Share your experience

We need to hear from you to make sure that the Wireless Code is effective.

Tell us, since the Code came into force:

  • have you experienced bill shock?
  • is it easier now to understand your mobile plan or contract?
  • are you more comfortable deciding whether a new phone and plan works for you?
  • are overage fees easier to understand and manage?
  • how do you find managing the data of your shared and/or family plan with multiple users (for example, kids/teens, employees, etc.)?
  • have you changed service providers and how did it go?
  • have you unlocked your phone and was it easy to do?

Have we missed something that should be considered during our review?

Note: Once you have registered and logged in, please scroll to the bottom of the page to add a new comment.

Comments

bpelman's picture

I am a Rogers Communications customer. Recent improvements and efforts to be more accountable to customer complaints and feedback have made the Rogers experience more pleasant. We have recently unlocked a phone and transferred it to our "Share Everything" plan. We have recently added new units to our family plan, we have recently experienced customer service interactions with representatives of the company and have experienced good, attentive service from the company. We have experienced some amounts of "Sticker Shock" and details concerning a number of service add-ons that were not properly or clearly explained at the time of purchase. At each instance, the interaction with Rogers Customer service has been sufficient to reverse charges and apply suitable account credits to remove the additional charges.

I can say, as an experienced traveller, that improvements on International Roaming are satisfactory, however, I look forward to a much more fluid North American service whereby no Roam Like Home charges will be necessary. I also look forward to not having to consider "DATA PLANS" in the future. Providers in the USA are now commonly offering unlimited data plans, and at the end of the day, its not costing the providers anything to provide access to their users, its simply an amortized approach to pay for their infrastructure costs.

I really don't have anything negative to provide to this discussion. I will say that the consumer has the ability to become powerful and knowledgeable of their plans, service and expectations, and should not be passive about their bills. Many of the billings of services can be adjusted or worked out directly with their service provider, however it may take actual effort in order to resolve those conflicts or discrepancies.

Monwat's picture

Seems that you work for Either Telus, Rogers or Bell. Or/and you get paid lots of money and don't care about other people, you are just looking about your own iterests..

You are only comparing with North America, I can compare with South America, Europe and Asia abd can tell you that our Cellphone bills are extremely expensive.

Twokidspop's picture

I am also a Rogers customer and There prices for data plans is a big sticker shock. Even that all the American companies have now gone to unlimited data for a much better price that any of the 3 major players in Canada.

Cameron Clarke's picture

I want to trust government but with my corporate experience I know collusion is a big part of the big cell phone company operations[ ALL corporate operations ]....and why government continues to insist there is not monopolistic corporate behavior in regards to Canadian cell phone pricing is starting to look like simple pass the buck, head in the sand attitude. I know its not...quite calculated....your NOT on citizens sides here like many other industries like OIL...Government is on the corporations side, screw the public....if you feel this is an unfair assessment you can prove me wrong any day by adopting one of the suggestions above.
The only way to see Canadians get a fair shake is to mandate pricing for cell phones.
OR..allow foreign competition. NO Canadian corporation like Rogers , Telus or Bell will ever
give up this insane business practice unless forced. Let a big US or EU cell company in..watch things change over night !!!!!!!! The CRTC is as useless as " Blank " on a bull!!!!
Please start to prove me wrong.

Giancarlo Consoli's picture

Having 3 competitors is not a competitive market.
I'd love to enter a competition where the worst case scenario is a bronze medal.
Data plans, minimum plan, etc are priced accordingly because consumers don't have options.
This isn't rocket science. Economics 101. Open the market to more competition, and watch prices go down, quality go up, by the sheer nature of competition and a free market.

Monwat's picture

As a traveller and as a person who has lived in different places around the world.
I find very expensive the cellphones in Canada.

Is a shame that the CRTC is manipulated and almost controlled by the big 3 telecom. As an example just look for the $25 dollar TV package. Canadians are completely disappointed and dissatisfied avout this.

At the end CRTC is going to do what the big 3 want, there is a lack of caracter on the scared memebers of CRTC and at the end what we are doing like this exercise of "Canadiand posting what they think" is the sum of the big 3 posting on our behalf and/or CRTC moving towards big 3 telecom interest.

Dennis's picture

I have been a telus customer for about 10 years now in good standing. I recently tried to get a cell phone for my son for christmas... They demanded i pay a $400 deposit. I checked all the other carriers because now the wireless industry has been opened up to allow competition right? Wrong!!! Turns out the big three lost their bid to keep the market closed but how did they handle it? They bought the new companies! Bell bought Virgin, Rogers owns Fido, and Telus owns Koodo! So again they win...turns out all the other carriers also demanded $400 deposit... Nothing has changed much. Prices are still amongst the highest in the world and they continue to double charge us...caller pays and receiver pays, and the top 3 still own the Canadian market.

Craziekev's picture

Deposits are based off of credit ratings.

AhmadJr's picture

Exactly! The 3 have not colluded against you. Check your credit profile there is something that has blemished your credit file.

Jackyonge's picture

SIM LOCKING FEES - UNFAIR

The wireless code has been effective in many areas of pain for consumers. There are a couple of areas left that have not been addressed and I believe should be.

Carriers should not be allowed to SIM LOCK devices. If they do, for their own protection, they should be required to unlock the device at NO CHARGE. The device lock is only a revenue grab as the consumer owes the full value through their plan or a buy out. No other industry is allowed to hold you hostage. This issue is absolutely unethical when a Customer purchases the device outright and then forced to pay a $35-70 fee to unlock the device they own. Please ban SIM locking in Canada.

Barry's picture

I am in total agreement regarding the UNFAIR locking fees. We are currently TELUS consumers and we have had a 2 year dual contract and paid for 2 $600.00 phones in that contract. Now after paying for the phones we are held ransom to unlock them to go to another provider. Totally ridiculous. Excuse me but I own the phone. I paid for it. So what gives TELUS the right to keep it locked and to demand a $35.00 fee to unlock my personal property.?
I have paid this before on another phone a few years ago, and I am so insensed by it that I am tempted to throw the phone away and buy a simple phone and stop consuming anything more that phone service. This unlock fee has got to be stopped. How much money are these compaines entitled to? We already pay the highest rates in the world. ON top of this complaint they continue to collect the same payment based on buying the phone so they in affect are continuing to collect the phone cost appropriation until you call them to complain. Ridiculous again. How can this be allowed, it must stop!, Thank you.

Zzzzpah's picture

I agree with this!! And I want to add something g else as well! I have been shocked with my billing... I am deaf and my data always have gone over due to my using GLIDE and VIDEO chat- talking to my friends, family members, and business related as well!!! I would like to see deaf and Hard of hearing plans that will be nicely matched for us without paying for voice data. This frustrated me so much as I have to pay for voice plan even through I can't use it at all! I even have to pay for voice mail as hearing people did try to call me but it went straight to voice mail which will charge me fee for that! I have hard time with keeping up with my mobile bills.. it's frustrating!!

Zzzzpah's picture

I agree with this!! And I want to add something g else as well! I have been shocked with my billing... I am deaf and my data always have gone over due to my using GLIDE and VIDEO chat- talking to my friends, family members, and business related as well!!! I would like to see deaf and Hard of hearing plans that will be nicely matched for us without paying for voice data. This frustrated me so much as I have to pay for voice plan even through I can't use it at all! I even have to pay for voice mail as hearing people did try to call me but it went straight to voice mail which will charge me fee for that! I have hard time with keeping up with my mobile bills.. it's frustrating!!

mkober's picture

I agree. I am a Telus customer and I want to change providers. I have an iphone 4s. I'm told by Telus that I'll need to pay them $50 to unlock my phone. This is unfair. After having paid for the phone I now have to pay Telus to unlock my phone. That's called a "Ransom Fee" or "Hostage Fee" in any other business. It is unbelievable how the government allows these companies to extort money like this! In the US it's "forbidden for carriers to charge you to unlock your phone".

Toonie's picture

While I feel a total ban on SIM locking in Canada would lead to higher cost of phones, at least consumers should have the option to choose unlocked or subsidized.
Any customer who has a SIM locked phone should be able to unlock that phone at no charge once any plan is paid in full, this would be consistent with other countries (e.g. UK where unlocking handsets is free of charge by law once the initial plan term is completed)

Toonie's picture

While I feel a total ban on SIM locking in Canada would lead to higher cost of phones, at least consumers should have the option to choose unlocked or subsidized.
Any customer who has a SIM locked phone should be able to unlock that phone at no charge once any plan is paid in full, this would be consistent with other countries (e.g. UK where unlocking handsets is free of charge by law once the initial plan term is completed) regardless if you are still a current customer or not.

hquiroga's picture

Make differential pricing between different provinces/markets illegal. If a plan that offers 6GB of data and unlimited minutes is available in a province like Manitoba, it should be automatically available for anyone else in the country, in any other province, with any phone number or area code.

CoryB's picture

Unfortunately, mandated national pricing would not mean cheaper plans for the rest of Canada but higher prices in markets with increased competition like SK, MB and PQ.

Charlie Campista's picture

What about extending that to car insurance? Did you know it's cheaper out West than Ontario?

Stevebo's picture

I am deaf and own business of the service, yet I need to upgrade data plan from 2gb to 6 or 10gb since I tend to pay 15 dollars additional almost every month due to usage a lot of using video relay service for my business purpose. I don't have a choice to pay extra monies. I hope wireless code can change policies to set up a deaf data plan with 50 dollars monthly including 6 or 10 GB, so that way I can create more business in the future. Thanks

Jackyonge's picture

DATA OVERAGES LIKENED TO A SPEEDING TICKET

The wireless code has been effective in many areas of pain for consumers. There are a couple of areas left that have not been addressed and I believe should be.

There needs to be some controls put in place to restrict carriers from "Fine like" charges for overages. The Wireless Code caps the data overages at $50, so the carriers responded by making overages $50 a gigabyte, when this same data is available for $5 or less per gigabyte in plan. Make overages reasonable and stop the bill shock. (Maximum $20 per gigabyte, recommend no more than double the in-plan cost of a gigabyte)

marjoriemiller's picture

We pay the highest prices. Once the 2 year term was in place the providers only upped your monthly fees. If you go over your data they charge you way too much. There customer service to try and get anything resolved is horrible, on the phone for 2 hours.

kflack's picture

Living in a rural community (Pointe-Fortune) we are currently supplied by a single provider of High Speed Services (Internet) - Bell and since 2005 have been limited to a 6 Mb service for 500 people over a 50Mb feeder link pipe. This overloaded link was not corrected for over 2 years and after raising a complaint to the CCTS, Bell Canada volunteered to upgrade our infrastructure to an Alcatel/Lucent/Nokia 7330 (50/10 service) by end of November of 2016. After some delays Bell had just completed testing of VDSL services from this 7330 (Dec 21st a.m.) and the CRTC announced (Dec 21st p.m.) a $750 million fund for enabling high speed services to Rural Communities (50/10 Service). From that day forward, Bell Canada has no longer discussed offering this service to our community, and has apparently even removed the equipment installed. As High Speed Cellular service is available to our community, as an alternative, for the interim, I would like the CRTC to look into the possibility of offering unlimited (data) services for mobile (At Standard Broadband ISP rates) to Rural communities until such a time as the Broadband ISPs provide the recommended bandwidths to rural communities in the CRTC's recent ruling of Dec 2016. Furthermore, an investigation by the CRTC into Bell Canada's practice of promising an upgrade to 7330 services to our community in 2016 and withdrawing that offer after our waiting 6 months for its deployment, coincidentally after finding out about the CRTCs $750 million funding for these same services in the near future.

