Oh Canada! .. ?
It looks like the CRTC (Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission) is making a push to install new ‘guidelines’ into Canada’s wireless carrier companies. Some of the guidelines that were proposed via an online discussion and are highlighted on the CBC News website are:
- Customers receive a personalized summary of key terms and conditions in their contract, such as how much they would pay in cancellation charges at different times during their contract and what tools are available to help them monitor their usage of different services.
- Wireless providers be required to unlock customers’ wireless devices under “reasonable terms.” Options for those terms include fees and time frames.
- Customers be given tools to monitor their usage compared to the limits of their plan in order to be aware of extra fees they might incur if they go above the limits.
- Customers be allowed to restrict features that could incur additional fees, and the ability to specify a cap to their monthly bill. Once the user hits the cap, the service provider would suspend services that could result in extra fees.
- Early termination fees can only include subsidies on the price of phone or other mobile device and discounts the customer received for signing on to a contract of a specific length.
This seems like a list of things that are available today and have been for a long time.
A contract clearly summarizes the terms and conditions of your plan. I understand what I can and cannot do during my contract period and I know how much, per month remaining on my contract, I would have to pay if i were to cancel.
Although unlocking a mobile device is frowned upon, it’s still possible to do. Some carrier employees will even do this for a customer. Sometime with a small fee, sometimes with no charge.
Usage monitoring tool have been available for a while. I use the Rogers ‘My Account’ app and I keep an eye on my cellular and data usage. This, along with the aforementioned contract, allows me to easily stay within my allotment.
Is a forced cap really necessary? The above paragraph is a solutions to this problem also.
As for early terminations subsidies … of course you’ll be charged for early termination. You signed a contract to get a discount on a device. Try buying an iPhone 5, off contract, for $150. You’re trading 3 years of monthly payments for upwards of 600+ dollar discount. If you don’t want to pay a penalty to break a contract, surf over to eBay and pick up a nice, shiny Motorola Star-tac. It’s only $20 off contract.
This is all starting to sound like the government stepping in to protect those who are not are not accepting personal responsibility. Maybe it’s time for people to step up, read your contract, ask questions and stop getting pushed around by big companies.