotation to confirm any verbal offer that is being given, if requested. My understanding of the offer is not necessarily the same as that of the provider. A written quotation should clear up any miss-understandings, before the first Statement/Invoice is issued and it is too late for the customer to cancel the Contract. Bell and Rogers are notorious at saying one thing, then invoicing something different!

I agree, telcos should not charge for long-distance AND roaming, it's one or the other. Fido charges .45 cents/min for roaming, and .45 cents/min for long-distance, this confuses customers as they think that roaming and ld is the same and freak out completely when they get a bill for .90 cents per min.

Maximum monthly dollar limit (cap) for cellular services, including overage charges, that the client establishes in advance and is stipulated in the contract. For example, if a client's regular monthly cellular service charges are $50, the limit/cap could be $100. Once the limit/cap is reached, the client should be contacted about the overage charges and arrangements made for continuation of service until the next billing cycle. This provision is to avoid high cellular service invoices of $47,000 that we hear about in the news.
http://blogs.montrealgazette.com/2012/10/16/seeking-the-horrors-perpetra...

I concur, 3yr contract should be discounted on the hardware, 911,voicemail and call display should be included with no additional cost.
I believe some Telco's are offering 6gb plans at no addtional cost, I did mine.
Smartphones technology is changing ever so fast and consequently long terms with zero price on hardware etc...
And NO RECYCLE FEES ($2.00) as some are charging for paper billing, this is ridiculous.
Do not Release the Smartphone till all systems are a go .......... have had "no service" on my smartphone so no calls in or out including 911 emergency only to be told that they are working with phone maker as they have had issues ..... this is not acceptable OR the Telco's takes full responsibility.!!
Azim

No hidden fees or taxes,
just like gas price.

This is: ALL advertising and offers should include in its pricing ALL possible fees AND taxes.

Where these differ by province and an ad is Canada-wide, the interval should be given.
e.g. 20.83 to 22.99 depending on your province of residence (instead of 15+tax or just "15").
Provincial or local ads (e.g. billboards, pamphlets, ads on local TV stations) should contain ALL fees and taxes "in" (and state that fact).

(Gas stations always show prices including all taxes and fees, including assisted service. Airlines have recently been forced to do the same, as have travel agencies IIRC.)

Special provisions should be disclosed on all written pamphlet ads or on-demand when in store or on the phone for persons residing in one jusridiction but using a number from another one (e.g. one must pay the 911 tax where the number is or where the person resides or both, same for taxes).

Compare this with the EU where all prices are "taxes in" by law.

Lets be clear what we are talking about here. And this i find annoying with the CRTC's current communication regarding this. A contract for service is different from a subsidy contract.

Now what everyone here is concerned about is subsidy contracts. Subsidy contracts will most likely have to come to an end and here is why.

Once you put in rules which take out all the profitability of subsidy contracts the carriers will abandon them.

What is the purpose of a subsidy contract? Well it is intended to force the consumer to stay with the Carrier. Every service provided in this world would love to have the kind of immoral subservient contract system currently enjoyed by Canadian carriers. It virtually guarantees that Canadians pay to the tune of absurd profitability. This is what you get when telcoms are allowed to appoint leadership to the regulatory board. This is called regulatory capture. It is highly illegal and a form of fraud.

To make subsidy contracts work, Telcoms will need to be forced to offer government regulated subsidy contracts with one year time frames for the exact value of the product spread out over the term. Termination charge should be the exact value of the product subsidy. If they are not forced to offer the subsidy they will just choose to offer nothing. I don't mind that but this would significantly impact canadians who require the technology and have a reduced income.

As for locking of a phone product offered, this must be completely abolished.

So it is government mandatory subsidy contracts or the abolishment of them. There is only two choices here.

Three years is a long time so any rules regarding subsidy contracts will need to be retroactive. We will also need to regulate the abuse of the credit reporting system by carriers as this is the primary method of extortion.

Contracts should be no more than 2 years
The contracts should be limited to 2 years. Phone Subsidy should be Clear and divided over the length of the term to make it clearer how much each month is the customer getting subsidized. If the customer wishes to leave the contract, he should able to pay the remaining cost of the phone based on the length of the term left and what he already paid and leave.

ROLL OVER MINUTES must be mandatory!!!

Plain english.
You can rent phones, that's fine, but like in QC the value depreciates and you can cancel at ANY time - not one month to go, no penalties other than dealing with the costs of the phone. If you're renting it, you can return it without penalty, or you can purchase it at the remaining market value.

Phones that are sold outright - ie without a contract - MUST be UNLOCKED as they become the property of the customer.

No charges for incoming calls within 50-100kms of your home postal code (GIS, it can be done! if you can track people using cell towers, this is do-able).

No distinction between roaming or long distance charges - if you're outside your home area, calls are longdistance, not 'roaming' in addition.

If you mistakenly pick up an American tower near the border, you don't have to wait to get reimbursed or wait to make NOISE to rogers or bell for the call, if you're in canada. Not my problem as a customer - if I'm physically standing on the north side of the st lawrence and i'm in canada, and i keep getting an american tower, this shouldn't appear on my bill as an international call.

Cancel at any time. Cancel at any time. Cancel at any time.

Here is my list. You'll find it's eerily similar to everyone else here. Wonder why that is?

- Changes to contract and pricing communicated to us (the customer) in advance (60 days or higher preferable) with the ability to either stay grandfathered in our current plan (until expiry) or the option to terminate the contract without any associated fees.

- Shorter contract length. If the 3 year contract is going to stick around, it should be at 100% off the price of the hardware, while the 2 year plan should see a higher percentage discount on the hardware.

- Call display and Voicemail should no longer be an add on. There is no reason those 2 things shouldn't be standard at the prices we pay.

- There should be significant discounts to contract pricing. Why am I paying $81/month on a 3 year term?

- The higher priced monthly plans should at the VERY LEAST include lots of talk, texting, data and features to justify it's pricing.

- Phones should either be sold unlocked or there should be the option to unlock it at anytime during my contract (for no more than $30 seeing as cancellation of my contract would cost hundreds of dollars!), with the option to get an unlock code FREE at the end of my contract.

- The amount of data being offered is a complete joke. We no longer live in a Blackberry only world. 500MB might have made sense back then, but with the smartphones currently on the market and the ones on their way, minimum 3-6GB should be offered in the LOWER PLANS!

They also should sell the unlocked phones at cost price or 1% higher instead of $700.00 dollars.Heck i rather buy a laptop computer for that price than a phone only worth $80.00 to make.

Well Bulk discounts would account for 1 of the differences in costs.

if AT&T buys 10 million iPhone5's they would probably negotiate a better price than Rogers who would order 2 Million iPhone5s
Also in Canada we have higher tariffs on things imported from China than the US does, I don't know electronics but textiles Canada requires a company to pay 18% to bring something in, US requires 4%

Other debates about differences in price can be brought up by what the carriers need to make to cover costs, the per tower usage in Canada is much lower than that in the US, and our people are paid more the average Canadian in 2010 making 41k, while in the US it is around 36k

Often us Canadians fail to understand the economy of scale the US has over us for their pricing advantages, and the lack of taxation resulting in the lower services.

yes i agree to this all phones should be sold UNLOCKED yes carrier should be able to charge a fair amout if the consumer decides to make an early switch .
Data prices are ridiculous they need a in depth review

1)All phones should be sold unlocked and without the retailer charging a fee for unlocking a device.
2)No contracts beyond 24 month term.
3)charges for access to 3G and LTE networks should be 50% of current rates. Ex. 6GB data should be $15.00 per month with a voice plan. 6GB data would be $30 with no voice.
4)Change of terms and conditions by the carrier would allow any contracted consumer to exit the agreement with no penalty.

Clarification for phone subsidies is required.

On my current bill I have a line stating that I obtained a $350 subsidy for my phone. If I do the basic math the subsidy over 36 months amounts to $9.72/month. However if I want to upgrade my device early I must pay $13/month on the outstanding contract as an early upgrade fee. Something doesn't add up.

In my opinion the subsidy given by the provider should be added onto the plan as a separate cost. For example, the bundled plan costs $50/month whether or not you subsidize the phone. If you choose to get a subsidized phone that cost should be added to your monthly bill. That way you have a clear indication of what your subsidy actually costs you and what your outstanding commitment is to the provider.

Standardized Contract forms. All Telcos should use the same contract templates to make comparing contracts easy.

Several key areas need to be highlighted:
Length of commitment
cancellation policies
re-occurring fees outside of plan's posted rate
overage fees

I think one important inclusion should be a clearly outlined explanation of how the contract differs between the Customer's commitment vs the Telco's commitment.

For example, customer = 24 month contract vs. Telco = Can terminate contract at any time.

i think you misunderstood what he said about Phone release.

What he is saying is commenting on is why are two exactly the same phones released at the same time cost more here?
For example, the iPhone 5 was released in the US and Canada at the same time, yet in the US it costs $200 on a two year term but here in Canada it costs $180 on a 3 year term. So how is it that in the US, the carriers can recover $500 in two years where as in Canada ther carriers are recovering $520 in three years? And supposedly the ARPU in Canada is higher than the US.

Or at least that's what I think is the point he's trying to make... :)

1 Year Contract With Decent Subsidies

The current rate of a 1 year contract is very very ridiculous to say the least. You pay $500 for a mobile phone without a contract, but a 1 year contract will cost you $450. Carriers essentially do this to force you into signing a 3 year contract. This malpractice needs to stop immediately.

I agree with most people in this forum on ending 3 year contracts as well. The maximum should be 2 years!!

I like this idea!! Just as carriers have a calculator for data usage, they can just as easily include calculations telling you how much you will owe them when cancelling your contract in a given period.

1: I agree contract duration should have a limit or a fair distribution of device subsidy across the term and that should be defined, be it 24 month or 36 month, I don't want to follow the UK model as your "fixed" contract price can be raised by the carrier with notice from the carrier. coupled with a carrier supplied warranty for devices for the duration of the contract, if they want to offer cheaply built phones they should support them

2: 100% agree, if the advertised Price is $35/month the fact that it is for 6 months then the remaining 30 months you pay $40 should be CLEAR and in large print, also any sign up fees should be CLEAR and large print,

3: What is the benefit of being a loyal customer if I can't get retention deals? I can get deals at car dealerships, electronic stores, restaurants, why can't I get deals on my wireless plan because I have multiple phones?
By placing a ruling banning retention deals you remove the ability to be competitive. EVERY industry offers "retention" deals do we make it illegal for all?

4: I believe Discounts need to be laid out clearly, and notifications sent upon termination, I do not want to be forced to keep US data for the length of my contract if I no longer need it, and if a Carrier is forced to give you something "free" for the length of the contract holding you to your extras would be within their rights.

5: I agree with cancellation fees should be laid based on factors SUCH AS the subsidized device, but there should be more to it than that, when I make a person sign a contract and they break the contract the fee they are charged is not the amount of discount I gave them on previous goods but on a percentage of my lost revenue. if my contract is $250/month and they discounted me $1000 on my devices over 36 months the carrier had an expectation of making $9000 in revenue from my $1000 discount, if I were to terminate at 18 months, they've only made $4500 and gave me a interest free $500 loan for 18 months and I pay $500 to get out of the contract.
I'd like to see my termination fee based on a scale, I pay off the cost of my phones based on the size of my bill, then my termination fee is based on that + a percentage of my lost revenue to the carrier

this should be fair for both ME and my carrier, I hate price gouging but I believe in fair pricing and fair contracts

What is your definition of "affordable and reasonable?"
What is your definition of "Unlimited"

I have Zero minute restrictions for a flat free for all calls I make to numbers within North America as long as they originate in Canada. It is advertised as Unlimited North America Voice, but I don't consider it unlimited at all as when I go to the US I pay extra, and I also can't call internationally so I do have limits.

Unlimited data, is that defined by unlimited download volumes? is that defined as unlimited download speeds? is that defined as unlimited data types?

I'd like to see a Clear definition of "unlimited" and what implications it has, I have no problem paying $250/month for a service that meets my requirements, but my unlimited requirements are not the same as my wife or father would need, and they certainly wouldn't want $250 mobile bills.

This is NOT the case.

call your carrier, Bell offers 10% discount to start if you are off contract and own your phone

Also if you own your phone Rogers has a few options for you to pay less you've just got to look and ask, I have both Bell and a Rogers phones off contract with better pricing than my ON contract rogers phone for similar services.

it shouldn't be the carriers responsibility to educate you on everything they offer, you should ask about additional services beyond the most popular plans.

Contracts should include simplified form like a mutual fund having a simplified prospectus.

Contract standardization I don't agree with because my wireless contract on my business phone is much different than my personal phone and by forcing a standard you remove competitive advantages but a forced Simplifed Contract on a single page that lays out
- Term Start date & End date
- Cost agreed upon per month for term, maximum reduction in price before having to pay an ETF, bringing your $100/month plan to $20 per month is a cancellation of contract or requiring a modification, there should be a defined value for both consumers and business as to what percentage of reduction counts as a contract termination
- Services you've agreed to and their term
- Overage fees when/how they are applied and a means in which to dispute them
- Estimated ETF at the half way point of the contract
- a break down of the ETF
- Discounts received for promotional or bundling reasons.

I believe that carriers should have to warranty a device they sell for the length of the contract, if they choose to offer a cheaply built device on 3yrs they should guarantee repairs of that device for 3 years.

I believe ETF Fees should be fair to both me as a consumer and to the carrier, I would like to see ETF fees formatted similar to the "Tab" agreements with carriers like Wind. The Carrier should recoup the subsidies they gave the person by signing the contract and be limited to a value over that amount they can charge.

I believe that carrier subsidies need to be fairly distributed across the term lengths, a 10% subsidy for 1 year, 20% for 2 year and 70% for 3 year is not a fair distribution, the range from the lowest subsidy to the highest subsidy should be regulated, as should the largest subsidy a carrier can offer
if a Carrier is offering you a 800 subsidy to get your phone your ETF fee would be huge.

I believe that my carrier contract should be provided in both paper and digital form on my account page, and that any proposed changes to the contract be highlighted on my digital contract in BOLD highlighted print

I do agree with "24 Month Contracts should be the maximum" OR that any contract over 24 Months comes with FREE device replacement insurance for breaks, since most devices are not built to last 3 years anymore.

The same phone being released at the same time has as much to do with the Carriers as it does the manufacturers of the Phone, and I do not believe the government has ANY PLACE AT ALL in dictating what a carrier offers in terms of hardware.

It is next to impossible to have clear, understandable contracts without some form of standardization. I found shopping for a carrier to be exceptionally difficult because each one has slightly different bundles, services, phones, overage charges, activations fees, discontinuation fees, etc. etc. etc. Who has time to read 5 pages of 8 point font for each different provider?

It's not like old landline service where you got your own phone and they charged you a monthly rate plus long distance and whatever options.

Most of the suggestions I thought of were said already, but here are a few more:
1. Service fees when you go to a provider with your own phone: there should be a standard for activation fees. I understand they have to pay someone to enter my info into their database or whatever. That's 5 bucks tops. There are very few variable costs associated with this action, and charging between 30 and 50 dollars is ridiculous.

2. Traveling with a cell-phone. What is a local call and what is long distance? This is morbidly unclear and as far as I know depends on the provider you are with. Standard should be that if you don't have canada-wide callilng, local calls are from and to the region you are in. Incoming long distance should be charged to the the person receiving the call only, as they will know whether they are long-distance or not, and can choose to answer or not. Data and SMS should always be local as long as your provider operates in that area.

3. Further to travelling, phones should not be locked to a provider. I understand that the providers want to ensure people stay with them, but contracts should be sufficient. My family traveling in from another country with a GSM phone should be able to go to a provider, get a SIM card for $10 and be able to have a Canadian number for a week. If I'm with a provider like Videotron that doesn't have coverage in Halifax or Edmonton, I should be able to do the same when traveling to those places.

And one more:

5. Carriers should be made legally responsible for going back and REFUNDING past subsides paid in excess of the fair market value of the device.

This is a horribly devious practice and it needs to stop.

24 month contracts should be the maximum.
The same phone is released in the US and Canada at the same time.
US clients only have to sign a 2 year contract to get the same subsidy that Canadian clients have to sign a 3 year contract to get. We therefore pay 33% more for the same phone.
36 month contracts are legally banned in Europe. They should be banned in Canada as well.

Very clear termination fees that do require a calculator. It should be very easy for the wireless company to place a clear term on the contract that states "early termination will be charged at $xx.xx/month for the remaining months"

This point is urgently needed in Canada. My mother got a cell phone many years ago, probably worth about $600. At $0 down on a three year contract that is about $17 of subsidy per month. But she doesn't understand how this works. She has continued to pay this subsidy for nearly 6 years, paying almost twice the retail price for a now obsolete device, and since I have failed to explain how they are ripping her off she will continue to pay for this phone that already belongs to her. She's afraid to do anything about it because she doesn't want to be talked into paying $50 for a new phone or a more expensive contract.

Total illogical, but she just doesn't understand. The carriers LOVE this structure because they can gouge people for years and many consumers don't even understand how.

To rectify:

1. The total subsidy needs to be fully and clearly disclosed at the beginning of the contract.
2. The monthly subsidy charged should be clearly listed on the customer's monthly bill.
3. The cumulative subsidy paid to date AND the subsidy remaining on the contract should be clearly disclosed on monthly bills.
4. When the subsidy has been paid the carrier should STOP taking the customers money. Payments after the contract are concluded should be accurately reduced to reflect the true cost of service being provided.

I should not be paying the same monthly rate as someone who is under contract. If your carrier is subsidizing the price and I own my phone then my monthly charge should be less not the same. Even after your contact has ended the carriers charge you the same rate even though you phone is paid for. This has to stop as they are making extra unfairly.

The contract should identify base rate for all services and an additional column for rates which may be subject to pricing increases throughout the life of that contract. The customer must have an option to cancel the agreement in whole should rates be increased.

Base rates for voice/data should reflect the current rate set by the carrier so that decreases in costs are passed to all subscribers in long term contracts.

Whatever the phone subsidy payments are should be transparent and clearly illustrated in the contract and monthly bills.

Say the average contract is $70/month for 36 months. That works out to $2520 when all is said and done. Obviously the price of the phone is absorbed into this total, why else would a carrier sell a $600 phone for $99 on a 3 year contract? I would like to know exactly how much per month of my bill is going towards the cost of the phone. From there one can start making fair and equitable cancellation policies.

The contract should include a table like it is done with credit cards, so the format is easy to read and to go through. Rows of the table should include :
- duration of contract,
- price paid every month, all fees included
- what is included in the plan
- what can result in additional fees
- what can we change in the plan without paying fees
- economic inducement,
- how much would it cost to cancel after x months, with clear examples at, for example, 12 and 24 months,
- what happens at the end of the contract

Basically all the information should be in a table format, also known as "information box" (http://www.fcac-acfc.gc.ca/eng/industry/commissioner/guidance/cg-4/appli...) and important information should be in bold in order to be easier to understand.

Contracts should a standardized form, no matter which carrier you signing that contract with it looks the same.

Contracts between major companies shouldn't be the same price, the competition is very weak.

Companies shouldn't offer better deals to new customers then existing customers without having to "renew" your contract.

The Plans should also be a price that affordable and reasonable and include the following:

Unlimited Calling
Unlimited Data
Unlimited Texting
Caller ID and Voice Mail

Benji99 here, has hit the nail on the head with this concise and exact delivery of our general issues at the moment with our service providers.

Thanks,

Quite simply, the fine print should be in big black bold letters; and the selling gimmicks in subscript.

1. There should be a capped limit of 24 months on contract.

2. Contracts should be no more than two pages long, and be worded in plain English.

3. There should be a legislated cap on ETF's (Early Termination Fees)

4. No hidden fees of any kind. The monthly charge advertised is the only charge you pay per month, aside from overage charges.

5. Mandatory automatic warnings sent via text to the registered device when you go over your allotted monthly data or voice minutes.

1.) There should be a limit of the contracts to two years as is the case in most other countries (US, UK, Japan, etc). Also, the subsidy one receives on the purchase of a new phone should be proportionate to the number of years. IE none of these sign for 1 year, 25$ subsidy, 2 years, 50$ subsidy, 3 years, 500$ subsidy. This is forcing everyone to 3 year contracts (by design). If 3 year subsidies are allowed and one subsidizes by 450$, the 2 year subsidy should be 300$, and son on.

2.) All fees included in advertised price

3.) Unable to provide secret deals to existing customers via retention to undermine competition. The advertised price is what everyone should get, no matter who they are or how long they've been a customer. I would assume most customers have no idea that they can negotiate upon renewal and essential get gauged compared to be better informed customers.

4.) Discounts applied to the contract should be to the life of the contract and not to an ulterior date forcing you to call retention and renegotiate.

5.) Cancelling fees should be as they are currently in Quebec, pro-rated with the months remaining and the amount of the subsidy.

Clarity of contract should be increased around:

1. Length of Term.
2. Cancellation (what it takes, how much).
3. Overages.
4. Long distance.
5. Calling Area.

the contract should allow exit by fairly prorating the value of the cellphone not recovered ... a schedule should be given at the time that the contract begins; the contract should only begin after it is clear that the client understands the contract; the contract should be written in plain language; the contract should should be available in multiple languages given that English or French are not the mother tongue of many Canadians; the cell phone should not be locked in such a way that the client can not use it on a competitor's network.

The contract should provide in plain language (e.g. like how fees are disclosed on a one or two page sheen, when obtaining a credit card), disclosure of fees associated with the contract along with length and termination provisions.

Changes to wireless contracts

CHANGE CONTRACT'S TERMS? HELL NO!

1) My carrier should NOT be able to change any feature, aspect, price, service or facility if I am under a contract UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES short of a Court Order compelling Rogers to so do.

2) The restriction to changes should not be to just "material" changes - e.g. when I started with Rogers their website stated that the Office Of The President (OoP) would respond to complaints within 24 hours. A year later they changed it to 48 hours. Another year later it's up to 72 hours.

Though such a feature (time for OoP to reply to a complaint) would be hard to argue as being a 'material' term of my contract, if I wanted the budget-value, crap service from Fido I'd have signed up with Fido - instead I signed up with Rogers, their 'premium' brand, yet it's starting to give service levels that are closer to their 'budget'/crap Fido service.

If Rogers was experiencing problems meeting their initial 24-hour commitment they could:
a) hire more reps for OoP, and/or
b) stop screwing up people bills, and/or
c) stop welching on people's contracts
(thereby reducing the need for OoP escalation).
-------------

If changes to the contract must be permitted:
- they should be 65 days notice
- the customer MUST EXPLICITLY ACCEPT the change
- if explicit acceptance by the customer is not mandated, then the customer has the right to:
---- decline the change and stay on the initial contract, or
---- cancel the contract (and keep any subsidized phone) and PAY NO EARLY TERMINATION PENALTIES and also be able to port to another carrier

This is somewhat similar to the CWTA's Code of Conduct (CoC), except that
a) it explicitly puts the choice to 'decline or cancel' INTO THE HANDS OF THE CUSTOMER and not in the hands of the carrier (in my opinion the CoC is somewhat unclear about who gets to choose of the two remedies when "material adverse" changes are made but it would probably be read as being the choice of the carrier), and
b) my rules clearly say that the customer can keep the phone if cancellation is to be effected, and
c) my rules clearly say that the customer can port out to another carrier if 'cancellation' is to be effected

A few weeks ago Rogers announced their new mobile plans, then on the same day Bell announced the exact same plans, almost word for word.

Yet somehow we are supposed to believe there is competition in Canada. Looks like collusion to me.

Open up the Canadian market to foreign competition. When it comes to mobile data networks, having a narrow-minded oligopoly hurts Canadian competitiveness,

This whole idea of having contracts is just complicated and a waste of time for everyone especially for customers.

We can clearly see by all of these posts that contracts have too many complications. People are just indicating how it should be handled in every situation that they can think of. How are we supposed to find a solution to all of these problems when everyone has a different solution for any given issue.

I found the solution... No Contacts!

A device is a device, its not a service. Why not just do like any other expensive product and give the option to finance it if its too expensive for the customer to afford. In this way nothing is confusing anymore. As of now the reason a customer signs a contract is to save on the phone but its never clear that they are actually financing it and forces the customer to pay their service for the length of the contract. Also the device should automatically be unlocked.

This way anybody can finance a device from any carrier and choose the carrier that they feel will provide them with the best service for their needs. Some real COMPETITION! Carriers will need to actually satisfy their customers for once. To do this they will need to have great device and service selections.

EXAMPLE: I'm a Canadian living temporarily in Taiwan. No I wont be comparing service prices between Taiwan(Cheap) and Canada(Outrageous). In Taiwan a carrier has a list of plans available that have varying minutes, data, and other addons. Then we have the devices that can have contracts ranging from 1-3 years. For each device, they show the price markup per month they will apply to your plan depending on the length of the contract. So if a device is $500 and you want to take a two year contract they will divide the price by 24 months giving you $20.84. That will be added to your monthly bill and its clearly stated. From what I understand customers could even cancel their service and just pay the rest of the device. I personally already have a device so I just took the plan and not the markup. I understood all this within the first few minutes of being in the store and I don't even understand their language.

In Canada carriers require you to sign two three year contracts(voice, data) for $400+ smartphones and the total must be at least $50(or something along those lines). The reasoning is because they need the high price to pay off the device in three years but what about the people who only want the carrier's services and not a device. The same plan will still cost them 50$ so they reduce it by 10% from what I found. That's $5 and a $600 device with $200 down on three years is $11.11 per month, not exactly fair pricing. Technically this plan should be $40 and marked up accordingly.

We NEED this in Canada!

The wireless code should include:

1. The prices of plans (including minutes and data) should be lowered in cost (similar to the United States, Europe and the rest of the world)
2. Contracts should have a limit of two (2) years (like in the US, Europe, Japan, Australia, etc)
3. On each monthly bill during the contract it should state how much the phone costs and how much has been deducted on a monthly basis
4. Roll over minutes and data should be added to plans – if you do not use your limit it should carry over to future months
5. There should be no hidden fees
6. Cancellation terms need to be defined more clearly and should be pro-rated with the months remaining on the cost of the phone
7. The contract should state what will happen if your phone is lost or stolen
8. The option to upgrade to a new phone should be offered after two years into the contract
9. A wire less contract should not be more than one page of text
10. There should be an option to have phones unlocked for use while outside of Canada

Subsidy contracts are just a form of loan sharking, period. These companies should be forced to pay back every dime extorted. The only contract i signed was when getting an iphone. I needed it for programming projects. I had no choice but to sign a 3 year contract there was no other way to get it. They didn't even offer to buy it outright. This crime needs to be corrected.

Flat rate should be enforced for all services at a reasonable rate as well.

I would consider this an industry comment.

Most people would say to end contracts completely and mandate subsidy systems. Force carriers to offer unlimited packages with all phone features available for a standard low price. It should be controlled like the electric company. And all mergers should be stopped. I am tired of these companies scooping up small companies.

I fully expect the CRTC to not give BCE what they want. I want to see the CRTC break up some of these big companies.

Keep a look at the poison pill comments in this forum. I see way too many detailed comments here about 24 month contracts. I would consider them false. The real comments you should be looking at are the ones who could never come from industry. Such as this.

1. End contracts and make them illegal
2. End carriers abuse of the credit system.
3. End the avoidance of these carriers using the legal system to keep out of court.
4. These carriers if they went to court the court would rule against them and they know it. often times they extort money from customers for services not rendered.
5. Subsidies should be abolished or offered at only the exact value of the phone.
6. Make locking phone illegal (Environmental reasons and ownership laws)

Change = Freedom

If the wireless provider decides to change any part of an existing contract unilaterally, including optional charges, billing increments, international rates, payment modalities, etc. *and* such a charge is not *entirely* in favour of the customer, the provider should have to announce these changes publicly at least two months in advance. Furthermore, the customer must be informed at least 33 days in advance of the effective date of the change in question.

If the customer is unhappy with a change that is not entirely in his favour, they must have the right to cancel the contract at the time of their chosing between the date the change has been publicly announced and the time he receives the first bill after the change has taken effect *without* penalty. They must be allowed to port their number for free and they must not be forced to cover any administrative fees or early cancellation charges. The Code should explicitely state that no fees for subsidized handsets must be levied in such a case.

No contract terms should be changed.
The only times a customer should be presented with different terms is if:
(1) They are a new customer, or
(2) They are upgrading to a new subsidized device

Forcing customers to except new terms to take advantage of a new rate plan is unacceptable and changing terms mid way through a contract is unacceptable, unless customers are given the opportunity to leave without penalty.

Changes to wireless contracts
1. Choice in contact term length must be legislated; term lengths of less than1 year must be made available
2. A choice to option out of or in to of international roaming data must be made available. ($3,000 cell phone bills is akin to usury).
3. The Canadian Government should be negotiating rates for international data an telecommunications access with foreign Governments.
4. As data, text messages and voice communications are all packeted data they should only be charged under the terms data. The terms text message or voice minutes should be eliminated or legally defined in terms of data used fro that protocol.
5. Unlocked phones should be available at a cost

Wireless Over usage

I do not understand how a $45/month plan has an over usage rate of $10/100MB
and then a $95/month plan has an over usage rate of $10/GB

There are using the same wireless infrastructure, how can one plan need to pay more.

Reasonable prices for data. End 3yr contracts, No long distance fees in Canada

The need for data has greatly increased within the past five years. No longer is a cell phone just for calling. We need plans that have larger amounts of data at REASONABLE PRICES. $35 for 1gb of data is ridiculous.

Three year contracts are too long. No where else in the world has three year contracts. We are living in the stone age with this.

Long distance in Canda? Really? That has to end.