Nothappy's picture

I am with bell.
Have experienced massive monthly over charging by hundreds of dollars
Bells way to deal with this is make you sign up for a more expensive monthly plan and presto your seven hundred dollar monthly phone bill disappears.
This has happened MANY times.
It is extortion at its finest
Have paid for out of continent phone plans that did not work and was told that even though I paid for plan there was a clause that there is no guarantee phone would work.
Wtf is wrong that these companies get away with this?

Margaret Roche's picture

We live in a rural area where data access is hard to get at an affordable price. We can only get it through satellite. The only alternative is to access it by cell phone & use that as a wifi hotspot for the computer when necessary. We are unable to get unlimited data so such things as streaming music or video is completely out of reach. We are paying $300 / month for 2 cell phones with 5 GB data on one & 10 GB on the other through Koodo. We feel we are discriminated against due to our location. We can't even make a local phone call because most calls are long distance so we have to pay for Canada wide calling too.

Jackyonge's picture

I also have a residence in an area where wireless is the only option available. I am on a Rogers Data Plan for Internet Hubs, it is on a scale, but 100gb is only $140 (Starts at $60 for 5gb). Note that if you go over 100gb, you are penalized at $5 a gb. I was unable to find a similar plan from Bell or Telus.

jimmyjames709's picture

There seems to be NO COMPETITION between Canadian Cell phone service providers. All packages from major providers are inherently equal. The wording may be slightly different and the structure of costs may be slightly different but it is almost an identical final cost for services provided from every source. It reeks of price fixing and I don't know why it hasn't been addressed?
Also since the introduction of 2 year limits on terms consumers have been penalized by providers by a drastic increase in monthly fees. Once again all providers are offering the exact same increased costs at he end of the bill. Continue the good work in addressing bill shock, excess data fees, and protecting consumers from unexpected charges. But PLEASE look at the extravagant base fees Canadians are paying and how the price has been fixed in our market place!

Mich S . gab 747lady's picture

Exactly- if you look at T Mobile in USA they have unlimited data and minutes for $40 per month- we are getting royally ripped off in Canada.

Linda Curtis's picture

First, why are phone prices so high and why is this the only device that hasn't become cheaper as use has increased? I have paid MTS as high as $55 dollars a month for a two year contract after paying $100 down for a Samsung 3. Yes it's an old phone now, but I now pay $30 a month with no data and have replaced the battery once. It's basically only emergency phone now.
I find charges for having a cell phone way too complicated. We get charged for data, number of phone calls, texts etc. It boggles my mind. Perhaps that's exactly what MTS, Roger's and others want to do....confuse us so we give up understanding and just pay the exorbitant charges each month. I know many people who are too embarrassed to ask questions especially when talking to savvy salespeople.
Prices need to come down dramatically for cell phones in Canada.

Jackyonge's picture

Prices of phones are dictated by the phone manufacturers. If you cannot afford the latest smartphone, then you can get a "phone" for less than $100.

Charlie Campista's picture

I don't think the CRTC can tell Samsung, Apple and all the other phone manufacturers to drop their prices

Siv's picture

My contract is about to expire. After 2 years I expect my monthly cost to go down as I am using the same phone which price has been amortized into the two year contract. But it doesnt. I am not offered lower prices for owning my phone. Why not? Since high monthly prices were explained by the "free" phone.

deaglesham's picture

Excellent point! When under contract with a "subsidized" phone, there should be a separate line item on the invoice indicating the amount applied to pay off the phone. When the phone is paid off, that line item should be zero! Unfortunately, at the present time carriers continue charging the same monthly amount even though the phone "subsidy" has been paid off.

Mosef's picture

I agree. If the 2 yr contract is to pay for your subsidized phone Over that term, it should show on your bill under seperate line item the cost of your phone, and outstanding balance of phone cost. Also the monthly cost of your phone bill should go down by that amount once your phone has been paid in full. My contract was up months ago and I'm still paying the same amount as when i was under the contract. No price difference even when I now own the phone. Also why are there higher (tiered) plan prices based on the type of phone you have. A phone plan with data should be the same based on your data requirements not based on whether you are using an iPhone or Samsung for example.

Mosef's picture

I agree. If the 2 yr contract is to pay for your subsidized phone Over that term, it should show on your bill under seperate line item the cost of your phone, and outstanding balance of phone cost. Also the monthly cost of your phone bill should go down by that amount once your phone has been paid in full. My contract was up months ago and I'm still paying the same amount as when i was under the contract. No price difference even when I now own the phone. Also why are there higher (tiered) plan prices based on the type of phone you have. A phone plan with data should be the same based on your data requirements not based on whether you are using an iPhone or Samsung for example.

Mosef's picture

I agree. If the 2 yr contract is to pay for your subsidized phone Over that term, it should show on your bill under seperate line item the cost of your phone, and outstanding balance of phone cost. Also the monthly cost of your phone bill should go down by that amount once your phone has been paid in full. My contract was up months ago and I'm still paying the same amount as when i was under the contract. No price difference even when I now own the phone. Also why are there higher (tiered) plan prices based on the type of phone you have. A phone plan with data should be the same based on your data requirements not based on whether you are using an iPhone or Samsung for example.

Jackyonge's picture

Agreed this is an issue. This is why I never sign onto a contract. Just buy the phone outright from a third party (i.e. Apple). Then you are not paying for your phone within your plan.
Alternatively, call in and change your plan once you have paid off your phone.

AhmadJr's picture

Of course you can ... Call them once the contract is up and ask to switch to a BYOD plan. The plan will go down 10-15 which is normally the monthly subsidy built in to your current plan.

AhmadJr's picture

duplicate

AhmadJr's picture

Duplicate

robert179's picture

Hi, though I appreciate the efforts the CRTC makes to address various issues especially pricing , there is nothing you HAVE done or CAN do to force the companies to change their prices. I along with many customers realize we are smaller in population than USA , and prices should be more. However doesn't take rocket science to figure out that we pay huge amounts more. I was looking for a spreadsheet comparing CDN vs. USA vs. European plans and can't find one. So, comparing just USA, though monthly prices might be close, it is the data, or minutes etc. that one gets that help save money. There are 4 major companies. Just check their web sites - they are like gasoline pricing - all in same ballpark. There is no competition in Canada and maybe we need to ALLOW US companies to buy a Canadian company if you want true competition.

PeterS's picture

Here is Vodafone pricing in the UK. It is much lower than Canadian pricing. Pricing in Iceland is similar and it is a much smaller market than Canada.
http://www.vodafone.co.uk/shop/bundles-and-sims/sim-only-deals/

Laszlo's picture

Or look at https://www.thepeoplesoperator.com/sim/paym/landing in the UK.
I we all know we pay much more and part of it artificial price manipulation, but everyone is willfully blind about it.

steveb's picture

Problem with cellular LD charges in the same area code
I have on several occasions had long distance charges applied because someone in my same area code happened to be roaming in a different part of the same province. Both 613 area code .. Im in Ottawa .. my friend in Haliburton. Both cells get charged long distance. There is no warning that long distance charges would apply. You would figure 613 to 613 there would be no long distance (unless you were informed the other party was roaming)

Mich S . gab 747lady's picture

I think that we should be allowed to roll over any unused minutes and data, we have after all paid for it and we should be allowed to keep it.

ertyu's picture

A couple things come to mind that I would like to see change. First, while continuing to mandate a 2 year contract, allow 3 year contracts as well. Then consumers can choose to amortize the purchase of a phone over a longer contract. Second I would like to see the cost of unlocking a device after the end of contract to be free if not automatic.

sequoia462's picture

I don't think this is the solution. How many people keep their phone for longer than 2 years? Phones get slow after 2 years and being locked in for another year is far too long as the default term for maximum subsidy. I think it would be better to separate the subsidy from the service plan.

Mario B.'s picture

My wife and I are both retired seniors living on fixed incomes and small pension supplements from other sources. We both have cell phones and here you may ask why two cell phones.
The answer is rather simple - each of us is frequently away from the other and because of health issues we use our cell phones to communicate.
Between us, we pay a total of $90.00 - just to be able to communicate with each other. Do you think this is fair? I certainly don't, especially when I see and hear of cell prices in other parts of the world where unlike in Canada, real competition exists and companies thrive. I mean, we've all seen photos and videos of aboriginals in some of the most remote areas of the world and what is seen hanging on a cord from their waist? Yes - a cell phone. It begs the question - Is that person paying what we pay per month?
Canadians are being gouged to the bone for sometime lousy service and constant whining from the service providers. How many millions and or billions do they need anyway?
We're sick and tired of it all and there seems to be no relief in sight.
What is the CRTC going to do about it?

deaglesham's picture

I would like to re-iterate the comments I made during the last Wireless Hearing held 3 years ago. The CRTC should force the carriers to separate the monthly charges for those users under contract between payments towards their phone and for the wireless service(s) provided. I know you can find this information while under contract. However the monthly rate does not reduce at end of term. When the contract reaches end of term, and the agreement enters month to month billing, the amount paid toward the device should be removed. For example, if a user is paying $80 a month for their 2 year contract - with $20 attributed to paying for the device - then once the 2 year contract is finished the monthly amount should be reduced by the $20 down to $60 a month.
I think this would create an opportunity for any business to become a seller of mobile devices - essentially create more of a free market. i.e. A consumer could purchase their device from any retail outlet and arrange service from any carrier, and pay the carrier only for the wireless service.

Margaret Roche's picture

I think we should be able to roll- over any unused data, at least then we wouldn't be paying for what we haven't even used.

kdhinbest's picture

I would go one step further. There should not be a time period associated with purchased data. You have it until you have used it all! Then you buy more data. Doesn't this fall under the Gift Certificate Laws?

jsyjsy's picture

Need more Telecom providers! It seems Oligopoly is not working well in the telecom sector:

1. The data rates are abnormally higher as compared to the rest of world
2. The minimum costs are way high than the rest of the world
3. The telecom companies are dictating the cell phone brand
4. The revision of rates at the same time by all the companies show that all are hand in hand fleecing the customers
5. There is no "real" PAY AS YOU GO plan, all are same having fixed portion of the fees which is very high

Jackyonge's picture

Duplicate post

Jackyonge's picture

I disagree. The telecom infrastructure and division of spectrum are not served well by splitting any further. I'm not against a fourth, however the thought that rates will lower with yet another network is misguided.

Three is good with lots of guidance on how they need to act. A better WCOC should suffice.

Pay as you go, Pre-Paid etc is a marketing choice by the carriers. It could just as easily be cancelled. Its pre-paid, you do not get to have extras unless you want the rates to increase.

Bruce Nickson's picture

This is less of a complaint, than an observation about the ubiquity of cellular services, and the fact that they are less than a handy convenience than an absolute necessity.

As I was traveling in Europe, I bought Fido's European roaming package; basically $60 for 40 megs of data. I think most of us are aware that European cellular charges are considerable less than Canada's, and as such most , if not all, European travel business is conducted online one way or another. For example, if you want to receive a boarding pass, book a specific seat etc, you use your phone. If you want to make a reservation for a car, a plane ticket or a train ticket, you do so on line. You do not visit your friendly neighbourhood travel agent, because they don't exist anymore.

I had a fairly intense travel schedule: France Switzerland, Sicily, and as such was creating the itinerary as I went along. Of course through my phone and through the internet. The question was, how much data is 40 megs. Answer: almost nothing. I was receiving messages from Fido throughout saying "don't worry, we've got you covered". And then I would receive a message from TrenItalia for example, saying "download your reservation code." This happened several times form various transportation and accommodation providers. The convenience is that the code is scanned at the airport, train station or car rental agency, and "poof" you're done.

That is European travel 2016-2017.

To make a long story short, the $60 dollars I spent for "coverage" turned into a $400++ bill.

