New CRTC Wireless Code of Conduct

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See the full article here: http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/com100/2013...

Here's the standout points:

(customers may) terminate their wireless contracts after two years without cancellation fees, even if they have signed on for a longer term

(carriers must) cap extra data charges at $50/month and international data roaming charges at $100/month to prevent bill shock

(customers may) have their cellphones unlocked after 90 days, or immediately if they paid for the device in full

(customers may) return their cellphones, within 15 days and specific usage limits, if they are unhappy with their service

(customers may) accept or decline changes to the key terms of a fixed-term contract (i.e., 2-year)

The code will apply to new contracts for cellphones and other personal mobile devices starting on December 2, 2013.
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mattjs

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Posted 5 years ago

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MatB

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Good news for customers, thank you mattjs for this info
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Sophia, Mobile Master

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Agreed, it's really good news. I'm especially happy with the bill & roaming cap... remember those programs "the worst cell phone bill ever" etc? $20,000 for allowing their child to play with the iPhone on the beach for a few hours... that should never have been allowed! (Not the child playing with the cell phone, but the $20,000 bill haha)
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Erwin

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Sucks that its not implemented sooner. But great job CRTC for making 2 year contracts.
While this is good, doesn't this reduce the incentive for going with a smaller carrier like Koodo? Using the GS4 as an example, with Koodo it takes 2 years to pay off the tab with a 60 dollar plan. This would make the plan cheaper than the big three and make you able to upgrade without penalty after two years, so even though you're paying $475 for the phone, it is more than made up for due to these factors. But now that there is no penalty for upgrading after two years with the big three, you end up paying 200 for a GS4 with them and 475 with Koodo. So now the only way to make up that difference is with the savings on your monthly plan. Don't get me wrong, its still more cost effective to go with Koodo, but that margin has been narrowed substantially. Wonder if anything will change between now and December?

Thank you for the information though - regardless, this is a very good chance that, quite frankly, is long overdue in my opinion.
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MarcusG

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Marshall,

I agree it will hurt their margin, but I wonder how US companies can do 2 year contracts on brand name phones? (Even the GS4)
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Boolanger

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Maybe i'm looking at it wrong but... Phone subsidizes and contracts are not one an the same. So just cause they say you can cancel your contract after 2 year without penalty doesn't mean you don't have to pay the remainder of the subsidized cost that would be left for the phone.
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Jorden, Mobile Master

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Exactly Boolanger, I agree with you here. It doesn't mean a two year term at all, it just means if you want to leave your carrier they can't charge you a cancellation fee after two years. Nothing said about subsidy, nothing said about early upgrades either.
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Dennis, Mobile Master

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Yea there are a lot of loopholes in the Code of Conduct. Not sure how the providers will tackle them. If they utilize the loopholes and go against the heart of what this code is about they risk alienating customers even more and causing a larger uproar and maybe the CRTC would implement something harsher than they would want. Or if they follow the intent of the code they can raise prices on plans a little bit more, increase the upfront prices of subsidized phones a little bit more and place the blame on the CRTC
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MatB

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Little bit of something is better than nothing, that's how big corporations do alienating their customers! good thought!
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RudyW

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I'm not sure how this is gonna be good for customer. So what if peole can now terminate their contract after 2 years? THe cell phone companies will just push up the price of phones to reflect the shortened period. Example, the Q10 is $199 on a 3 year contract from telus. The crtc says you can't have 3 year contract anymore. Ok. Then the Q10 will now be $350 on a 2 year contract. An extra $150 up front right out of customer pocket.

The unlocking rule I like. The 15 day return policy is the same as today. THe roaming charges, well, people already have the ability to track their charges today, if yo can't stop yourself and you wait for someone else to force, then be it.
That's the thing - given the prices now, the margin has been narrowed. But I can't see the big three not either increasing the price of plans or phones to reflect the shortened period. If they can pull off the same contract term and price plans that are found in the US though, then the smaller companies like Koodo, Fido, and Virgin need to act because that will hugely increase incentive to switch.
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MarcusG

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While I agree with you MattJS on some points, Koodo is loosing out on the 2year tabs that Fido has however Virgin pricing has made it so new phone subsidies aren't as attractive compared to the main 3; or Fido.
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RudyW

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Matt, under the new rules the provider cannot charge anyone leaving them after the 2nd year. Alas Rogers can't charge the $12.50 per month post the 2 years even on a 3 year contract.
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mattjs