I have seen the majority of comments and i would have to agree with most of them. Changes that i would like to see are as followed:
1. Clarity on Prices i.e. (why prices are set to the amount they are now. Give consumers more indication on how much it actually costs to provide a basic plan and how much of a margin are they making off of these plans.)
2. Contract length (Consumers sign to contracts simply because of the Phone... i.e they want a phone for a reduce price because they cannot afford the actual cost. The problem is that the life cycle for cellphone are about a year and a half if not shorter. so by the time you finish your contract the phone you signed on with is 2 generations old) I would like contracts to be limited to a maximum length of 24 months.
3. Locking phones the fact that these carriers lock the phones is unfair especially when you are out of contract. I understand locking phones to prevent people from switching but i think this should be limited. I propose that carriers must unlock phones when requested by customers that have completed their contract free of charge. Also for customers that want to unlock their phone who are still in contract must pay a fee to unlock based upon how much time they have left in the contract and the actual value of the phone at time of purchase.

First of all the Big 3(referred to as B3) Mafia Cartel has to be broken. They have been here sucking blood for long and have big pockets now. That is why they never let any new player come in and that is why they floated new companies with cheaper pricing using the same very equipment. If B3 can give cheaper phone plans through their subsidiaries then why can't they? They say the subsidiaries do not have the same service although they use the same towers and other equipment. Which is not true. If you talk to sales reps from those companies they say it is all the same in terms of service, network, etc. CRTC has to really play a big role if it really wants average Canadians to benefit and has to show strong will to do that. Every company has to make money but just be fair and do not use your muscle. B3 started by making expensive plans and then adding activation fee and then system access fee. Did they have any ethics? No. Cellphone do not need any installation or such thing so why the activation?
1. Contracts should not be more than 2 years.
2. Someone not using the phone subsidy should be offered cheaper plan by passing on the price difference of the phone.
3. Phones should be unlocked even if there is a contract because if I run away with their phone(without paying) they are not going to leave me. They recover their cost by other means. If someone has completed the contract then what right they have to keep the phone locked or to charge more money for unlocking. Another grab from B3.
4. Abolish long distance, have local calling countrywide like US.
5. In case of contract termination take the balance amount of the subsidized phone cost and unlock it for free once all the dues are paid.
CRTC, please rein in these guys (B3) and have a system to allot new spectrum to new operators at a lesser price for some time so that they can survive and no permission to buy out the new companies that will discourage the new companies to do a good job and not think of making a quick buck by selling out the spectrum.

We need change the current model to separate the costs for mobile services from the hardware subsidy.

Subsidy Model
I would actually prefer to see the hardware subsidy treated more like a loan, with a set balance that can be paid off at any time. This way customers have a clear understanding of what your balance on the loan is vs. what you get in your monthly plan.

Penalty
The penalty to end a contracts should only be the *ACTUAL* Hardware subsidy, pro-rated by the month. Too many times I see a phone that has a supposed value that is greatly inflated This value is what is used by some carriers to calculate the "Economic Inducement". For example, they say a phone is $700 that will be paid by $200 up front and $500 over the 36 month contract. When in reality, the phone only costs $500 directly from the manufacturer. By artificially inflating the Subsidy price, they have artificially created a larger cancellation penalty to keep customers locked in.

With $200 up front, the *ACTUAL* "Economic Inducement" should be $300, or $8.33 is paid off per month on a 36 month term.

Hardware Locking
Hardware should not be allowed to be locked to a network.
With separating the services from the hardware, it should not matter where or how you purchase your hardware. Maybe you buy your hardware from a different carrier, or from an independent online or retail store. Maybe you pay for it with your credit card, maybe you pay cash - it does not matter. The hardware is yours to take with you to any carrier you want. In this model, customers will have the freedom to use their hardware the way they want.

If Ford sold a vehicle that could only be filled with Ford Gas and serviced at a Ford Dealership, there would be backlash and lawsuits.I am not sure why this is allowed in the mobile industry.

With the ever changing scenario in canada, i believe that the big three are a joke. for the biggest reasons:
1) 3 year contracts are becoming a nuisance and people are suffering from them. either their phone breaks (due to reasons out of their control) before the 3 yr mark or the phone is lost. both ways result in a high Early upgrade fee for the customer. If 2 yr contracts are in place, it would be 1 less year for the customer to worry about interms of their phone breaking. also, for the mobile providers, they will claim that we will have to increase price plans to make up for the lesser contract "i call BS"!!!

2) All over the US, all plans include nation wide mintues for no extra cost. why is it in canada if you want nationwide, u have to pay $95? if fido is able to do it for their promo plan of $57 while still pull in profits then why cant the big three do it (oh wait, they have stockholders to impress and have to keep their ARPU from declining)

3) people know that if they call into the provider, they get a better deal, so what is the point of the stores? when u walk into them, they cant even do the most simplest things possible (ie. change a plan) so give the stores power to do something and watch how much happier customers would be (alot of customers like the face to face interaction therefore having stores being able to give retention plans would make the customer feel that much better)

4) why is it that customers can not get unlimited data or even alot of data but have it throttled? the moment customers hear unlimited, they automatically assume it is better, so why not ADVERTISE as unlimited and everything is good!

The cancellation fees should be handled like in Quebec; based on the price of the subsidy prorated for the amount of months left in your contract.

That is incorrect.

The Rogers infrastructure is wholly separate from Bell's.
What you may be referring to is the Bell/Telus network, as in, they share the same.

Telus uses the Bell towers in the East
Bell uses the Telus towers in the West

Existing clients should be able to obtain the same plans as new clients.

Certain Carriers, like koodo, make it impossible to switch to a lower priced plan (even if it includes the same amenities) or newer in market plans that are reserved "For new clients only".

Not only that, but customers should not have to pay for service changes like Hardware upgrades or plan changes.

The Subsidized price is not added to the contract pricing. This isn't France.

It is more expensive in Canada because there is a much smaller /Population/ than in the United States over a greater area.

It's the difference between owning a Mansion on your Own and separating the bill with a hundred other people.

As for the coverage area, all carriers include one on their site. You should take a look at them, you may learn a thing or two.

The phone subsidy is not reflected within the price of the plan, like in France. The phone subsidy is separate form the price of the plan.

There already is a ''Tier'' as you put it, for when phones are purchased full price or for when the customer has their own phone called ''30 Day'' or ''Month to Month''.

I'm not sure CRTC is going to do anything. It was nice they blocked BCE from merging with Astral. BCE got pissed and went to Cabinet, and next thing you know, CRTC says they are willing to let BCE submit a new application (I hope CRTC shows some balls here). We all know BCE is gonna get what they want and again they will be a monopoly like they used to be 30 years ago and can charge their customers whatever they want and we can do and say nothing about it.

All carriers do that, it's not just Telus. It's been like that since cell phones existed, and I agree with you that it is unethical and it's about time someone looked into it.

Great post!

Yes, they have structured it to ensure that you must buy a phone through them, and you must lock into a 3 year contract. Many posts here want to ban 3 year contracts - I think that if the carriers were forced to provide a suitable rate to people who bring their own phone then competition would force the carriers to offer 1, 2, or 3 year contracts all at competitive subsidy rates!

Regarding your 2nd point - keep in mind your wasted time and frustration don't show up in their accounts so they don't care. What does show up is the fact that you eventually give up and let it go - or often probably don't even catch the error at all. This is the sort of thing we need the Wireless Code to address.

Bell mobility is sneaky.....
....trying to hang on to your short hairs for as long as they can by no longer offering 1 or 2 year contract options on a new phone. There is either no term or 3 years. Take your pick. Not negotiable (I just asked). They know that once you are tied in to their contract and with the speed at which the technology is changing, you're going to be very committed to that provider and won't jump around. This ensures predicting their cash (cow) flow.

I agree. The contract should tied to the phone and not the services. Your are basicially leasing the phone in order to keep the costs even over the term. By forcing a renewal of the contract, this is just another money grab to keep the consumer on the hook with that provider.

I don't know if Fido still does this, but as of 2010 at least, they charged 20$ a month for any months remaining in a contract as an early termination fee, that's regardless of whether your phone was 500$ or 50$.

Should your wireless company be able to change the terms and conditions of your contract?

short answer - no.

A contract isn't really a contract if one of the parties has the ability to change the terms without consent from the other party. If one side wants a change to the contract, the other side must agree. This is the nature of contract law. However, the telecom companies know it is too expensive for their customers to take them to court when they do these kinds of things, so I believe a higher standard is necessary.

Any solution to this problem must take into account the 2-tier pricing system they currently have (the published prices, and the 'real' prices). Any discount that they offer for users who bring their own devices must be applicable to both tiers.

Most of the people who want to bring their own device are the younger, cost conscious consumers who always call in to get the 'real' prices, so if the BYOD discount is only applicable to the published prices then it doesn't actually do any good.

No more three year contracts. This is going to be the most complained about issue on this forum. If they don't get rid of 3 year contracts then a real subsidy off of a one or two year contract should be offered. giving 50$ on a one year and 100$ off a two year basically guarantees that no one will get a one or two year contract because the savings are so minimal people are obviously going to choose a three year.

If carriers change terms of contracts at any time or it is discovered that any advertising was false
(such as limited or throttled "unlimited"), the carrier should at their expense (and with heavy penalties for any delay):

1) redo all advertising with the correction in a font (or TV time) at least as the one where the false claim was made. In addition take air time on major TV chains and space in major newspapers (including the free ones distributed to restaurants and transportation, e.g. "Metro", "24hrs" ) to show the same corrections.

2) offer refunds for anyone that bought into the advertising or the previous contract if those cannot be grandfathered for technical reasons beyond their reach. Also offer free unlocking and transferring to the carrier of the customer's choice if the current carrier no longer has a suitable plan for the customer that is denied the grandfathering on technical grounds. These technical grounds should be explained to both customer and CRTC and subject to further scrutiny.

3) offer refunds for times where access was limited or blocked after being paid according to an existing plan or contract (and do it faster or at least as fast as any sale; block all sales until done if it cannot be done fast).

I agree retention plans are a joke and should be illegal, most customers and new immigrants have no idea what they're doing and are poor at negotiating sometimes signing contracts that are so complicated you basically need a lawyer to understand them...let the 1-2 year contracts run out fully with small penalties if you need to cancel and allow subs the freedom to switch if necessary. If phone prices are fair you don't need retention plans/3-year contracts or being held hostage by Reps trained to suck you dry.

One of the biggest rip-offs for example is Rogers land-line 1 year promos, if you're forced to cancel after only one month if you don't resign in a Rogers zone to where you move you're penalized $20 every month for 11 months and this is "OUTRAGEOUS" bordering on "FRAUD"...if TekSavvy have no cancellation fees for similar service why allow corrupt Rogers to force you to resign or pay the cancellation fee that isn't even close to fair. Same type of BS exists with Mobile service and this highway robbery is the main reason Rogers can afford to buy the Dome Stadium. The Big Three have no integrity and are out of control. Open our market to US/European credible providers and force the government to give us the competition we deserve.

Ban 3 year Contracts. Contracts should be no more than 2 years
The contracts should be limited to 2 years. 3 year contracts are not fair to the customer. We should learn from countries such as Uk and US where 2 contract limits already exist. We Lack competition in Canada and 3 year contracts make it worst and leave customer with few or no choice.

Ban 3 year Contracts. Contracts should be no more than 2 years
The maximum length of contracts should be no more than 2 years. 3 years contracts are too long and not fair to the customer. We should learn from the policies already existing in countries like US and UK where 2 year contract already exist.

I agree with you on the 24Month contract being the better term

But it would be illegal for them to mandate device pricing and subsidies, that is price fixing, and it isn't permitted

The Big Players have Bigger infrastructures to manage, and bigger stock holder expectations to manage.
They actually ALSO have to worry about "anti competitive practices" if Rogers/Bell/Telus were to march Wind price plans they would run the risk of being sued for anti competitive practices because it wouldn't allow entry by new and smaller regional players

same happens with Internet speed, Rogers, Shaw, Bell Have to sell their wholesale lines at low enough costs for regional players to resell and be competitive with Rogers/Bell/Shaw so if they discounted their consumer internet packages they'd have to lose money on wholesale.

It is STUPID that this happens but in the effort to combat monopolies and duopolies we actually increase our own costs

Here is my list. You'll find it's eerily similar to everyone else here. Wonder why that is?

- Changes to contract and pricing communicated to us (the customer) in advance (60 days or higher preferable) with the ability to either stay grandfathered in our current plan (until expiry) or the option to terminate the contract without any associated fees.

- Shorter contract length. If the 3 year contract is going to stick around, it should be at 100% off the price of the hardware, while the 2 year plan should see a higher percentage discount on the hardware.

- Call display and Voicemail should no longer be an add on. There is no reason those 2 things shouldn't be standard at the prices we pay.

- There should be significant discounts to contract pricing. Why am I paying $81/month on a 3 year term?

- The higher priced monthly plans should at the VERY LEAST include lots of talk, texting, data and features to justify it's pricing.

- Phones should either be sold unlocked or there should be the option to unlock it at anytime during my contract (for no more than $30 seeing as cancellation of my contract would cost hundreds of dollars!), with the option to get an unlock code FREE at the end of my contract.

- The amount of data being offered is a complete joke. We no longer live in a Blackberry only world. 500MB might have made sense back then, but with the smartphones currently on the market and the ones on their way, minimum 3-6GB should be offered in the LOWER PLANS!

Bell can be way cheeper because its making a lot of money off of rogers using most of the bell lines and infrstruture.

i agree get rid of that 3 year contract.I need a new phone every 2 years.They are ripping me off.

I agree

CRTC, how is this legal? IT IS OBVIOUS COLLUSION BETWEEN CARRIERS.

As many of the people that wrote here, I believe contracts should not be allowed to be longer than 2 years. On top of that, agreement penalty should never be more than the device's price and should decrease as we are further and further in the agreement. The way it should be decreasing should be either one of the 2 followings ways, or both, whichever is making the agreement cancellation fee decrease faster:
- on a 24 months term, with a device subsidy of a certain amount, the cancelation fee would cost the total of the subsidy on the first day of the agreement, and should decrease by 1/24th for every month within the agreement, hence should have decreased by half when halfway through the agreement, and by 3/4th when 3/4th through the agreement.
Example: Device price without subsidy: 600$. With subsidy on 2y agreement: 120$ Subsidy: 480$.
Cancelation fee on the first day of the agreement: 480$ For each month within the agreement, it should decrease by 480$/24months = 20$/month.
After one year, the penalty would be 480 - (20$ x 12) = 240$.
- It should depend on the cost of the monthly service fees. For example, 30% of every month's invoice is used against the cost of the cancelation fee. So 30% of what you pay to the carrier is to pay the phone you purchase.
Example: Same device, no agreement: 600$, with "24 months" agreement: 120$ Subsidy and cancelation fee on the first day: 480$
Total amount paid to the carrier, after the first month: 70$ (tax not included), after 2 months: 145$, after 6 months: 450$, after one year: 900$
Hence, after one month, the penalty for cancelling should be: 480$ - (70 x 0.30) = 459.00$
After 2 months: 480 - (145 x 0.30) = 437.50$
After 6 months: 480 - (450 x 0.30) = 345.00$
After 12 months: 480 - (900 x 0.30) = 210.00$
Those 2 methods would be fair for everybody, including the carrier.

Agreed. By the way, coverage maps are available from the carriers' webpage.

Telus has a policy on prepaid phonecards that is very unethical. After a certain period your unused balance expires. There should be no timelimit on unused balances. I certainly hope that the CRTC will look into this

-Contracts should be limited to a max length of 24 months.

-Hardware should be unlocked for free at the end of a contract term.

-Carriers should not be able to change a subscriber's base cost without giving the option to cancel the contract without penalty (ie. ancillary services such as voicemail, call display, data, text messaging etc)

Mobile operators introduced 36 month contracts when they were forced by the CRTC to allow local number portability (LNP). 36 month contracts were introduced by mobile operators to lock-in subscribers for long periods of time who may have otherwise switched to another carrier once the subscriber was able to switch mobile operators and keep their phone number.

Proof of that 36 month contacts exist purely to lock-in (trap) customers for exorbitantly long contract terms is that none of the major mobile operators provide meaningful discounts for signing 12 and 24 month-term contracts.

The CRTC should ban contract terms that exceed 24 months. Those subscribers that choose NOT to take advantage of subsidized phones and thus do not lock-in service terms should have lower service fees to reflect the lack of phone subsidies included in their service fees.

Finally, the CRTC should ban any practice that would coerce subscribers to sign-up for 24 month contract terms, such as limiting choices, products, or services available to non-contract customers.

The amount of $$ we pay for cell phone service is absolutely ridiculous.. Granted that Canada is a big country and the infrastructure is costly. No one can honestly say that the cost of the infrastructure has not been recovered in multiples.

I am extremely shocked at the the 3 year contracts. It is not acceptable for the companies to make us stick to a phone for 3 years when there is literally an upgraded model every six months. I agree that we should be content with what we have but at the same time to help Canadians be more productive we need to fix this issue. Trailing behind by 6 models (3yrs/6months) is not helping Canadians keep up with the rest of the world in technology.

The jump in cost to own a phone with a DataPlan as opposed to a voice only plan is unexplainable. There needs to be regulations in place to bring down the prices. Third world countries with just as good Data Speeds have Data Plans for much much much less. It is a shame as a country to have such prices for cell phone access.

I have personally been embarrassed in a third world country when I tried to justify that we have a better system. Should we not be working on leading the world as a developed nation?

I am confident that the CRTC will take necessary steps to fix the broken and destructive cell phone system that we have in Canada. And make changes that will not only impact new customers but also benefit existing customers. I hope CRTC does not let CANADIANS down.

Canada is one of the worst for cellphones contracts and plans. contracts should be 2 years max no more no less. phones arent as relieable as they used to be, one drop and they tend to be broken. also new phones tend to come out every 6 months so having 3 year contracts doesnt allow people to keep up with new contracts without paying a high price. another major issue is the price plans. the fact that we now are playing 70 dollars for a plan that comes with basic features is ridiculous. long distance within canada should automatically be included, people have friends and family everywhere. having to be cautious about where we are and where the person we are calling is located is wrong. there are plans right now that have unlimited calling anywhere in canada, 4gb of data etc. and they range between 90 to 100 dollars. a plan like this anywhere outside of canada would be half that or max 70 dollars.

No more 3 year contracts. It seems Canada is one of the few countries that still allows 3 year contracts for cell phones. The United States and the UK have both banned such long contracts. With the rate that technology changes, it's an absurd amount of time. It's even worse when you consider that even though the companies offer 1 and 2 year contracts, the price of the device isn't in line with what you get from a 3 year contract. The disparity between pricing doesn't make sense and essentially forces you to go for a 3 year contract. As well, such long contracts for service in a rapidly changing market encourage less competition and customer service. Once they have you locked in for another 3 years they are less likely to care about your experience during.

I agree! I went to cancel my second line on my current account with Rogers and they charged me $300 under the new terms, but to cancel my current line was going to be just shy of $520 because it was under the "old" terms!! WTF!! If the cost was $200 like you quoted I would have told them to suck it and would cancel, but not at $500+

Cell phone companies need to get rid of contracts all together and INCLUDE current customers, not just favor new customers like they do with any current changes to contracts - right, Rogers?. They certainly need to stop renewing your contract without consent when you make changes to your package.

What I find interesting is that the 3 big players all released basically the same (expensive) plans while the smaller players like Wind Mobile and Mobilicity are providing plans that are significantly cheaper. How is that possible? Are the big 3 suggesting that economies of scale is a fallacy?

Why does it have to be subsidized to $159 on a 3 year contract, and not subsidized at all on a 1 or 2 year contract? Why not subsidize it to $250 on a 2 year term and $399 on a 1 year term? Or better yet, just have people pay for the phone in equal monthly instalments over the contract term, and have the service price separate from the handset. Is that so difficult a concept?

The thing that gets me is that the phone companies can change the terms of the contract at any time, while we can't. They want to change the way the subsidy is applied to the phone, they change it. That's why every time we ask about when an upgrade is available, the date changes to a later date. I don't think the old excuses of population density work anymore. They make more than enough money from services to cover expenses. I think any phone sold by a carrier should have a warranty to match the length of contract. So if they want to keep the three year contract, they need to include a three year warranty for the phone. Simple

Ban 3 year contracts, in an industry where the turnaround on new phones is 6 months and expected life of a phone is closer to 18 months, 3 year contracts only exist as a method of locking in a customer.

Secondly, require that phone subsidies be listed as a regulated line item in the cost of a monthly plan, and if a customer buys their phone outright or brings their own phone to a provider, that line item cannot be charged. Its unbelievable that carriers get to charge the same rates to people who don't sign contracts for a subsidy

Exactly Some countries don't even let you HAVE a contract, you must pay full price for your phone and you must pay for every minute you use, and every kb of data you use...

contracts with defined pricing and discounts are wrong....

do you also think it should be illegal to haggle for better pricing on a car? or other goods?
do you think loyalty programs should be illegal?

retention is essentially a loyalty department with more power to negotiate, it is like when I go to buy a Car or a TV or any big ticket item the sales person has X amount of room to negotiate, if I'm not happy I can move to a middle manager type person who usually has more room, this happens in every industry every day.

I think if competition is encouraged and price collusion is eliminated the prices themselves will start to get more competitive.

I think we start to even dictate prices, we might be opening a whole new can of worms.
Plus a company should have the right to charge what they want. It's our choice as a consumer to choose not to go with that company. (Trust me it hurts me to say this because I really do agree with you when you say that Robelus charge insane prices for basic services.)

I think the best way to battle the ridiculously high pricing is through penalties for collusion and price fixing. Plus opening up the market to foreign competition.

I understand that Canada is a vast and large area and it is costly to put up cell towers all across it. But to be completely honest WE as a country have one of the, if not the highest ARPU. Its rather ridiculous truthfully, being a first world country that we are we should not have to pay such ridiculous amounts for our bills. I feel that there should be a code or standard set in place that puts a cap on how much the big 3 (Telus Bell Rogers) can charge for a feature. If they want to under cut eachother or however they want to go about it is fine with me. But paying $60 for 6GB of data, unacceptable. $35 for UNL long distance, unacceptable. I understand that they give out promo priceing, and have specialized rate plans for businesses and corporatoins, but why can't we as a society of individuals have it? Why do I have a $100 phone bill every month? Nobody that uses their phone in Canada and doesn't 'abuse' it should have to pay over $60. I digress, my point to all of this is set out cap cost limits on each thing; Data, Minutes, texting, phone features (call ID, Voice Mail, ect), and lastly travel plans. The latter may be a bit harder to do, but I don't see why the big three have such control of the pricing structure and can dictate everything. Please put a stop to this and set a cap.

Long Distance and Roaming WITHIN Canada?
What's up with that?
We might just be the only country that still charges Long Distance for Voicecalls in Canada.
There should be no such thing as "Long Distance". The infrastructure is already there. It does not cost anything extra to make a call from Toronto or Montreal or Vancouver or wherever you are in Canada. Even the U.S. doesn't have long distance charges across the whole country. Why do we still pay this in Canada???

I agree!!! I couldn't afford to buy my Samsung Galaxy S3 outright, so now I'm pretty much stuck with the same phone for 3 years! Cell phones barely last 3 years the way their built anyway!!!

Phones should NOT be locked AT ALL.
If you are getting a subsidized phone and signing a 12 or 24 month contract then you have made that commitment and if you wish to get out of that commitment, then you will simply have to buy out your phone.
Why does the phone need to be locked? So carriers can charge travelling customer exorbitant roaming fees???
All phones should be sold without a lock - PERIOD!

That's an issue for you to resolve as a dealer.

In other countries it's easy to get an s3 for free and still have a sensible 2 year contract. In the UK you can get an s3 for the equivalent of $340 (taxes in) on a 12 month contract. Over the course of that year you'll end up paying just over $1000 and at the end of it you have a fairly recent phone with resale value or you can shop around for even better deals. You aren't tied in and you are ripped off in the first place.

In Canada it's impossible to get a deal even remotely close to this.

Majority of phone users realize this problem. All my friends and I are like "oh, look did you see rogers, bell, and telus' new plan? .. yea, typical....too expensive for what you get compared to other nations around the world". Other nations like in Europe, don't gouge consumers.

As for the top 3 telecoms (Telus, Rogers, and Bell) it seems like they're monopolistic and are in cahoots with each other. Also they try to stay on each others good side by not tryin to get most of the customers; rather than, if the big 3 all have similar plans and pricing scheme (top it off expensive) majority of users will have no choice to go with either 3 if they want what they service i.e. exclusivity to phones.

Another issue I have is that if you sign a contract and take a subsidized phone from a carrier the monthly plan is the same price if you weren't on a contract and didn't take a subsidized phone.
Actually in many cases it works the opposite way. Contracts include lots of credits etc which usually expire once you finish your contract.
Why is that monthly prices with phone subsidies are the same as without?

Also, something needs to be said about billing errors. I spend hours on hold and talking to a reps at telcos every month or if i'm lucky every other month trying to sort out billing errors. In some cases the errors are small and I overlook them because I just don't have the time to call and argue.

Telcos should have to pay you the dollar amount of the error they've made on your bill.

For example, if my bill was overstated by $10 this month, they should adjust that $10 and then pay me $10. That will force them to fix there billing system to be more accurate and error free.

These prices make even less sense in conjunction with plan prices.

- $599 non subsidized payment - that's effectively $50/month plus (for example) a $50/month plan = $100/month true cost to consumer. Inherent value of subsidy included in plan = $8. Inherent value of plan service = $42

- $559 non subsidized payment over 2 years - effectively $23 per month plus the same $50 plan = $73/month cost to consumer.

- $99 non subsidized payment over 3 years - $3/month plus the same $50 plan = $53 per month true cost to consumer. Inherent value of subsidy included in plan = $17. Inherent value of plan service = $33.

This is criminal. The plans don't disclose the subside, and they don't change regardless of the true cost, so are herded into the 3 year arrangements. These choices should be revenue-neutral. If the carrier's want to charge $599 on a 1 year contract then consumers need legislation to ensure that the plan they are purchasing is independent of the subsidy. Separate these costs, disclose them, and mandate uniformity across contract lengths, and ban three year terms.

I know i tried to buy one yesterday but they were sold out to ride out the rest of my contract and then not renew

Three year contracts in this day and age are simply unacceptable. When it comes to mobile fees, Canadians are paying more for significantly less than the majority of the world and this is something that DESPERATELY needs to change.

What crap... why not longer than 24 months...why do you have to copy whats happening in USA ???...... why it should be NO CONTRACT at all instead.. What about the cancellation of the contracts the its terms ? What about the access fees ? what about the 911 service fee when i can call 911 without even a sim card inside my handset.. why do i have to pay for that... it can be charged on call or usage basis.. its a loot..

Are there any other countries that allow this kind of thing? None I know of. Of all the problems of the wireless industry has this is the easiest for the CRTC to fix. 24 month maximum.

Wireless contract need to be brought down to 2 years like the rest of the world. There is no real competition in the Canadian markets because the big 3 have a majority of the consumers and can dictate the terms at will. The new pricing schemes that they released last week are proof of that. People want data and the price of data is incredibly steep in Canada, the big 3 often have $30 for 6gb of data as a promotion, this is more in line with a fair pricing. The price of voice and text should include caller id and voicemail at this point and should not be an additional charge.

I agree with you 100%. These plan are a complete joke to consumers and the whole wireless industry. It seems like the big 3 (Rogers, Bell and Telus)are teaming up and are pretty much price fixing. As soon as one of them come out with a new wireless plan, the other two just conveniently match or have similar plans hours later. This needs to stop. Better competition with more affordable plans.

If the consumer wants to leave they should be required to pay the remaining SUBSIDY they owe the provider, NOT additional penalties. Breaking a contract should not leave either party in a worse economic condition than before. There is no economic case to be made that carriers incur any material cost that justifies penalizing a consumer for leaving.

Rogers also changed their upgrade policy during this time bringing in additional hardware upgrade charges. They told me that the upgrade policy is not part of my contract allowing them to change it at will!

3 yr. Contracts suck.

I bought a new Nexus S on a 3 yr contract with Rogers in May 2011 right after the phone was released. Today Google announced they are no longer offering firmware upgrades for this phone! 18 months left in my contract! In the US I would have paid the same price for my phone on 2yr. contract! Open up the Canadian market to US cell carriers increasing competition. 3 yr contracts will disappear, service will improve, more devices will be available and rate plan pricing will drop.

That's gouging. How can carriers south of us afford same prices we pay on 3 year terms and they get it for 2? Also, when wind decided to sell phones on what they were buying them for, those proves were way cheaper than the big 3. Carriers just want you in a 3 year term by not forwarding any incentives for less than.

Should your wireless company be able to change the terms and conditions of your contract? If so, under what circumstances?
Carriers should provide the following options when proposing changes to terms and conditions of the contract:
A) customer agrees to changes and both are happy.
B) customer refuses to accept changes, the plan is grandfathered and non renewable.
C) customer may terminate contract without penalty and has the option to pay off any subsidy to keep the phone, or return it.

What kind of notice do you think you should be given?
60 days minimum seems appropriate.

Contract end dates and cancellation fees: Monthly bills should indicate the exact date your contract term expires. It should also clearly indicate at all times how much it will cost if you were to cancel your service ($15 per month remaining in your term or a full figure such as $450). Calculating your cancellation fee is confusing no matter who you are. Just walk into a cellphone store and ask how much it is to cancel your service? Even if you call, it takes 5 minutes on hold to get a straight answer.

Contract limitations: Limit contract lengths to 2 years. Most of the world (America/Europe/Asia, etc.) have moved in this direction and it's about time the Canadian carriers got a kick in the pants to do the same. Many Canadians want the freedom to choose the best provider for them. By limiting contracts to 2 years, consumers are able to leave carriers who have offered them poor service much sooner so that carriers will be forced to provide excellent service instead of relying on contracts to retain customers.

Clear rates: Customers used to get turned off by having to pay $6.95 for system access fees. Now they're upset that they're required to pay $8 for Caller ID. It should be indicated CLEARLY on pamphlets and advertising that plans do not come with this key feature.

Sure, not a problem if done, check 2 year term prices of the phones. Samsung galaxy s3 599$. What too expensive? Guess what, as a dealer, we pay 600$ for it. No one goes 1 or 2 years even though the option is there.