So if there is a complaint in all of this, I suppose the marketing for data roaming packages is to say the least incomplete and as such is misleading. What does 40 megs mean? Or for that matter 500 megs?

For reference: http://www.fido.ca/consumer/mobile/add-ons/travel-with-your-phone/intl-t...

I'm fairly convinced that there is no seriously compelling argument from an economic/business/technical point of view that we are charged small fortunes for roaming. Of course the cellular providers will fight back, but I sincerely hope that the CRTC can uncover the real reason for these charges

Gerry-09's picture

The Wireless Code in its present form is a good start in making the contract understandable but still needs work to make it more effective. It does not address all of the charges that may be assessed to a user and that should be referenced directly in the contract.

I experienced bill shock relating to data overage charges with Telus and I am still unclear how they calculated the charges as their made little sense. The only reference to data charge overages in the contract did not apply to mine and the web page where the charges were displayed, again not referenced at all in the contract, was not easy to find without the exact URL. I felt this wrong and in violation of the Wireless Code but a complaint to the CCTS they disagreed, not really surprising as the organization if funded solely by the Telecoms. A contract should list ALL the terms not just the convenient ones and I should not have to go hunting on a website to figure out what I agreed to. The contract should contain all pertinent clauses and rates. In essence, no overage fees are not easier to understand. Since then, the data management tools have proven effective in keeping charges at bay so I will give them credit for that.

After having to pay to have the phone unlocked to move my account I personally will never purchase another locked phone as part of a plan. In addition you are not locked in and can move whenever you want. If the Telecoms want to sell phones I think it would make things easier if they were handled as 2 separate transactions, i.e. you purchase a phone and then go to whoever offers the best deal. In other words you could buy your phone from Rogers but if Telus had a better plan, you could go there with no restrictions. I think the idea of going back to a 3-year plan is silly - what phone lasts 3 years these days? It is just a way to lock the purchaser in again.

The bottom line, as has been suggested many times, is we need real competition in the mobility market. Open it up for US or European carriers to come in.

sequoia462's picture

Subsidies/phone loans should be separated from the service fee/contract. The plan can show as an amount on one line of your bill, and the phone amortization can show on a second line. When the phone is paid off, the subsidy will no longer be included on your bill and your total bill will decrease.

sequoia462's picture

Unlimited data should be an option.

Margaret Roche's picture

I definitely agree!!

imulysses's picture

I WAS a Bell Mobility customer until about a week ago. Then we got our bill and it was $160 + 13% tax for two phones, using 2gb of data, and 200 daytime min with unlimited calling after 6 PM. I checked around and found a better plan for $65.00 + 13% tax with three times the data and unlimited calling for BOTH phones on Freedom Mobile. My bride and I made some calculations and realized that after buying out the remaining contract, $450.00 and $50.00 unlocking fee, we would be ahead of the game by June.
It's tough to shell out this much money but it was either that or pay $160 plus tax for the remaining 15 months! That is $1500 MORE than we would for the current plan.The caveat is that Shaw (a damn good company, one I wish would compete with Rogers on Cable in Toronto too!!) which owns Freedom, has limited coverage. And if you go outside the core GTA or other areas you will get stiffed for data can call roaming charges. Even that would still not likely reach the $1500 PLUS we'd be paying had we stayed on Bell.
But here's the real issue. Why doesn't seem your mobile plan rates fall automatically once the contract period (which is the period to acquire ownership of your smart phone) is done? Freedom has a 'tab; option, so you can SEE how much ownership of phone you have at any given time!
I think phone companies should treat contract periods like 'lease' periods on a car. There should be, ON EACH BILL, a 'subscription portion' that covers the data and voice costs of the plan you have. And there should also be a 'lease' portion for the phone. AS you work through your contract, you should see the 'ownership' portion of your phone go up. When fully paid, that should AUTOMATICALLY DROP from your bill and you should either be free to continue the 'subscription' portion with your provider OR be allowed to move to another provider.
IF you decide to move to another provider (as I was essentially forced to do due to high costs), the unlock fee should not be more than $10.00 OR ZERO! Its not like it takes great skill to unlock your own phone and you should not be penalized for doing so.
In line with this, I suggest that mobile phone providers be given the option of being pure phone retailers WITHOUT tying their phones to one of their own plans, if the customer does not want. That means if a customer want the latest Sammy or iPhone or Pixel, they should be able to have the option of leasing one through Rogers, Bell, Telus, or whatever, for a two year term (MAX) and subscribing for services through another!
This would give customers the most options. I would make the company's SERVANTS of the customer instead of the customer as servants to them!
Please consider these options. If competition, and lowers costs are the goal, then apart from allowing large (American) multinationals to come in and pick apart these greedy providers and force them to genuinely compete for consumers dollars, given customers the power is the best way. Decoupling of data/voice plans from the phone costs on the same bill is critical to identifying where the customer's dollars are going. And secondly, creating a market whereby a customer can pick and lease/buy a phone from one provider and subscribe to another, is a further way to keep the Canadian market competitive and prices DOWN.
Thanks.

sequoia462's picture

Reselling should be allowed at a more widescale rate, like how internet is resold. If Teksavvy can resell Bell and Videotron and Rogers, etc, and AEI can resell Teksavvy, then why can't we do something similar with cell phone signals? Sure, there are companies like PetroCanada reselling, but the number of these are limited compared to ISP.

kdhinbest's picture

Bell. I have a SHARED Data plan with my husband. Why was I charged extra for going over 1 GB when WE did not go over the 2 GB Shared Data. If the plan is shared we should not be paying extra until WE go over 2 GB. BELL LIED. This is not a shared plan, it's a 1 GB per phone plan!!!!

Rogers. We have a Mobility Home Internet plan. We can't get any other type because we are rural. I am paying $70-$110 per month for 10-30 GB data. Meanwhile, people just 20 minutes away from us, also rural, are paying $45 per month for unlimited. Why am I paying more for less. I should have access to unlimited internet at the same price as anyone else.

David Metcalfe's picture

I agreed to help someone by providing them with a phone through telus. I advised them after a time that I would no longer be responsible for the account. I did this by a hand delivered letter to their store, a copy of which was signed as received by store staff.
Some months later I received a huge bill from them as someone else had borrowed the phone while my friend was at work and played video games agreeing to extra data charges.
I was advised after the fact by their store manager that they had done nothing with my letter to them and I should have done this over the phone, and that when I signed up for the phone we could have blocked data.
It seems to me that agreeing extra data charges by text is inappropriate in a lot of situations and in my situation I feel the victim of theft

Charlie Campista's picture

Sorry David but you're not getting sympathy from me here when someone borrowed the phone while your friend was at work. Would you leave your wallet unattended?

BIG3Hunter's picture

I have been a Rogers customer since 2004 and my wife since 1998.

Their customer service (in general) is pretty bad, but especially for long time loyal custmoers.

The CRTC needs to do the following to protect Canadians:

REGULATE - the amount of money that any cell phone company can charge for services. Data, Cellular, extra add ons are already WAY too expensive. It's pretty horrible that the "average" cell phone plan is over $100.00 per month. That is highway robbery!

REGULATE - the Privacy act, and DO NOT allow Cell Phone companies to charge money for acquiring a recorded phone conversation. It's a money scam, and these telecommunication companies should be force to be more transparent in their dealings and treatment with their own customers.

REGULATE - Fair competition and ALLOW American companies to enter the Canadian market in a FAIR way, to not scare them away with tariffs, fees, or threats from the current "Big 3". This was attempted but stopped by Bell, Telus & Rogers, as they played the "victim" and were afraid of losing their monopoly on Canadians. We have been taking it up the hoop for decades with Bell's land lines, and now we are jointly taking it up the hoop from Telus, Bell & Rogers with their monopoly of the Canadian Cell Phone market.

THIS NEEDS TO CHANGE. Canadians, pay the highest in Cell Phone plans compared to most countries in the world. This is horrendous and needs to end.

REGULATE - how smaller start up companies are taken over or bought out by the Big 3. Fido, was bought out by Rogers. It'll only be a matter of time before Koodo, Wind (now Freedom) and other smaller carriers (who are forced to rely on the Big 3 tower systems), will be strong armed into either submission of selling to them, or be forced out of the market, If this already hasn't happened or is in the process of happening.

Lastly, the CRTC needs to:

REGULATE - and ENCOURAGE the government to help develop more tower systems that are NOT or will NOT be owned by the Big 3, so that newer / smaller Canadian companies, as well as US companies can enter in the Canadian Tele communcations market, to enable a FAIR competition for Canadian consumers.

This is what Canadians want, and deserve. Please take all of our concerns seriously and fight for us. We need you.

Thank you for reading.

Yeoyo's picture

Just want to point out that Koodo is a subsidiary of Telus.

public_ear's picture

So when you call ROBELUS do you think that you are getting a person who actually works for one of those companies? Oh sure they have -some- employees answering your calls but why do you think there are so many 3rd party vendors? Call centres are the new normal whether overseas or right here in Canada. "You never bite the hand that feeds you" is business speak for do whatever we say to do, it's not our job to enforce the law, we're here to help people and do what they want. So, as long as a caller can provide the account holder's date of birth and last bill amount or any other information then management says answer their questions! (in fact if you don't and the person complains - to bad for the agent - "that's a customer dissatisfaction complaint and disciplinary action is merited". It doesn't matter how courteous the agent is, if the customer is dissatisfied, the agent is screwed. This leads to agents providing information when they should not have leading to all kinds of terrible situations ( vis the recent stalker news story) so that they can avoid being fired. Oh and the companies are -always- outraged when their employees .. who should know better break the rules. Over and above the fact that there is no clearly available& worthwhile complaint process for ethical employees, there is no obvious evidence of any repercussions when companies do break the rules. Besides, every call centre is always "on the verge of closing" according to management so if anyone -did- complain "-everyone- would be out of a job - how would [anyone] like that on [their] head?"
So please, please please whatever new policies are brought in -please- make the telcos regularly widely and -actively- inform their customers in an ongoing .... even annoying manner (they're prepared to that with their ads) ... inform their customers that for the agents to help them the customer MUST provide XY&Z information to the agent ,,, they should do this maybe instead of one of the ads they make you listen to when you call in AND that shouting or other abusive behavior is -totally- unacceptable. As it stands the industry standard is that abusive is just part of the job and and that there is nothing that can be done since that is the nature of the business. Please, don't just believe me, set up an line agents can call. If every single Canadian wanted fair service they have to realize that they -can't- get that from an industry that has the turnover rate due to burnout that call centres boast, that people who are medicated against the stress they experience will not always make the lawful decision and that the costs that they are paying through the burden on the EI, Health other government agencies are likely vastly more than what their average monthly bill shows.

TRANSPARENCY_OF_USAGE_RATES_PLEASE's picture

Please make the carriers provide their customers with *exact details* of their data plan usage and the associated rates.

If I stream a video on youtube on my mobile phone - what is the exact cost? Is it $2.00? Is it 50 cents? How much data did I use up?

A minute is a minute; a text is a text. But what, exactly, is an Instagram upload? A Twitter post?

If a consumer knew that downloading a podcast is going to use 500mb and cost $10, they will better be able to gauge and manage their data usage. (these are obviously imaginary rates because guess what? nobody knows how much this stuff costs.)

The carriers *already* have this information - they bill us based on this information. There is no technical reason they would not be able to provide this information. The current setup only serves them, they can charge us blindly - and we wouldn't know any better.

Jackyonge's picture

PLEASE IGNORE THAT REQUEST. I in no way want my privacy breached by the carrier declaring exactly what I used my data for. A Packet is a Packet. If you want to know how much each app uses, check your phone, its there.