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It's not $12.50 per month currently, it's a flat rate of $12.50 regardless of how many months are remaining. So under the new rates you can cancel after the 2 year mark and save this fee, which is great but it's still pretty marginal. If you cancel though and still owe a balance on your 'tab' agreement, you're still on the hook as that agreement is separate from your 'service' agreement.
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MarcusG

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So basically we should all go out and take 2+ year plans that are cheap then cancel after 2 years? I don't see this being retroactive, but I think we need a lawyer to weight in
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mattjs

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This new code of conduct doesn't really change very much, the potential consumer savings is essentially the $12.50 early termination fee, if the termination happens at, or after, the 2 year mark. The code doesn't have anything in it that will really impact plan or device prices, carriers are free to continue the same practices currently in use. The real changes might happen at the 700mhz spectrum auction, if someone other then Bell/Telus/Rogers picks up a portion (which apparently the CRTC would like to see happen).
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Dennis, Mobile Master

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I love the unlocking part. Does that mean unlocking is free? Or still $50. It's a little unclear
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ron.white

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Just on the phone with KooDo asking for my free unlock of my Samsung Galaxy Ace phone as per the CRTC mandate and they refused wanted $50 for the service. I tried to have their retention department see that IT WAS IN THEIR INTEREST TO KEEP ME AS A CUSTOMER but alas they are not interested. So I will be shopping for another company that will meet my needs . Please refer this up the food chain as I will be posting on various web sites how wrong this is.
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Dennis, Mobile Master

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To be fair, the new code of conduct rules was just announced this morning. There is a reason the CRTC set a date 6 months out, so that business can adjust and reprogram their systems to allow for these changes
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MarcusG

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Extortioner is a bit rough, I am not one to judge: that's for your god or Judy (Daily on TV at 3pm). Perhaps we should agree to disagree?
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Boolanger

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so you know non of this stuff is to go into effect until December and then it is only for new contracts. The line doesn't say anything about a fee being charged or not so I took a dive into the full report and there is still a fee for unlocking and this fee will be in the contract when it service was setup.

So there is still a charge for unlocking but this doesn't effect anything now since none of this has gone into effect
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Sophia, Mobile Master

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Geoff, normally I am the first to agree to disagree, I am usually an easygoing person. In this case however I have very strong feelings about the matter. If someone demands a paid service for free, and when they are refused, threaten to badmouth the company all over the web, in my dictionary that equals extortion.

That said, I am in full sympathy of someone who would like this service to be implemented sooner, and would ask for it to be done for free, and I'd probably support their cause wholeheartedly :)
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MarcusG

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well...to quote a Canadian....

Austin: Well I vana toilet made out of solid gold, but it's just not in the cards now is it?
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Boolanger

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Those statement are pretty vague so if you want to read more in depth here is the full code. http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/archive/201...

You can skip most of it as it shows everything that was purpose and the analysis. just look for the parts that have "Commission’s determinations " to find out what the deal is.

Here are the details of the 2 vaguest ones unlocks and cancel fees

Cancel fees
Commission’s determinations
233. In light of the above, the Commission determines that the Wireless Code must establish limits on the maximum early cancellation fees that WSPs can charge. Maximum early cancellation fees will depend on (i) whether a mobile device is provided at a reduced price as part of the contract (a subsidized device); and (ii) the contract term (fixed-term or indeterminate).
234. If a customer cancels a contract before the end of the commitment period, a WSP must not charge the customer any fee or penalty other than the early cancellation fee, which must be calculated in the manner set out below:
(i) When a subsidized device is provided as part of the contract
a) for fixed-term contracts: The early cancellation fee must not exceed the value of the device subsidy. The early cancellation fee must be reduced by an equal amount each month, for the lesser of 24 months or the total number of months in the contract term, such that the early cancellation fee is reduced to $0 by the end of the period.
b) for indeterminate contracts: The early cancellation fee must not exceed the value of the device subsidy. The early cancellation fee must be reduced by an equal amount each month, over a maximum of 24 months, such that the early cancellation fee is reduced to $0 by the end of the period.
(ii) When the contract does not include a subsidized device
a) for fixed-term contracts: The early cancellation fee must not exceed the lesser of $50 or 10 percent of the minimum monthly charge for the remaining months of the contract, up to a maximum of 24 months. The early cancellation fee must be reduced to $0 by the end of that period.
b) for indeterminate contracts: A WSP must not charge an early cancellation fee.
235. When calculating the early cancellation fee, (i) the value of the device subsidy is the retail price of the mobile device minus the amount that the consumer paid for the device when the contract was agreed to; and (ii) the retail price of the device is the lesser of the manufacturer’s suggested retail price or the price set for the device when it is purchased from the WSP without a contract.
236. When calculating the time remaining in a contract to determine the early cancellation fee, a month that has partially elapsed at the time of cancellation is deemed to be a month completely elapsed.
237. These limits will apply equally to prepaid and postpaid services. The Commission notes that because many prepaid services, notably prepaid cards, do not include a device provided by the WSP, in many cases, no early cancellation fee will apply.
238. The Commission considers that it is not necessary to limit the length of wireless contracts to two years since, in light of its determinations above, any customer can cancel a wireless service contract after two years, at no cost to them.