Companies need to respect Net Neutrality and not splinter Internet accessibility so they can charge us more for services and innovations other companies and services may bring us on our mobile devices via native apps or the web. Just because the telcos have a pipeline for accessing the Internet does not mean they are allowed to throttle, deny, or in any other form stifle or discourage usage of Internet-based services. Charges for wireless tethering, therefore, must end, as should throttling a competitors service on your network (eg: If Bell throttles Netflix on their mobile network that would be violation). Net Neutrality protects the consumer and an open Internet, CRTC!

The wireless code should enable consumers to have greater control over the composition of the service plan they wish to have on their device. Most plans are very rigidly designed and don't offer a lot of flexibility. For instance, if a user wants more data and doesn't want to pay for unlimited talk and text to get it, why should they have to? For the carriers it's the talk and text plans that produce the highest margins, since texts are practically free to deliver, but it turns an inherently flexible service (cellular and internet services) into a controlled channel where the consumers needs to make unnecessary and expensive trade-offs to get what they want.

The 36 month contracts need to go, there is almost nowhere else in the world that has contracts this long. 2 years should be the max, this might even introduce some competition into Canada's market of cell plans that are completely the same,

3 year contracts are insane. Three years is a long time to stick with a piece of technology with current technology trends. The USA has 2 year contracts and offer phones for LESS than what we pay for a 3 year term. C'Mon CRTC! Let Canadians be free of this. Put yourself in our shoes for once!
12-24 month plans only.

Base monthly fee, features, any other fees, all should be part of the contract.
These days carriers leave base plan price fixed but keep increasing the additional features prices. Then they tell the customers that your base price is still $17.50 but now caller I'd is $9 instead of free, voice mail will be $8 , text messages will cost you $15 , call waiting will cost $5 and so on. They say because contract only covers base plan fee , you can't cancel the contract.

$500 to buyout my contract is a hefty price to pay. What happened to the maximum fee of $200? It seems all the Big 3 providers align their fees to make it inevitable for a consumer to avoid them.

24 month contracts, even if that means the 2 year price of handsets goes up slightly.

A hardware warranty that matches the contract length.

Phones to be unlocked free at the end of a contract. Whether the customer pays out to cancel the contract (including all money owed to the phone provider), or just at the end of the term.

State of competition in Canada.

Roger offers new plans
- $55 1000min local, unlimited text, 200MB
- $65 unlimited local/text, 1GB
- $75 unlimited local/text, 2GB
- $95 unlimited canada/text, 5GB

Then Bell offers their new competitive plans
- $55 1000 min local, unlimited text, 200MB
- $65 unlimited local/text, 1GB
- $75 unlimited local/text, 2GB
- $95 unlimited canada/text, 5GB

Then Telus offers their competitive plans
- $70 unlimited local/text, 1GB
- $80 unlimited local/text, 3GB
- $100 unlimited canada/text, 5GB

Where is the competition? These plans are all the same

The 3 year contract has to go. We are the ONLY country to have 3 year contracts. I understand that we have a choice to not sign on a 3 year term. However when a new phone is launched, carriers will NOT allow us to buy the phone outright unless we renew on a 3 year term. As a Rogers customer of 17 years, why can't I buy a phone outright on launch day without having to renew my contract? This is ridiculous. Another thing is, not everyone can afford to buy a brand new phone outright. Most high end phones cost $600 + taxes. So most people are forced to lock in on a 3 year term for a subsidized price.
CRTC, please get rid of the 3 year contract. Canada will love you for this!

Thank you.

CRTC please be the good guys here and do the right thing.

I have worked for one of the big companies and its just pure rip-off that we still allow 3 year contracts in this country. Please let 2yrs be the max amount for a contract but keep prices of the phones still low. Because it would be pointless to have 2yr contracts and shooting up the phone prices on contracts. And also reduce the outrageous cancellation fees.

Term choices NOW! Carriers MUST bring back term options and proportionate phone subsidies. First they started by skewing the subsidies so that users really didn't have an option but sign the 3yr term. How about something more reasonable like:
No term - 0% discount
1 yr - 20% discount
2 yr - 55% discount
3 yr - 100% discount

This would give consumers here 2 yr contracts with discounts similar to the big two carriers in the US.

- Get ride of the three year contract because no other country has this
- Proportions for subsidized phones do not match up
- $699 outright
- $599 1 year contract
- $559 2 year contract
- &99 3 year contract

I hope this NEW CRTC will listen to our Voices and do something good for Consumers for a change.
This would not only give us hope that someone is listening but also make everyone take notice that the system is working and is alive and well. Otherwise Canada will continue it's downward spiral compared to the rest of the planet when it comes to Wireless Carrier's.

The Google Nexus 4 is only $300 so there is no need for a 3yr contract. Lets stop the BS. The $600 figure is only a tool they use to make it sound like your getting a FREE or NEAR Free phone in the 3 yr term. The truth is within the 3 yrs of your contract you have paid out much more then the cost of the phone. Besides do you really believe the Phone costs the Carriers $600 ?
Please stop the insanity.

If the CRTC allows the BIG players to HOLD consumers hostage for 3 yrs then we (consumers) should be allowed to have more CHOICE from providers. As it stands there are/is no competition in Canada and I for one say let AT@T,Sprint,Verrizon,T-Mobile and whom ever else wants to gain access and compete with the National Carriers. Other wise PLEASE stop the 3 YR contracts.

This is indeed very true, its called collusion, I believe.

Ya, this is an awesome idea. States do have 24months and UK last year in May also has reduced 36month contract to 24months. I found this article on mobilesyrup or searching google "UK ban 3year contract" to find a lot of information:

"Ofcom, the UK independent communications regulator, has stated that “contracts will be limited to a maximum of 24 months”… basically banning 3-year mobile phone contracts. In addition, “consumers and businesses must also be offered a choice of contract lasting no longer than 12 months”. The reason for the change is because “Shorter contracts are likely to promote competition and enable consumers to switch providers more easily to benefit from better prices and services”."

A contract is important as it allows people who would otherwise not be able to afford a $600~ phone to get one. Though the contracts that they must agree to are outrageous. As far as I know Canada is the only country to still have 3 year contracts and as such prevents innovation and progress. Many people only upgrade when their contracts run out and by the the devices they are using have long been discontinued and stopped receiving software, and security updates years before.

Also as has been mentioned before Canadians pay the same prices for devices (on contract) as our american neighbors do yet they have two year contracts and better plans that include things like unlimited data as well as decent voice minute amounts.

Also compared to the american carriers the phone that our carriers offer have off contract prices of at minimum $100 higher then the american devices further incentive's people to get long contracts . Also the carriers do not offer a real option for shorter contracts, offering at maximum a $100 subsidy for a two year plan, in other words not worth it. If three year contracts are to stay then carriers should offer one and two year contracts with a decent subsidy.

Another thing is that the carriers should be more like dumb pipes where people choose data amounts and voice amounts, while other things like caller ID and text messaging be included in plans as these things barely cost carriers anything, and in the case of caller ID are actually a part of the standard used for telecommunications and shouldn't be blocked.

Also when people bring their own devices to carriers they need to get a discount on service as the carrier is not paying for the device, the user already did that, a fee decrease of around $15 would be around equal to the average subsidy minus a small amount that would probably cover other things that would be associated with the phones. It would also encourage people to bring their own devices to carriers instead of getting contracts as they would be able to save a bit of money in the long run.

Hopefully some of the things I posted get reviewed by the right people and the fact alone that the CRTC is investigating changing how things are done shows that they are wiling to do some changes

Contract should only be changed if in favor and approval by the consumer.

36 months for a contract is ridiculous. The average person will not be able to use a subsidized phone from a carrier for more than 24 months without having some kind of hiccup with it. Why are we being burdened with 36 month contracts here when there are 24 month contracts in the States with the exact same subsidized prices for phones?

Signing a contract should not take away the consumer's freedom to change, add or remove options available. I've heard too often that at the time of signing the contract (3 year), a consumer wants 500MB of data but a year later if he/she wants 1GB he/she is forced to "renew" a contract which means he/she starts at 3 years again and not simply continuing on at the 2-year mark. That should not be allowed to happen. A consumer should always have the freedom to upgrade/downgrade his/her service as needs will change over time.

3 Year Contracts need to stop. There should be no more than 2 years allowed.
Why are 3 years here? Apple iPhone 5 16G on AT&T, 2year contract is 199. Apple iPhone 5 16G on Bell.ca, 199 for a 3 year contract. Doesn't make sense why we are in another year for the same product for a comparable price.

FEATURES:

If a feature is added to an account, it should not allowed to unilaterally altered by the company while the individual is on contract. If they are altered, then the individual should be allowed out of the contract, keeping the phone and without any penalty to them.

Great comment, but I think retention plans should be illegal instead. It seems like an underhanded tactic to keep customers. Instead of offering better service, they just offer a better deal. I think it would create more competition if they actually had to offer better services.

That is, if changes to the contract are proposed by the carrier, the customer should be given the choice to either:
1. Agree to the proposed changes to the contract.
2. Refuse the proposed changes to the contract.
3. Cancel the contract without penalty.

This is a great idea. While carriers have to let us out already if they change something in the contract, some of them think that while they will cancel our contracts, they have the right to charge us for the phone we got a discount for. Incorrect! If they unilaterally change the terms of the contract and the customer so desires, the contract is now Null and void and the phone does not have to be returned nor can there be a charge for not returning the phone or other charges. This needs to be made clear in the code.

Directly address "Retention" deals in the code.
Carriers often offer retention or "backroom" deals to clients threatening to leave them. The code should make it clear that any Retention offer extended to (and accepted by) the customer is for the entire period of the contract, and that the expiry dates of these discounts is consistent with the expiry date of the contract. I've had horrible experiences in the past where they wont honour deals made, keeping in mind that these Retention deals were the only reason why I entered into the contract in the first place.

Good job CRTC on the consultation. Excellent way to build this code.

To add onto your GREAT comment. Any changes by the carrier to a contract's T&Cs including price changes should be issued in writing only and automatically provide the customer with a 30 day "escape" window from the postmark date.

Exactly. A contract is both ways: the customer cannot leave (unless they pay penalties) and the supplier must not be able to change prices, features etc. within the contract period.

Note that Bell, a few years ago, has unilaterally hiked their System Access Fee for customers that had contracts and argued that this fee was not part of the contract price and that therefore it could be unilaterally changed. As expected, the regulator did not say anything and customers payed... Bravo, CRTC.

3 Year contracts HAVE TO GO!
We are one of the only countries in the world with 36 month contracts (the contract often outlives the phone). And we receive the same subsidy (or less) on phones for signing a 36 month contract as other countries get for signing a 2 year contract. This issue absolutely needs to be addressed by the CRTC. Contracts should be 2 years maximum in length.

-And to the carriers who argue that it is more expensive to operate a network across Canada because our country is bigger than the US. This is flawed!! Your network covers most of the POPULATION of Canada, which is very dense for the most part. You don't cover the vast majority of our (bigger) country, so this argument has no merit. I'd be willing to bet geographic wise, the big carriers cover less than 10% of the country. I'd even go so far to say that it costs less to operate a network in Canada then it does in the US. Much of our population is within 150KM of the US border, whereas the US is spread out more. Let's not forget, 1/2 of the country lives in the heavily populated Windsor-Quebec corridor, and 15% of Canada lives in the GTA alone...

No more 36 month contracts. The US has 24 months!

Absolutely. I'm originally from the United Kingdom. The European Union banned 36 month contracts and made 24 months the maximum. Furthermore they compelled operators to offer 12 month contracts too. I remember when a 12 month deal was the norm and 18/24 month contracts were a bit outlandish. As with Canada this gradually crept upwards until it was nearly impossible to get anything less than 24 months.

The CRTC must do something similar here. Canadians are paying extortionate fees in the form of activation fees, fees for handsets and increasingly monthly bills. Just recently Bell has raised their prices across the board by a few dollars. Generally the prices should come down - not go up.

It's not exactly surprising though. The major operators run little more than a cartel. Next time one of them offers a new deal or promotion see how long it takes for the other players to follow suit. It will be a matter of hours. Literally the same day or next day at the latest. Considering that carriers don't just invent and implement new tariffs on their systems at the drop of a hat, there is clearly collaboration and co-ordination between them. In short - anti-competitive.

Exactly!
If the wireless company is not subsiding the cost of a device, then why should the customer pay the same rate?

36 months contracts are outrageous, it is probably the longest term in the whole world. There should be a maximum of 24 months on contract. There should be two tiers, one for on contact where a phone subsidy is provided, and another where no phone subsidy is given (or when customer brings their own phone). Once you are off contract, after the phone subsidy has been paid off, then the plan cost should reflect that change.

Regarding the alterations of terms and conditions during a contract, customers should be allowed to refuse the changes and drop their contract (for free). Many carriers in America already have this in place.

There should be no charge associated with changing your wireless number when you are moving for reasons such as work or school.

Companies should not be allowed to implement new 36 month contracts over rate plan changes.

If a customer is bringing their own purchased phone, the off-contract price should reflect the lack of a hardware subsidy. When contracts expire and plans go month-to-month, the monthly charge should reflect the removal of the hardware subsidy.

GET RID OF THE 36 MONTHS CONTRACT!!!

It first started with 12 months, then 24 months, now the standard is 36 months, which is ridiculous! In the U.S.A. the longest term is only 24 months. So the CRTC need to protect consumers and ban any contract longer than 24 months.

No, because this if they can (as they can right now), it's a one-way street in their benefit. When 2 parties agree to a contract, both parties should honour the contract to maturity. Right now wireless companies can change terms as needed and all they needs to do is give a 30 days notice. But if I need to change the contract, I cannot, I would be told that I am locked in. So my question is does this seems fair? Does is benefit the customers or the big telecom companies? Either you allow both parties to change the contract terms or none at all.

Terms and conditions mid-contract must not be changed without prior consent from the customer.

Contract cancellation, expiration and renewal

CANCELLATION FEES? NO!!!

- Which is not to say that a reasonable subsidy shouldn't be paid back (it should, since that's fair!)

--- it's just that fees for leaving a vendor are reprehensible and IMO morally unconscionable, e.g. Rogers' $12.50 knife-in-the-back when you leave is just disgusting (it's stuff like that that makes people think that the carriers 'own' the CRTC - ya know, regulatory capture and all that - and that the whole of the telecom industry + regulators are a corrupt bunch of co-conspirators). Please stop nasty stuff like this and let people regain some faith in our corporate and government/regulatory institutions!

- Auto-renewal of contracts - never, without EXPLICIT CONSENT from the customer at the time of the renewal

- A contract should expire IMMEDIATELY if a carrier ever, without just cause, extends the contract's term without EXPLICIT CONSENT from the customer
---- This should put a lid on the 'Commitment Period Shock' that greets some Rogers customers (and likely the others' too) when the customer makes a simple change to their plan and no mention of a contract's re-extension is made to them at the time of the change, and this customer only discover months or years later that their contract was extended ... unbeknownst to them. It's infuriating and unlawful and unless there's a serious penalty attached to this misconduct the carriers will continue to have these sorts of 'ooopsies' because they profit more than they lose with this larcenous tactic (under the current no-penalty structure).

Contracts should have a limit of two (2) years (like in the US, Europe, Japan, Australia, etc) or, the Telecom companies should offer a two year (2) option in addition to the three year one to give consumers more choices. In addition, Cancellation terms need to be simply spelled out with a clear example of the cost that will apply. It also should also be pro-rated with the months remaining on the cost of the phone, like in Quebec. Finally it should be clearly stated in the contract what will happen once the term ends, for example will the contract be automatically renewed or will it be on a month by month basis
Canada

Cellular contracts should have clearer cancellation policys,Telus outlines the fact that you can cancel at any time as long as you pay off your device balance along with applicable taxes on that device. In a recent experience in dealing with Bell mobility on a possible cancellation situation I was told that with 8 months remaining on a 36 month contract the device balance was to be paid which is understandable but they wanted a $400 dollar data cancellation fee plus taxes. Totally unacceptable cosidering Bell also charges cellular based on 30 days in advance.

No impossible Fees

Providers should not be allowed to charge fees for services they can not possibly provide or choose not to provide.

Let me expolain with an example: Once I ported a number from Bell Mobility to another provider. My old Bell account was immediately disabled, but I still had to pay for 30 days. OK, that was in the contract. I asked Bell to reactivate the line and assign a new number, so that I could use it for the remaining 30 days (for which I had already paid). Bell refused. Well.

But then they still wanted me to pay not only the monthly plan charge but also for all kinds of add-ons (like texting, early evenings, etc.) and, to add insult to injury, even a System Access Fee - though it was them who denied me System Access in the first place. This should not be allowed under the Code.

Refund Time

There need to be rules about the timeliness of refunds. Once I left Bell Mobility and they owed me money. Bell agreed, but still took months to pay me back. Anything over a ten days (cheque) or 24 hours (credit card, plus bank processing time) is inacceptable.

1. The service contract should be able to be cancelled without penalty and without notice.
2. If the customer has a subsidized handset, they should be responsible for paying the difference between what they have already contributed towards the handset and how much the carrier subsidized the handset.
3. They only way the carrier should be able to cancel is for illegal activity or non-payment.
4. On expiry the contract should automatically roll over on a month to month basis on the same terms

I want to echo the concerns of others before me about a number of issues:

1. Giving 30 days notice to cancel your contract. I have dealt with two different carriers who charged me for an additional 30 days of service after I ported my number out of their system. In both cases, I called the respective company 30 days before the date I ported out my number to advise them that I would be cancelling. This practice should be outlawed.

2. All phones sold in Canada should be unlocked. If a contract was signed with a mobile provider then the full cost of the subsidy should be included in the monthly contract fees and a customer should not be gouged after the fact for an additional $35 (Telus), $50 (Rogers), or $75 (Bell) to do a simple carrier unlock. If the CRTC is going to condone the practice of locking the phone, something I would strongly disagree with, then at a minimum the carriers should be REQUIRED to unlock the phone on the last day of the contract or at the time of a renewal on a gratis basis.

3. Some carriers charge you minutes on your cellphone usage to contact them about service issues. To boot, their call centres are understaffed and you can spend 60 minutes trying to get them to rectify issues. After renewing a contract I called my carrier from my cell phone to change a plan, 60 minutes later it wasn't resolved to my satisfaction. However they were happy to point out that I could not return the device anymore because I had used more than 30 minutes of talk time. It didn't seem to matter that I spent that time talking to them. Please mandate than any calls to '611' be FREE and close loopholes whereby they can direct us to a different number and continue this egregious practice.

1. contract lengths should not be longer than one year!
2. cancellation fees need to be more reasonable and perhaps based on the type of hardware you have
3. no hidden fees for renewal
4. I agree with others that call display and voicemail should no longer be considered add on..but rather should be standard with all contracts
5. adding a new feature to your phone service should not automatically renew your contract for an additional 1-3 yrs..you should be able to modify your options without any penalty!

1. Do not allow cellular companies the ability to sell hardware, only services. Only allow cellular hardware to be sold in retail outlets for full price and unlocked so they can work on any service provider. If a customer is not being subsidized for a phone they would not need a contract. Also, this way the manufacturer would be responsible for the warranty instead of the service provider. If the warranty is over, void due to liquid or physical damage, or the handset is lost or stolen, the customer would be responsible for purchasing another one, like they do when purchasing other items such as a television or stereo.

3. Do not allow a service provider to give either new or existing customers any promotional or loyalty offers. This would remove the need for these types of contracts, as well. Customer's would then be able to choose the provider that has the best permanent prices, features and the best service instead of the ones that gives them the most discounts in return for the contracts everyone hates.

3. If a customer is on a contract and moves to an area where their service provider does not have coverage, especially outside of Canada, they should not be required to pay a termination penalty.

4. If a customer is changing from one service provider they should not be required to give a 30 day notice to cancel, especially when a number is being ported to another provider. When this happens a customer is forced to pay two service providers for the same month of service when they can only use the service with one provider at a time.

Contract cancellation, expiration and renewal
1. The total cost of the contract throughout he end of the contract terms should be given.
2. Cancellation terms need to be simply spelled out with an example given of a cancellation payout cost calculation
3. Renewal should never be automatic without a the signed agreement of the customer
4. Warning of contract expiration should be given then a contract is 90% fulfilled.

Contract cancellation, expiration and renewal
1. The total cost of the contract throughout he end of the contract terms should be given.
2. Cancellation terms need to be simply spelled out with an example given of a cancellation payout cost calculation
3. Renewal should never be automatic without a the signed agreement of the customer
4. Warning of contract expiration should be given then a contract is 90% fulfilled.

We need change the current model to separate the costs for mobile services from the hardware subsidy.

Subsidy Model
I would actually prefer to see the hardware subsidy treated more like a loan, with a set balance that can be paid off at any time. This way customers have a clear understanding of what your balance on the loan is vs. what you get in your monthly plan.

Penalty
The penalty to end a contracts should only be the *ACTUAL* Hardware subsidy, pro-rated by the month. Too many times I see a phone that has a supposed value that is greatly inflated This value is what is used by some carriers to calculate the "Economic Inducement". For example, they say a phone is $700 that will be paid by $200 up front and $500 over the 36 month contract. When in reality, the phone only costs $500 directly from the manufacturer. By artificially inflating the Subsidy price, they have artificially created a larger cancellation penalty to keep customers locked in.

With $200 up front, the *ACTUAL* "Economic Inducement" should be $300, or $8.33 is paid off per month on a 36 month term.

Hardware Locking
Hardware should not be allowed to be locked to a network.
With separating the services from the hardware, it should not matter where or how you purchase your hardware. Maybe you buy your hardware from a different carrier, or from an independent online or retail store. Maybe you pay for it with your credit card, maybe you pay cash - it does not matter. The hardware is yours to take with you to any carrier you want. In this model, customers will have the freedom to use their hardware the way they want.

If Ford sold a vehicle that could only be filled with Ford Gas and serviced at a Ford Dealership, there would be backlash and lawsuits.I am not sure why this is allowed in the mobile industry.

2 Year Contracts
Cellphone companies should be mandated to limit a contract length to no longer than two years to allow more flexibility to customers. In addition, an early upgrade option at approximately the 14 month time-frame, when customers can switch their phone for a similar model, or pay an upgrade fee if they’d like to change phones to a newer or more expensive model.

A warranty plan or insurance plan, wherein a customer would pay a small monthly fee in order to insure themselves in case the phone is damaged or lost would also be advisable.

Quebec's Bill 60 is pretty great when concerning contract cancellations. It is based on the price of the phone vis a vis the length of the contract.

Example:
Total phone price: 600$
Paid in stores: 100$
Therefore: 500$ Subsidy.

That 500$ is divided over the length of the contract but NOT added to the price of the monthly bill.

So if the client leaves after 1 year of a 3 year contract, they have 2/3rds left of the 500$ to pay. After 2 years, 1/3rd left. Etc untill the last month where it is only 1/36th.

This can be applied regardless of if it is a One, Two or Three year contract.

Locked handsets: Carriers depend on the fact that a handset once sold is never really unlocked. This discourages a user from trying another service even though they have often paid way more that the retail cost of the handset over the term of the contract. This also forces clients to use the carriers roaming network which is used to slam users with exorbitant feex (how many articles have you read about roaming charges in excess of $5000 for data charges when the phone has not been used for a single call). All handsets must either be sold unlocked or be unlocked by the carrier on request.

Let me go a step further...

If i sign a contract with a service provider, the contract stands. There should be no option to change that contract midway so they can gouge me with a new fee or limit my service. If they thought it was good enough to sign, they should live with it till they can convince me to sign a new contract.

Misrepresentation: If it is discovered that an agent misrepresented themselves to get a client to sign a contract (happens all the time due to large sales commissions), the client should be able to cancel the contract at no penalty. Key clauses must be highlighted in a contract and a customer asked to initial them at the time of sale. Also call centers must be forced to make available audio recordings of all calls for a given client at least 2 years after the contract has expired to an ombudsman in case of dispute.

Contracts are not renewed automatically, I used to work for Rogers and can say without a doubt that this is not something that is done automatically. That being said, if you call in and a rep notices you're not on a contract they may trick you into extending your contract without you knowing it because their stats are based on renewals.

Once your contract runs out you're not automatically renewed, this only happens if you take a discount on a term or purchase new hardware. If you purchase the hardware outright then you don't have to sign a new contract.

Recently Rogers and Telus have changed their cancellation fees. You used to pay a flat rate for each month left in your contract but now that they work on a tab system you're simply paying off the discount you got on your phone when you signed up.

I agree with you though it would be great if cell phones were not locked to a single carrier especially when over the 3 year term you are paying for that phone, it belongs to you. You shouldn't have to pay an additional $50 to the carrier to have the phone unlocked.

If you choose to cancel your account you should not have to give 30 days notice, alternatively if you decide to port out your number you should not be charged an additional 30 days just because you want to keep your phone number.

There should be a way that cell phone companies can confirm in writing what has been agreed upon (terms, fees etc). Too many instances (and this happened while I worked for Rogers as well) that a rep would tell the customer something that wasn't true and the customer had no recourse because of the he said / she said debate.

Rogers and Telus allow you to cancel your contract by paying back the prorated device subsidy. However, on top of the device subsidy, they also charge an early termination fee of $12.50 and $50 respectively. What are these fees for?

Or they pay an online unlocking service 10$ to get an unlock code. I agree, phones should not be locked to carrier, I just bought my phone outright and it's locked to Telus on prepaid. And of course if you use an online service, your phone warranty is void.

I don't see why cell phones should have unlimited internet... home internet plans don't even have unlimited internet. However, incoming calls and incoming text messages should not be charged and caller id should be free.

PREPAID PHONE top-ups should not have an expiry date ---- or at least should have an expiry date that is longer than 30 days, say, one year.

Airtimes are not food and it will not go rotten after a certain date. If I buy 10 transit tickets (a form of prepaid public services) in any Canadian city, or if I buy 100 stamps from Canada Post (another form of prepaid communication servies) there is no expiry date. I can buy a postal stamp today, and use it to mail a letter to my friends (or write to CRTC) any time later I want to with no expiry date on the stamp.

Thus, why would there be expiry dates on prepaid cellphone top ups??????

Contract length should be a maximum of 2 years. Phones hardly last 2 years. Anything above that is gouging and inhibits competition.

Really? Try to unlock a new iPhone then.

The idea is that the contract contains the price of the phone so there should be no lock on the phone itself. The only locking should be done against stolen phones (unless the owner finds it again and the carrier can verify that - i.e. they used that IMEI/MEID before on one of their accounts and they pass the identitiy check).

The myth that the government shouldn't mettle with free market evaporates when you realize that the 'Big-Three' thrive based on market restrictions which forbid foreign investment. If this limitation is going to remain going forward, then there has to be some serious overhaul to the rules of what constitutes a wireless plan and some encouragement to force these companies to actually compete for business. Do we want Canada to have a wireless industry that's a sad imitation of what the US or other countries have, or do we want to look at our specific infrastructure and problems and really formulate something that's going to work for us?

THERE SHOULDN'T BE CONTRACTS IF THERE'S NO HARDWARE:
-When you only have three major players, contracts are simply a means to stifle competition. Customers are stuck with what they have for three years, and they know they have no leverage. What incentive does a carrier have to care about my needs or concerns when I'm stuck with them for three years? Why do they care if there's a better plan out there? Remove these ridiculous contracts, and lets actually create a competitive wireless industry where consumers have choice and leverage. If someone has a plan which includes hardware, they should simply have to pay the remaining balance of the phone when they which to cancel out.

ALL PLANS SHOULD HAVE THE BASICS: CALLER-ID AND VOICE MAIL.
-The idea that there's cellphone plans which don't include these two basic functions that land-lines have had FOR YEARS virtually without exception illustrates how shoddy things truly are. You shouldn't be able to call it a cellphone plan without these things.

WHAT DOES DATA REALLY COST?
-It's no secret that data prices are simply awful, and gouging is rampant. We need to launch an investigative study on how much data truly costs, and figure out what's a fair baseline to charge for it. Of course there has to be a profit for companies, but if they're going to be shielded with rules preventing foreign investors from playing ball, they better start playing by some stricter rules. A MEGABYTE DOES NOT COST A DOLLAR.

The truth is, it comes down to two options. We either accept that this is going to be essentially a group of three companies which control the entire wireless industry, and we regulate them HARD and force them to be fair to consumers, or we open the gates and let actual competition in through foreign investment. There's only one thing for certain right now: the Canadian public has absolute disdain for Telus, Rogers, and Bell. Absolute disdain.

Here is my list. You'll find it's eerily similar to everyone else here. Wonder why that is?

- Changes to contract and pricing communicated to us (the customer) in advance (60 days or higher preferable) with the ability to either stay grandfathered in our current plan (until expiry) or the option to terminate the contract without any associated fees.

- Shorter contract length. If the 3 year contract is going to stick around, it should be at 100% off the price of the hardware, while the 2 year plan should see a higher percentage discount on the hardware.

- Call display and Voicemail should no longer be an add on. There is no reason those 2 things shouldn't be standard at the prices we pay.

- There should be significant discounts to contract pricing. Why am I paying $81/month on a 3 year term?

- The higher priced monthly plans should at the VERY LEAST include lots of talk, texting, data and features to justify it's pricing.

- Phones should either be sold unlocked or there should be the option to unlock it at anytime during my contract (for no more than $30 seeing as cancellation of my contract would cost hundreds of dollars!), with the option to get an unlock code FREE at the end of my contract.

- The amount of data being offered is a complete joke. We no longer live in a Blackberry only world. 500MB might have made sense back then, but with the smartphones currently on the market and the ones on their way, minimum 3-6GB should be offered in the LOWER PLANS!

There should be no contracts allowed. Companies should not rely on a contract for customer retention, their service should be the reason customers stay with them.

Companies should not automatically renew a contract anytime the customer upgrades, or takes advantage of promotion.

Cell phones should not come locked to any one company. We should be able to buy the phone outright and be able to use it with any carrier in Canada, even independent companies.

If a customer does not want to purchase the phone outright for financial reasons, they should have the option to finance it and make monthly payments, that are separate from the phone's service plan. These should not be tied together. A person should be able to cancel the service at any time, for any reason without penalty, and just have to continue paying the phone's fee.