TRANSPARENCY_OF_USAGE_RATES_PLEASE's picture

if you do not want to be able to measure how much data you have used and how - no problem. make it optional for those of us that do.
furthermore, not all phones or apps provide that information so you are dead wrong about "check your phone it's there".

TRANSPARENCY_OF_USAGE_RATES_PLEASE's picture

Nordicity - the consulting firm who in 2010 had TELUS as a client and provided wireless industry data on pricing and packaging, information subsequently used by the major incumbents in setting out the Canadian industry position - allowed to be hired and paid by the CRTC for a Price Comparison Study of Telecommunications Services in Canada in Select Foreign Jurisdictions? How is this not a conflict of interest? Am I missing something?

Why is this type of study not done internally by the CRTC? Or even by Stats Canada? Or any other party NOT affiliated with the carriers?

Wall Communications, who did the 2015 analysis, also have had Telus and Bell Canada as clients.

The CRTC then goes on to use their study to say that in Canada:
(pg. 18 CRTC Submission to the Government of Canada’s Innovation Agenda December 21, 2016)

"The following table shows that prices vary widely for the Internet services provided by the different service providers. Depending on the degree of competition present in the different markets, many consumers are able to enjoy the benefits of competitive price offerings."

"MANY CONSUMERS ARE ABLE TO ENJOY THE BENEFITS OF COMPETITIVE PRICE OFFERINGS???"

This severely smells like collusion and delusion between the CRTC and the telecoms.

TRANSPARENCY_OF_USAGE_RATES_PLEASE's picture

In the CRTC's Submission to the Government of Canada’s Innovation Agenda December 21, 2016

The 'sample of entry-level broadband internet access service offerings table' (pg 21) - the rates provided are either fictitious or misleading. Bell Mobility does not even post their broadband rates on their website, you must call in - and yet they state their source as ISPs websites. Yak starts at $40. TekSavvy you need to first put in your postal code to see if they CAN EVEN service your area. Furthermore, the "rates" do not include activation fees, modem fees - it is all misleading. Do you need a regulator for the regulator?

How can the Minister of Innovation Sciences and Education Development accurately assess how Canadian are really affected by these criminal rates when the CRTC misinforms him?

ertyu's picture

If wireless service is under contract and purchased with any related services, those services should not be allowed to increase in cost while the contract is in place. Similarly, if a wireless contract is bundled with another service and a discount is available for bundling, the other service should not be allowed to increase in cost.

For example, in the past I've had a wireless contract and it was deemed items such as voicemail were not part of the contract and their price was increased. There was basically no choice but to continue paying whatever price they set. I'm not sure if there are cases or services remaining where the current code fails to cover this or not.

However there is a case that is currently outside the bounds of the code. I'm bundling my internet service with my wireless service. While my wireless service is under contract, the internet service has changed price. Because I'm bundling the services, they receive a discount, however since the wireless remains under contract, it's very difficult to sever the internet service without encountering a substantial price increase as I can't move my bundle to another provider.

TRANSPARENCY_OF_USAGE_RATES_PLEASE's picture

what WILL the CRTC do??

The CRTC's Submission to the Government of Canada’s Innovation Agenda December 21, 2016 is supposed to outline how the CRTC is going to help Canadians with broadband and mobile issues however:

CRTIC Conclusion Affordability:
While the Telecommunications Act gives the CRTC broad powers to regulate the provision of telecommunications services, OTHER PARTIES ARE LIKELY BETTER PLACED TO IMPLEMENT TARGETED SOLUTIONS TO ADDRESS THE GAPS IN AFFORDABILITY.

CRTC Conclusion digital literacy:
While the Telecommunications Act gives the CRTC broad powers to regulate the provision of telecommunications services, OTHER PARTIES ARE BETTER PLACED TO IMPLEMENT SOLUTIONS TO ADDRESS THE GAPS IN DIGITAL LITERACY.

Conclusion broadband internet access
While the Telecommunications Act gives the CRTC broad powers to regulate the provision of telecommunications services, OTHER STAKEHOLDERS IN SOME CASES ARE BETTER POSITIONED TO IMPLEMENT SOLUTIONS TO ADDRESS SOME OF THE ABOVE-MENTIONED GAPS.

CRTC - ARE YOU PASSING OFF THE BUCK?

JUST WHAT WILL YOU DO THEN??

MORE USELESS POLICIES LIKE THE WIRELESS CODE - THAT DOES NOT EVEN PENALIZE THE CARRIERS IF THEY DON'T FOLLOW IT?

SMELLS LIKE HOT TRASH.

TRANSPARENCY_OF_USAGE_RATES_PLEASE's picture

In Canada Budget 2009 (pg 22 Investments in Knowledge Infrastructure) $225 million was provided for over a 3 year period to develop and implement a strategy on extending broadband coverage to unserved communities.

What were the results of those taxpayer funds?

Can we expect $200 million to go up in smoke again with this new agenda? (CRTC Submission to the Government of Canada’s Innovation Agenda December 21, 2016)

ELIAS LEOUSIS's picture

Personally, I have had terrible experiences with Bell Canada: They continue to have this arrogant monopolistic attitude. Their corporate dogma continues to be the one they held ages ago when they were the only players in the market.
I don't think the CRTC is serving the public merely by allowing one or two other players to enter the market, they too, feel comfortable, like the oil companies, to "fix" prices and exploit the public. If the CRTC is serious to protect the public, they should fund other players or make it easier for them to enter the market; this should help drive prices down.

GFox's picture

The monopoly of the big three in this country has gone on for far too long. I was shopping for a phone at one point and was shocked to find that there were plans in Ontario that cost north of $100...the same plan in Manitoba? almost half the price. Same with Saskatchewan and to a lesser extent Quebec.

What could be the reason for this huge price discrepancy. COMPETITION. MTS in Manitoba (which Bell bought, so doubt the prices will stay reasonable for long now that theyve bought out the competition that was forcing them to be reasonable), Sasktel in Saskatchewan and Videotron in Quebec. Somehow these companies are still able to make money in other provinces charging half of what im paying in Ontario...it doesnt take a rocket scientist to recognize that i'm being screwed. They'll buy up the competition until they are gouging as many people as possible.

I'm a pretty apolitical person, but the incompetence of the CRTC to create competition in this sector makes my blood boil. Worst of all, it seems like you put out these little surveys all the time to "gauge opinions" and nothing ever gets done.

GFox's picture

If I recall correctly, some companies will allow you to "buy a phone outright" by paying the full amount and signing up for a one month contract. The specifics of how that is transacted are inconsequential. If someone is doing this, it should be legally mandated that the company unlock that phone for you.

Also, phones should AUTOMATICALLY be unlocked once the duration of a contract has been completed.

Jackyonge's picture

Ask why should anyone be allowed to lock a phone in the first place. This practice is ridiculous! There was a time (90's) when people were buying phones fraudulently and shipping overseas. Phone locking was in response to that. Time for phone locking to be stopped.

happyclint's picture

I haven't bothered to read the rest of the comments above because I find something very puzzling about the rules regarding prepaid phones. That is the money that I put in "expires" at the end of the month if I have not used up the balance. My question is "how does handing over cash for service differ from a gift card that doesn't expire?"

PeterS's picture

For recent trips to Europe we unlocked our phones before leaving. It was $50 for Bell to unlock each phone. We still saved money as Canadian roaming and data charges are extremely high. The current price with Vodafone in Great Britain is £25 (~$40) for 10GB for 30 days. We saw better deals in magazines in England. Plans in Iceland were similar.
Bell's "Roam Better" plan for Europe is $10 per day for 100mb so $300 for 3gb over 30 days. 10gb would be over $900!!! Our regular plans on two year contracts are very expensive compared to Europe. Check the websites for any mobile provider in Europe.
In addition to the expensive services I've had miserable experiences with Bell's 800 support numbers.

rk's picture

Please stop messing around with Canadian wireless providers. You've already put so much unique legislation in place that potential new entrants to the market have been scared away from doing business in this country. Without attracting new providers, there will never be true competition and Canadians will continue to pay more than anyone else in the world for services which are among the worst in value.

You got rid of 3 year contracts. What did that result in? A higher monthly bill for customers like me who used to get the best possible deal from their wireless companies.

You enforced "simpler" bills. Now my Rogers bill looks like something designed for a kindergarten child, with pages and pages of huge fonts, wasted white space and ridiculous icons which all make it more difficult to find the information I'm looking for amidst the clutter. And they eliminated the line item detail on calls I made and received.

The only positive improvement I've encountered in the wireless industry here over the last few years are better roaming plans. Ironic the those who benefit most are the ones who spend their time *outside* of Canada.

CRTC's experiments in the wireless industry have failed, leaving behind nothing more than a thin veneer of "artificial" competition. I wish you would just stop.

Laszlo's picture

I think leaving business to their on devices always leads to better outcome ....... for the business!!!!

wwefreak666's picture

We need lower prices for BYOB. I buy my phones outright and I still pay $58/month for 2GB of data.. and I've been told this is a good deal... In reality, I see our neighbours down south with much more data for $58/month. Data caps are ridiculous. They shouldn't exist for home internet and they shouldn't exist for wireless cell plans.

KAL's picture

I have three phones all with Rogers for almost ten years. One has an excellent older plan, but the minute one thing changes, the plan is immediately lost for something more costly and with fewer features. It is the add ons, like the so-called Roam Like Home, where all the money is made. If phones are not on a Share Everything, the companies charge extremely high fees for roaming...a daily fee for a trip across the border for an hour is very high or the customer then has to revert to a 30 day plan that is 70% of my entire regular monthly bill for the phone! How and why is that?

Tyler Bacon's picture

I would like to see the wireless carriers collect fines for distracted driving on the behalf of law enforcement in order to ensure that drivers are held accountable for their actions. I would also like to see that wireless providers be required to discontinue service of their customers if the been repeatedly caught distracted behind the wheel and also deactivate the devices used by their customers who were caught repeatedly distracted while behind the wheel.

Jackyonge's picture

Maybe the Cigarette companies should also hold back tobacco from anyone caught smoking with a child in the car.

Lets be realistic here and maybe affect some positive change to the WCOC

Tyler Bacon's picture

I am a bell mobility customer and I would like to see them bring back pre-authorized debit/ credit card service in which they automatically withdraw the balance owed out of your bank account or credit card. I would like to see all wireless carriers be required to offer their customers the option to have the negative balance which is credit be deposited into their bank accounts. I would like to see the wireless carriers change the way that they charge people in the case when they have more than one person on the same account such as the family plan so only the account holder(s) be the only ones that can approve any charges made to the account instead of being to be any person that can approve the charges.

Yeoyo's picture

When the new CRTC rules came into effect I was under the impression that $50 overage limits meant that $50 is the maximum amount that cell phone companies could charge for Date Overages in a given billing cycle. Come to find out that is absolutely incorrect. I've been with two different cell phone companies since the new rules (Rogers and Virgin) and my girlfriend has been with Koodo the whole time. And what we've found out is that once you hit your $50 data cap your data is completely shut off unless you agree to pay additional fees for more data. So how did this change anything. If we go over we are still being gauged for more data. My last two cell phone bills were $250 and $300. I need my data due to work but my work doesn't cover cell phone bills. So I am forced to pay fees that are insane. I am with virgin and when I hit $50 I am cut off and forced to agree to pay for additional data. My girlfriend is with Koodo and when she reaches her regular data limit she is immediately cut off and forced to buy more data. Koodos is worse than virgins though. It gives her 3 options, $20 for gb $15 for 300 mb and $10 for 5 mb. She can only choose each of the options 1 time each after which she is given the choice to choose $.05 per additional mb. How is this capping data at $50. It is not. These laws didn't help Canadians at all. A data cap should be a cap on the amount of money that can be charged extra per month not the amount that we can get to before our data is cut off. This is Robbery. And then you look at America $40 for unlimited Data with T-Mobile. I pay $85 for my 1 gb package. It doesnt make sense how the government would even allow its citizens to be ripped off of their hard earned money.