Unlocks
Commission’s determinations
168. In light of the above, the Commission finds that a WSP that provides a locked device to a customer as part of a wireless service contract must, (i) if the device is subsidized, unlock the device, or give the customer the means to unlock the device, upon request, at the rate specified by the WSP, no later than 90 calendar days after the contract start date; and (ii) if the device is unsubsidized, unlock the device, or give the customer the means to unlock the device, upon request, at the rate specified by the WSP at any time during the contract. The rate for the WSP’s unlocking service must be clearly stated in the written contract and the Critical Information Summary.
169. The Commission determines that this requirement applies to prepaid services in cases where a device is provided by the WSP.

Sorry about the text wall
TL:DR version not much has really changed.
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MarcusG

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Sophia,

a) You are correct on the upfront fee structure of Koodo and no retention department.
b) Ron is correct that is is in there best interest to keep customers.

Ron is asking if they can match the price of the competition, Koodo can't or won't. (that's beyond my scope) If he is unhappy but telling the truth, that's not extortion...that's the truth. Part of customer service and Part of Koodo's strategy with it's customer service focus.

Sophia your posts are a valuable part of this community, but as a Mobile Master/Mistress to say that he should throw his toys out the pram (yes children do it, but even then a parent should stop it) and mention extortion is a bit harsh.

I think we should close this thread?
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Ahmad

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Geoff,

It's ALWAYS in the best interests of ANY company to keep it's customers, I don't think that's news.

HOWEVER, it's clear the rules do not go into effect until Dec 2nd. There is no legitimate complaint here.
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MatB

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But if it happens with any legitimate complaint, do it here:
http://www.ccts-cprst.ca/
CCTS
COMMISSIONER FOR COMPLAINTS FOR TELECOMMUNICATIONS SERVICES
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Robert, Mobile Master

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So if I leave in 1 week from now and been a Koodo customer for more than 90 days, will I get my phone unlocked for free? Also I've been paying my phone in "full", but not with some tab.
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Sherlock Holmes

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This doesn't take effect until Dec 3. And nowhere does it say that the unlocking is free.
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Robert, Mobile Master

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Thanks, I've managed to read other subject posted about this and found my answer!
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Mark Kokolsky

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I personally think its in companies best interests to start implementing some of the changes sooner. Otherwise many people will hold off renewing or getting new phones as Dec gets closer. But with that said it makes sense that they are given a bunch of time. There will be lots of changes that companies will need to make, and they found out about the new code being passes at the same time we did.

Im very curious about how it will all effect Koodo. I do think it will take away some of Koodo's edge, but at the same time Koodo has always seemed to lead in innovation. So maybe they will make some changes to make things even better.
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Dennis, Mobile Master

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Unless you're Rogers haha

Rogers told The Canadian Press it also already fulfills many of the requirements but said the company might not be able to put in place all the necessary technology and systems that are needed to comply with the new code by the CRTC's December deadline.
...
"And when you're a big company with big IT systems — or for that matter, a small company with small IT systems — these things typically take 12 to 18 months to implement, and the CRTC has given us six months."
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2...
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Mark Kokolsky

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Of course, I should have excluded Rogers from my statement. I actually find it pretty funny that Rogers would say something like that. If they already fulfill most of the requirements, why are they also worried they may not be able to put things in place by the deadline.
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Dennis, Mobile Master

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Total stalling tactic. I bet they will ask for an extention to the deadline due to "major changes required to update their system"

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