As the customer, why are they not contacting US near the end of the contract to get us to renew? More often then not, they auto renew or boot us as they see fit. Why...because they can.
They don't 'serve' the customers, they control the cattle.
You take what they give. If you don't like it, they lock you in, add extra fees over and above, make customer service a nightmare and they are not held accountable for poor service, poor hardware or lack of information.
Why are we charged every time we turn around, especially to start, stop, renew, change, update anything related to the service. These plans cost a fortune. Own a smartphone...better cough up $65/month for the big 3. Want it for less, sorry...no coverage for you on the smaller carriers (Wind, etc), even in large centers like Calgary.

Charges should be limited to actual usage.
Right now we have Pay to be a customer,
Pay to stay a customer,
We get locked in even longer if we extend the life of the contract we make changes that might save us money.
If the contract does finally expire, rather than automate a month to month, they force us to notify them, take extra money from us if we decide to leave (30 day window) and will resort to canceling our number or renewing our contract as they see fit, regardless of any rules. After, who are you going to complain to...their customer service? lol. They will do what they want. They are not policed and your only alternative is to play ball or they black ball you financially.

-Contract terms should never be automatically renewed automatically

-Carriers should be required to contact (by phone, email or text message) subscribers with expired contracts to let them know their contract is expired and what their options are

-Cancellation fees should only recover the subsidy costs of a handset and perhaps other small nominal fees

I believe that there should be no contracts. If a carrier wants to subsidize the phone, then offer a monthly bill which can be easily paid off, at any time. If the service is great, and the network reliable, people will stay on the carrier. This will allow the carrier to sell more phones, as people will upgrade more often.

Add my voice to those who think 24 months is sufficient as the maximum term for a phone contract. 24 months brings us in line with the US and other jurisdictions, and is fair and reasonable.

Contracts should just be done away with entirely. If the carrier provides quality services, at a fair price combined with excellent customer service, they won't need to hold consumers hostage with a contract. It's that simple. If I'm happy, I'll happily part with my money, I don't understand why companies these days don't get this.

Here are my proposals regarding the issue

Contract Expiration/Renewal:

Once a contract is expired, a carrier should not be allowed to require a month's notice to terminate the account. Account termination should be available at any time without penalty. If a month has already been paid in advance, a partial refund must be issued. Conversely, if a subscriber wishes to remain a customer, (s)he cannot be forced to renew a contract or change any features of their plan.

Contract Cancellation:

As customers enter contracts in order to receive device subsidies, it is fair that carriers charge a penalty for early cancellation. However, this penalty should only include the device subsidy. No additional charges should be allowed. For example, if a customer receives a subsidy of $400 in a 2 year contract and wishes to cancel after 9 months of service, their penalty should be $250. The device subsidy should be divided by the duration of the contract (in this case, 24 months), then multiplied by months remaining (in this case 15 months). The language of the contract must be simple. For example, I don't know if this is indeed how Rogers does their calculation, because I've not retained a lawyer to decipher their contract.

I think us Canadians pay way too much for what we have. Plus the contract are 3 years instead of 2 years like any other country. And every time it's hardware upgrade time well here in Canada we pay hight early termination fee, administration fee, fee for this and that. And cancellation fee are enormous. Plus why can't we have unlimited Internet at low price like any other places in the world. Here in Canada Us Canadians we let companies govern our wallets Please Canadian CRTC do Something!!! It's almost as bad as the gas price. With the time it should be less Expensive but not the contrary!!!

I'd even go further and say make any locking of a device illegal from the beginning. The carriers have structured the plans so it only makes economic sense to buy a three year contract. But if I want a device from one place and a plan from another I'm trapped. There is not technological reason that I can't buy a device on full subsidy, sell it, then buy the device I want. But both providers lock up the devices! I OWN the device as soon as I sign the contract. The subsidy is just financing. My device should be unlocked before I leave the store.

This is absolutely fair. It protects the investment by the carrier and ensures they receive the retail price for the device.

NO other termination fees should be paid by the consumer. Such fees unfairly restrict competition by preventing migration to a better plan or provider. There is very little economic cost to the carrier - a few minutes by a clerk to input data - upon cancelling a contract and as such these fees are unfair and punitive in nature.

The problem with contract cancellation is that it is an integral part of the industry’s scheme to keep people locked in for and beyond three years, continuing paying for hardware that has already been purchased, and preventing movement to other providers. You can’t separate these issues.

Finding a fair balance for contract cancellation is relatively easy. The carriers have invested in the contract at a quantifiable amount – the subsidy given on the device. Note that at the end of a contract, when this subsidy has been paid fully, the carriers continue charging the same price if no new contract is signed. Essentially they continue collecting payments for the hardware after expiration. What other industry would allow this? If you buy a vehicle on 5 year financing would you continue making payments in year 6, 7 and 8? If you buy your home with a mortgage amortized over 25 years would you keep paying the bank the same payments for 35 or 40 years? Nobody would do this. But consumers don’t understand what is happening and don’t see the subsidy on their bill. The subside needs to be clearly disclosed, on a monthly basis and on a cumulative basis, on the customer’s bill, and at expiration of the contract the subsidy payment needs to be removed from the bill.

Early cancellation fees can easily be calculated on a straight line basis and limited to the subsidy remaining. The problem is that now the consumer needs to find a new plan and/or provider but with unfair restrictions in place. Most plans on a contract only makes economic sense if you get a new device on subsidy. Bringing in your existing device only makes economic sense if they subsidy is stripped from the contract. Prepaid plans are often structured to make them economically equal to a subsidized plan. In addition, devices are locked to prevent easily migrating to a competitor. The regime described here intentionally restricted consumer choice and prevents fairness to the consumer. Any exit strategy results in paying extra subsidies on a device you already own.

The CRTC should mandate that plans and subsidies should immediately be separated to allow consumers to choose and buy each individually. A consumer with his/her own device should be allowed to purchase a plan or contract free of subsidy pricing. There is no economic reason to charge the same plan price to a customer who is purchasing hardware as to one who is bringing their own device to a plan. The fact that all carriers do this in the exact same way is proof of price fixing and illustrates the need for immediate intervention.

The CRTC should also mandate that locking a device should be illegal. When a contract is signed the consumer owns the device. They have assumed the rights and risks of ownership and are fully capable of paying out the contract at any time of their choosing. There is no economic case to be made that unlocked devices hurt carriers. This practice only hurts consumers and prevents choice and competition. Charging a fee for unlocking a device should not be permitted under Canadian law. Manufacturers of mobile devices build them unlocked. It is only carrier meddling that lock them up. The consumer should pay extortion fees to gain access to their own assets.

No more extra 30 days!

This has been mentioned by others, but it needs to be mentioned again because it is a total scam cash grab, and all the major carriers are doing it!

I recently finished a 3 year contract with Rogers and decided to switch carriers. I had completed my full 3 year term, no early cancellation. Follow me, if you will, as I describe this crazy adventure: I was aware that I would have to pay an extra 30 days to Rogers, but I figured, no problem, I will just cancel my contract with Rogers, naively believing my phone would still work for those 30 days because I am clearly paying someone for something, and then when I near the end of the 30 days, go to the new carrier, port my number and start paying them. Voila! Simple right? Makes perfect sense, everyone gets their money, but I don't have to pay two carriers for the same month. Right? Right??!!

WRONG!!! The piece of "logic" (if I dare call it that) I was missing was that as soon as you cancel the plan with the first carrier, your cell number is gone and your service is gone, even though you are still paying them for another 30 days! It took me three different customer service reps from three of the major carriers for one to finally explain that clearly and without some kind of a bogus technical mumbo-jumbo statement. Thus, since your cell number is gone, aside from the rude fact that you have no cell service for 30 days, when you go to the new carrier your number no longer exists for them to port over to your new account, and you are then stuck with having to get a new number; something no one wants to do if you have had the same cell number for an extended period of time. And yes I checked, all the major carriers (Rogers, Telus, Bell) implement the same system, you can't escape. So the only options you have are to avoid paying two providers for the same month but lose your cell number, or suck it up and pay the extra just to keep your cell number with the new provider.

This is just plain wrong and a fabricated system to punish the client for switching carriers and extract a final bit of cash from them for a month while providing no service. There is no technical reason the system couldn't work as I originally expected, keeping your number in the system until ported. Even if the carrier decides to charge me the extra month for some bogus administrative whatever, my service and number should still exist for that month so I can move it to the new carrier when the time comes, but avoid the double payment. Better than that, the code should just prevent this kind of blatant cash grab.

Phone subsidy repayment.

Right now, there does not appear to be a way to put X amount more on your phone subsidization.

So, for example, if you have a phone for $500.
You are paying 500/36 for that phone.
Let's say you want to put an extra $50 bucks towards the phone one month, you can't.

The phone subsidy is starting to be the new contract. One you cannot pay off faster if you wish, without having to pay it all off.

There needs to be the ability to differentiate between phone subsidy and normal bill, if you want to pay more a certain month for the phone.

Handset contracts, like in the UK, should be limited to a maximum of 2 years. With the rate of change on the handset operating system and applications (especially smart phones), the phone becomes so slow that it is unbearable to use after two years. This leads to early upgrades and disputes regarding termination fees for the 3 year contracts.
Price of handsets needs to be normalize with the US. Today is Nov 14th, 2012, at the US carrier Sprint, the Samsung Galaxy IIIS (16gB) is priced at $549 (no term), with a 2 year term the price is $199.99. At both Bell and Rogers the price is $159.95 for a 3 year term or $599 for no term, a two year term is not offered. The Canadian carriers are forcing a 3 year term, based on pricing options, when the rest of the world is or has moved to 2 year terms. By the way, in the example Sprint does not even offer a 3 year term.

I don't understand the complaining about phones being carrier locked. Phones are carrier locked in the US as well but it's usually pretty easy to unlock your phone yourself if you google or youtube how to do it. I've done my last 3 phones myself no problem.

Cancellation fees should be limited to cost of the hardware subsidy pro rated on a monthly scale.

For example:

Hardware cost $600
Less paid. $200
Subsidy. $400

If I cancel service on a 24 month plan after month 12, the subsidized amount of the phone is depreciated in a straight line method and the net present value is $200.

Phones should not be carrier locked. It's as simple as that. Whether the phone is paid in full, or a legally binding contract is signed, the carrier(s) will get their money. Large tech companies like Google are already pioneering this effort by selling their phones unlocked, and they have it right. The vast majority of the population doesn't know their phones are carrier locked until it becomes a pinch point (e.g. passing a phone on to a family member). How do they get the phone unlocked? Glad you asked. Some (not all) carriers will unlock the phone for an exorbitant fee. This "service" is a tax on those who dont know better and an insurance policy that the carriers will retain their business.

Should cancellation fees apply if you terminate your contract early? If so, how?
Cancellation fee should only be the remaining balance of the subsidized phone. Balance should be calculated based on the amount of subsidy paid back subtracted from the current value of the phone, and that difference should be averaged out over the remainder of the contract.

Under what circumstances should contracts expire or renew automatically?
Contracts should never renew automatically. Maybe under a customer opt-in method, but never otherwise. At the end of a contract if the customer so wishes, they may continue to pay on a month by month basis for the exact same services as offered by the contract.

Whenever the full price of the phone is paid back (either from Early Upgrade Fee, Early Termination Fee, paying off the tab, or buying outright. The Phone should be UNLOCKED free of charge.

The phone should not be restricted by the carrier when the customer has no more obligation to them.

Can we do something about the Early Upgrade Fee? That is a hefty amount of money to pay and still have our contracts renewed. I understand the phones are subsidized but with all the money we spend and all the additional charges (not to mention ridiculous overage and pay per use rates) this should more than make up the value of a subsidized handset. Price gouging at its finest.

device should be unlocked as soon as consumer signs a contract or locked devices sold with the contract should be priced much less than unlocked devices.

Because no matter what , as soon as a contract is signed , customer has to stay with the carrier for the term or he/she will have to pay the cancellation fee. Then why the device is locked / disabled ?

For example : I signed a three year contract with Rogers and they sold me an iPhone for $159.

Now I am committed to pay them for three year for the wireless service. If I decide to cancel before three years , I will have to pay the cancellation fee. I understand Rogers will unlock the phone after three years. Rogers will not unlock the phone for three years . They are not unlocking it because if I won't pay the cancellation fee , they won't unlock it and call it even ? No , the day I signed the contract , I am bound to either stay with them for three years or I will have to pay cancellation fee, still they won't unlock the phone for three years.

Our phones should come unlocked without an additional fee if we're to sign up to a 3 year contract. At least have them unlocked without a fee if we're to pay an early upgrade fee. My provider even wants me to renew the contract terms to change my plan to one that is only available to new clients--no phone with this renewal of course.

Contracts should be no more than two years. Cancellation fees should all be based on the hardware subsidy provided (such as what TELUS does, and in Quebec). The termination fee on top of hardware subsidy calculation should be no more than a nominal percentage of that (say 2%), or just not at all.

Companies should be able to guarantee more plan price protection including plan add-ons added at the beginning of a term.

If the 3 year life sentence is going to remain, consumers should be allowed to do an upgrade no later than 18 months. With today's technology, a lot phone smartphones do not last more than a year. Not allowing a consumer to upgrade after 30 months is ridiculous! We are the ONLY country to have the highest cellphone bills. We shouldn't have to suffer by not being able to do an upgrade after 30 months.
CRTC, if the 3 year contract remains, please allow the consumers to upgrade every 18 months. I already stated my opinion about 3 year contracts in the "Changes to Wireless Contracts".

Thanks.

Lack of service should mean the ability to cancel without additional cost.

If you're in a provider's area, listed by the coverage map at the time and you do not get service, you should be able to cancel the service without incurring a cancellation fee.

Contract termination fees should only include the remaining cost left to pay off on the subsidized phone

Device upgrades should occur no later than 24 months because at today's rate technology becomes obsolete and reaches its end of life status after about 24 months.

If you terminate early you should only pay out the difference in the cost of the phone you purchased, without any penalties.

Billing should be by the day and not by the month. If my account's been active for 1 month and 1 day, then I shall be charged 1 month a 1 day and not 2 months. 30 day notice is ridiculous. If I'm not required to give 30-day notification to join a service, then neither should cancelling it.

You should be able to port your number without having to pay for an extra month of service or have to pay an early cancellation fee if you do it in the last 30 days remaining on your contract.
I went to move my phone from Rogers to Bell. My contract was supposed to be over in 2 weeks. I wanted a plan that Bell offered and when I contacted Rogers about porting my number I was told that I would have to wait for the contract to expire and then port it, but I would be charged for an extra month. My other option was to port the number before my contract expired in which case I would be charged $120 for early termination, even though I had 2 weeks left in my contract. What if I had tried this with Telus or Shaw and a land line? How about doing something to protect Canadians from this sort of bullshit.

24 Month upgrades. Period.
All the carriers charge you a depreciation based on 36-months. This is robbery.

Contract cancellation should be tied to the remaining value of the subsidized phone. There should not be an abstract dollar value for cancelling, it should 100% be just the remaining value of the phone.

Renewals should not allowed to be automatic (which they are not now). It should be consent on both parts.

The "value" of a contract should be that of the subsidy offered by the carrier. Basically following the current law in Quebec. However, the carrier should also adjust prices accordingly as the value of phones depreciates.
Example: specific model costs $500 in 2010. Contract price is $100

If I choose to enter a contract in 2012 with that same model, then the phone should be priced lower (e.g. $250), this way the subsidy offered is only $150, not the same $400

Currently, companies are increasing the subsidy instead of decreasing the original value. (e.g. 2010 phone is offered at $0 on contract, but still listed at $500 original price. Subsidy is now $500 instead of $400, which does not make it any less of a financial burden if one ones to cancel a contract)

All companies should be forced to implement early upgrade like Telus has done. If you buy an Iphone one a contract at $159.99 that price should immediately be deducted from the overall price of the phone. If at anytime the user wants to cancel they must pay what is remaining on their phone balance with NO other fee's except what they owe for bills. Cancellation fee's must be abolished.

When a customer wants to cancel their contract, the cancellation fee should be fairly calculated. As I am aware the fee is to cover what the telecom companies subsidized for the hardware. So if a phone cost $700 outright and the subsidized price is $200 and a customer wants to cancel 24 months into their 36 months contract, they the cancellation fee should be $500/36 month = $13.89, therefore the cancellation fee should be 13.89 x 12 (the # of months remaining) = $166.67.

Once a contract expires, it should automatically be switch to month to month and customer should be notified and should not be forced to renewed.

Contracts should automatically become month to month plans at the end of a contract, which will continue until terminated. Carriers should be required to notify customers at the time that a contract reverts to month to month.

Clarity of advertised prices

ADVERTISED PRICE = FINAL PRICE!

It's pretty simple - the price in the largest font and/or most prominent is the price to be paid. Period.

BTW, please stop the abuse of the word "unlimited". Unlimited means without limits, which contrasts with the carriers' imposition of limits on their 'unlimited' offerings. To permit them to continue to abuse this word as they have been is like them saying "I'M PREGNANT" in large, bold font and then having a wee-font disclaimer at the bottom saying "I'm not really pregnant".

You're either pregnant, or you're not.

Something is either without limits (it's unlimited!), or it has limits.

This sort of deceptive advertising practise is part of what fuels customers' well-justified cynicism.

And put a stop to garbage like "system access fees" and GRRF ("Government Regulatory Recovery Fee"), since pretty much every other industry includes its regulatory-compliance costs (nay, all costs) in its' advertised prices (nevermind that the fee is in no way representative of a carrier's actual compliance costs.

Remember Rogers' 75c/mo 911 fee? If I recall correctly, the tarriffed fee paid by carriers on a per-subscriber basis was something like 17c/mo for 911 access, plus a few pennies for all the infrastructure, but from what I could tell, nowhere near the 75c/mo that Rogers was charging).

Full minute billing is my pet peave. rounding every call to the next full minute is theft as you are forced to pay for time not used and this will NEVER be in the customers favour.
It has been shown a person needs a plan with 1/3 the allotted time when a pay by the second plan is used.
Second is the outrageous prices for text messages.I heard a phone rep say it cost 1/100 of a cent to send a text message.
Unless a person pays for an unlimited ($15 to $ 20/month) a casuall user (my daugther ) is paying 20 cents a message.
Lastly I have 4 cell phones on my account and I pay the the bill for all but only get credit (towards a new phone) for usage on the phone I use.

All mandatory fees included

All mandatory fees have to be included in the most prominently advertised price. (Hello, System Access fee!)

Stop the false advertising & mandate all in pricing with no hidden fine print details.

I recently found an advertised price on a major carrier website that they would not honour because the price plan was not on their system so they said it was discontinued. But the ad was clearly on their website. This kind of behaviour is wrong. End the false advertising.

When a carrier advertises a price it should include all additional fees, whether they are system access fees, 911 charges, etc.

Clarity of advertised prices
1. The total cost of the contract throughout the end of the contract terms should be given
2. If a phone is amortized through the use of a cell phone contract the interest charged on that phone must also be clearly shown

911 fees and Prepaid

The cost of the 911 fees should be included WITHIN the Prepaid credits purchased.

Right now, if you have a 25$ Prepaid plan, you need to purchase a 30$ top up because if you only take 25$, that's not enough for the additional 911 fee. As such, you will be defaulted to a high per minute pricing instead of your chosen plan.

However, if the Prepaid credits INCLUDED that province's 911 fee, you would not have to buy the next tire up of credits, just the one that goes with your plan.

911 fees should be CLEARLY shown in both the pricing and the billing.
Virgin does this well.

But when I was with Rogers, they charged me the Qc 40¢ THREE times. (40¢ x2 and a 70¢ one also, all named QC 911 fee) I asked them about it, they told me it was for "Service recuperation fees, to be able to provide good service." and Refused to take it off, even when I provided documentation they should not charge it.

B.S.

The advertising price should be "All-in" pricing - including all fees and the most popular services such as Caller ID, voice mail and text messaging. Just like other industries.

I am not saying that a carrier can't offer a bare bones plan, but it can't be advertised more prominently then other plans that people will actually buy. This is basically bait and switch to find out that your $60 voice and data plan that sounds great is actually missing basic key features that will cost you $10+ more.

And Pre-paid calling cards should have the same legal protection as a gift card. It should not be allowed to expire in 30 days or be reduced in value.

Truth in advertising: dont allow Telcos to advertise a low price and make it such that no one would every buy what they offer at that price. There have been a number of bell adverts showing a internet and TV package at under $65 but when you try to buy it the cost shoots up. If the cost does not shoot up you realize its only available for the first few months.

Make advertising honest and reasonable, disclose the true cost of a package and make it available for the duration of the contract not a low fee for 3 months so they can slam me with a cost 4 times as high thereafter. Any Telco found to use inaccurate advertising or misleading advertising must be penalized a large enough fee that its not considered 'the cost of doing business'.

Pre-paid customers should not lose whatever money they put into their account after 30 days or 60 days. This is absolutely outrageous!! If I put 10$ into my prepaid account, that money should stay in the account until it is fully spent. I have lost so much money to this scheme.

THE OVERALL COST IS MUCH HIGHER THAN THE U.S. BECAUSE THERE IS NO REAL COMPETITION!

As a senior, I live on a modest pension income. I CANNOT afford to have a cell phone for anything more than an emergency call. The U.S. has plans I could afford but not Canada. Why not?

Here is my list. You'll find it's eerily similar to everyone else here. Wonder why that is?

- Changes to contract and pricing communicated to us (the customer) in advance (60 days or higher preferable) with the ability to either stay grandfathered in our current plan (until expiry) or the option to terminate the contract without any associated fees.

- Shorter contract length. If the 3 year contract is going to stick around, it should be at 100% off the price of the hardware, while the 2 year plan should see a higher percentage discount on the hardware.

- Call display and Voicemail should no longer be an add on. There is no reason those 2 things shouldn't be standard at the prices we pay.

- There should be significant discounts to contract pricing. Why am I paying $81/month on a 3 year term?

- The higher priced monthly plans should at the VERY LEAST include lots of talk, texting, data and features to justify it's pricing.

- Phones should either be sold unlocked or there should be the option to unlock it at anytime during my contract (for no more than $30 seeing as cancellation of my contract would cost hundreds of dollars!), with the option to get an unlock code FREE at the end of my contract.

- The amount of data being offered is a complete joke. We no longer live in a Blackberry only world. 500MB might have made sense back then, but with the smartphones currently on the market and the ones on their way, minimum 3-6GB should be offered in the LOWER PLANS!

Call Display, Voicemail, and (possibly) Text Messaging need to be addressed in one of two ways:
1) Included in the advertised price of plans
2) A CRTC requirement that states if x% of the carrier's customers subscribe to 'y' feature, in future marketing materials, the carriers must either: i) include the feature(s) in the advertised plan price, or ii) indicate the price for said features in the same font size as the plan price

Let's be realistic here. Call Display is not a feature, it is pretty much a requirement on a cell phone. Especially if carriers are charging by the minute. If you don't pay for call display and therefore don't have call display, how are you supposed to know whose calling before you use your valuable minutes. Moreover, it costs the carriers more to block display than it does to offer the service (Call Display is natively provided on all calls).

All prices advertised should:
* include all possible fees
* include the words "plus taxes" in a font equal to the price (or include the price with taxes and the words "including taxes")
* be binding for the carriers for the whole period when advertised
* explicitely show all services included as well as the basic services that are not included in it (basic= voice (with explicit number of minutes included if any), voice mail (include restrictions, like locked at 20 seconds for Rogers/Fido), caller id, call waiting, conference call)
* be in a standard format, so comparisons could be clear

-Advertised pricing should include fees and clearly note any activation costs or other signup costs

-Advertised pricing should be clear about the conditions (ie. that the price/monthly fee comes with a multi year contract)

Rogers should not be allowed to charge 2.95 system access fee or what ever it is called. They even had started charging that to the landline customers.
When it is not controlled it totally gets out of control . At one point bell or rogers were charging $8.95 system access fee on $17 plan. Caller I'd , voicemail etc should also be included in the price plan , even phone companies call those features "essentials"
Q

CRTC should stop allowing blatant price fixing/collusion. Currently, Bell, Telus and Rogers are all offering essentially the exact same plan at the exact same price. There is no competition to gain the business of consumers. I live in an area without the new entrants so I have limited options and they're all the same. The companies are happy to sit back and watch the money roll in knowing that their customers who may wish to leave have no chance of getting a better deal. Yes, there may be multiple companies offering service but I really only have one choice... I can spend $90/month... Now what logo should I give that money to?

To me at the heart of most of the problems consumers have with mobile carriers in Canada is that the big 3 (Bell, Rogers, Telus) are clearly colluding in their pricing; if one announces new packages/rates, within hours or days the others match those new rates. There is no clear distinction between them.

In terms of pricing, I understand these are for-profit corporations, but we all know that it costs the same for the provider when their customer calls locally vs. nationally on their network. It doesn't cost Bell any more for me to call Yellowknife-Yellowknife than Yellowknife-Ottawa, and yet I'm allocated a number of local minutes and have to pay for long distance. Even in every other 1st world country that I'm aware of, consumers are not charged for long distance within their country, nor are they charged for incoming calls, and yet that's exactly what we are forced to tolerate in Canada.

Certainly there are carriers in Canada that exist to compete with the new entrants (Wind, Mobilicity) that provide true unlimited calling/data packages, but side carriers such as Koodo, Fido don't exist outside of those major urban centres, for the clear reason that they don't have to - there is nobody to compete with so the major carrier can charge what they want knowing the consumers have no other choice.

If the CRTC is truly on the side of the consumers, there would be regulations that limit what can be charged for (how are we still paying an add-on charge for Call ID?) and what the big 3 can charge when there is no competition for them.

Canada is stagnating in terms of mobile usage because of price gouging by the big 3, and the CRTC is the regulatory body giving them permission to do so.

We should not be charged for incoming calls. As in Europe, England or with land lines all incoming calls are free. In Canada the person placing a long distance call is charged and the person receiving a long distance call is charged, this is double dipping, it must stop for Canada to be competitice.
I would also suggest opening the borders to foriegn owership, perhaps an O2 or Sprint in Canada would add competition and drive the world highest cell phone costing country into a more competitive mode.

While I understand your point, I still consider it wrong to create localized pricing this way.

Service coverage areas should be guaranteed to work based the current strength of the handsets cellular receiver. I am told that coverage maps are designed using a higher wattage cellular transceiver of 1watt. Nobody has a handset with that powerful a transceiver

All stores should be required to show a map of the local calling areas. They charge more if you venture outside them so they should be CLEARLY shown and explained in depth.

Roaming Charges. Where would I begin? $30/MB! That's insane and can rack up within seconds. For example one search using Maps on the iPhone is ~10MB! Many consumers don't realize this and you would never think a reasonable charge for that type of services is insanely high. Tell us, does it really cost our providers that much for us to use these services? I think these charges speak for themselves.

If the advertised price is 55 dollars a month, that's what I should be paying, no extra data fees, no system access fees, data overage fees should be displayed clearly with the advertised price. the price that is on the poster or commercial should be exactly what I'm paying.

Advertised prices should be inclusive. One fee, whether you go to a corporate store or a dealer for that company. Dealer fees must be inline with the corporate store fees to prevent wild variations, hidden fees, and made up dealer fees.

These prices make up for network size though. For example TELUS may have a better plan in Manitoba because their network coverage is not as good as the competition. So they need to have some incentive to get customers.

Discrimination of other provinces should stop.

Often you will find smaller areas serviced by telecoms having better deals than on larger areas. I find this discriminatory.

The customer should get the same deal whether in Ontario, Nova Scotia, Saskatchewan or Alberta.

Consumer should never have to be bothered with extra fees. All necessary fees should be included in the price of the contract.

The advertised price should be 100% all fees included. There must not be the ability to be slapped with a hidden charge, nor must there be the need to look at the footnotes to figure out what would be added.

Fees are not clear right now. To make things clear, the monthly fees should include SAF, 911...etc. Also activation fees should be made clear, fees for text messaging (for those without a texting package) should be made clear and it cannot increase during a contract. In addition, fees for data (overage) and long distance needs to be made clear.

All monthly fees must inclusive of system use, 911, etc, must be included in advertised price. One-time charges to start accounts must be disclosed with the ads as well. Online ads must include a link to a web page that discloses all associated fees on a single web page.

Bundles

BUNDLES? ICK!

That's like marrying a whole family of lunatics, and not just one of them : )

I don't have much opinion on bundles, save that the carriers should be forced to advertise, as prominently as the 'special introductory price', what is the 'regular price' after any initial discounts expire.

Please protect consumers from this hiding of true costs!

Bundles
1. The ongoing cost on a bundle should be printed as large or larger than the introductory price

The phone's subsidy is not included into the price of the plan, like they do in France. That is why there is no difference whether it's your own phone or a subsidized one.

The prices are just that high.

On paper this is a GREAT idea, however, it will open up a whole new can of worms.

For one, companies are going to start creating bundles which cost less than each individual item and BAM right back to the original problem.

Then there is going to be outcry over "Just how much 200 min are worth" and standardisation between companies, because some charge more for the minutes but less for the texting.

But as soon as you standardise, you'll remove the competition aspect and are right back to the initial problems people here are discussing.

Build-your-own-plan
A build-you-own-plan (BYOP) option will give consumers greater liberty when purchasing a phone plan as its components will be based on personal need. Each particular feature would be purchased separately at a reasonable rate and would be bundled together, including tax, to equal the monthly bill. The BYOP option can also be programmed at a rate that the consumer is comfortable with. The BYOP option can be a customized plan that is static for the duration of the contract or a pay-as- you-go option.
In this BYOP plan, the consumer should be given the option for paying for the actual phone in their monthly bill. The payment of the hardware can vary month by month depending on the financial resources of the consumer, or it can be paid up front. Regardless the device itself should be fully paid for before the phone contract expires.