GiseleMurdoch's picture

We are Rogers customers. I was replacing my husband's IPhone at Christmas. He had already visited the store to ask for their latest deal. The store offered him a $100 credit on the phone plus a $10 monthly bill credit. BUT they also suggested that we should call Rogers as they might offer a better deal over the phone. I called and was offered a $100 credit plus a $100 "upgrade deferral" which I was told would incorporate any price decrease to the end of the calendar year. I was also told that the $10 monthly credit offered by the store would also be honoured by the representative on the phone. This phone conversation lasted nearly an hour as the representative repeatedly needed to put me on hold to "check". I subsequently called back to take the phone deal and was then told that the phone would be shipped but that I would have to call back to have the two $100 discounts. At this point, I was also told that the $10 monthly credit could not be applied as that was a "store deal" and their phone representative could not honour that....another 45 minute conversation while the rep repeatedly "checked". Finally, when we received the phone and I called for the discounts, I was told that the first $100 would be applied immediately to my bill but it would take weeks before the upgrade deferral credit was applied. Also I was told that I would have to call separately to have any price changes (included in the upgrade deferral) applied to the cost of the phone. In other words, I was expected to watch Rogers ads and point out the price changes rather than expecting them to know their price changes and apply them automatically. A few weeks later, I received a random call from a very nice Rogers customer service rep asking if we were happy with our service. When I mentioned this experience and the fact that there were two "deals", she said there was nothing she could do about that. I think it is unacceptable that the same company offers different deals in their stores and over the phone. It is confusing to consumers and takes advantage of those who aren't able to commit significant time (in our case, nearly three hours) to a phone purchase.

Judasroy's picture

I think companies should rollover data that we we paid for. If I paid for 10GB of data any unused portion should be rolled over into the next month. I don't see how it's fair that it's not rolled over.

trini1313's picture

I'd like to be able to sign on to a 3 year contract again. I don't get why those of us who understood what we were signing have to suffer for those that can be bothered to understand. A 2 year contract was available with Rogers – it was always there if you wanted it. I am with Rogers and never seemed to have a problem extending my contract if a better plan came up for me. Example: 2 years in I see a better plan, I call in and re-sign a new 3 year contract. I'm a long standing customer and don't plan on going anywhere else because I've always been treated right. I should be able to get the best deal out of my carrier of choice as well.

The only thing that came out of the term reduction for me is that hardware is more expensive because it can only be amortized over 2 years.

sequoia462's picture

Glitch edit

sequoia462's picture

Glitch edit

sequoia462's picture

How many people can keep a phone working smoothly for more than two years though? They get slow after two years.

Marlene's picture

I am a Telus customer. I pay $85 per month for my service and for a senior , that is a substantial amount. Every month, I meet my data quota and have to turn off my cellular services, so that , in fact from that point on, I have a flip phone. I use my phone very little and very seldom connect for mail with it; that I check on my computer. So I am assuming that the data is being used for messaging, which again is not used more than a couple of times a day, if that. Of course, I could up my data usage, but that would begin to cost me way more than the messaging service is worth . I am dismayed that , for the better part of $100, a person cannot get minimal usage of the phone. The basic amount of data covered needs to be a lot more before data fees for overuse are added. At this point, I would gladly go back to my flip phone, as, for a portion of my service period, this is all I have anyway!
One thing I do appreciate is that you are notified when you are about to exceed your usage amount.

crtc@mail.flamingpc.com's picture

Blocking Internal Transfer of phone numbers between lines in 1 account

Rogers and Bell, and probably most providers, currently *prevent* customers from moving their phone number from one line to another within the same provider. This is an unfair restriction on number porting.

This presents a problem if someone wants to fullfill the remainder of their contract (with a new phone number, for example), but absolutely needs to port their phone number away for some reason. For example, someone wants to port their cell phone number to a landline or VoIP service, or corp account with another provider.

Once they port *out* their number, their contract is cancelled immediately and they have to pay ETF. This is holding the phone number hostage, and unacceptable.

All the providers need to allow you the option finish your contract with a new phone number , while allowing you to port *away*. This is normally accomplished by allowing customers to move their phone to another line on their account; once they've moved their number to a non-contract line, they can then safely port that number away.

crtc@mail.flamingpc.com's picture

Data Overage units are Measured in Gigabytes, not MB!

Data overage needs to be advertised more fairly. It is unfair to advertise data overage in kilobytes or 100 megabyte chunks. This is deception

Data is measured in Gigabytes. A service provider needs to advertise 10$ per gigabyte, not 1$ per 100mb. This is very sneaky. This is my most important complaint.

Secondary comment:

I think that data overage cost should have an upper limit. Nobody should be paying 50$ per gigabyte for domestic Canadian data. Right now, may providers are charging 50$/gigabyte overage, while selling included monthly gigabytes at roughly 10$. It is deceptive to sell someone a 5gb plan for 50$, and then charge them 50$ per additional gigabyte (advertised as 5$ per 100mb in fine print.)

The cost of overage gigabytes should not be higher than in-plan gigabytes.

Jackyonge's picture

Absolutely agree with the extreme cost of overages.

How they declare data, not so much. They declare it in the measure that they sell it. So if you use 1mb, they charge you for another 100mb if the price is set @$5/100mb. I prefer the cost per/mb for best value. Why should I pay for a gb when I only use 1mb over my plan??

And who audits the carriers ability to measure data??

deaglesham's picture

I agree about the measurement and pricing of data. It seems like the carriers are trying to confuse by selling base units in GB and overages in MB or KB. The pricing should be all in the same unit of measure.

crtc@mail.flamingpc.com's picture

Call Forwarding in Prepaid

Prepaid providers do no currently offer unlimited Call Forwarding. This is a 3$/month service for post-paid. While it may not make sense for a provider to offer this service at the same price in prepaid, it should be offered at some reasonable cost since the cost of call forwarding is pennies for the provider and does not use airtime.

Long distance charges are still too expensive for both prepaid and postpaid. Someone should be able to forward calls to a U.S. Phone number for 5c/min or less; similar to landline rates. (Current price: 50 cents per minute. 15 times more expensive than on landlines.) Long distance calls (when not roaming) do not incur additional airtime tower load for the provider.

Texting to U.S. phone numbers (while in Canada) should be free. Rogers and Telus charge for this. Most (all?) American providers do not charge for Canadian-bound text messages.

Chuck's picture

"Did you know you can attend the public hearing and follow it online?"
The preceding comment tells me that the government does not understand some Canadians can not afford to go on such websites. I live 1.5km outside of a city limit. I have a rocket hub with Rogers. My typical bill is $163.85 per month for 100GB of use. If I go over 100 GB then the cost jumps dramatically. If I get to the 100GB usage prior to the end of the month then I tell my two children that they cannot go on the internet until the next billing cycle begins. This creates problems when some of my kids home work has to be done online.

We do not play video games online. We do not generally download movies through Net Flicks.

I feel like I live in a third world country because some days I do not have internet. The reason I do not have internet some days is because I cannot afford to go over the 100GB per month usage. Even at $163.85 it is a struggle to afford internet. This $163.85 is just for internet and do not include a package that Rogers offers to urban costumers. I feel like Rogers is being prejudice to rural customers by offering packages to urban costumers with unlimited internet usage and packages that bundle internet, TV and phone together.

I am sure if you government employees were paying these prices regulations would be changed in a hurry.

Brian's picture

have you experienced bill shock?
Yes. Not the fault of the carrier.

is it easier now to understand your mobile plan or contract?
Same as before.

are you more comfortable deciding whether a new phone and plan works for you?
Same as before. Still have to do all the homework to figure out the best plan and phone to get. Contracts no longer make sense, so bringing your own phone often makes the most sense.

are overage fees easier to understand and manage?
Yes. Texting alerts are great.

how do you find managing the data of your shared and/or family plan with multiple users (for example, kids/teens, employees, etc.)?
N/A

have you changed service providers and how did it go?
Yes. Easily.

have you unlocked your phone and was it easy to do?
Yes. Was not easy. Had to do homework.

Prices are way too high due to the lack of competition. I would urge the CRTC to set up wholesale access to
phone and data access through cell networks, or to create an actual competitor (whether third party or crown corp) that has service similar to the Big 3 (Bell/Rogers/Telus).

Michael B's picture

Hi there,
New here.
I have been wondering for years why I pay monthly for my data (3gigs) but use usually less than 1 gig. My bill does not go down, i'm still paying for that 3 gigs so why aren't those 3 gigs MINE?
The cellphone company should either lower my bill per price THEY CHARGE for 1 gig on my next bill or my gigs should roll over and no, there should not be a cap on that either.
Why can't I use 1 of my 3 gigs and save some gigs for when I have my next road trip or vacation somewhere?

This is why I cannot stand having a cellphone. And yes, I do need my cellphone so my parents can get in touch instantly, they are quite old now and need me quite often. I need the phone so I'm able to respond to them, it's just a fact of life.

This is not right, I pay for the gigs, they are my gigs, give them back to me.
Thanks.

Rogersuser's picture

Over the past 20 years, i have been a customer of all of the major three providers. Each have had their benefits and drawbacks. I have endured sticker shock more than once and have had good and bad customer support experiences. I believe the issues are more complex than those arising from monopolistic practices, which do need regulating to some degree. I doubt however we'll see monopolies go extinct. In every global market, competition is greeted with acquisition strategies. This is not new, nor will it cease to exist going forward. While technology advances are helping me take more control with data capping, service unbundling, and better choices, one simple truth remains. Canada continues to pay the highest rates in the world. Because I enjoy the quality of superior broadband and mobility service, I understand that keeping that and continuing to improve it, requires investments by the big three in research, infrastructure and services. I don't live in a fantasy world to think that I can continue to have these things without paying for them. However, I believe the important role for the CRTC is to ensure that there is an optimal balance between quality and cost. Gouging for the price of mobility service, both hardware and service is partly driven by the mobile manufacturing sector which is downloaded to the consumer in the for of subsidized devices. That's ok with me, however, the ancillary costs which far outweigh the total cost of devices (unlocking, transferring, etc) which all come at a randsome cost need to be controlled. warranty coverage is nonexistent unless you pay exorbitant fees and the carriers absolve themselves of any liability associated to the providers of coverage. This uncoupling of responsibility needs to be regulated toward a higher level of consumer protection and fairness of charging practices across the board. There is no secret that the big three collaborate to control the market. This is where the CRTC needs to step up its game. Data needs to reasonably priced and available in rural as well as urban markets. Reasonable does NOT mean dirt cheap, but warranted for the quality of service. Watching the unfolding scandalous practices of gouging essential services like hydro by the Ontario government, makes me fear that we are going backward in this regard instead of forward, and the communication market is following suit. Not sure what the answers are, but I think Canadians should leverage the unequivocal power of consumer pressure on all providers and the CRTC to affect change. I am very pleased to have an opportunity to provide input....I just hope something actually happens with it.

dnyarko's picture

1) The CRTC should have enforceable rules, with suitable penalties in place to act as a deterrent. There is no point in having codes without enforcement and penalties to deter those who break the code stipulations.
2) The plan cost should be separated from phone cost. This will make it simpler for consumers to understand and ensure transparency (which i believe the CRTC desires for consumers).
One's plan cost should be = Base plan cost (BYOP) plus a monthly phone subsidy cost.
As far as i know only Koodo Mobile implements something of this nature.
Fido on a Plus15 plan , prices the monthly fee as: BYOD plan cost + $15 per month. However, based on the phone, the monthly subsidy is not $15. These marketing gimmicks don't bring clarity and only exist because there are no enforceable rules regarding this.
Allowing the carriers to offer a blended cost does not auger well for the consumer.
3) All providers (MVNOs or otherwise) should be mandated to provide an 'on phone' method ( e.g. sms or free data usage app) for usage details ( voice, data) . One does not have to access a website to obtain this information.

mbernier's picture

I have read a number of prior comments and the general impression is one of deja vu. There has been exactly zero improvement since the last consultation.
There is no competition. Not only does it not matter what company you cut a cheque to in terms of price, in the practical sense there is only ONE provider and the so called "competitors" resell that service. So if the service is crap changing providers gains nothing. They all know it and they don't give a damn.
We pay the worlds highest prices
Service level is bad to horrid
Phones are priced at triple what they are overseas
Data plans are capped, going over on the data is pure extortion.
Devices are locked.