Every person is unique with unique needs. Cell phones should not limit individuals. They should get what they need out of their phone with no hidden fees and extra charges. People should be able to choose what they need on their phone without being subjected to sign-up charges and features that they never use. For example, people with young children may want to exclude the access to internet, give them unlimited texting and have 200 daytime minutes with free evenings starting at 5pm, and weekends, starting at $30 a month. When buying the phone customers should have the option on how much money they want to put towards paying off their phone on a monthly bill basis. With this, phones are easily affordable and customers get exactly what they need their phones to do without hidden fees and extra charges. There should be a capped fee where phones plans should not exceed with taxes the maximum of $70 a month. This would include everything possible in a phone plan.

We think that building your own plan should consist of one standard cost per add- on, and with that cost, you are able to pick and choose the add-on feature of your choice. For example, I am a student going away for University. It would be useful for me to have long-distance calling, long- distance texting, unlimited texting, my 10 and caller I.D. This means that you are able to design your phone plan to your specific lifestyle.
Choose your own plan should also go hand-in- hand with build your own contract. This is just another way for the customer to build their phone plan around their specific lifestyle. A customer should be able to change his/her add-on feautres if needed without extra costs. The customer would simply switch out one add- on for another.

Basic Services: The new Cell companies like Wind have the right idea. Provide a reasonable service and people will pay. This is 2012 and services like Voicemail and caller ID should not be extras that Telcos can gouge you for. Bell Still charges a DTMF fee for their landline phones (does bell know where i can buy a rotary phone anymore??). Stop the gouging and make Basic services like caller ID and Voicemail a basic free part of any phone plan (and that does not mean jack up prices to include another $15).

Here is my list. You'll find it's eerily similar to everyone else here. Wonder why that is?

- Changes to contract and pricing communicated to us (the customer) in advance (60 days or higher preferable) with the ability to either stay grandfathered in our current plan (until expiry) or the option to terminate the contract without any associated fees.

- Shorter contract length. If the 3 year contract is going to stick around, it should be at 100% off the price of the hardware, while the 2 year plan should see a higher percentage discount on the hardware.

- Call display and Voicemail should no longer be an add on. There is no reason those 2 things shouldn't be standard at the prices we pay.

- There should be significant discounts to contract pricing. Why am I paying $81/month on a 3 year term?

- The higher priced monthly plans should at the VERY LEAST include lots of talk, texting, data and features to justify it's pricing.

- Phones should either be sold unlocked or there should be the option to unlock it at anytime during my contract (for no more than $30 seeing as cancellation of my contract would cost hundreds of dollars!), with the option to get an unlock code FREE at the end of my contract.

- The amount of data being offered is a complete joke. We no longer live in a Blackberry only world. 500MB might have made sense back then, but with the smartphones currently on the market and the ones on their way, minimum 3-6GB should be offered in the LOWER PLANS!

Yes the code should apply when you purchase wireless services in a bundle. Additionally, carriers should not be allowed to advertise their default price as the bundled price. This occurs mainly in TV packages, where one of their packages will show $59.99, but upon further inspection, it is $70 if you don't have home phone and internet with them. The bundle discount should be treated as a bonus, not as a way to obtain the regular, promoted price. I fear if the code doesn't directly address this, similar issues will come to the wireless industry.

Agreed. Something like voice mail is clearly and extra service and you can quantify the value it provides and the cost to the carrier to perform that service. Caller ID is not an extra service that is provided. It is blocked unless the consumer pays for it, and being such a critical feature most do so. This is extortion, not a value added service.

This is a common and very deceptive practice. Caller ID on my bill is $8 - that is over 12.5% of my monthly price for a 'service' that my phone performs without any interference from the carrier. Sending this information to the device is as simple as flipping a switch. It is a few characters of text not different in presentation or requiring more bandwidth than an sms message. Being an 'essential' service doesn't allow power or water companies charge exorbitant prices and mobile providers should be allowed to do it either.

In order to maintain clarity, Bundled service discounts should remain separate from cellular charges and any discounts applied only to the additional service.

When bringing your own unlocked phone, or buying a phone outright, the cost of the service should be MUCH cheaper.

The monthly bill should be
[the price of the regular plan] - [the price of the hardware subsidy]

For example, when someone buys an iphone for 199, $520 is being subsidized by the carrier. A customer who brings their own iPhone should receive a discount of 520/36 = $14.44 per month for bringing their own phone. Instead customers get nothing (sometimes a measily 10% discount on their plan)

data only plans are already available.

There should be a standard bundle that includes basic service of voicemail, caller display and calling forwarding.

Bundles of services should have a better value to the customer.

Currently rogers offers family cell phone plans that are no cheaper then regular plans.

Caller ID, call forwarding etc were called "essentials" by the Big 3 providers but they are optional add on for a ridiculously high fee. If they are so "essential" then they should be part of the basic service and should be offered for free.

CallerID and Voicemail, Forwarding, etc .. should all be included even with most basic plans; free of charge.

Caller ID is simply blocked by the companies so they can charge us an arm and a leg for it. One can argue that Voicemail is extra, but caller ID should be STANDARD and come included with ALL plans.

The caller id and voice mail should be part of a standard plan and there should not be any additional charge.

There should be the ability to buy individual wireless services (e.g. only data plan for a cell phone) rather than a bundled wireless service (e.g. voice, text, data).

Bundles should never be designed to provide a service to certain customers that is not available at a competitive price in a non-bundle.

Notification of additional fees

NOTIFICATION = NECESSARY

How many GB did you use yesterday. Include your office (work) usage, phone, and home internet.

Do you have any idea?

Should you have to check 350+ times per year (> 1000 times in a 3-yr contract), just to keep abreast?

The carriers are in the unique position to know what is your current, real-time usage (aka 'unbilled usage').

Since data GB (especially) as well as to some degree voice minutes are *so* ephemeral it's impossible for a human being to know without having to relentlessly check.

Currently Telus advertises on their website that they notify customers when they are approaching their monthly allotments, and when they have just exceeded their monthly allotment.

In a conversation with Rogers about this merely a few days ago, Rogers claims their notification of users approaching 80% and 100% of allotment is a "courtesy".

It's a scummy company that doesn't proactively notify their customers when they are approaching and exceeding allotments. Maybe Rogers really is the scummiest of the 3 carriers.

In any case, please compel the carriers to notify users when 80% and 100% of their monthly allotment has been used up.

And this needs to be realtime, not within 4-hours timeframe, as the craptastic Rogers system informs its users that it is limited to displaying.

This is critical because:
- the ToS of the carriers usually state their accounting of usage is the final arbitrator
- the customers have no knowledge of what are the algorithms used by the carriers
- it's unreasonable to expect users to check daily to monitor their usage
---- Rogers recently made *even more difficult than before* to use their website to see your usage - it used to be somewhat front-and-center, now you have to click 6 or 7 more times just to see the same info. It's IMO impractical to use.

--------------

Finally a a word about uncharacteristic usage - if part way through the month my bill has reached double, or treble, my usually monthly amount I want my carrier to get in touch with me to see if I know that my phone is depleting my bank account at an exceptionally unusual rate.

So a carrier should suspend service to me if my unbilled usage is in excess of twice or thrice the average of my last 3 months. They'd be doing me a huge favour because I would never want to give them that sort of money and would take immediate steps to resolve the usage problem.

Or to put it another way, no customer with a bill of usually $50 or $100/month should ever see a bill for $500 or $1,000 or $10,000 for a single month, unless they've been explicitly warned.

I am currently on contract with Telus mobility and have experienced excellant customer service over the past 8 years that i have been with them, my only issue is that on my original line, I have a total of 3 all together I am still being charged a $6.95 system access fee which has been eliminated some time ago on almost every carrier. I know that I am on a grandfathered plan but if fees have been removed then it should apply to these plans as well

Notification of additional fees
1. A notification should have to be sent tot he customer when 90% of any usage limit is reached. The notification would have to come as a text or telephone message and should not count towards those usage limits
2. While romping internationally the cost of cell phone usage must be transmitted to the user and any change to this rate must also be sent to the user

First, let me say that, having traveled the world, I can say with great confidence that mobile and internet services in Canada are a joke - people in rural Turkey have better service and pricing than are available here. I can get a SIM card with 100 minutes of long distance to Canada in London, oe of the most expensive cities in the world, for less than a SIM card costs in Canada. Russia has better and more affordable mobile service than Canada. I could go on.

This is largely as a consequence of policies which protect the existing oligopoly from real competition. As Canada falls farther and farther behind the rest of the world in terms of telecommunications services and value, the government and regulators do nothing. Such is the power of the oligopoly. As to the people who claim this is due to Canada's size and population, I say open the gates to competition and let's see what happens.

I have little confidence this process will result in real change to anything of substance. That being said, I would ask the CRTC to investigate and correct the obfuscation used by Rogers in particular with respect to wireless data usage, in particular with respect to their 'wireless hubs'. This is important especially to rural Canadians because this expensive service is the closest thing we have to 'high speed Internet' (something which is taken for granted in much of the rural parts of even the developing world).

Rogers usage data is presented non real time. If you check it it says it was measured 4 hours ago (no matter when you check it, which is absurd), however, the data is usually a day or more out of date. It is also very difficult to find this usage information on the Rogers website as it is multiple levels down. Finally, the website says the plan is 'unlimited' usage, without pointing out that 1) it is, in fact, tiered pricing at 5, 15, and up to 20G pricing tiers, and 2) there is a $10/G charge over 20G).

I am an expert in high technology and I can tell you with complete confidence there is no reason real time usage data cannot be provided. The plan information is false and misleading.

Furthermore, you should receive an email alert when you pass certain thresholds.

This is important because of the irrational pricing model: $90 for the first 20 G than $10 per gig after than. Lets set aside the obscene pricing, and the fact it is non-linear. It is easy for a kid to check (outdated usage) and use 3G in a day, thinking he will remain below the 20G limit, only to find a $30 charge when the bill comes in.

It is transparent obvious that this obfuscation is being done to dupe customers into paying for higher tiers of service and obscene overage charges. There can be no other explanation.

Nation-wide calling
Many cell phone providers have eliminated long distance charges and embraced nation-wide calling. Nation-wide calling should be incorporated into all cell phone plans. Roaming should not be charged to users while in the country. A small amount of roaming should be permitted for Canadian phone users when out of the country (ie. allowing cell phone users to text and call).

Hey there Akeight,

It would seem that what you are referring to in the first part of your post is what is called an ''Online account''. Generally ''Online Accounts'' are created when a user opens a mobile phone line weither they signed a contract or not.

Through this ''Online account'' you can verify your consumption - just like a credit card - within a 2 to 4 hour delay.

I'm sorry if you have not heard of ''Online Accounts'' as they require the internet.

Well, Seanm2000 - can I call you Sean?

You see Keith, the United States is a country whose surface area is smaller than Canada's but holds ten times the population.

So when it comes down to the average price per user it ends up being that much more. Canada is a very large, very connected place with few people. It's the difference between owning your own mansion yourself and separating those costs with 100 other people.

There are two categories of Comments on these boards.

The first, where there are issues at hand which are called out and need to be addressed
The second, where people only want to have certain things for free because that is what is offered in other smaller more populous countries.

This thread falls into the second category.

Recently I purchased a new Samsung Galaxy S3 and due to some technical issues it said I used about 10 GB of data when I've never used more than 300 mb. I didn't get a notification until I'd reached the 10 GB ( I was on a 6 GB plan ). Luckily Rogers told me that they would credit me (although have not done so yet) but there should be safeguards in place to block any additional data usage when you reach your limit.

NO CHARGE for Incoming calls

In the traditional "low tech" form of communication by letter, Canada Post does not charge us for receiving lettermails or parcel post. Neither do companies such as Fed Ex or Purolator. In the high tech form of communication by cellphone, carriers charge us for receiving incoming calls, texts, etc.

There is no logic to it, other then MONEY gouging, isn't it?

Maximum monthly dollar limit (cap) for cellular services, including overage charges, that the client establishes in advance and is stipulated in the contract. For example, if a client's regular monthly cellular service charges are $50, the limit/cap could be $100. Once the limit/cap is reached, the client should be contacted about the overage charges and arrangements made for continuation of service until the next billing cycle. This provision is to avoid high cellular service invoices of $47,000 that we hear about in the news.
http://blogs.montrealgazette.com/2012/10/16/seeking-the-horrors-perpetra...

All chargeable options should be opt-in only.

I.e. if one wants to use a phone just for voice and sms, data access should not be possible (except for unpaid acceess to the intranet to check usage or expiry).

Same for long distance, roaming, international roaming, premimum sms messages (including replies).

If a parent buys a phone for their child, they should be able to cap usage by feature, destination and by cost: e.g. 450 mins per month out of 500, then just call the parents' numbers for the rest of the 50 mins, then at the per-minute rate. 500 SMS per month (with warning at 400) then block all paid SMS. 1GB data, throttle from 800M, then block (unless parent identifies with personal data (not data that would be known by family!!!) and unlocks for another chunk (never unlimited unless the plan is unlimited itself!!!)).

If an option is advertised as unlimited, then no actual limit or throttling should be imposed. If such happens, all advertising needs to be reversed (i.e. take advertising on all major tv chains and all places where the unlimited was advertised and deny it) and everybody should be offered a refund with an option to transfer the phone and number free of charge to any other provider.

International roaming should never be charged in border areas when a subscriber did not leave Canada. Phones and cards should be able to be configured to never roam or prompt before doing so.

Voice mail when a call is unanswered while in roaming should not cost. Changes to forwarding should be possible when roaming and free of charge.

While at it, a cost analisys should be made for roaming to align the charged prices to the real ones, now that intercommunication is much cheaper than a few decades ago. Same for long distance charges (no justifications to be more than what a landline charges for long distance plus the air time).

Here is my list. You'll find it's eerily similar to everyone else here. Wonder why that is?

- Changes to contract and pricing communicated to us (the customer) in advance (60 days or higher preferable) with the ability to either stay grandfathered in our current plan (until expiry) or the option to terminate the contract without any associated fees.

- Shorter contract length. If the 3 year contract is going to stick around, it should be at 100% off the price of the hardware, while the 2 year plan should see a higher percentage discount on the hardware.

- Call display and Voicemail should no longer be an add on. There is no reason those 2 things shouldn't be standard at the prices we pay.

- There should be significant discounts to contract pricing. Why am I paying $81/month on a 3 year term?

- The higher priced monthly plans should at the VERY LEAST include lots of talk, texting, data and features to justify it's pricing.

- Phones should either be sold unlocked or there should be the option to unlock it at anytime during my contract (for no more than $30 seeing as cancellation of my contract would cost hundreds of dollars!), with the option to get an unlock code FREE at the end of my contract.

- The amount of data being offered is a complete joke. We no longer live in a Blackberry only world. 500MB might have made sense back then, but with the smartphones currently on the market and the ones on their way, minimum 3-6GB should be offered in the LOWER PLANS!

We need to regulate Long Distance and Roaming charges. The wholesale rate for US roaming is presumably around $0.20-$0.25/minute (Wind Mobile and Mobilicity rates, for example), whereas the Big 3 are charging around $1.45/minute. Additionally, why, in an increasingly connected society, are long distance rates increasing? It costs me $0.45/minute to receive a call at the cottage from the person standing next to me, whose call is also operating off of the same cell tower. How can the carriers rationalize those charges, and the fact that for those same 45 cents, I can call across the country?

It should be mandatory that details regarding all kind of usage, long distance, picture messages, third party content, etc., should be available AT ALL TIME from the tools the customer can consult (within a 6 to 24 hours delay, similarly as details from your credit card purchases are generally available very fast). Morover, it should be mandatory the customer should have the option to be warned when using a service that is charged.
Too often, people don't know what they are getting charged with. If they received a notification that they are using something that is charged, they will learn what is charged and avoid these usage if it's important to them not to pay extra charges. On top of that, if they have the possibility to see all usage details from tools they can use at all time (websites, calling automated voice system, applications, etc.), it will allow them to avoid "bill shock" situations.

Carriers should not charge you for incoming text messages. One has no control over it. With a phone call, you can reject it, but with SMS, there is no way to do that. Bell used to charge me $0.20 per message for messages. I don't mind paying for stuff I use (so, if I sent a message, I don't mind paying for it), but I should not have to be charged for receiving them. Having switched to Mobilicity, it has been much better; they don't charge for incoming messages anywhere, whether in network or roaming.

I'm not sure how carriers get their roaming charges but we need to see them justify what they charge. When I roam in the U.S. I am using a U.S. carriers network. Why should Canadian carriers be making a profit off of a service they aren't even providing?

Carriers should be forced to implement incremental account blocks when a subscriber is incurring additional fees.

For example, let's say a customer has 1024 MB of data. Once the customer reaches that point, data should simply cut out and (s)he would immediately receive an SMS with the information that (s)he has reached the data limit and how much overage will cost (per MB, if not GB - prices in KB should NOT be allowed). The customer then can reply YES to the SMS signifying that they understand the terms, which would again allow them to use data. This should repeat every 512 MB, with total charges incurred so far.

Something similar can be applied to outgoing voice minutes as well.

Carriers should be forbidden from charging for INCOMING calls and especially SMS. While a user may choose to reject a call, there is no choice when receiving an SMS. Therefore, even SMS received while roaming should be free.

But, even incoming calls should be free. Just like with fixed lines, only the initiating party should be paying for the call. This should not be limited to a customer's local calling area. Providing that the customer is within their home network (not roaming), incoming calls should be free. All outgoing service calls (611, voicemail) should be free if the user is not roaming (no long distance charges allowed).

Caller ID should be mandatory. Carriers actually have to BLOCK this information if a subscriber doesn't pay extra. This means that it costs them not to provide us with caller ID.

Add on to existing contract should not become part of that contract.

I just recently completed a contract with Roger, no early cancellation, just completed my 3 year term and continued month-to-month. On that plan, approx at the 1.5 year mark, I had added a 500 MB data add on to bring my total data plan to 1 GB / month, that I was told it was just an add on. Not a new contract in any way. So having completed my contract term, I decided to shop for a different carrier because Rogers signal strength is not very good in my area. I changed providers and ported my number. I was told I would have to pay an extra 30 days to Rogers (I will comment on the cash grab that is in another post) but that would be the only cost. When I received my final bill from Rogers, I was nailed with a $65 early cancellation fee for that 500 MB add on! I was never informed that would be a cost I would receive. I had other add ons on my contract and they just went away with the contract, no extra "cancellation fee".

This type of cash grab should not be allowed, or at the very least carriers should have to clearly identify what would incur a cancellation fee on every bill statement and particularly when the user adds a new item. I have no clue how you can justify an early cancellation fee on a data add on that couldn't exist without a contract! And I in good faith completed the terms of my contract as required.

Cellular providers should provide email or text notification when cellular voice/data has exceeded the monthly allotment. There should be an opt in mechanism (text reply) to continue services with posted rates identified

I cancelled 2 accounts and paid the balance of the cost of both phones. The carrier charged me for an additional month of service on each phone account even though I was not a customer anymore. This is a cash grab for no other reason but to penalize you for leaving. This practice needs to stop because there is no service provided during this time.

Why is there a $35 administration fee to get a warrant replacement for my device when it is still covered under my 1 year warranty? Why is there a $35 administration fee when I upgrade my phone? I believe there are already enough fees that we pay for--exactly what does this $35 "administration" fee cover?

Create a maximum overage cost that is reasonable.

A customer should not get thousands of dollars for a bill, there needs to be a maximum overage that the provider should be able to charge for both voice and data.

If customer are getting charged for overages, there needs to be the ability to do the following:

1. Allow the customer to check how much usage they have occurred via text, phone and web.
2. Allow the customer to set a maximum threshold of how much data they are allowed to have before the phone network shuts them down.

Once subject to overage fees, send text message. Every $25 thereafter, send text message of the amount currently of overage.

When roaming, provide free a text message and phone message to user when overage reaches $50, which requires the user to call the service provider to a number not subject to a fee, in order to continue services that will result in further overage fees.

Notification by service provider (e.g. text to customer), must be without charge.

Too often I'm forced to pay additional fees on my wireless services. While being subscribed with Bell and Rogers, my cell phone bills would easily climb to double the subscribed amount.

Recently, I've switched to Wind Mobile and was impressed when I began receiving text messages regarding my subscription limits. Their notifications have allowed me to easily maintain my account and avoid additional fees and overage charges.

I believe it should be mandatory for all wireless providers to notify subscribers when the rates change due to roaming or when the subscribed plan reaches their limits.

Privacy policies

PRIVACY? YES PLEASE!

And yes, carriers should be forced to notify, explicitly, about changes to a privacy policy.

IN FACT, SUCH CHANGES SHOULD BE CONSIDERED MATERIAL, and if they could in any way be deemed as adverse then the rights of a customer to cancel (and port out) without penalty should be triggered.

Finally, the phone numbers dialed from, and the numbers that dial me should both appear on my bill (unless I explicitly request otherwise). This aids in resolving billing issues, helps the customer track usage patterns so they can determine if a feature or add-on (e.g. Family plan, or Rogers-to-Rogers) would be a smart choice for them to reduce their billed minutes.

I've asked a few times from reps at Rogers and they all parrot the same bull manure - they don't include the calling-party's number when they dial me because it's a "privacy issue".

It is no such thing - I get that info via CallerID at the time of the call so it's preposterous for Rogers to claim that privacy precludes them from giving me that info *at the end of the month*.

Please compel providing of full phone-number-calling-customer on the monthly bill!

Customer usage kept secret

Data on the usage of specific or otherwise identifiable customers should be kept secret. It should not be passed on to any third party (unless a search warrant is issued). These limits must includes any indication of the amount of usage of a line as well as geographical parameters and parameters of time or day(s).

A provider must not be allowed to sell user data, even if he writes such a clause into the contract or his privacy rules.

There is no need for an exception for contracts tailored for geodata purposes (like in logistics), because the disclosure would be towards the customer and not a third party. The customer could then decide to fwd the data to a third party himself.

Redacted numbers

If the account holder received itemized billing, it should not display the full telephone numbers that were called (or where calls where received from). The last four digits should be removed, e.g. 1-416-555-xxxx. Same for texting, videocalls, etc.

The account holder could ask for an unredacted version for future itemized bills if the account holder warrants that all users of the lines on the account have given their consent.

Privacy policies
1. Personal information should not be collected, used, or sold without the express permission of the customer.
2. Definitions of personal data that can be colleted by the carrier should be clearly expressed in the contract terms
3. Personal data or information collect with or without the express permission of the customer should not be made available by the carrier or any other entity with acess to the information to any persons or entities aside from the customer without the express permission of the customer or a legal warrant

I have not been a Rogers customer for over 4 years now but they still use my personal information to send me marketing material. Their marketing emails have an unsubscribe link but you cant unsubscribe unless you have an active account number with them. This means they get to abuse do not call lists and market to me without my permission. They must be forced to erase all personal information once someone ceases to be their client, or pay penalties big enough that its not a 'cost of doing business'.

Here is my list. You'll find it's eerily similar to everyone else here. Wonder why that is?

- Changes to contract and pricing communicated to us (the customer) in advance (60 days or higher preferable) with the ability to either stay grandfathered in our current plan (until expiry) or the option to terminate the contract without any associated fees.

- Shorter contract length. If the 3 year contract is going to stick around, it should be at 100% off the price of the hardware, while the 2 year plan should see a higher percentage discount on the hardware.

- Call display and Voicemail should no longer be an add on. There is no reason those 2 things shouldn't be standard at the prices we pay.

- There should be significant discounts to contract pricing. Why am I paying $81/month on a 3 year term?

- The higher priced monthly plans should at the VERY LEAST include lots of talk, texting, data and features to justify it's pricing.

- Phones should either be sold unlocked or there should be the option to unlock it at anytime during my contract (for no more than $30 seeing as cancellation of my contract would cost hundreds of dollars!), with the option to get an unlock code FREE at the end of my contract.

- The amount of data being offered is a complete joke. We no longer live in a Blackberry only world. 500MB might have made sense back then, but with the smartphones currently on the market and the ones on their way, minimum 3-6GB should be offered in the LOWER PLANS!

Number privacy:

Subscriber info should not be published unless given specific opt-in consent.
Opt-out should be available and at least as easy to perform as the opt-in (i.e. no more opt-in by voice and opt-out by mail, fax, registered letter and long delays).
Whether or not the info is published or the caller ID is shown, this should not modify the cost of the service at any time.
Just like caller ID, changing one's visibility for the directory listing (and the listing format) should be allowed to be made automatically, via phone or on-line.

Subscriber information should not be disclosed to any third party (except 911) unless explicit consent is given.

Subscriber info should only be used for billing and operation purposes and employees should only have access to it on a need-to-know basis (e.g. user calls and is identified first, police/ambulance calls about an emergency with the user (not billing or a warantless investigation) etc.)

Under no circumstance should information be given to a 3rd party unless the law mandates it and the 3rd party has the paperwork in order (verified, not promised).

IP addresses / phone numbers should never be considered as identifying a person. Info should only be released to law enforcement when warranted (i.e. warrant is presented) with the specific disclaimer that the person paying the bill is not necessarily the person who used a certain phone or computer. (Courts in the USA have already ruled on this.)

Communication with the customer should be at the customer's discretion (e-mail, secure web mail, postal mail, voice and/or sms notifications).

All voice notifications and SMS messages should only be sent at normal hours (8am-20pm, 10am Sat&Sun), subject to further restricting by the customer if requested. None of these should cost to receive or change.

If any option requires access from a smartphone to the internal network of the provider, the data access to the internal network should not be taxed. All web links leading outside that network from the intranet pages should be clearly labelled as such. (Virgin mobile already has this to check balance and expiry dates even on less-than-smart phones.)

Wireless phones should never be called for telemarketing unless the user specifically opts in for this AND acknowledges that they'll be called at that number for a SPECIFIC purpose.
Unsubscribing from such calls should be free and as easy as subscribing (no more subscribing by voice or by default and unsubscribing only by fax or registered mail in 90 days or more).
Same for short messages or e-mails to smartphones.

I am getting a lot of spam text messages. How is it that the carriers can allow spam and then want to charge you for a blocking service? I shouldn't have to pay extra for blocking strange messages. Where's my privacy? I never published my number so why should I have to get spammed?

I am getting a lot of spam text messages. How is it that the carriers can allow spam and then want to charge you for a blocking service? I shouldn't have to pay extra for blocking strange messages. Where's my privacy? I never published my number so why should I have to get spammed?

Privacy policies should be written in plain english, available and clearly identified on all carrier websites, and short and sweet. Customers should be able to easily identify and opt out of any marketing or solicitation practices implemented by the carrier.

Companies should not automatically enroll your phone number into marketing promotions without your permission.

No company should ever even ask to sell anyone's information, period.

Privacy Policy changes should be notified at least two months before implementation. Should a privacy policy change be made, the user should be allowed to terminate the contract and keep the phone without any penalty. The only time this should not be allowed is if it is a government mandated privacy change for the protection of the consumer, not the company.

Yes, in writing, at least 90 days before implementing.

Hardware warranties and related issues

Contracts are binding after 30 days. Carriers can refuse to unlock until the contract is binding, but after that the phones should be either unlocked or be able to be unlocked for a reasonable price. This would allow customers to use a previous phone in the case of loss or damage to the current phone, and allow for reasonable costs during travelling (the use of a single month contract/ fixed cost sim card). In reality locking is only required by companies that know that customers will hate their policies because if you like the company you will not want to leave!!!

1. Hardware warranties are simple. They should be the same length as the contract.
2. If a device is confirmed to be faulty in store, they should immediately be provided with a replacement device that is identical or better.
3. If no fault is found, they should be provided with the same device on a loan basis while the problem is investigated by the handset manufacturer.

Hardware warranties...what a joke, they should at least be the length of the contract. As most manufacturers warranties are 1 yr, then the Carrier should warranty the phone for the next 2 years if they want you sign a 3 year contract.

All plans should include Caller ID and basic Voicemail.

Nation wide calling should be standard and eliminate long distance calling within Canada.

Billing for length of time talking should be "per the second" not the minute.

There should not be a 30 day notification to cancel, this is a cell phone we are talking about. Same day or at most 24 Hr notification.

All cell phones should be unlocked, whether you are in a contract or not. If you are in a contract and leave early you still have to pay the early termination fee so why lock it?

Hardware warranties and related issues
1. Hardware warranties for "normal use" should be legislated to mach the term length of the contract. A three year contact should require a three year warranty, a six month contract should carry a six month hardware warranty
2. Third party warranties and their terms must be clear expressed in the contract document

When you sign a new contract now, the carriers will tell you your phone is under warranty for 1 year and that you will be provided with a replacement phone while yours is being repaired.
What they don't tell you is that the replacement phone will not be the same phone you put in for repairs and what they don't tell you is what is not covered under the warranty.
usually their first question is " Did you drop it" or " it looks like water damage" so they can get out of providing the warranty.
the warranty should be stated in clear layman terms and address all of the above, you should be provided with the same replacement phone for the duration of the repairs.
Warranties should last the period of the contract not one year.

'Owning' your device.

I agree with your general point: what are your rights when you buy a phone? You must have the right to use that phone on any compatible network. Neither the carrier that you bought the phone from, nor the owner of the network you want to use should be allowed to interfere with this.

For me the SIM lock is the least of my concerns because I can easily go the my local mall or a website to get the code to unlock it. There other, worse, ways that the carriers could interfere with this right, e.g. if they structure their prices and plans so you can only get reasonable price service if you buy the phone from them.

1) If the carrier is going to lock the phones, customers should be able to unlock the phones for FREE once the contract is over. If the customer wants or needs to unlock the phone during the contract for any reason, we should be able to get it unlocked with an applicable fee.

It's unfair the carriers lock the phones because even when the contract is over, we are still bound to the carrier. In order to change carriers, we have to buy a NEW phone or sign a new contract.
In a way, we are still under a contract with the service providers.

2) The manufaturer's warranty should cover the contract term and not just 1/3 of the term. When the phone breaks half way through the contract, it doen't make sense to have to pay a full price for a brand new phone to finish off the contract.

If a phone is bought on a contract, the warranty should be covered by the carrier for the length of the contract. This should include phones bought on a 'tab' (as a 'tab' is basically a contract too).

all phones should be unlocked. It should be illegal for a carrier to lock a phone so that it only works on their network.