Unless and until someone in the CRTC grows a pair and opens the market to actual meaningful competition nothing will change. The only other choice is complete regulation like telephones in the 1940s-1960s where you can set rates and rules for the customers not the oligarchs.

lorne morrell's picture

cell phones,
I received an old cell phone from my daughter. It was not in use as she upgraded. When I went to use it on my mobile network, I found the cell phone was locked. I also found that the original service provider required $50.00 to unlock the cell phone, a cell phone in which it did NOT have any ownership.

WHY ?

Why wasn't the cell phone unlocked the moment it was taken out of service with the original service provider since they did not have any claim to the cell phone. If they believed they have a claim on the phone, why did they not make it at the time of upgrade or at the end of payments???
This is like purchasing a car and after meeting the financial commitment, having to go back to the dealership to pay $50.00 so one can trade with different car dealership.

I can not see why a cell service provider has the right to keep a customer's cell phone locked when that phone becomes the debt free property of the customer. The only reason for this situation to continue is to limit the rights of the customer and require the customer to remain with the original service provider.

lorne morrell's picture

I was restoring a cell phone to factory state and found that one needs a sim card from a service provider to compete the installation. Why? Why would one need a sim card to initialize a cell phone? Wouldn't that part of the process take place when and if you wanted ot use the cell phone as a phone and not as a game toy for one's children.

megar32's picture

Most phone are locked to their respective provider. I do agree that "after" your contract term is expired that you do own the phone & should be able to do with it as you choose; anything else is tantamount to the provider still owing your property that was paid for.

Calvin C's picture

No it's not the carrier's property. Even during the contract period, you should be able to do whatever you want with the hardware, because there is already a financial obligation to repay the subsidy should you want to cancel the contract. When you buy a car, the car is titled to you unless you're leasing. You can still sell the car at will even if you are financing it, just need to pay off your remaining payments.

The lock is only there so that they force you into paying their exorbitant roaming rates if you travel.

PVS1951's picture

It is called collusion when you crawl into bed with the company's you are
supposed to oversee . What ever happened to the anti profiteering laws ?
Guess they got turfed along with integrity a long time ago.

megar32's picture

Further to my complaint filed with CCTS (00-00-00-0076087) and resolved by fido. I still contend that while my initial issue was resolved there are underlying issues that requires the full attention of the CRTC as the wireless code rules are not being followed.

Recently I purchased a phone from Fido and tried to return it. Below is the complaint I filed with the CCTS and what I felt did not conform with the wireless code that Fido and most likely other wireless providers are not following.

1.
Fido is intentionally trying to discourage any returns by not including a written return policy in the package in which the new phone is shipped. The customer should receive notice in plain language that clearly informs the customer of their rights regarding the return of a phone. Because Fido does not make their return policy immediately accessible, i.e., it is not included
with the package or otherwise communicated to the customer when the phone is ordered, customers such as myself will always fail to timely return an unwanted or defective phone. The return policy can be found on their website, as a Fido representative told me, but it is not easy to locate without the assistance of a representative who is very familiar with Fidos website. A return policy, however, should be provided to the customer in plain language that clearly states the time frame and/or other terms for a return.

2.
CRTC rules address cancellation of service and provide in part that a service provider must offer the customer a trial period lasting a minimum of 15 calendar days to enable the customer to determine whether the service meets their needs. It also states that the trial period must start on the date on which service begins. Please note the word, enable. Fidos representative told me that their 15 day return period begins on the date on which Fido ships the phone. This is unfair and does not seem to comply with CRTC regulations because clearly a customer is not, enabled to begin a trial period when the phone is not in the customers care or custody. It is excessively unreasonable to calculate a trial period or commence calculating the time for a return based on when an item is en route to be delivered to a customer. The customer cannot be enabled to begin the trial period until the phone is activated. CRTC regulations even state that the trial period must start on the date in which service begins. Fido, however, has incorrectly determined that the 15 day trial period or return period should be calculated on the date in which the phone is shipped by Fido to the customer.

3.
My phone was delivered to my home in the evening on January 4th. I activated it on January 7th. I tried to return the phone January 22nd. I was told that I was outside of the 15 day return period because Fido calculated such a period based on when the phone was shipped to me. If Fido was in compliance with the CRTC and calculated it based on when the service begin,
i.e., when I activated the phone, then I would be within the 15 day return window. However, Fido has one additional caveat required to return the phone and that is there had to be a talk time of only 30 minutes. CRTC rules state that Fido may establish reasonable limits on the useage of their voice text and data services. The problem I have with Fido is that they are abusing this provision. Thirty minutes is excessively unreasonable for a trial period. Also, due to Fidos failure to include their return limitations in plain language with the package in which the phone is shipped, it is impossible for the customer to know that they can only use the phone for 30 minutes otherwise it will not be an acceptable return. The customer should have
at least two (2) hours of useage and this time limit should be stated in writing and included in the package with the phone.

It is my hope that the CRTC look into issues

jodaoust's picture

I returned a device to Rogers (at my cost) and they called me up to tell me that I should have "Thrown it in the landfill". They then ruined my credit rating because I would not pay for the device in their possession.
Bell recently explained to me that the net hub is not returnable, but all I have to do is pay for it ($300.00) if I want to cancel my service early. They also gave me 24 hours, but I could NOT go over 50meg of data, to try it out without risk.
None of the big three take responsibility for the equipment needed to access their services and they mislead you (in the way the bill itemizes) into thinking that you'll get a discount on your bill once the device is paid for.

Naughticl's picture

A simple and brief suggestion: Once a customer buys a number of cel phone minutes and/or a block of wireless data, he or she has completed the transaction and paid for those goods. Those goods should not expire at the arbitrary month-end but should remain the property of the customer until used. At present every unused minute or unused Mb of data is default profit/subsidy to the supplier. Let's level the playing field. Thank-you for this forum.

Ather6177714's picture

Make differential pricing between different provinces/markets illegal. If a plan that offers 6GB of data and unlimited minutes is available in a province like Manitoba, it should be automatically available for anyone else in the country, in any other province, with any phone number or area code

jodaoust's picture

My only access to the internet is via DATA. (Cell phone technology.) At the moment, I pay between $25.00/Gig of data (Telus phone ) to about $10.00/Gig with Bell mobility hub. I have paid as little as $4.00/Gig of Data and as much as $1000.00/Gig of data (when you're charged $10.00/1 meg.)
I would love to pay a flat fee for unlimited cellular data. No one offers this at the moment.
I don't understand why there are different data plans from a cell phone or a net hub. Both use cell technology (LTE for example)
It's unfair to have different data rates depending on whether you picked your add-on data on-line, by phone or by going into a physical office. (Telus does this. When I went in last fall, I lowered my monthly rate by 25%! I just had to point to a sign. This is customer abuse.)
The minimum data charge should be for 1G of data. Selling plans with "megs" of data almost guarantees that you will get data price shock. The user trying to access some point of data like google maps, will also pay for unwanted ads, unwanted updates and unwanted refreshes, unless they are experienced and educated at shutting off potential data hogs on their device, and even then you can be hit by the provider's own software update.
Please, let's look at a reasonable and consistent cost/gig for data services.
Bell, Rogers and Telus, no longer care about customer service. They have adopted the curious concept or abusing the customer until the customer complains or leaves. They don't have to worry about customer retention as we are all stuck rotating among them. The galling aspect is that all Canadians are owners of these companies, through CPP and/or pension plans and/or mutual funds, etf's etc. I think we should open our doors to competition: i.e. Verison or AT&T.

fruvous's picture

The wireless code needs real penalties for companies who are found in violation. Currently they are ordered to retroactively correct the issue in a financial form to the complainant. If a contract that was sent to a large population of users has it's terms changed in a manner that violates the code, the company should be forced to honour it or correct the issue for ALL affected users and not just the complainant. As we have seen from recent articles, despite the CCTS' education program, the majority of subscribers still do not know about the code or how to enforce it. The code makes it easier for the companies to ask for forgiveness rather than permission which makes them very lax in the implementation of contracts and changes.

JMJimmy's picture

Contract changes on key terms are not permitted without agreement under the code. What is considered a key term should be expanded.

ejwhy's picture

In regards to the Wireless Code, it is unfortunate that, by making 2 year contracts mandatory, companies got to make their monthly plans significantly more expensive. I do appreciate though only having a two year contract because cell phones go out of date really quickly and three years seems like a very long time to be locked in a contract with the same phone, but something really needs to be done about the prices of these monthly plans.

One thing I have noticed over the past couple years is that it is much more difficult to escalate a complaint. I do not know if this is because of the Wireless Code or not. I am currently with Rogers and, back in 2012, there was a very straight forward process of escalating complaints where you could move complaints up to the next level as long as you had the name of the person you dealt with last and you felt like the problem was still unresolved. When I had a major issue with the purchase of a new cell phone, I was able to eventually escalate this complaint up to the Office of the Ombudsman. Now this system doesn't exist and it seems almost impossible to escalate complaints past their "Rogers Management Office." I can't find any information on their website about how to escalate complaints past this level. Twice last year I spent a full month emailing back and forth with the Rogers Management Office to get issues resolved because I could not escalate it higher. This gets very frustrating and it seems like this may be a reason that they get to tell stakeholders that their number of complaints decreased. Not because there are less complaints, but because it seems impossible to escalate complaints. Maybe a clearer procedure for escalating complaints could be included in the Wireless Code.

JMJimmy's picture

Greed, everywhere greed.
- have you experienced bill shock?
Every month with the regular rates

- is it easier now to understand your mobile plan or contract?
No. Fido failed to meet the terms of the current wireless code in terms of what's supposed to be in the contract. The critical information summary was not present/did not meet the 2 page requirement (CCTS on page 3). The tag on privacy policy/terms of service/etc are so extensive and contradictory that they don't make sense. Fido both claims to own my device and not be responsible for repairs because I own my device.

- are you more comfortable deciding whether a new phone and plan works for you?
No. Many contract terms are hidden until you sign up for the service and they're emailed to you. You cannot request a copy in person in some cases as they'll say the only way you can get a copy of your contract is to agree to have it emailed, along with agreeing to receive spam & disclose private details.

- are overage fees easier to understand and manage?
No. Critical information summary didn't include most fees. New fees were introduced and charged such as fees for text to voice when you don't know the number is a landline and never agreed to the service in the first place.

- how do you find managing the data of your shared and/or family plan with multiple users (for example, kids/teens, employees, etc.)?
Too complicated so didn't even bother

- have you changed service providers and how did it go?
No. We have been stuck with the same service provider due to the insane prices charged for even the most basic plans. It's getting to the point where buying an international calling plan in a foreign country and using it in Canada is cheaper than buying Canadian.