Planned obsolescence.

It's totally insane how handsets are now becoming obsolete even before the contract expires (but they are still carrier-locked).

1) carriers should provide security updates (from the manufacturers) for all phones that they sold in the last 5 (five) years at least. None of these updates should interfere with existing secure apps already on the phone (as in "you have to upgrade to version xxx and after you do you'll notice that the apps x y and z for which you paid $$$ would stop working or lose data"). For example, if one pays 90$ for a GPS application, one expects to be able to use at least as long as an 80$ physical car GPS.

2) same for popular older phones (i.e. many customers use a certain model) even older than 5 years

3) never should a contract outlast the manufacturer and carrier support for a handset. If that should happen, the provider should exchange the phone for free or allow for an upgrade with only the price difference based on features or allow for early cancellation with NO penalty (can't still charge for a phone that's not supported anymore if it has security or performance issues).

4) the warranty on any phone should be at least the length of the contract.

5) insurance (at a cost) should be available against damage or theft (also see the posts about blocking stolen phones unless found and identified).

6) the collusion between manufacturers and carriers should be curtailed, just like it is in Europe or even stronger (no more special carrier-spyware or bloatware, no more carrier-lock).
No more "buy this durable handset and these long-lasting $uper overpriced acce$$ories that will be obsolete before next year".
Apple wants to sell iphone5 to Canada? Nice. Just make sure that all software works at least as well as on iPhone4 (Maps, I'm looking at you!) and that accessories are compatible. And don't get me started on Apple's updates (downgrade maps, add some more software locks and restrictions, slow it down even more, make it obsolete, kill it if out of warranty, like the update that disabled the wifi on old phones). Same apple needs to unlock (carrier AND software) all handsets that are out of warranty.

The main functions of a cell phone (voice, sms) have not changed very much in the last 20 years. They should not get obsolete every year, then. New phones should come with newer or better/faster functions, not with killing perfectly good old apps or old phones just for the cash grab.

Here is my list. You'll find it's eerily similar to everyone else here. Wonder why that is?

- Changes to contract and pricing communicated to us (the customer) in advance (60 days or higher preferable) with the ability to either stay grandfathered in our current plan (until expiry) or the option to terminate the contract without any associated fees.

- Shorter contract length. If the 3 year contract is going to stick around, it should be at 100% off the price of the hardware, while the 2 year plan should see a higher percentage discount on the hardware.

- Call display and Voicemail should no longer be an add on. There is no reason those 2 things shouldn't be standard at the prices we pay.

- There should be significant discounts to contract pricing. Why am I paying $81/month on a 3 year term?

- The higher priced monthly plans should at the VERY LEAST include lots of talk, texting, data and features to justify it's pricing.

- Phones should either be sold unlocked or there should be the option to unlock it at anytime during my contract (for no more than $30 seeing as cancellation of my contract would cost hundreds of dollars!), with the option to get an unlock code FREE at the end of my contract.

- The amount of data being offered is a complete joke. We no longer live in a Blackberry only world. 500MB might have made sense back then, but with the smartphones currently on the market and the ones on their way, minimum 3-6GB should be offered in the LOWER PLANS!

Warranties on phones should be all inclusive and be for the life of the contract. The carriers are making Billions on the plans, they should have no problem covering device failure. Abuse the system (3 strikes) then maybe your paying a deductable, but as it stands you can't rely on the carrier, the manufacturer or the supposed 'insurance' plans they charge extra for.

I don't believe carriers should be responsible for anything beyond the manufacturer warranty. That being said, they must also stop allowing 3 year contracts. To sign someone up for service that lasts 3 years and offer them a device that only has warranty for 1 year is insane. That leaves consumers in a 2 year window where they are obligated to pay for service no matter what happens to their phone that no longer has warranty. 2 year contracts decrease the time consumers are left without manufacturer warranty. As well, carriers could sell a 1 year extended warranty to remove any possibility that a consumer is left on the hook for services that they cannot use due to a malfunctioning phone.

Typical hardware warranty periods are 12 months. Operators should not be forced to automatically extend these warranties, but should instead offer "handset insurance" for a nominal fee ($5-10/month).

Devices sold outright must be unlocked on the spot, free of charge. Once a contract is expired, the carrier must (upon request) provide an unlock code, free of charge.

What is there was a security flaw in IOS that caused a virus to be able to steal data from all of Apple's phones? What if a patch was released to fix this security flaw? What if this update was never approved by Rogers and provided to Rogers customers? And then what if some peoples data was stolen... Would Rogers be liable for this?

Anyone can agree that updates to software are very important for security and avoiding fraud, identity theft and viruses in this computerized world. Your smartphone has personal data inside it... and can be comprimised in many of the same ways that computers can.

Currently software updates are VERY SLOW to come to some phones. The hardware or software vendor produces an update with enhancements, bug fixes and security fixes and the carrier then has to add their own software and test that new software. This takes too much time or in some cases does not even happen. For instance my Nokia N8 on Rogers is two releases behind what Nokia has put out to the rest of the world. This should not be allowed to happen... if Rogers is slow, or has stopped supporting software, then I should be able to install the Nokia update from Nokia directly to protect my phone, enhance my phone, and keep my personal data safe.

I believe the consumers need some protection in this regard.

Hardware sold should be of suitable quality for the purpose intended, and for the duration of the contract.

If the LCD display dies for example at month 30 of the 36 month agreement, a replacement must be made available for the remainder of the contract term, or the contract should be terminated.

I had a phone that was no good. The carrier just kept giving me the run around for months I had no phone to use. They blamed hardware company and did nothing to help me. The carriers should be forced to give you something to take place of a phone thats being serviced under warranty. Otherwise stop charging you the monthly fee until the hardware is replaced or repaired. Its not fair that they keep charging you for a service that you can even use.

Should wireless companies disclose warranty policies and extended warranty policies for cellphones? If so, when and how?
Warranty policies should be disclosed to the customer prior to any agreement. Give us a pamphlet that explains everything. We're not afraid of reading. I would suggest that the carrier provide warranty for the duration of the contract that is not covered by the manufacturer.

If your cellphone is being repaired, should service charges apply? If so, when and how?
If "service charges" refers to your regular monthly bill then yes, they should apply, but only if you are provided with a loaner phone of equal or greater value. Otherwise the next bill should have its price discounted to account for the time you were without a phone.
If "service charges" refers to any fee for repairs, then they should only apply if the phone is not under warranty or in cases where the warranty doesn't apply. Otherwise no service charges should apply to a phone being repaired.

Under what circumstances should you be able to unlock your cellphone?
Unlocking should be free. We are already tied to carriers via contract. It is provided for free by carriers in the US (T-Mobile comes to mind). Make it simple for us to take our phones abroad and actually use them locally.

All phones should be sold unlocked, Whether you are on contract or not. This will make it easier for consumers to switch networks. If I'm going to travel overseas, I shouldn't have to ask my carrier to unlock it for me, it should just work. If I buy a phone, I should be the OWNER, not the carrier. Locked phones are an outdated practice that needs to be abolished. I am already going to be locked in with a contract, my phone doesn't need to be locked also. Carriers also sell phones at full retail price that are locked.

The wireless code needs to clearly state my rights. If I buy my phone from a carrier, what rights do I have? The code needs to clearly outline that I am the owner of my purchased device, and shall not be tampered with ( This includes the locking of the device and/or carrier branding ).

EDIT: Just to clarify my point, Carriers should not be allowed to alter or change, in any way, the manufacturers product.

Hardware warranties should be align with the length of a contract. Carriers should be required to unlock a phone free of charge at the end of a contract. Whether the user cancels or it just ends. If canceled the user should have to pay their bill in full.

If the phone is purchased from the carrier on contract and is transferred to another account on the same carrier the phone should still be supported by the carrier/manufacturer warranty. Also if the customer chooses to leave the company but needs their phone serviced during the warranty period, warranty service should still be provided.

There should be no such thing as a locked phone. Even if I sign a contract, I should still be free to put in any other sim card so the phone can be used on any other network on the planet.

Manufacturers should sell the phones. Carriers should sell the services.

There should be no locking mechanism for phones in Canada. If a phone can be purchase from the manufacturer without locking, then it should be handed that way to the client. Locking phones is a protection for the telecoms, not the consumer.

If the company subsizes a phone, upon the contract ending, that phone should be automatically and free of charge, be unlocked for the customer.

If a company sells a phone, full price, then that phone should be unlocked free of charge to a customer.

If a phone is subsidized by a company, then the duration of that contract should be how long the company should be mandated to provide service for that phone.

If a phone is subsidized by a company and it breaks due a reason other than abuse, then should an acceptable loaner (equivalent device to the phone that is getting repair) not be available, then the service charge for the duration (prorated) that the phone is being repaired should be credited to the client.

Phones should have a manufacturers warranty for the length of the contract. As a cellphone salesman I often see people who are passed the standard one year warranty and a manufacturing defect makes their phone unusable.

When this happens the customer is still obligated to finish their contract. So they typically have three options:

1) Pay a monthly bill for a phone that does not work
2) Renew their contract early, paying off whats owing on their defective phone and resigning on for another thee years
3) Buy a phone at full price to ride out the rest of their contract

Carriers should warranty the phones for manufacturing defects for the length of the contract. I'm not asking them to cover loss, physical damage, or water damage... these things are usually the clients own fault. But if their LCD fails, or the device no longer turns on due to something loose on the main board, they shouldn't have to pay from their own pocket for something like that

I had to pay $700 for a phone that's worth half that price, just to omit a contract commitment. Then was forced to deal with ebay sellers to get an unlock code. Unacceptable!

Once a customer finished their contract, if the customer desire the courier should unlock the device. Right now couriers like Telus and Rogers unlock devices even the iPhone but Bell does NOT unlock iPhones. For devices that couriers do unlock the fees are very high, upward to $50. Unlock fees should reflect the amount of time courier put towards it, at times very little as they only need to generate a code.

Carriers should always provide the ability to unlock, though subject to contract termination fees if applicable. Unlock fees should be capped at the cost of unlocking plus a modest service fee.

Carriers should be required to offer cell phones unlocked at competitive prices.

Phone warranty should be disclosed along with a purchased phone or contract, as applicable.

Loss or theft of hardware

If there is lost or stolen hardware:
- There should be a tracking system put in place or lost or stolen phones. Fee's for this service should included in the contract
- Condition for replacement of lost property should be part of the contract
- Canada should have a blacklist for stolen phones
- If the phone is broken or stolen an option to start a new contract should be offered

Canada is the only country that does not use a black list for lost or stolen phones and that needs to change.

Loss or theft of hardware
1. Any data collected by the carrier where expressly permitted or not should be consider the shared property of the customer and carrier, and should there for be available for tracking stolen or lost property. Fee's for this service should constitute part of the contractual document
2. Condition for replacement of lost property should constitute part of the contractual document
3. Remove wiping of customer data should be made available for all customers. Fee's for this service should constitute part of the contractual document

Everything you are saying is already in place by all carriers.

The only way for the carrier to know if the if the phone is stolen is by the user calling them. Once the user says the phone is stolen, the account IS suspended and the IMEI placed on a "Black list" / Negative file.

That IMEI can not be used with the carrier.

What is needed, and being implemented (but not soon enough) is the National Stolen database which will, infact, work with international networks.

This needs to be implemented MUCH sooner than September of next year.

I had found an iPhone 4 in the snow last year.
The phone was locked, so I couldn't call anybody inside.
I called Fido and they were able to track the owner using the SIM number.
The owner had no home phone number listed, but they left my name and phone number on their account to be able to contact me.

A month went by with no answer.
I called back and the Reps where not able to locate the account because the SIM number was changed on their end (they got another phone)

The owner lost their phone not because of lack of trying, but because there was no proper system for phone tracking and retrieval.

Stolen/lost phones should be added to a NA/Global IMEI blacklist.

Found phones should be able to be traced. (At the moment, the finder is directed to the nearest store but no tracking takes place, not even an invoice given that would state that the shop is now in posession of the phone. This is wrong.).
The owners should be contacted ASAP and should be reimbursed if they purchased a replacement already and wish to recover the old phone instead.
Pre-owned phones should never be re-sold without wiping and re-imaging in order to protect personal data and prevent viruses.
Found phones should be removed from the stolen lists.

One should be able to call 611 from any disconnected phone and check whether or not that phone has ever been reported as stolen. If a phone can't call 611 without a card, any card should allow the call as long as the phone accepts it. If no such card is available, any store (franchised or owned) should check that for free. Also one should be able to call the carrier's toll free number from any other phone and be able to check a phone's status given the serial number (the operator should provide a walkthrough for the proper identification of that phone and locating the serial numbers.)
Stolen handsets have to be retained at the store and details of the potential seller checked (or police called with the details and photo of the potential seller). Potential buyers should be notified about these opportunities (always call 611 or 1-8xx-xxx-xxxx to check a phone or go WITH the seller at any store to check it). The store option should be recommended since it's safer for a buyer than to call a pothed a thief in some dark parking lot where craigslist/kijiji users meet.

When a carrier's store sells an extra charger, it should check the phone against the stolen list.
(Actually, any operation a store does on any phone should include that check.)

Stolen handsets:

All providers should maintain proper black lists of phones declared stolen.
When putting a phone on the list they should verify the caller (i.e. that they owned and had access to the handset before it was reportedly stolen) and should provide for a means to declare it "found" and unlisted if the owner misplaced it instead of losing it.
Also, all providers should properly reject any connection from stolen phones (except to dial 911) and also report to the police the whereabouts of such phones (and if one calls the ambulance from a stolen phone, also send the cops his way).
For imported handsets, they should do the due dilligence and communicate with the other providers that use phones in the same system to check their black lists.

This should probably be pushed all the way to ITU, given that the handest stealing (or even outright robbing) is a rampant phenomenon.

Also, there should be an option (independent of stealing) to suspend an on-going contract without penalty for a specified duration (at least the length of the contract and at least one year whichever is more) in order to allow for periods of unemployment, hospitalization, trips abroad etc.

Cellular provider must track phone IMEI
and report to a North American database repository so that ALL North American providers "blacklist" that phone from use on the network if reported lost or stolen

A national lost or stolen phone data base. Based on IMEI, ESN or MEID etc. Also have it well advertised.

Stole Hardware should be targeted and returned to a customer upon a valid police report.

Cell phone companies are the ability to track your cell phone, they should work with special units to track users cellphones and be able to recover that stolen property.

When the cellphone is reported stolen upon a valid police report, IMEI is blacklisted and your contract suspended if you do not have another phone.

You should also be able to remove the blacklist once you can prove you purchased it legally.

Once the phone is lost or stolen, it should auto-self-destruct and billing terminated.

Stolen phones should automatically cause the carrier to appropriately suspend the contract, without altering the contract features upon re-activiation.

Stolen phones should be able to be placed on an IMEI blacklist immediately.

When a cell phone is reported as lost or stolen, and the carrier is informed (after proper verification of the owner's ID), the carrirer should immediately suspend the charges on that line. For those phones that are capable of being remotely wiped, the owner should be given the oprion of having the phone wiped. The owner should then be given the option to completely deactivate the phone, or allow it to continue to be activated if there will be an attempt to get the phone back. If the owner chooses to deactivate the phone, the owner should be informed that there will not be any way to track the phone down; the owner will then be informed that the IMEI of the phone will be placed on a "watch list' to allow tracknig, or a "deactivated list" depending on the owner's decision. After this is done, the owner will be informed that the phone will be placed on a stolen goods registry with the police. This will prevent things like having the phone sold to a pawn shop, or even having it replaced at an Apple store outlet.

The wireless code should clearly state that carriers MUST deactivate devices that have been stolen. Service charges should immediately stop. They have the capability to do so. Period.

Security deposits

Reasonable Security deposits $250.00 maximum is reasonable, $600.00 for a $400.00 phone is idiotic (Telus) I have two phones from rogers $100.00 deposit for each is completely fine they are telling me yes you have defaulted in the past but we will give you the benefit of the doubt.

November 19, 2012

To: Office of the Minister
Telecommunication
Office of Consumer Affairs
235 Queen Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0H5

Cc: Office of the Minister
Consumer Protection Branch,
Ministry of Justice and Attorney General
1919 Saskatchewan Drive, Suite 500
Regina, Saskatchewan S4P 4H2

Dear Minister

I am writing to issue a complaint on 2 fronts with respect to against SASKTEL on my cell phone. My complaint has reached your office as a last result after numerous attempts to resolve this matter with Sasktel call center agents. I am also unable to reach any senior staff to resolve these issues. Let it be known that your decision to enact policy leading monopoly in the cellphone industry in my opinion is leading to abuse of power and financial strangulation of poor consumer. In most cases we have no recourse as in this case.

In January 2011, I applied for cellphone because I needed it but I was made to deposit $250.00 from using my credit card as no cash was accepted. I was made aware that as a new customer I needed to provide this amount to show am able to pay for my cellphone for the next 6 months. I obliged. I have consistently paid my phone bills in full or carried over partial balances on questionable charges but for the parts 12 months I have paid my phone in full.

As I write today, I owe zero dollars to SaskTel and yet several attempts to ask for my refund as been met with conditions and explanations which leaves me to think as a consumer we have become pond of cash for corporate excessive abuse of consumer rights. Furthermore, statement as attached shows the amount held as deposit but as I am saddled with the interested charges of 19.5% from my credit card company for each month for the past 12 months, SASKTEL does not show any interest on my deposit.

The next issue is a double billing for service each month and this I find is done to all consumers in Canada. The charges in my opinion is unfound and is corporate thievery because charges Smartphone text and data twice in the same month on 2 lines shows abuse of consumer and it seems to me that as less and less of Canadians complain and lack recourse such abuse of consumer coughing will continue unabated.

I urge your office to take the necessary step to rectify my issue and I demand a full refund of my deposit immediately with the same 19.5% credit card interest for the each month on the principal of $250.00.

Thank you for taking the time.

Cheers

Issah A. Zabsonre
112 – 110 Street West, Apt. 21
Saskatoon, SK
S7K 1R9
Cell. 306-321-2945

Security Deposits are results of credit checks and happen when "a person's credit rating indicates that the person has a repeated history of failing to make payments."

So... yeah. Basically what they are doing right now.

It's not merely about making sure they don't give phones to frauders - they want to make sure you are able to pay your bills.

Why would a company give you a 600$ phone and trust that you are going to pay your 50$ + bill if you are unable to make payments on time or even have money in the bank? It's illogical and bad business.

Having a deposit guarantees the company the money it is lending you (because it IS lending you money in terms of subsidies and service before you pay) and gives the user an incentive to pay on time.

Not only that, but without deposits people would just be refused service. As such, you can have service and the company is secured.

What Security Deposit? most users pay on average in excess of $50 a month for the privilege of using a cellular service. With a very well evolved credit rating system in Canada there should be no need for Deposits.

The security deposit amount should be optional and only cover: the cost of a subsidized handset + cancellation fee and the prepaid cost of minutes of airtime / forwarded calls / short messages / net access that a user is willing to pay. If a security deposit runs out and a user has no credit, service should be temporarily suspended with no charge to resume.

Speaking of cancellation fees, they should be zero. The only fee should be the pro-rated cost for the subsidized phone. When a phone subsidy ends, the contract price should go down accordingly if the contract still is in use. Phones should not be locked, since contracts take care of the subsidies.

Absolutely not! No security deposites period. What would be the reason for a carrier to retain a security deposite? They already have checks and balances in place to ensure they are not selling a phone and contract to John Q Criminal / No Credit, so what purpose does a security deposite serve other than another money grab?

Security deposit equivalent to max 3 months of base monthly plan rate.

Security deposit should be permitted if a person's credit rating indicates that the person has a repeated history of failing to make payments.

Disconnections

DISPUTED AMOUNTS ≠ DELINQUENT

The carriers have legitimate reasons for disconnecting a customer, typically for payment delinquency.

However, if the customer is disputing a charge, the amount of that charge should not be factored into any delinquency balance.

This protects customers from the sloppy billing systems of the carriers, and puts the burden upon the carrier before they can take any negative action.

The CCTS can be deemed to be the arbitrator of whether the charge is legitimate or not, and 30 days after the CCTS process has run its course the charge can be considered by the carrier to be past due and a trigger for disconnection.

This would be the most fair.

To permit carrier to disconnect for delinquent (yet disputed) amounts is to permit them to hold the customer's service hostage and gives them no incentive to correct billing errors that harm the customer.

remove please

In such a situation, the user should have to pay the undisputed amount or the average amount of his monthly bills from the last year.

Disconnections
1. Carrier uptime and allowable downtime should constitute part of the contractual document. If there condition are breached credit should be given to the customer. Fee's for this service should constitute part of the contractual document.

You don't even need a SIM card in any given phone to be able to call 911.

My signal strength is so poor that I have to go outside onto my driveway. I have complained but I am locked into contact. They should have to show that they have a plan to fix the problem. All they say is that our technicians are looking into it. So why do I pay top dollar the highest prices in the world for poor service? After all the carriers each take in about $500,000,000 a month so why won't they fix it?

911 service is retained anyway. That is what SOS, or Emergency means, when you see instead of where you would normally see Rogers,Telus,Bell etc.

Disconnections should only be allowed under the following conditions:

- Failure to pay three consecutive bills.
- If the reason for a disconnection is not due to failure to bill payment, then the phone, if subsidized should default to the client at no extra cost to the client and the remaining subsidy forfeit.

Someone should call you from retention to notify you of disconnection. Not some email oh btw you owe us money, like we need it, we got billions in our accounts .. but YOU owe us $34.xx ..

Whatever notice the carrier requires for customers to cancel their services, the same should be imposed on the carrier for wanting to cancel our services. They should be able to cancel for non-payment of services after a 60 day period, or for any other reason provided they offer $0 cancellation fee (and no hardware subsidy required to be paid back), porting of the number to another carrier, and free unlocking of your phone so that you may use it on another provider.

Disconnection should only occur all of the following available methods have been used to communicate upcoming disconnection text, voice mail, and mail. Service should not be disconnected until at least 2 weeks after mail notification (ie to allow for delays).

911 service should be retained after disconnection for 30 days.

Other issues

PERMIT SERVICE BLOCKING

I'd add to my comment above, that carriers should be required to permit a customer to block any service (so as to help the customer prevent incurring undesirable charges), e.g.:

- airtime in excess of the customer's monthly allotment
- all national long distance (or national long distance in excess of the customer's monthly allotment)
- all international long distance (or international long distance in excess of the customer's monthly allotment)

- all SMS (or SMS in excess of the customer's monthly allotment)

- all data (or data in excess of the customer's monthly allotment)

- all roaming voice (or roaming voice in excess of the customer's monthly allotment)
- all roaming SMS (or roaming SMS in excess of the customer's monthly allotment)
- all roaming data (or roaming data in excess of the customer's monthly allotment)

The only reason the carriers don't offer this customer-friendly service, is obviously that they'd rather surprise and gouge the customer

No Metered Billing (Usage Based Billing / UBB)

Open Media's recent "Stop the Meter" campaign showed that Canadians understand that metered or usage based billing is not a fair way to charge for internet access. It's not fair for traditional terrestrial wired internet, and it's not fair for wireless data plans.

I propose that the wireless code prohibit carriers from charging for data by usage (by the Mb/Gb, Metered Billing, Usage Based Billing)

That's just not how networks work, and Canadians know it. Carriers should be required to charge for internet access in a manner which more closely aligns with the cost of providing that service e.g. all-you-can-eat at different speeds, all-you-can-eat with peak-time based billing, etc.

As more and more internet usage moves to the mobile space, it is increasingly important that unfair usage based billing for wireless data is addressed.

Network Neutrality

To prevent anti-competitive behavior and ensure fair and equal internet access for all, the wireless code should require carriers to adhere to the principals of Network Neutrality (Net Neutrality) when providing data services.

This would mean each piece of data is treated equally by the carrier, regardless of source, destination, or content. This would keep carriers from giving preferential treatment to internet traffic accessing internet resources owned by them, and slowing down internet traffic to internet resources owned by competing companies.

As more and more internet usage moves to the mobile space, it is increasingly important that these principals be pursued for wireless services to ensure a free and open internet.

Carrier Control of Devices (Tethering / Account Sharing)

Imagine you buy a new laptop to complement your desktop PC at home and want to use it on your terrestrial (wired) internet. You plug your laptop into your router next to your desktop PC but the internet doesn't work -- your internet service provider (ISP) says it will be an extra $5 per month to use your internet account on a second device.

Canadians wouldn't tolerate this with our traditional wired internet, and we shouldn't tolerate this with our wireless services. Carriers charge a monthly fee to access your wireless account from a second device (i.e. you have a data plan on your phone and you want to access it from your tablet too.) They also sometimes charge for or outright ban you from trying to share the connection directly (tethering).

I propose that the wireless code prohibit carriers from controlling what devices you access your account from. Should you purchase a new phone, tablet, or laptop with a built in data antenna, you should be able to insert your SIM card and use your wireless account without any blocking, interference, or extra charges from your carrier. Should you wish to access your account from multiple devices, an additional SIM card may be required which would understandably have a very small one-time fee, but an ongoing fee should be prohibited.

As wireless data services and multiple wireless devices (i.e. the growing tablet market) become more prevalent, it becomes increasingly important to enshrine this consumer protection into the wireless code.

Prohibit Carrier Locked Hardware

Imagine purchasing a new car which had a device installed to prohibit the car from filling with gasoline at any other service station other than those owned by the car dealer. The car dealer will remove the device for you... for a fee.

Canadians wouldn't tolerate this, and we shouldn't tolerate such an arrangement for wireless services. Carriers sell devices (phones/tablets/etc.) which are locked to only function on their networks, and charge big fees to perform the relatively simple task of removing the lock that they had added in the first place.

I propose that the wireless code prohibit carriers from selling carrier locked devices. Consumers should be free to use their device with whatever carrier they wish.

If they travel, they would be able to purchase a limited plan from a local provider and use it on their device while away. It would allow consumers to use multiple accounts on their device to have larger reception coverage or take advantage of cheaper long distance with one carrier and cheaper data with another. It would make it easier for consumers to switch carriers, which would make the wireless marketplace much more competitive and benefit us all.

This simple inclusion in the wireless code could make the wireless marketplace drastically more competitive in a relatively short time.

The wireless market in Canada should be opened to foreign competition. It would offer Canadian consumers more choices, better plans and better prices. Canadians pay amongst the highest wireless rates in the western world. By opening up the market place I have no doubt, like many other Canadians, that this will not cause Canadian telecom companies to fail but will rather make them more competitive and will be a benefit to the Canadian consumer.

Refuse Services

It should be possible to request the deactivation of services like Premium Text/Calls, Data, Texts and/or Voice. If there are zones, it should be possible to deactivate services that would incur long distance charges. The first deactivation in any year should be free of charge.

More and more Canadians get caught by unexpected charges - for example someone who does not want to use data, so they don't have a data plan, but then their phone downloads a massive update. This results in surprisingly high bills, unhappy customers and extra calls to providers' call centres. If the customer could just opt to NOT have data service at all these issues could be easily avoided.

Foreigners are allowed to control an operator with a tiny market share only. And no US carrier can "operate" in Canada because they would either need to build infrastructure or have access to reasonable roaming rate.

But this is not a topic for the Wireless Code.

The country is simply too large. Someone would start building a house in the middle of nowhere and then the government would have to build a tower? Come on.

I also oppose the notion of government operated networks. History shows that such telecommunication networks are inefficient, very expensive, employ proprietary solutions and result in very slow modernization cycle. On the contrary, Canada needs more *nationwide* competition.

But: None of that is an issue for the Wireless Code. You missed the topic. :-)

Support for Homeless

I would like to see an initiative from the wireless providers towards services for the Homeless and other people in dire need. Wireless prices in Canada are extremely high. Phone booths are fare and few between and expensive as well. Noone can hog phone booth for hours waiting for a return call.

Canadians who are homeless or in a similar situation need access to telecommunications so that they can apply for jobs, get in touch with authorities, call 911 in an emergency, get in touch with the Nurse hotline of their province, obtain information on support services, etc.

A very basic, very affordable prepaid service with free incoming calls and texts would suffice. Various countries have different models for such an offer - some are taxpayer funded, others are funded by the operators according to their revenue market share.

Some of Canada's networks have multi-million dollar contracts with the government (i.e. taxpayer). All Canadian wireless networks use public resources, starting with spectrum.

They should work something out.

Intl. Roaming Protection

International Roaming is extremely expensive for Canadians. It should only be activated on explicit request. The customer should have a simple, free means to deactivate it once has been activated.

This is especially an issue for Canadians living close to the border or who travel to such a region.

Bill Shock Protection

There should be an automatic cost limit of $50 (or higher if the account owner explicity requests it). If the costs on a line go higher than monthly charges + $50, all services that are not included in the cost shoudl be stopped until the account owner confirms that he is aware of charges and wants to keep using them. They could do so online, send a text message, call the service centre, go to a store, etc.

This would protect Canadians against Bill Shocks.

Line Disconnection Stay

If this is about disconnections of lines because bills have not been paid: If the amount owing is under dispute because of an alledged violation of the Code, the complaint process should include the option of a stay of a disconnection. A user should not be disconnected because of unwarranted charges.

In such a situation, the user should have to pay the undisputed amount or the average amount of his monthly bills from the last year. It should not be allowed to report this incident to Credit Bureaus.

Once the process has been finished, whatever is owing will have to be paid without interest within a reasonable amount of time, unless the issue goes to court.

Telephone Directory

There needs to be a clear, simple, free and fast process to have a wireless phone number appear in the telephohne directory (and to have it removed). The CCTS told me that I have the right to have my name&number published, but the wireless provider sends me to some landline company who turns me down. Its just not working.

Protection against Premium Services

Premium Services are usually very expensive and often of questionable value. A single text message can cost several dollars, consumers are not aware of this and notice notice weeks later. Some operators refuse to disable Premium Services. At the same time, some free services offered by thirs partries remaind underused because savvy consumers are afraid of extra charges. Other countries have seen massive fraud with Premium Services, for example with randomly sent Premium text messages. Also, stolen phones have been used for Premium Services.