- have you unlocked your phone and was it easy to do?
No. There are several problems with this: 1) they didn't include a fee in the contract/critical information summary but expect me to pay $50 to unlock the phone anyway 2) The phone isn't even through it's initial 2 year contract period but is out of the 1 year manufacturer warranty and is dying due to forced software updates which caused it to overheat. Most phones don't last long enough to bother paying $50 unlocking fee

- Have we missed something that should be considered during our review?
Many things but I'll limit it:
1) Privacy. Many of the phones sold by the incumbents come with Android which prevents you from uninstalling privacy compromising software/apps. This needs to change to allow the user control over the device they purchase.
2) Ownership of the device on so called "subsidized" plans - is it mine or is it the telco's until it's paid off? If they own it, they should be responsible for paying for it, if I own it I should be permitted to sell it without buying it out (continuing to pay it down). Responsibility to repair, who controls when the phone is updated, etc.
3) Why plans don't automatically drop in price to BYOD levels once the phone is paid off?
4) Require telcos to only purchase from companies who publicly list an MSRP for their devices. They seem to do the opposite to allow them to charge insane prices for devices that are much cheaper otherwise. As an example, they charged $500 for a device that was discontinued by the manufacturer, available for $230 retail, but did not have an MSRP. This means that any "downgrade fees" or "buy out" fees are inflated by over 100%
5) BAN fees for "upgrading your device" (See Fido's $25 "Hardware Upgrade Fee")

Stephen the traveller's picture

I recently retired and now spend my winters in the southern US. Based on my experience, I have come to appreciate my Telus cell phone service more than ever. I spend $60 per month for unlimited talk, text, and data while using the Telus network in Canada. If I go off-net in Canada, which is very rare, my data plan is limited to 3 Gigs. When I travel in the US I have actually found it most cost effective to use the daily roaming plan which is capped at $70 per month and allows me to have unlimited talk, text and 3 gigs of data. The beauty of this plan is that Telus has roaming agreements with most US carriers so you never really have to worry about losing service since the phone will automatically find the best signal and connect to that network. Sure, I could buy a cheaper SIM and use the T-Mobile or Cricket network but then you are limited to just that one network and they usually have pathetic coverage and data speeds, sometimes quality costs a bit more but you only get what you pay for in the US.

I know I am getting a pretty fair price for my Telus cell phone service but that is because I bundle my TV, internet, and 4 cell phone accounts to help bring the cost down. I am not the least bit afraid of bundling my services, I have also been a long time customer and always pay my bill on time and in full, it works in my favour!

If you travel outside the major US cities it is really easy to see that our Canadian cell companies do a much better job providing network coverage. US coverage outside of the major cities is surprisingly poor but that is typical of the American business culture to only invest where they can get the best return on investment.

From my perspective, I think Canadians would be much better served if we had a regulator looking into the huge differences in the cost of food between Canada and the US. In the US, a 4 litre jug of milk is $1.89 (compared to $5.25), chicken is 60 cents a pound, and a big basket of blueberries is 88 cents (instead of $6 in Canada). Food is more essential to Canadian families than cell phones and we are badly lagging the US in this area.

deaglesham's picture

I'm surprised that anyone would be happy to pay $130 a month for their cell phone service i.e. $60 per month for the original plan plus a $70 per month additional charge for the US. Wow!

dnyarko's picture

No unlocking phone fees.
a) If purchased outright
b) After the contract period OR the device balance paid off for a subsidized phone

The carriers can request 'unlocked phone' from the manufacturers at no extra cost. Actually requesting a locked device entails an extra cost. .
As an example, I can purchase an UNLOCKED iphone 7 plus 32GB directly from Apple for $1049. (http://www.apple.com/ca/shop/buy-iphone/iphone-7#01,12) This is unlocked.
The same phone from Rogers (but locked) is $1079. (https://www.rogers.com/web/totes/new-wireless-line/#/build-plan).
Now if one had service with Rogers, to get this phone unlocked, one would have to pay an extra $50.
This is daylight robbery. In fact Roger's prices for the 128GB and 256GB versions are all higher than Apple's identical but unlocked devices. The CRTC must be aware of this, so why is this still in place. It is actions ( or non-action on the part of the CRTC) that makes me wonder if the Review really wants to improve the wireless experience for consumers.
Lets get away from this charade of a review and up the ante if this Review really wants to improve the wireless experience for consumers.

If the simple steps of :
- No unlock fees
- Separating phone plan cost from phone cost
were implemented and ENFORCED, the carriers will have to start resorting to better resourceful approaches in maintaining their customers and this will spur competition.

Stephen the traveller's picture

@deaglesham If you consider that a comparable plan from a US carrier with decent coverage (inside and outside major cities) is going to be around $80 US (or $105 Cdn with the exchange) per month, the $70 Cdn I spend with Telus is a bargain. I could get a cheaper rate from T-Mobile or Cricket but then the coverage and data speeds are bordering on useless.

Some people like to think of the US and Canada should act like a single country but they are definitely not the same - groceries, property taxes, utilities, gasoline in the US are literally half the price we pay in Canada. But our government is more concerned about the price of cell phones than the basic necessities. It's really very strange

Scott Slater's picture

Why does cellular data cost so much? Canadians aren't at the same liberty to participate in large consumption data applications (ie music or video streaming) due to the fear of hitting data caps. Bring down the price!

Based on pricing from the Rogers website from Feb 8th.

Rogers

Home Internet using Ignite 30 plan
125GB @ $70 = $0.56 per GB
--------------------
Mobile Data using Share Everything+ Plan
5GB @ $115 = $23 per GB

Jackyonge's picture

Ask the Canadian Government how many billions they make off the radio spectrum auctions and continued fees to the carriers for use of the spectrum. Spectrum is not an unlimited resource and does cost more, so the comparison to a cable modem is like asking why all cars don't fly since airplanes can.

Data overages vs data in-plan is an issue that the carriers can easily address.

james mclaren's picture

RESTORE THE 3-YEAR CONTRACT

I support Telecom Regulatory Policy CRTC 2013-271 except for one item – the 2-year limit for early cancellation fees found in Sections 233-238.

I had sequential 3-year mobile contracts with Telus from 2003 until 2015, whereupon I entered into a 2-year contract. Throughout this period, the company and its services have been exceptional. Because I entered into 3-year contracts, I always obtained superb monthly rates on excellent phones which have all outlasted their 3-year contract period without exception. So I was saddened to learn the CRTC ruled to effectively limit wireless contracts to 2 years. Being a retired professional accountant I knew what the impact on pricing would be. Online comments suggest many people experienced a $15 to $20 per month rate increase and mine was about $15.

I feel upset by the CRTC’s decision because I am paying $15 more per month unnecessarily and I feel I am being forced to subsidize the behavior of consumers who are careless and damage their cell phones and those who crave the latest in technology and want shorter contract periods.

We live in a free and democratic society and if I can reduce my monthly costs by being careful with my phone and having it last for 3 years, then I should be able to do that. And I am not the only one to think so. As reported in Section 204, the average life of a cell phone in Canada is 2.5-2.75 years. It appears the CRTC set its 2-year limit by listening to a vocal minority who wanted 3-year pricing for a 2-year contract. But pricing doesn’t work that way as we all found out and I object. People such as me did not understand that the duration of contract terms fell under the scope of the proceeding. In fact, Bell misunderstood as well and reported as such in Section 204.

Therefore, I strongly recommend the CRTC remove the 2-year limit for early cancellation fees and let consumers decide and negotiate for themselves the duration, terms and pricing of their wireless contracts based on their individual needs and preferences. Or in the alternative, hold formal hearings on the topic where you can hear all stakeholders.

deaglesham's picture

@james mclaren Its too bad you and the others who want 3 year contracts didn't participate in the last discussion that occurred 3 years ago. The CRTC merely responded to the vast majority of participants at that time who told them to get rid of the 3 year contracts. If I remember correctly, there wasn't anyone who spoke in favour of the 3 year contract, but at the time, I was convinced that very few of them understood that a 3 year contract would mean higher prices. Everyone seemed to think that the phone was free. As I recall, there was only myself and a couple of others who campaigned for greater clarity in how the device "subsidies" work.
For someone in your situation, the CRTC failed in requiring the carriers to drop the device repayment amount from your invoice when your 2 year contract was up. If they had done that, then you could have at least seen a substantial decrease in the amount of your monthly bill during year 3 of the life of your phone.
Whether a 1 year, 2 year or 3 year contract, the carriers should have to remove the repayment of the device charge from you bill at the end of the contract.

Jackyonge's picture

Phones should not be included with any plan, ever. If you want a phone, pay for it. Then people will understand what it really costs. The carriers should be allowed to offer financing separate from the wireless plan, but not tied to any contract for the plan. This will eliminate contracts for wireless service, period.

Laszlo's picture

The problems are many.
They all come from the the seed of capitalism. Making money any way they can. Unregulated this is bad for us.
A bit about my recent experience about hidden things they get away with.
I was on skype with a friend in europe, I called her with my FIDO mobil and hung up in the first minute. I get the bill for 2 minutes. So I called FIDO and told them the call is still in my phone it shows 45 sec. The response was that doesn't matter, what matters is what they have and that is more than 60 sec. Oh! by the way, The Call starts when you press the call button! ! ! Why are we charge for something they don't change in case the phone is not answered?! Because they can! And I am fairly sure it was answered within 10 sec. but it's their metering and their charging. We are just pawns.

Judy E's picture

My sister was charged $148.60 for voice usage overtime in Dec, Jan and Feb. Nothing unusual or extraordinary happened in those months.
Since her last contract in 2012, she can’t remember ever going over allowable minutes. We called Bell Mobility on 3 separate occasions to no avail to verify the extra charges.
This is what happened when we tried to validate the overtime charges and we think that all of it was totally unfair .
1. Most of her overtime minutes were for incoming calls. Bell do not provide information on the originating number.
a. I was told that it was directed by CRTC not to provide us with the information as it was a privacy issue for the person calling, which I don’t think is correct but that is what I was told. The week prior I was told that they had the numbers and they provided me with one of the numbers my sister called yet, they won’t provide us with the information on the other calls.
b. In the case of incoming calls, Bell will charge the person calling and the person receiving the call and I’d be OK with that if the proper information was provided so we could verify the bill
My view on what should happen: If the provider can’t provide information such that the call can’t be verified, they should not be allowed to bill airtime
2. In 2016, with the Bell Aliant bills, the mobility usage billing was processed in Bell Mobility at the end of Bell’s mobility usage billing cycle and then it was sent to Bell Aliant to include with their billing which meant the voice usage arrears billing had another delay as it has to wait to be processed in the Bell Aliant billing schedule. When she received her bill and saw that she charged almost an extra $90, the next month bill in Bell was ready for billing which was another $42.75. Unlike data, she wasn’t given a heads up that she was over nor was she given a bill that she could easily verify…their comment was that she has all the info online if she checked. Using the data on line is not that easy to verify for the average user… you would have to download the usage, remove the evening and weekend calls, remove the 10 favorites, etc, etc … and then add up the minutes which are rounded to whole minutes. The contract indicated they could also be fractions of minuted ..cant get the bill to add up at all.
My view on what should happen: Bell should send out an alert that you are about to go over your allowable minutes. The information that is on file is too complicated for the average person to determine the voice usage.
3. When we initially called the Bell Aliant 1-866 number regarding billing inquiries, we were transferred to Bell Mobility and later in the call we were informed that calls to their 1-866 number would also accumulate billable air time minutes
My view on what should happen: Calls to billing support should not be considered billable airtime minutes.
4. We asked to speak to the manager… last week, they didn’t let us speak to the manager and this week, they said the manager was on a call and they could call me back in 24 to 48 hours. That is not acceptable.
My view on what should happen: A customer should be allowed to speak to a manager when the front line support cannot help the customer. In my case, I felt that the frontline support didn’t understand how the mobility billing worked, passed out incorrect information on why the incoming call numbers were not on the bill (CRTC privacy ruling ), advised to call Bell Aliant re:Mobility blling) and the frontline didn't seem to have the authority to write off these charges.