The new Code should include a provision that Premium Services are only activated on explicit request (could be done online, could come with an activation charge). Furthermore, a consumer that has activated Premium Services, should have the right to deactivate them (at least once a year for free).

You should limit how much providers can charge for data overages. My personal experience informs my request: I updated the operating system on my phone, and after it started cyclically rebooting, wiped my devise and did a reinstalled at my provides tech departments advise. I then reloaded my saved programs and Data and the reboots began again, so I wiped again and did not reinstall my data. Anyway a wayward podcast program began to download and did so all night because the setting to only do so on wireless went unchecked. So I was over 3 or 4 gigs and my bill went from 65.00 to 350.00. After I phoned and explained, they offered me a 50.00 discount and that was it. This totally Unconscionable. I was 2 gigs under my limit the next and phoned to see how much refund i'd get and of course got nothing but a snort in reply .

It is understandable that if a phone is offered for next no nothing that you must sign up for a contract and the phone would be locked.

However, if I choose to NOT sign up for a contract, I want more options for buying unlocked phones.

Also: DO NOT force me to get into a contract just to get a better pricing plan! Currently if I opt to NOT get into a contract because I want to use an unlocked phone, then my wireless provider usually coerces me into a contract by only making the better deals available in a contract form!!!

Please give choices, if I want to avoid contracts, i should not have to sign up for a contract just to get the "better" monthly rates. Having to pay for the full retail cost of the phone is understandable in this case though.

Why is it that Bell closes my Mobility account on the 12th of each month: dates the bill statement the 22nd, but does not release it online until the 28th of each month. Coincidentally - the same day that they bill my credit card! Telus does it in 1 day. My Verizon account takes 1 day after closing - and then is billed 22 days later. I consider this normal business and gives me a chance to correct mistakes, etc. The $40 mistake that Bell made last month to our Mobility account has to wait a complete month to be applied. When I talk to Bell they tell me that One Bill takes an extra 5 days. This is for 3 mobile phones only. I have 5 phones with Verizon - doesn't slow them down a bit and they have 92M customers!

Service providers are not basically charging twice for the same call. Your friend is not being charged for making the call and you are not being charged for receiving the call. Both you and your are being charged for the minutes you use while on the call. When your friend is talking it uses bandwidth to go from her phone to the tower and then the switch (where calls get routed from one number to another). The call then goes from the switch to the tower to your phone. When you respond to your friend the reverse happens. So essentially you are both paying for the bandwidth between the switch and your phones.

Other Issues
1. Telecommunications companies have a significant advantage over customers when entering and negotiating contract with the customer. It is the duty of the Government of Canada to foster a competitive environment within the telecommunications sector and to allow competitive parties to enter that sector where this would be to the advantage of Canadian Citizens as a whole.
2. Collusion, price fixing, or other underhanded business tactics must be actively policed by the Government an Regulatory Bodies of Canada in order to protect our Citizens from price gouging in this non-competitive telecommunications environment.
3. Population sparse area of Canada require specific and active representation in telecommunications licensing negotiations so that they may gain fair access to the rest the Country and World as a whole.
4. The Canadian Government should be negotiating rates for international data an telecommunications access with foreign Governments.
5. As data, text messages and voice communications are all packeted data they should only be charged under the terms data. The terms text message or voice minutes should be eliminated or legally defined in terms of data used fro that protocol.

I've been with Rogers for a 22 years and a loyalty program doesn't existent. A long time ago, they asked me to pick from two gifts. One was a magazine subscription and the other was a (believe it or not) 1gb flash drive. I didn't want a subscription so I opted for the flash drive. It's 2012 and I'm still waiting. There should be something in place for long time loyal customers. I know I can change providers but I travel and need the coverage. I can imagine that there are a few of us out there that are loyal to a certain provider but the 3 year contract has to go. If my wife hasn't upgraded her phone in years, and wants to, then we have to sign another 3 year contract. If my phone breaks just after we signed the dotted line or I'd like to keep up with technology, I have to pay a ridiculous price to get out of the contract and start a new one. Changes have to be made. If I signed for a 3 year contract, it should be for 3 years, regardless if I want to buy a new phone every year or two. I shouldn't have to renew the contract every time. With today's technology changing every 6 months, it's hard to keep up with something that works better and faster.

Carriers should be forced forced to give a 50% discount when their service is not being provided at 100% for more than 2 weeks and be FORCED to inform clients and offer free upgrades when they are no longer working on correcting a service problem. Here is my example. Sasktel Mobility sold me a Smartphone connected to the 3G network in September of 2011. Two weeks later I find out through the news that they were having problems with the 3G network PRIOR to my buying the phone and locking into a 3 year contract but were expecting to have the problem fixed by January 2012. A year later I was still having the same problem with dropped calls (as were friends of mine with different phones but still on the 3G Network). I found out through various sources that Sasktel Mobility was no longer putting time/money/effort into fixing the 3G Network but were instead devoting resources to the 4G Network. I had lost my phone and through extra insurance it was replaced but upgraded to a phone connected to the 4G network because they "didn't have my 3G phone in stock." Since then I have had no problems with dropped calls. Had my particular phone been in stock, I would be subjected to yet another two years of less than reliable service but still forced to pay the same monthly fee. Will also mention that at the time my phone was re[laced/upgraded I was informed that Sasktel Mobility's 3G and 4G were the same thing. Obviously they aren't.

Other than being held more accountable for the services provided during the terms of a contract, I have no real problem with contract lengths as I feel they are a fair compensation for a discount on a product purchase. I think getting a 600.00 plus phone for a 50% or less discount depending on your contract length is a fair deal. Carriers just need to be held more accountable for the services they claim to provide. The CRTC should also consider fines to the carriers for not providing service as advertised and making timely repairs to networks/services the carriers are providing.

How texting works:

Your phone is in constant contact with the towers, sending out 160 characters of gibberish every so often. Basically talking with the tower "I am here, are you there? Cool? Cool."

When you send out a text, it replaces the gibberish by what you wrote. If it is less than 160 characters, the rest is filled up with gibberish. So yes, essentially texting is free because it uses a band that would have been used anyways.

However, it does cost the company money to operate those bands, to power the towers that receive the texts, maintenance etc, THAT costs money and that has to come from somewhere.

Is texting overpriced? Companies offer 5$ for unlimited texting and picture messaging to Canada and international numbers. Whether you find that fare or not, I can not say.

Stop the 3 year contracts altogether

the number one complaint I have with all cell phone carriers is trying to get through to them by phone, there is never a time that they do not have the standard "we are experiencing a higher than usual call volume" and then you end of waiting on hold for hours.
this has been going on for years and nothing has been done, they are all communications companies yet they provide the worst service in that regard.
it seems obvious to me that they need to hire more staff and instead of having you wait on the phone forever they should give the option of leaving your name and number and having them call you back within a reasonable time frame.
The CRTC should be fining them for the way they conduct business presently.

Why mobiles and not land lines?
Why must they be "forced" to include nation-wide calling?
Already there are several providers including this on the same plans which did not include it last year (Fido, Virgin, Koodo)
This is already being implemented little by little.
But forced? You seem to just want things for free. The wireless code is not for this.

I agree, there needs to be a clear and simple way to adjust the number of rings.

Not to mention that we are being charged TWICE for the voicemail. Once to actually get it (5-8$) and a second time because it uses up our minutes. It shouldn't use minutes for a service I am already paying extra for.

Franchises need to be properly and and clearly indicated.

Franchised locations have a HUGE difference in costs and operational quality.
They also give the client the impression that this is true for all locations.

Just to give one example
Virgin does not have any activation costs
However, at franchises they regularly charge people 35 and 50$ as well as 10$ for the SIM. Not to mention all other "service" charges the normal company does not have.

Another example are Bell franchises who charge 35$ just to change the serial number on an account with a phone you already own yourself. The same goes with new SIM cards not only do they charge you 5$ for the SIM, but another 35$ charge to apply in on the account - thus 40$ just for a SIM card.

For the percentage of calls which are telemarketers do on cellphones, I don't think that is necessary.

What you have to keep in mind is that cellular providers are just that, providers of cellular services. The phone is merely the gateway to the service.

That is why you can't go into a Rogers and buy a Galaxy SII LTE and walk out. The company does not make any money.

HOWEVER

You should be able to go into a Futureshop or BustBuy or do this. They do not make their money off contracts but by selling electronics. Like Laptops, tablets or some sort of mini tablet that could make calls with the carrier of my choice...

Fido, Virgin, Koodo.

These brands exist primarily for brand protection. Example, if Disney wants to release an Adult film, they use their Touchstone brand. Same thing with mobiles. If Telus, a premium provider, wants to sell cheap phones at low prices they use Koodo. As such, Telus is not viewed as "Cheap" and retains the moniker "Premium".

When we go out of our "Local" area, we are charged long distance. This is fine. But with several Companies there is no way to know the boundaries of your local area.

That... that last part...

So your answer to bad customer service is... worst customer service?

-"Hello, I would like to purchase your services."
"Oh, I'm sorry, I can't do that today. Come back tomorrow."
-"But I'm here now, you're here now..."
"Yeah, no. Goodbye."

Carriers have such lists (Negative Files). IMEIs are not able to be activated with the carriers who carry them. The problem is that when activating an unsubsidised phone, the actual IMEI is not used as it would give back a false credit check report.

There is also a very large privacy and legal issue with cellphone tracking. Other than having an app (which becomes useless as soon as the SIM card is removed i.e. the first thing any thief does). The only legal way to track a cellphone using the towers is with a Police warrant issued if there is immediate personal danger to somebody (Kidnapping).

For about oooohhhh six months now? Canada has passed a law which allows international carriers to operate in Canada.

The issue with this is that carriers can share the same structure, but not the same Antennaes. Because of this, carriers would require a VERY substantial investment to come in and build their own infrastructure whose network would be hard pressed to compete against the others.

What we need to is make the antenaes shareable to smaller companies.
This will in turn reduce the price for network growth.
However, there needs to be limits as if too many people are connected to the same tower, there are physical limits to bandwidth.

1- Yes
2- Telus is actually the one which comes up with new plans.
3- The same way that Touchstone is Disney. It's mostly about brand preservation. If Disney wants to make an adult film, the produce it as Touchstone. If Telus wants to sell lower end phones with cheap Plans they Market it as Koodo.

4- Because of the way Virgin brands work, it was always going to belong to Bell from the onset.

5- By that logic Rogers should not own any Newspapers. And Loblaws should not sell clothing. The only thing that would result from applying this is those same companies creating separate sub brands, the the Telus / Koodo dichotomy you hate soo much. There is also an advantage in having more than one service from one Company, i.e. reduced costs on part of the user.

6- Waaait what? If they are MONOpolies how exactly do they have Competitors? They MONOpolies. You keep raising issues about Monopolies. Whoa re these Soo-called Monopolise? Perhaps you are talking about Comglomerates? Like Bell or Rogers?

7- Watching TV on your mobile is a plus. The companies are not Taking AWAY your right to watch somebody else's TV on your phone, they are GIVING you the ability to watch services you have paid for using another.

You should not have to pay extra to obtain higher mobile speeds. If the network is capable of LTE and you have an LTE Sim, why do you have to pay an extra 10$ per month to have the same amount of date as HSPA?

That's a good question. Never even though of it that way. I guess it's logical for a pre-paid customer to be charged minutes for checking voicemail because vm is included for all pre-paid customers, but I agree that post-paid customers should not get minutes reduced for checking vm when you are already paying for the feature.

Agree with the first paragraph

100% Disagree with the second.
For one, Selling unlocked phones promotes fraud.

Secondly, Rooting or Jailbreaking your phone breaks the warranty. Periode. Apple does not even allow it. Apple even went so far as suing the people who figured it out. And no, there is no possibility of having a Rooted phone with an unbroken warranty as this gives the user access to ... well, root abilities such as Processor speed. Make it go to high, burn the phone. Claiming warranty due to direct user damage is just daydreaming.

Thirdly, not all companies have Access to the IMEIs of other companies. Virgin in Canada is not the same as Virgin in the US or France. If that is what you are asking, it just not feasible for the same reason that Rogers or Bell aren't all capable of sending texts to the same providers. Those are agreements between individual international companies and can not be mandated by the Government.

Cellphones should be unlocked without charge once you have paid off the value of your phone, whether that is because you cancelled early or because you have reached the end of your contract.

Ban SIM/Device Locking. All phones should be sold in an unlocked state even when subsidized.

SIM locking makes it very difficult to travel with our cell phones. It prevents us from using our phones with a local in-country SIM while travelling and induces Canadians to breach their warranty contracts by performing unauthorized locks simply to make use of a device that we are "supposed" to own.

If carriers have subsidized the purchase price of the phone, the contract for that subsidy should serve as the method by which the carrier will recover the cost of the subsidy. SIM locking should be banned completely.

This is already done in some countries like Singapore. Singapore's telecommunications regulator has ruled that the competition clause in mobile carriers' licenses means SIM-locking is not allowed.

Why is there no category for Billing on this site: The biggest issue consumers face from Telcos is billing. The code needs to make telcos accountable for what they bill us. Dont tell me those incoming spam SMS messages that start arriving on my phone were sent by a third party who you have no control over. If you can chage me $5 - $10 a message on my bill you better have control over them. This is the biggest scam pulled off by these Telcos and the CRTC has only recently pulled them up. Billing errors should not be used as an excuse to overcharge customers in the hope they dont notice.

Late Fees: Anyone look at late fees lately...They hover anywhere upwards of 2% a month. That 24% and up a year. I think the Telcos need to decide if they are in the Telecom business or the Payday loan business. anything more than 4-6% a year is highway robbery.

'Open Access ' Networks and Phones - like in the U.S.

Please ensure that we can bring our own devices to the Canadian networks! We might want to buy a phone outright from a store, use an old phone that a family member is no longer using, or switch a phone from one carrier to another. We might want to buy a phone directly from Apple or Google or RIM (or some small company without the clout of these big guys), and we don't want the carriers' to be able to block them.

This requires a couple of things. There are a quite a number of posts addressing the contract/billing issues that make it difficult to bring your own device (BYOD) to your carrier. The other concern is that, if those issues were addressed and this practice became more common, the carriers would erect various other roadblocks to prevent devices that don't have their approval from working easily on their networks.

That 2nd issue is what 'open access' rules in the U.S. are supposed to address, but Canadian consumers could actually benefit much more then U.S. consumers since our networks have a much greater degree of compatibility with each other! Some of this would be covered in spectrum licenses, but some should be in the new CRTC Wireless Code too.

The principle could be stated something like this: If we pay for the service, and we lawfully own a device that conforms to the standards and that is compatible with the network then no barriers should put in our way.

And there is another aspect to this - kind'of the reverse of the above - the devices that the carriers' sell should not have any artificial incompatibilities that prevent consumers from using their phones on other networks. So not only can you BYOD to your network, but you can take a device purchased from your carrier to another network.

(I'm not talking about SIM locks - that issue is addressed in many other posts here and is well understood.)

A GSM device should be able to work very well on all networks that support the same frequencies - that's one of the points of the GSM standard - but a carrier could request that a phone manufacturer make a phone that does not work, or works poorly, with a competing network. This is more insidious then a SIM lock because the consumer will not understand what is happening. Here is an example. The original firmware of the Canadian Samsung Galaxy SIII had the 'Fast Dormancy' (a feature of some 3G networks) set such that a phone moved from the Bell/Telus network to the Rogers network worked, but very poorly. This incompatibility was quite unnecessary. I will assume that it was unintentional and that it was probably fixed in the next update, but it was still a reminder that there are means - other then the SIM lock - of preventing users from effectively using their phones on competing networks.

Obviously consumers can't be expected to figure out all these things - we need the CRTC to enforce them for us.

How come, when I pay 8$ per month to get a voicemail, minutes are taken away from my plan and I'm still charged for all my calls to listen to my messages? When we pay for a feature, it should be all-inclusive, not charged twice and thrice.

Erm most handsets are able to block data and use only wifi. I have an LG and I can block data, and I can also block roaming data on it.

I agree with this. Most prepaid customers have very poor choices for prepaid plans, it's horrible, Telus probably have the worst.

Pay as you go agreements... if I pay for a phone and then put $50 on the system, why should any balance left over be cancelled at the end of 60 days? I paid for so many minutes! Why should I be penalized if it takes me over 60 days to use it up!????

I totally agree with your point about content neutrality, but I think that network neutrality must be designed carefully.

For example, the carriers would be quite happy to let bittorrent traffic impede the use of Skype. I personally would like to see all my real time traffic (e.g. Skype and Youtube), and interactive stuff like webmail prioritized over people's bittorrent and download data.

Prepaid/postpaid customers should not be charged for:

1) incoming calls should be illiminated while in local calling area, and while calling still within carrier's network
2) should be charged for calls per second, not per minute (Fido does this, except for prepaid)
3) postpaid customers should get caller ID included with packages
4) 911 should be free
5) roaming/or ld should be illiminated (I don't get why consumers are charged twice, sometimes as in the case with Fido, both charges are the same price.
6) prepaid customers should not have expiry of 30d/60d on whatever money they put into their account. That money should stay in the account until it is fully used.
7) no 30 day ahead for cancellation

I like your post. I worked for Fido for three years in one of their call centers, I wasn't paid enough to do this job. It was hell, after three years, I had to leave, I was getting sick almost every day, physically, and mentally. I'm still on medical leave two years after I quit this job.

End 30 days notice to cancel services. If I want to end my services, I should be able to end them the same day I call and not 30 days later.

In regards to your pre-paid services... what is the worst possible thing that everyone hates?? It is losing the money you put into your prepaid service at the end of the 30 or 60 days. That is absolutely unacceptable... if I put 25$ in my prepaid account with Telus and don't spend it within 60days, I lose all my money. This has made me so angry on so many different times. I'm not a heavy user, so I always end up losing whether I put 10, 25, or 50$ into my account.

Pre-paid cell users should not lose their money at the end of 30 days, 60 days. Whatever money is put into the account should remain until it is fully spent no matter how long it takes. It is simply not acceptable that carriers can take one's money like this.

issue #1:

the cell phone carriers should not be permitted to lock the phones to their service. if I travel internationally I don't want to be forced to pay their insane roaming charges. I want to purchase a sim card in the country I am in and use it locally there.

For example under Taiwan's fair trade law, it would be considered illegal to lock the phone to a carrier. you want to keep a customer, give them good service and fair price

issue #2:

we shouldn't be forced into 3 year contracts to get a better price on our monthly fees

Wasn't sure which discussion group to post this in (seems to span a few of them) so I'm posting here.

Since this forum is about my smartphone contract. I thought it might be good to read it. The contract is 7 pages, and with a few exceptions, fairly easy to read.

Here are my thoughts.

I agree with everyone else who has commented that 24 month contracts should be the longest allowed, for all the reasons listed by the other posters. If the CRTC did only this, that would be a huge step.

Here are the parts of the contract that I do not like:

- My contract says bell can contact me for telemarketing messages. Dis-allow this.

- My contract says that my plan rate may change if I move to another province. Dis-allow this.

- My contract says that I do not own the telephone number that bell assigns to me and that bell can change it at any time. That is ridiculous. Dis-allow this.

- My contract says that if I transfer my phone number FROM bell to another provider, that I must pay bell what I owe them up to that point (perfectly reasonable) and any monthly charges for 30 days after the transfer request (ridiculous - dis-allow this).

- My contract says that unlocking the device may void the warranty. My opinion on this is that providers should not be allowed to lock devices in the first place. That being said, unlocking a device should NOT void the warranty. Dis-allow locking of phones by providers.

- My contract says airtime is rounded up to the nearest minute and data is rounded up to the nearest kbtye. Why!? This makes no sense. Surely bell's computers can do a little division if I only use part of a minute. Dis-allow per minute billing.

- My contract says "Bell reserves the right to require immediate payment in full of amounts, whether billed or not, that are inconsistent with your normal usage pattern." What does this even mean? How does Bell determine my normal usage pattern?

- My contract says that I can not use my device if such use: "is for multi-media streaming, continuous data transmission or broadcasts, automate data feeds,....". Really? Then every commercial I see for new phones where people are watching TV should not be allowed on Bell's network. 

- My contract says that Bell can change any part of my contract (where not prohibited by law) as long as they notify me 30 days in advance. Come on.

- My contract says that if you cancel a prepaid account (which the contract allows at any time), that any balance on the account is non-refundable. 

- I have to admit that I only scanned the "Additional Conditions for Smart/Phone Care Plan" (since I never buy extended warranties). But I do recall the bell salesperson trying to sell me this with the line that Bell would replace my phone no matter what happened to it. Well, turns out that the exclusions for this coverage goes on for about half a page.  

Other thoughts:

- Any service that will result in an overage charge should be clear to the customer before it happens. In my case, if I call someone on my Fab 10 list, I still get the recording that long distances charges "MAY" apply. The conditional nature of the warning and the fact that it is wrong in this case, makes it useless. The notification of an overage charge must be clear, timely, non-conditional and accurate.

- I currently have a monthly discount with bell but this is not reflected on my mybell account page. I am charged the correct amount but I think the website should show the discount.

texting should be free

the crtc needs to realize that sending/receiving text messages is essentially free to the carriers, so the price for it that consumers pay should reflect this fact.

up-front disclosure

Not necessarily illegal but mandatory to be disclosed up-front including in any avertising with the same font/strength/time as the price being advertised.

Also they should be refunded totally if service is cancelled during a mandated cool-off period.

We need more competition, let the American carriers in.

Right now if you do not agree to pay every month for an Ipad contract and you only agree to a Pay as you go plan you are denied LTE speeds. If you opt for a Pay as you go plan you should be able to use all the speeds that your device is capable off.

My cell phone was cut off this weekend - no one at MNI Mobility could or would tell me why - I had to tell them I contacted the CRTC, the CCTS, my Laywer and finally the RCMP - they restored my cell phone after I threatened 'Police' intervention - WHY?

I also noticed the GST was not correct - I am being charged an extra cent each month - not much I admit for one person - but what if a million people are being charged this extra penny - it totals 10,000 dollars a month or 120,000 a year - enough to feed several families - where does this money go and who is getting it?

Another issue is: Why am I being charged 20 cents per text I receive? I did not ask for these texts so why do I have to pay for them - Last month cost me over 107 dollars - and for what?

As a Nation we need to stand up to these people and say NO - I am not going to take this any longer (dream on sunshine - no one will follow)

CRTC should now recognize that there is no actual competition in the wireless market in Canada at the moment, so it should start actually regulating prices for all 3 incumbents.

1) Bell and Telus are hand in hand with their wireless networks (in fact only one network where users roam transparently between Bell and Telus towers). That's cooperation, not competition.

2) the only "competitor" is Rogers which colludes with Bell+Telus in almost all offers (but still cannot match the coverage of Bell+Telus even after it bought Fido)

3) the many "independent brands" are either 100% owned by Rogers (Fido, Chatt-r, 7-11 speakout, Primus Wireless, CityMobile) or Bell (Solo, Virgin) +Telus (Koodo, Mike) or way to small to actuall compete (Public, Videotron and Wind have spotty coverage at best, sub-standard phones and non-competitive data plans, if any)

4) the Fido acqusition by Rogers should not have happened, same for Bell buying Virgin. There are already too few nation-wide carriers.

5) companies with monopolies should not be allowed to also deal in related fields (e.g. land lines AND wireless, cable and wireless, land lines AND cable, any medium AND content providing) especially not 2 monopolies or oligopolies (all landline incumbents are the same as the wireless incumbents, I mean come on!). We should have an anti-trust against these.

6) all monopolies should offer fair at-cost access to competitors or virtual operators on the monopolized parts (not 48-hours delay on DSL servicing, for instance, or double price-gouging for dry DSL). Both end-users and competitors should be able to quickly complain or escalate such to CRTC.
When offering at-cost access, they should not be allowed to subsidize their own access or make their own end-users better offers that are inaccessible to competitors' end-users (e.g. high-speed DSL for bell but not colba.net, instant service for own but 48-hrs delay for competitors' customers etc.)

7) total network neutrality. No network-specific offers (watch bell-TV on Bell mobiles only etc.)
When possible, conglomerates should be broken (e.g. the same company should not own TV stations, TV cable and/or satellite, landlines, wireless and internet infrastructure).
I understand that for historical reasons, some companies have had both landlines and DSL or TV cable and internet cable (that's kind of normal), but the same companies should not, for instance have voip. (Internet + VoIP should be allowed FOR THE MOMENT only to small competitors. If any competitor (I'm looking at you, teksavvy!) grows too much, they should split the phone and internet business.)

Let's not forget the reps in the call centers, the poor and often forgotten and abused (by customers but especially by the carriers) headset jockeys.

If they would be treated more like human beings, we'd all be happier.

1) they should be allowed to unionize (one union for all carriers or several federated unions).
This should be facilitated by the CRTC (so they should not need "help" from the mafia as traditional labor unions needed in the past).

2) be allowed time off unpaid when needed (if that decreases overtime pay, so be it; the choice between banked hours and overtime should not affect their ability to take time off)

3) always be paid overtime (or allowed to accrue banked hours at their choice) when working overtime for any period. (Also be docked time pay for tardiness or long lunches, but at the same rate as the usual pay.) If they choose banked hours, those should be at the same rate as the overtime pay (e.g. time-and-a-half or double-time in either time or money, since time is money after all)

4) hire more reps, don't just keep a bunch doing calls back-to-back while customers wait 30 mins on line

5) ensure small wait times for the phones

6) train the reps, then give them access for what they trained for. Allow trainees without access to transfer/escalate calls when the customer needs it

7) make them aware of the new CRTC code

8) CRTC should provide whistleblower protection as well as anonimity and easy ways to call for any employee or subcontractor etc that has information about a carrier violating any of the terms in the new code. If the carrier is fined, the whistleblower should get a reward (untaxable for the whistleblower (the carrier should pay the taxes on it) and untraceable for anyone that does not need to know the actual identity of the whistleblower. Actually offer codes instead of identity checks for such payments so as not to jeopardize present or future employment or contracts of any whistleblower.)

9) if such protection fails, heavy penalties should be levied against the persons who disclosed whistleblower identity information as well as against any employer who takes any action against the whistleblower. The whistleblower should receive at least the same pay as in the employment (average for the last year or the period of employment if shorter, indexed for inflation) until the situation is resolved (i.e. they get a stable job of at least 1 year with same or better pay).

10) attempts to "watermark" any memos or training materials or any other possible proofs should be punished the same way even when there would be no other whistle to blow (since otherwise they could be used against a whistleblower). (Well, the movie industry has been known to do this and greedy execs tend to copy bad behaviour if not punished.)

11) any profs submitted to the CRTC should be re-copied and/or rephrased to avoid such watermarking and the originals should only be provided to judges or experts hired or summoned by the judges or whistleblowers (not by the carriers!)

12) any action against union organizers should be treated the same as what I said above on whistleblowers.

13) make it a duty to blow the whistle for any employee that has been trained on the CRTC code and witnesses any violation thereof (especially when being asked to do it himself in training or informal communications). Mandate that all changes of orders for employees be in written form (or at least as a retainable and easily copiable e-mail message).

14) Employees should be allowed to disclose any company procedure they have been asked to follow (except for technical details and passwords, of course), especially "customer handling procedures", "employee handling procedures" for bosses and HR etc. If in doubt, only disclose to CRTC that can judge what can be disclosed and what should be censored (e.g. passwords, avenues to cheat the system etc.)

The above are needed because headset jockeys are the most abused (been there, been that) and the existing laws are week or beyond their reach.

Support and trouble resolution times

If you cannot support existing customers, sure as death+taxes you can't support MORE customers.

In order to eliminate all the nasty tactics that carriers use to effectively DENY users their support, they should be forced to prioritize support over sales.

That is: a refund should be at least as fast as a charge. While there is any dispute, there should be no charge until either the customer is happy or the CRTC rules against them and there is no ong-oing court proceeding (including small claims).
Any sale should be reversible for at least 30 days (with all "consumed airtime/data" charged at the company-wide (that includes all brands) minimum possible rates, i.e. as if the customer had chosen the plan that would charge the least given the actual consumption; the phone number should be reserved for porting to another company for at least 60 days, unless the customer specifically asks for it to be released.)

Also, a support call should be at least as fast as a sales call. If a user thinks that support takes too long to answer, they should be able to verify this by calling sales. Sales reps should either help the user or STOP SELLING ANYTHING (company-wide, including all brands sold) until all users get support (to ensure that the carrier does the correct prioritization and punish them when they don't). If the same user calls from another line and records that another sales rep offered a sale while support is still not offered, the company should pe penalized for 24hrs to not sell anything or refund one day to all users who bought something that day or weren't offered support that day.
Times when a customer stays on-hold for more than 5 mins should be reverse-charged at the pre-paid rate per minute, as the customer is offering the service of waiting. This should take care of support denials, fake "we receive a high number of support calls" messages and the like.
(Real area wide outages should be 1) declared to crtc 2) entitle a special IVR message - "if you experience this booboo in that area, please press x" and then a long explanation with an option to turn back to support if the call is for anything else. Still no sales until support for all else is provided.)

Here is my list. You'll find it's eerily similar to everyone else here. Wonder why that is?

- Changes to contract and pricing communicated to us (the customer) in advance (60 days or higher preferable) with the ability to either stay grandfathered in our current plan (until expiry) or the option to terminate the contract without any associated fees.

- Shorter contract length. If the 3 year contract is going to stick around, it should be at 100% off the price of the hardware, while the 2 year plan should see a higher percentage discount on the hardware.

- Call display and Voicemail should no longer be an add on. There is no reason those 2 things shouldn't be standard at the prices we pay.

- There should be significant discounts to contract pricing. Why am I paying $81/month on a 3 year term?

- The higher priced monthly plans should at the VERY LEAST include lots of talk, texting, data and features to justify it's pricing.

- Phones should either be sold unlocked or there should be the option to unlock it at anytime during my contract (for no more than $30 seeing as cancellation of my contract would cost hundreds of dollars!), with the option to get an unlock code FREE at the end of my contract.

- The amount of data being offered is a complete joke. We no longer live in a Blackberry only world. 500MB might have made sense back then, but with the smartphones currently on the market and the ones on their way, minimum 3-6GB should be offered in the LOWER PLANS!

I believe carriers should not be allowed to install carrier specific software. If they must, then you the user should be allowed to uninstall any software that you don't want. Also phones should not be sold unlocked at all or should be unlocked for free after 30 days of service. If they are to charge for an unlock it should be no more then 10$. Also please BAN 3 year contracts, they are a farce! 2 years should be the maximum as most cell phone warranties don't even go beyond a year!!!

Cellular infrastructure should be regulated and deployed by THE GOVERNMENT and not by private interests. Cellular companies should pay the government to lease tower space and in turn, the government should make cellular an essential service covering 100% of Canadians!

Not 95%, not 97%, not 99%...100% of Canadians should have coverage!

Software/firmware

Carriers should not: install specific software on handsets without opt-in, install any software that would collect user data without full disclosure and specific permission, should not mandate such software for access to any feature or program, should not restrict the use of software on a customer's handset (unless that handset is leased temporarily, such as for tourists), specifically should not limit the functionality of a terminal to mandate expensive downloads through the carrier (ring tones, wall-papers, music etc.).

Carriers should only sell unlocked phones (contracts take care of subsidies, not locks). Unlocking should also pertain to software choices (called "unjailed" on some sites). The only unlocking fee (which should be capped to about 10$) should apply when unlocking a phone locked by a foreign provider, after verifying that is has not been reported as stolen to that provider.

Stolen handsets:

All providers should maintain proper black lists of phones declared stolen.
When putting a phone on the list they should verify the caller (i.e. that they owned and had access to the handset before it was reportedly stolen) and should provide for a means to declare it "found" and unlisted if the owner misplaced it instead of losing it.
Also, all providers should properly reject any connection from stolen phones (except to dial 911) and also report to the police the whereabouts of such phones (and if one calls the ambulance from a stolen phone, also send the cops his way).
For imported handsets, they should do the due dilligence and communicate with the other providers that use phones in the same system to check their black lists.

This should probably be pushed all the way to ITU, given that the handest stealing (or even outright robbing) is a rampant phenomenon.

Locking handsets:

this has to stop. The only "lock" should be the contract (with the already existing provisions for subsidized phones). Once a phone has been paid, it should be unlocked automatically and for free.

No re-locking should ever occur.

Voice mail configuration:

The voice mail option (when included or bought separately) should allow for the configuration of the number of rings or seconds to answer and whether to be enabled or not in each situation (busy, off, no answer)

Currently Rogers (and the owned companies, such as Fido) lock the no-answer time to 20 seconds which is way too low (thus artificially increasing the number of calls answered, dialled to retrieve vm and dialled to call back). This devious money-grab has to stop.

Also, forwarding should be able to use included minutes OR a per call/per minute price at the customer's option when no forwarding bundle is subscribed to.

Carriers need to be held accountable and liable for not only incorrect or misleading information provided to a customer, but additionally for not following through on what was told to a customer. Furthermore, carriers need to directly compensate customers who's time has been wasted as a result of, for lack of a better term, inept customer service. It has become far to common for a "customer service representative" to either pass the buck or, even worse, dig in their feet simply because they don't wont to be wrong and wont budge even though they know there's a possibility the customer may be in the right. Then if a customer presses on, and even proves they were in the right, the carrier does little to nothing to compensate the customer for the run around. This always places the onus and burden on the customer yet the customer receives no restitution for their time or energy used as a result inept customer service. This is not fair.

If customer services did not complete their responsibility which cost the customer time and energy, and possibly money, the customer should be directly compensated.

Activation Fees should be illegal. A carrier should not be able to charge an "activation fee", especially if you are just renewing a contract. What is there to activate? This should be banned, along with "regulatory recovery fees" - such a fee paid to the government (if it even exists) is a cost of doing business, and should not be passed on to the consumer.

We need simple data plans by-the-month, no contract, at low rates. ~5Gb/$20

Why is SkypeIN not allowed in Canada? eh? conspiracy!! Also VoIP services are being hushed down and blocked over data networks.

No Roaming Charges while on your own network. Why are we charged for receiving calls when not in our "home area" but still on the same company's network? Where else in the world does this occur?

Also, long distance charges in Canada? These should be eliminated for both outgoing and incoming calls while on your own network.

Caller/name ID and voice-mail should not be an "add-on", but part of the basic service offered by the carriers, along with SMS,

Handsets should be available unlocked at point-of-sale if purchased for the full handset price. If subsidized via contract, the handset should be automatically unlocked after 3 months (at the very latest) without having to ask the carrier, and WITHOUT any additional fee. I have bought the phone, I own it, I should be able to use it on whatever network and wherever in the world I wish.

Contracts should clearly delineate the service and the handset subsidy. Once the handset is paid for, only the charge for the service should remain. You should be able to pay off the handset faster by either a) buying out the rest of the subsidized amount or b) contributing more to the handset subsidy on a monthly or adhoc basis (much like an open mortgage or car loan).

If you bring your own handset, you should only pay for the service, nothing more. The carriers could offer a discounted service if you sign a contract (which should be limited to no more than 2 years), and charge a break fee of no more than $50 if you wish to end the contract early, but otherwise the service should be on a month to month basis.

Contract terms should reflect the subsidized amount of the Handset, not some arbitrary number.
Ie. if the full unlocked price of a handset is $360, then signing a 1 year contract with a handset subsidy should result in a subsidy amount of $30/month. If signing a 2 year contract, then it would be $15/month, and if signing a 3 year contract then it should be $10/month. Again, handset subsidy should be separate from from service provided by the carrier, and if the handset is paid off before the end of the contract, a break fee of no more than $50 could be charged for cancelling the contract.

Came here to say exactly this. Stop "The Big 3" collusion. Canada has so far to go to catch up on international pricing standards, and the collusion of The Big 3 is what's keeping it so far behind.

I'd like to know where exactly is the competition between the big 3 carriers? How is it competition when all three major players release the same plans and prices? Wouldn't competition be having lower prices and getting more with your plans? It seems really fishy when Rogers, Bell and Telus all announce the same plans within days of each other.

Phone subsidy repayment.

Right now, there does not appear to be a way to put X amount more on your phone subsidization.

So, for example, if you have a phone for $500.
You are paying 500/36 for that phone.
Let's say you want to put an extra $50 bucks towards the phone one month, you can't.

The phone subsidy is starting to be the new contract. One you cannot pay off faster if you wish, without having to pay it all off.

There needs to be the ability to differentiate between phone subsidy and normal bill, if you want to pay more a certain month for the phone.

We should not be charged for incoming calls. As in Europe, England or with land lines all incoming calls are free. In Canada the person placing a long distance call is charged and the person receiving a long distance call is charged, this is double dipping, it must stop for Canada to be competitice.
I would also suggest opening the borders to foriegn owership, perhaps an O2 or Sprint in Canada would add competition and drive the world highest cell phone costing country into a more competitive mode.

Handset contracts, like in the UK, should be limited to a maximum of 2 years. With the rate of change on the handset operating system and applications (especially smart phones), the phone becomes so slow that it is unbearable to use after two years. This leads to early upgrades and disputes regarding termination fees for the 3 year contracts.
Price of handsets needs to be normalize with the US. Today is Nov 14th, 2012, at the US carrier Sprint, the Samsung Galaxy IIIS (16gB) is priced at $549 (no term), with a 2 year term the price is $199.99. At both Bell and Rogers the price is $159.95 for a 3 year term or $599 for no term, a two year term is not offered. The Canadian carriers are forcing a 3 year term, based on pricing options, when the rest of the world is or has moved to 2 year terms. By the way, in the example Sprint does not even offer a 3 year term.

Caller ID should be free for all the plans.

It is amazing how some companies charge you $7 for a simple feature such as caller ID. This must be stopped.

totally agree with you!

For Canada not to be perceived as a backwater, world travellers should have decent options for visiting Canada and staying connected through a local pre-paid SIM, without signing a contract.

I just passed through the UK: there are vending machines in the airports selling SIMs with gigabytes of data for $15-20.

Carriers should be required to provide a minimum level of wireless performance for all services, even during peak hours. Currently, certain carriers (e.g. Mobilicity) massively oversell their capacity and prioritize popular services (such as Facebook) to hide this fact.

While using my 3G connection during peak hours in an area of perfect reception (4/4 bars, outdoors, on a low roof, within sight of the tower), I've repeatedly experienced 20+ second (!) ping times and speeds worse than dialup from 1990, which makes any sort of real work unusable. Complaints fall on deaf ears.

Carriers ought to be required to oblige customers seeking to purchase a phone outright. Twice in the past 4 years I have been unable to purchase a new phone at launch from my carrier despite adequate stock being available. I've had general managers advise me that "typically we don't sell phones outright for at least 6 weeks, or until the hype has died down".

This unscrupulous practise is an obvious ploy to bait people into contracts.

I absolutely agree with the billing cap. Many people are extremely frustrated with their bills, mainly regarding the airtime and data usages. Not everyone checks how many minutes or the amount of data used and so they become frustrated when they receive their bills. By having a billing cap, this would at least HELP the frustration. Though the customers may still disagree with the airtime or data usage, they won't be charged an arm and a leg.

Competition between the big 3 carriers needs to be regulated and held to a higher standard (perhaps new legislation set forward by the CRTC). There is virtually no competition to speak of. 1 sale being promoted by Rogers quickly gets adopted and regurgitated by Bell and Telus days later. It's almost as if they are all in collusion with one-another. How is there free choice when all 3 carriers are offering the same deal?

Net neutrality: All data bandwidth must be treated equally. Netflix traffic or data tethered to a laptop/tablet must be seen as equal to someone using a Facebook or Twitter app. Providers should not be able to provide a higher level of service to one domain versus another.

Content neutrality: Content available on one provider should be made available for a fair price on another provider. Content such as NHL games, CBC news, etc. should not be restricted for use with only one carrier on exclusivity agreements. All carriers should have equal opportunity to provide this content to their customers for a similar cost/price.

Calls need to be billed by the second, not by the minute. A call that lasts 61 seconds, is billed at 2 minutes. This is unacceptable.

When a number is ported out, an extra month is charged after the service stops. This is unacceptable.

Handsets need to be warranted for the duration of the contract. If a handset fails, a similar one must be provided by the carrier. If one cannot be provided in a reasonable amount of time, the contract should be cancelled.

All carriers need to provide maps that detail "local calling areas". This information can be very hard to find. Calling out of the "local calling area" involves extra charges which are hidden and not explained.

Billing needs to be capped at the customer request. For example, data left on during roaming, will result in unusually high bills. This can be avoided by a billing cap. If the monthly bill reached a set amount, then the phone service should stop until the bill is paid. If the normal monthly rate is $50, then have a cap at $100 or whatever the customer sets.

Unlimited Wireless For True Innovation

When the internet started to become available, people had to dial into a provider and they were charged by the hour. People limited their time online because they were worried about their bill getting too out of hand. It wasn't until unlimited access to the internet became available that allowed people to leave their computers continuously connected to the internet that innovation took off. Online gaming, video downloading, instant messaging were all made infinitely more useful by not having to worry how long the computer is connected.

Now with gigabyte limits we are facing another artificial barrier to innovation. The companies will say that this is necessary to prevent overloading their networks, but I find that hard to believe. It's not a matter of people using too much data, it's a matter of too many people using data in the same place in the same time. I doubt my parents alone at an isolated cottage who happen to get reception where they are, have a lot of load on their tower, however they can't do a video chat with their grandchildren because they are afraid they will go over their limit! This needs to change. Our devices now have capabilities people couldn't even think of a few years ago. You can take a picture of a landmark, and with GPS and photo recognition you can read an encyclopaedia article on that thing right away. You can stream live video from an event before any news organization is even aware of something going on! And with persistent data connections that people don't have to be concerned about being crazy overcharged for, I can't even imagine the innovation that could happen in the future.

Google has started a project called Google Fiber in Kansas City. They are now showing its citizens that it is possible to have a connection to the internet that is vastly more fast than they currently are offered from their cable and phone companies. They are not doing this because they want to get into the Internet Service Provider business. They are doing it to because they see that the service is stagnating and that progress is needed to develop the technologies that are to come in the future. While the wireless service has progressed in recent years with LTE service, they are still limiting what would could be possible. What is so great about being able to download 50 Megabytes a second if that means you do a two hour high definition chat with a loved one and your limit is reached for the month. I understand the infrastructure is expensive, but once it is in place, there is no reason it shouldn't be used to it's full potential!

3rd Party SMS Charges. This is ridiculous. We are billed through our wireless provider and when we do not fully understand how these charges work (and still continue to bill us) we are advised to contact the 3rd party company for a refund. This refund cheque never actually comes in the mail. I understand this may not have anything to do with my provider but the billing needs to stop being distributed through my cell phone bill and cancellation of these "services" needs to be much more clear and easy.

All plans should be available on a pre-paid basis.

I believe the prices for pay per use rates should be considerably reduced. The cost of data is ridiculous, $10/ additional GB, our phones go through this incredibly fast and we're not even properly notified which always leads to a surprise on the bill. Incoming calls should be automatically included--the telecom companies are basically charging twice for the same call, they charge me to receive the call and my friend to make it. Is national calling not something that would be considered either? The US always has this included but mind you I understand if we can't build ourselves so closely to another country.

Flanker brands should be banned. It creates a false sense of competition.

I should be able to walk into any store that sells phones and purchase a phone that is unlocked. Purchasing an unlocked phone should be no more difficult than purchasing a locked phone. Also, the total amount anyone should pay for an unlocked phone should not be more than the off-contract price of the phone. Currently, the "official" way to purchase an unlocked phone from Bell is to buy the phone, subscribe to a plan, cancel the plan then pay extra to have it unlocked. That is too complex and too expensive because of the unlocking fee. There should be no fee at all for an unlocked phone compared to the full price of a locked phone

Carrier Locking.

All cell phones sold in canada should be unlocked and work worldwide. Simple as that.

It is apparent none of the big telecom companies care about the consumer. They all just look for ways to increase profits to satisfy share holders. The big-3 are all in bed together colluding and price fixing. Then they start-up offshoot "discount" brands which are nothing else but more of themselves --wolves in sheep clothing. There is no respect for the consumer, we are just here to get ripped off and used for the rich to profit. Shame on them.

Competitive pricing.

Right now, the Big 3 are priced close and offer pretty much the same services. This is the way it has been for a very long time. An understanding why they seem to price the same and as well, for pretty much the same services would be appreciated since it is hard to believe that 3 separate providers have the exact same costs and for roughly the same services.

Here are my concerns:

1. Removal of calling areas and Canadian long distance.

2. Provide the user the ability to block data usage from the telecom network, but allow wifi data.

3. Prevent Data cost gouging. If for example, 1Gig of data cost 10 cents to get to the consumer, then the Canadian consumer should not be forced to pay $20-$30 dollars for it.

4. The first 2 minutes of an incoming call should be free, to allow for telemarketers to be dealt with, to prevent being charged for them.

The government needs to start monitoring the Big 3 more closely for price fixing. Almost always the Big 3 offers the same thing at the same price. Never have I seen any of the company come up with something that tries to outmatch the other 2. There's no way it would be that coincidental because it has happened over and over again.

NO Long Distance

I totally agree that there should not be any long distance within Canada.

* All my top Important Issues *
Prepaid Services

Prepaid is a crippled service in Canada. It is clearly the biggest embarrassment when compared to ANY country in the world. There is no way to purchase a call forwarding bundle, or an advantageous DATA/Internet Bundle. Additionally, some carriers even charge per-minute when voice mail services are used or accessed.

--1--
The carriers need to allow customers, in a very open fashion to block International DATA Roaming at their level (NOT as a phone feature).

It is unacceptable for people to be unable to take precautions by blocking international data. Rogers does not have an international data block.

--2--
Carriers need to allow customers to buy phones without a contract at a properly advertised price. Currently, most carriers do this, however, Bell forces you into a 30-day contract (50$) and a 35$ hardware upgrade hidden cost. This is a 100$ Hidden cost after taxes. Some stores will outright refuse to sell you a phone without a contract, at any price!

--3--
Something needs to be done about things like long distance, caller ID, and U.S. Bound texting.
(a)
Many carriers still charge 35 cents per minute for long distance (or Canadian Roaming, same thing), a service that costs them less than 2 cents per minute to provide.

(b) Caller ID is not a separate service in most countries in the world. This is a hidden cost that needs to go away or be included in all plan pricing.

(c) U.S. bound texting
Rogers/Fido charge their customers a special price for text messages sent from canada, Destined to a U.S. Recipient. This is not acceptable, and not a practice that the other carriers participate in.

(d) U.S. Long Distance
All Carriers should provide a cheap method to buy call forwarding and long distance minutes for U.S. Destinations. Many carriers have a minimum 10$ package or forced expensive pay per use rates.

--5--
Billing Cap

All Carriers should provide a method to block excessive monthly bills.

Should a customer request it, he should be allowed to, for example, restrict overage to a maximum of 25$ per month on his bill. Once the limit is reached, the customer should be notified by text, or certain services blocked to prevent further use. This is a good solution to bill shock, for customers who wish to proactively prevent it.​​​​​

why do wireless carriers in Canada charge long distance, do calls not start on carriers network and terminate on same carriers network..most US plans do not have long distance

All Canadian companies should be forced to include nationwide calling on all plans at no additional cost. There should be no long distance across Canada. The United States implemented calling to and from 50 states years ago.

Carriers have a role to play in the ethical production and environmentally-friendly disposal of electronics. To improve consumer choice, the code could recognize or encourage carriers that offer devices made by manufacturers that use ethically source materials and fair labour practices. It could also recognize carriers who contribute to environmentally responsible processes for disposing of or recycling past-use hardware.

How should complaints related to the Wireless Code be resolved?

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The complaint should be made to the wireless company within a month. If the consumer is not satisfied with the result it should be addressed to the CRTC for review. If the wireless carrier losses the result, a fine should be implemented and the customer be given a form compensation to be determined by the CRTC.

Publication Paid by Violator

If a serious (or not serious but large scale) violation of the Code is confirmed by the relevant authority, it should have the power to force the violator to pay for advertisements in mass media or through other means, so that (potential) consumers would be informed of the malpractice.

Furthermore, a confirmed violation of the Code should yield a mandatory refund (plus interest at the same rate the provider charges his own customers for late payment) for ALL affected customers at ALL providers that employed the same or a similar practice. Refunds should not be limited to the single case of the person that became aware and filed a complaint. Refunds for customers that can no longer be processed should be added to a fund for the provision of telecommunication services to the homeless and other people in need. (See posting "Support for Homeless")

There should be a 3 step process:
Make your complaint with the wireless company: that complaint needs to be addressed within 30 days in writing.
If you are not satisfied with the result, escalate it to the CRTC who should also address the issue within 30 days.
If the wireless carrier is ultimately found to be wrong, they need to be fined (heavily) and the customer be given some sort of compensation (either a fee reduction in their plan or some sort of benefit to the customer)

With financial penalties, as in this example...

Recently the FCC in the U.S. fined Verizon $1.25 million because they blocked some apps that used their network in a way they didn't like (tethering apps):
http://www.theverge.com/2012/7/31/3207193/verizon-fcc-tethering-700mhz-o...

$1.25 million is not very much for Verizon (the infraction was not major) but never-the-less the fine gives the impression that the FCC is really enforcing the rules that govern the use of the airwaves.

I don't know what the process was by which a complaint turned into an investigation, which turned into a fine, but none of that even matters if there aren't real fines at the end of the process.

The escalation to CRTC should be straightforward.

A first, web-driven questionnaire should check that the complaint is escalatable at that point.

Carriers should be FORCED (under heavy penalty = minimum 5 times the value of the whole 3-year contract or 3-year pre-paid fee) to disclose ALL previous customer interaction (they record all calls anyway). Failure to do so, in addition to the penalty, should be considered obstruction of justice (because it is).

If the carrier still thinks they're right, they should point the customer to the exact point of the code/law and the exact discussion they had with the customer. If the customer disagrees, they should be able to escalate and have all records copied to CRTC in a timeframe less or equal the time frame required to get into a contract.

At this point, CRTC can analyze all interaction that the carrier had with the customer and check that the law has been followed.

About the time frame again: carriers should be forced to handle all support and complaints at least as fast as new subscriptions (as opposed to what they do now when calling support is at least a 30 min waste of time and requires too much follow-up, while sales answers instantly and money gets charged in a blink of an eye). If that fails, they should NOT BE ALLOWED TO SELL anything anymore until all support and complaints have been answered.

By a fair and equitable market place where there are more providers, so that those with good service get the business. The CRTC has a role to play in resolving infractions, but really there is DIRE need of a real cell market in this country - that is what will solve many of these issues.

Several steps should be used to ensure fairness to both subscriber and carrier.

1. Open service ticket with carrier. If the issue is in regards to billing, the carrier should not be able to force payment until issue is resolved. The carrier should not be allowed to suspend service, unless there is a non-payment on the account, and no service ticket has been open.

2. Upon the resolution, the carrier may now force payment. The subscriber has 2 choices: pay or not pay. If they choose not to pay, their service may be suspended, but their account should not be allowed to go to collections yet.

3. If the resolution is not to the customer's satisfaction, (s)he may then escalate their complaint to the CRTC. If they've chosen not to pay, the carrier is not allowed to collect until CRTC's ruling. The CRTC's ruling should be considered final.

4. If the customer is still unhappy, they are free to initiate a lawsuit, but there is no further protection. The carrier is then permitted to collect.

The complaint process should be as follows:

1. Customer files complaint with TELCO.
- If the complaint is regarding a billing error, customer should NOT have to pay the bill till the issue is resolved.
- If the billing issue is resolved by TELCO, the TELCO should be on the hook for providing the customer with "error" amount as a penalty. For example, if there is a $10 error on the bill, the customer bill should be correctly adjusted and the TELCO should pay the customer another $10 in billing discount.
2. If TELCO and customer are not able to reach a resolution within 30 days, the customer should be given the option to escalate the complain to the CRTC.
- If the complaint is regarding a billing error, the customer should be given 14 days to call TELCO back and provide them with the CRTC complaint file number to further defer there bill till the issue is looked at by CRTC.
3. CRTC will assist in mediating/resolving the issue.

This process should be paid for by taxpayers up to a small ceiling. If expenses exceed that ceiling the TELCOS should have to pay for the costs. This will be a good incentive for them to try and resolve the issues in house rather than have it reach the CRTC.
Trending and issue documentation should be available to all Canadians (no personal information of course.)

A tiered complaints resolution should be implemented whereby the provider and customer must make reasonable efforts to resolve within 30 days.

The complaint should be registered with full documentation provided for review to a resolution board. Reviews are to be made public and statistical analysis provided on an annual basis of all outcomes for each cellular provider.

Complaints unable to first be resolved with the provider, should be submitted via phone, electronic web form or Email to CRTC department for review. Phone companies should also be required to offer this as information to a customer that is not unable to resolve their dispute.

How should the Wireless Code be promoted and reviewed to ensure it is working?

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Doing all the things that the CCTS has done to raise awareness of /its/ existence, including the mandating of mention in customers' bills, has proven to be successful and would in short be my suggestion.

In addition, the CWTA's Code of Conduct should mention *at the _top_ of that document* (and link to) the Wireless Code that is to be formulated by the Commission.

The wireless code should be reviewed every two years to make sure it is serving the needs of the consumers and providers and that it is up to date with the changing wireless landscape. The providers should also post a copy of the wireless code on their websites.

Statistics

Statistics on complaints and complaint resolution should be published regularly, including some real-life examples of cases.

Public Repository of Price Plans

There should be a public repository of all publicly offered price plans and terms of service. The repository should store old price plans and terms of service as well, and provide information on when they were offered, discontinued, etc. All data should be available online. This way, a consumer could check back at a later date to see what the agreement was, how much a certain service would cost under a certain contract and if charges have been levied correctly.

Oftentimes, provider advertisement is unclear. There needs to be a legally binding document filed with authorities. Older price plans vanish from providers' websites which makes it difficult for consumers to check their bills for accuracy.

Whenever a new price plan and new terms are filed to the repository, an impartial body should review them for adherence to the Code.

Optional: To further price transparency and thus competition, the CRTC could offer a calculator (estimator) that draws on the database to show which offer would yield what price for a usage scenario entered by the user into the calculator (certain number of minutes, number of texts, amount of MBytes, features like voicemail and caller ID). Wireless providers should be able to embed this calculator (estimator) on their websites.

Stress and Productivity levels in Canada could be used as measures of the success of the Wireless Code.

For many Canadians, dealing with the incumbent telecoms is the most stressful and time wasting consumer experiences we have to endure. If the CRTC really does re-invent itself and force the carriers to treat Canadians better then I believe we will see a reduction in health care costs and an increase in productivity in Canada. So health care costs and productivity are objective, existing, measures that can be used to judge the success of the new Wireless Code.

Yes, I'm joking, but I'm also trying to make a point to: the fact that dealing with these companies is so frustrating, degrading, and time consuming is obviously a bad thing, but it doesn't show up as a cost in the calculations of these companies because it isn't a cost to them - it is a cost to Canada. That is why we need the CRTC to help us reduce these costs.

Maybe the code should be revised every few years to make sure it is keeping pace with the changing wireless industry.

Time to hire auditors because nothing less then a public audit will keep these companies in line. Absolutely everything should be on the table including the CEO's own email box. I want to know if they are making deals to control the system or be involved in regulatory capture. It's either that or an unprotected market. To all carriers, your insanely bad behaviour has caused this. You should be sweating now.

The escalation to CRTC should be straightforward.

A first, web-driven questionnaire should check that the complaint is escalatable at that point.

Carriers should be FORCED (under heavy penalty = minimum 5 times the value of the whole 3-year contract or 3-year pre-paid fee) to disclose ALL previous customer interaction (they record all calls anyway). Failure to do so, in addition to the penalty, should be considered obstruction of justice (because it is).

If the carrier still thinks they're right, they should point the customer to the exact point of the code/law and the exact discussion they had with the customer. If the customer disagrees, they should be able to escalate and have all records copied to CRTC in a timeframe less or equal the time frame required to get into a contract.

At this point, CRTC can analyze all interaction that the carrier had with the customer and check that the law has been followed.

About the time frame again: carriers should be forced to handle all support and complaints at least as fast as new subscriptions (as opposed to what they do now when calling support is at least a 30 min waste of time and requires too much follow-up, while sales answers instantly and money gets charged in a blink of an eye). If that fails, they should NOT BE ALLOWED TO SELL anything anymore until all support and complaints have been answered.

The Wireless Code should be available to all and in simplified English. One should not be a lawyer in order to decipher the code.

All carriers should be required to post links to the code, and make those links CLEAR. No burying of these links on obscure pages should be allowed.

Carriers should submit all contracts to the CRTC for approval. Failure to do so should result in SEVERE penalties I'm not saying one submission per new customer. I'm referring to every time the wording of their contract changes.

The CRTC should annually audit the carriers to make sure they are complying with the new wireless code. The results of these audits should also be posted on the CRTC website to make sure the law is enforced properly.

Post the Code for all to see

The Carriers should be required to include a link to the Code on each Bill, as well as on their website.

The Code should be in plain language in the top 4 spoken languages recorded on the census

Each Carrier should be required to perform an audit with respect to how their policies adhere to the code, and this should be available each year for consumers to review.

The audits by each carrier should also be posted on the site that the code is displayed on for people to review their carrier AND competitive carriers.

The code should be enforced by not permitting carriers to participate in spectrum auctions if they are repeatedly in violation of the code.

The code should be measured by satisfaction and penalties. Something simple like customer satisfaction must be at a certain percentage, else the company is faced with a heavy fine from the CRTC. Given the current climate is so poor we would need to start with a low target, ie in the first year 25% of Rogers and Bell customers must be satisfied, in year two 30%.

It's not only the incumbents we have a problem with as consumers, new entrants like Mobilicity should not even be allowed into the market and their ethics are in question-they openly distort the truth by using social sites to brainwash new customers with false promises and subscribers have no genuine voice to fight back. Some can no longer tolerate the lies and how this company acts with no emphasis on integrity. Most disgruntled individuals are forced simply to leave by switching to another provider after losing funds or dealing with poor service and Mobilicity's ever changing rate plans only confuse the public considering service declines.

*Mobilicity promised to unlock all phones 2 years ago and even supported legislation to do so...they conveniently never did.

*Mobilicity promised to fix the loss of funds in the wallet issue by roaming in the home zone with little compensation for errors...they never did.

*Mobilicity claimed to be Canadian waving our flag and then moved customer service to Central America. They then cut the amount of corporate stores in our major cities worsening relations and still allow questionable dealers like Parkway in Toronto to operate or sell their products after complaints.

*Mobilicity throttles their data to basically unusable levels and have done very little about tower breathing while adding new subs claiming huge improvements that are not visible.

I could go on and on!

Where are the guidelines to protect consumers? Where is the platform where we can lodge immediate complaints on a weekly basis and see results? When will new/old providers be truly accountable for what they do and provide service that is genuinely considered excellent without having to pay a mortgage for service? The CRTC can either give the impression of caring or actually start making changes to give Canadians an outlet against the monopolies that wish to control our needed services while obtaining high profits. We need clear new rules and severe penalties for violators on every issue described on this site. Canada is the laughing stock of the world and our technology will never advance in any way listening to those who wish to prevent it from growing. Instead of allowing companies like Mobilicity into our market open our doors to world class providers and give us the competition we desperately need.

The wireless code should be put in easy to understand terms, with the main points clearly laid out. A link to this should be placed on each companies website, in a clear easy to spot place.

The carriers should be required to
1) Provide an (industry regulated/CRTC created) pamphlet to first time buyers outlying the dispute resolution process and a copy of the Code
2) Post information about the code on the copy of any wireless invoice in which a change (customer or carrier initiated) to the services took place
3) Annual public consultations, similar to this, to suggest improvements

Wireless carriers should be required to post on their website, a table, left column being the wireless code line item and right column containing a synopsis or link to how that carrier's policies which complies with the line item.