Needless to say, we didn’t get any information to substantiate why she was billed the extra $148 in overage charges..

dnyarko's picture

@Judy E. Regarding having a resolution with your sister's bill, file a complaint against the carrier with 'The Commissioner for Complaints for Telecommunications Services' CCTS (https://www.ccts-cprst.ca/)

Kay Bee's picture

I don't want to spend a lot of time going through all the issues, several of them have already been addressed on this forum and in past years. The price of data is exorbitant, there is a monopoly and Canadians come up short. The CRTC needs to stand up for Canadians and ensure these service providers are offering FAIR pricing and options. SIM locking is just another cash grab.

morana's picture

Anything that the CRTC (government) can do to help consumers pay less for data would be greatly appreciated because we pay among the highest costs in the world. We don't have true competition from our service providers - unless it is to compete in who can be the greediest. If the government were to let them know that if by a certain date a meaningful reduction in fees was not implemented that a windfall profit tax would be introduced. When users filed their income tax returns, there could be a tax credit which they could claim which would in effect reduce their usage charges from the Telco's. If the Telco's saw that they were not going to able to keep all of the huge amounts they have been charging us, they would likely reduce their charges rather than have the government do it for them. They will NEVER voluntarily agree to reduce their fees, why should they? They basically have a licence to steal and it is only the government that has the power to rein them in.

cdpage's picture

We are paying way too much the products they offer. Service is great, and bills are easier to understand... we feel more confident about the transparency of things. But as pointed out the 2 YR deal back fired and gave the companies the opportunity to reap even more rewards in shorter time while at the same time giving them an out by pointing to the Government and saying it's their fault.

Bring back the OPTION to have a 3 year contract.

For buy out plans, (where one my buy the phone and join a plan) these prices should be MUCH MUCH MUCH MUCH lower. there is no reason why these fees are SOO High!

I am keeping a grandfathered plan as long as I can which is part of another problem. People are hoarding OLD plans in fear of being changed more because they are buying a new phone. Even though the service isn't changing. TEXT/DATA/AIRTIME/LONG DISTANCE. IF something else new comes along then fine, charge more. but till then they shouldn't be able to charge more because I changed phones.

CRTC has there work cut out for them because of the Stock market. BELL/TELUS/ROGERS will all claim, if we can profit more year over year our stock holders will leave and then we'll die...
But if they are all effected in the same way, it's up to each company to prove to it's customers and stock holders that they will be the brand that will prevail.

There is NO competition anymore. and when WIND tried to compete The CRTC screwed over Canadians again with the bidding.

I have not faith that the CRTC will fix this in the next decade. the only thing we can hope for is prices plateau.

meeshka_tee's picture

Please include a clause in the wireless code that guarantees fair access for all carrier customers. For example. Freedom Mobile (Canada's only viable low-cost competitor), has enabled their service on Toronto's TTC for nearly two years, whereas the big 3 haven't made a single concrete step towards offering the same service; despite the infrastructure being readily available and slamming their customers with plans worth $30-70 more PER MONTH. Why are consumers paying MORE MONEY for LESS ADEQUATE service?!

Clearly this is not an impossible task, since cellular service has already been made available by Rogers/Bell/TELUS in other transit systems across the country (ie. Montreal and Vancouver). Seems like they're only willing to play ball if they maintain full control and are able to monetize the service. Clearly the big 3 have no interest in helping their customers; so we need to enforce better protections for Canadians, and ensure we all have the same access to services regardless of how much potential revenue is on the table.

meeshka_tee's picture

Please include a clause in the wireless code that guarantees fair access for all carrier customers. For example. Freedom Mobile (Canada's only viable low-cost competitor), has enabled their service on Toronto's TTC for nearly two years, whereas the big 3 haven't made a single concrete step towards offering the same service; despite the infrastructure being readily available and slamming their customers with plans worth $30-70 more PER MONTH. Why are consumers paying MORE MONEY for LESS ADEQUATE service?!

Clearly this is not an impossible task, since cellular service has already been made available by Rogers/Bell/TELUS in other transit systems across the country (ie. Montreal and Vancouver). Seems like they're only willing to play ball if they maintain full control and are able to monetize the service. Clearly the big 3 have no interest in helping their customers; so we need to enforce better protections for Canadians, and ensure we all have the same access to services regardless of how much potential revenue is on the table.

meeshka_tee's picture

Please include a clause in the wireless code that guarantees fair access for all carrier customers. For example. Freedom Mobile (Canada's only viable low-cost competitor), has enabled their service on Toronto's TTC for nearly two years, whereas the big 3 haven't made a single concrete step towards offering the same service; despite the infrastructure being readily available and slamming their customers with plans worth $30-70 more PER MONTH. Why are consumers paying MORE MONEY for LESS ADEQUATE service?!

Clearly this is not an impossible task, since cellular service has already been made available by Rogers/Bell/TELUS in other transit systems across the country (ie. Montreal and Vancouver). Seems like they're only willing to play ball if they maintain full control and are able to monetize the service. Clearly the big 3 have no interest in helping their customers; so we need to enforce better protections for Canadians, and ensure we all have the same access to services regardless of how much potential revenue is on the table.

meeshka_tee's picture

Please include a clause in the wireless code that guarantees fair access for all carrier customers. For example. Freedom Mobile (Canada's only viable low-cost competitor), has enabled their service on Toronto's TTC for nearly two years, whereas the big 3 haven't made a single concrete step towards offering the same service; despite the infrastructure being readily available and slamming their customers with plans worth $30-70 more PER MONTH. Why are consumers paying MORE MONEY for LESS ADEQUATE service?!

Clearly this is not an impossible task, since cellular service has already been made available by Rogers/Bell/TELUS in other transit systems across the country (ie. Montreal and Vancouver). Seems like they're only willing to play ball if they maintain full control and are able to monetize the service. Clearly the big 3 have no interest in helping their customers; so we need to enforce better protections for Canadians, and ensure we all have the same access to services regardless of how much potential revenue is on the table.

meeshka_tee's picture

Please include a clause in the wireless code that guarantees fair access for all carrier customers. For example. Freedom Mobile (Canada's only viable low-cost competitor), has enabled their service on Toronto's TTC for nearly two years, whereas the big 3 haven't made a single concrete step towards offering the same service; despite the infrastructure being readily available and slamming their customers with plans worth $30-70 more PER MONTH. Why are consumers paying MORE MONEY for LESS ADEQUATE service?!

Clearly this is not an impossible task, since cellular service has already been made available by Rogers/Bell/TELUS in other transit systems across the country (ie. Montreal and Vancouver). Seems like they're only willing to play ball if they maintain full control and are able to monetize the service. Clearly the big 3 have no interest in helping their customers; so we need to enforce better protections for Canadians, and ensure we all have the same access to services regardless of how much potential revenue is on the table.

meeshka_tee's picture

Please include a clause in the wireless code that guarantees fair access for all carrier customers. For example. Freedom Mobile (Canada's only viable low-cost competitor), has enabled their service on Toronto's TTC for nearly two years, whereas the big 3 haven't made a single concrete step towards offering the same service; despite the infrastructure being readily available and slamming their customers with plans worth $30-70 more PER MONTH. Why are consumers paying MORE MONEY for LESS ADEQUATE service?!

Clearly this is not an impossible task, since cellular service has already been made available by Rogers/Bell/TELUS in other transit systems across the country (ie. Montreal and Vancouver). Seems like they're only willing to play ball if they maintain full control and are able to monetize the service. Clearly the big 3 have no interest in helping their customers; so we need to enforce better protections for Canadians, and ensure we all have the same access to services regardless of how much potential revenue is on the table.

meeshka_tee's picture

Please include a clause in the wireless code that guarantees fair access for all carrier customers. For example. Freedom Mobile (Canada's only viable low-cost competitor), has enabled their service on Toronto's TTC for nearly two years, whereas the big 3 haven't made a single concrete step towards offering the same service; despite the infrastructure being readily available and slamming their customers with plans worth $30-70 more PER MONTH. Why are consumers paying MORE MONEY for LESS ADEQUATE service?!

Clearly this is not an impossible task, since cellular service has already been made available by Rogers/Bell/TELUS in other transit systems across the country (ie. Montreal and Vancouver). Seems like they're only willing to play ball if they maintain full control and are able to monetize the service. Clearly the big 3 have no interest in helping their customers; so we need to enforce better protections for Canadians, and ensure we all have the same access to services regardless of how much potential revenue is on the table.

kristenea's picture

Two major concerns come to mind when I think about mobile phone service in Canada. The first being the lack of competition amongst possible service providers. Aside form Rogers, Bell, and Telus, Canadians do not have a great degree of choice in mobile service. It would be to the advantage of Canadians to have greater choice in their mobile service provider, and allow for a competitive marketplace to thus lower prices for consumers. With that said, pricing is another concern. Although coverage and assistance of mobile services have greatly improved, they are increasingly expensive -- especially when taking into account how prevalent and integral mobile phones have become to everyday, working Canadians. Working on creating a more competitive marketplace which offers more affordability and choice is at the forefront of my mind.

Neo4good's picture

As a consumer of wireless services in Canada, I am extremely pleased with the CRTC’s implementation of the Wireless Code of Conduct. Specifically, I appreciate the ability to receive a paper contract for my files. It is so much easier for me to understand the terms of my contract with my current carrier. It would be in the best interests of all Canadians if this process continues as full transparency is necessary for our aging population who may not have access to digital devices or email for that matter. Further to this, accessible documents such as large print, braille and Audio CD's should be mandatory for years to come.

Nicoleialongo's picture

As a consumer of wireless services in Canada, I am extremely pleased with the CRTC’s implementation of the Wireless Code of Conduct. Specifically, I appreciate the ability to receive a paper contract for my files. It is so much easier for me to understand the terms of my contract with my current carrier. It would be in the best interests of all Canadians if this process continues as full transparency is necessary for our aging population who may not have access to digital devices or email for that matter. Further to this, accessible documents such as large print, braille and Audio CD's should be mandatory for years to come.

Colleen T's picture

A. I have a 3 year minimal national calling plan contract that has since been rolled back to 2 years, yet I have not been allowed to roll my plan back to the 2 year term. The plan came with a mandatory add-on data plan which I did not want, nor use.I am a senior living on a pension and live in a remote location and need this plan to avoid long distance calls to nearby areas for medical/dental appointments etc.
Why must we accept a service we do not need or want with a basic calling plan?

B. Since I have had this plan, my rates have increased twice.

I honour my 'contract' with Telus and would like to know why are they are not obliged to honour the fees laid out initially for the contract period? Isn't that what a contract is all about?

MM's picture

Overall I am happy with the Wireless Code of Conduct. Thank you CRTC for trying to make things EASIER for the CONSUMER. Nothing is perfect but every little bit helps. I like that I am able to receive a paper copy of my contract because it is much easier to read (and my friends have also received accessible copies). I especially like the critical information summary. And I like that I am not being charged extra to receive this paper copy.

Any time a consumer deals with a large organization or lengthy contract I think it is very important to make things CLEAR for consumers much like the Financial Industry has been trying to do for mutual fund statements (MRFP). There are more consumers than there are companies, so the companies should cater to the consumers as much as possible. Transparency is key and needs to continue so that fewer consumers are SHOCKED about their contracts. We've all seen problematic contracts for rental water-tank-heaters, furnance-equipment, etc and it seems like someone is on the news complaining every day about these shady contracts. Considering how INTEGRAL mobile service is in Canada I think it is very important that consumers receive CLEAR and CONSTANT REMINDERS about their contracts and details. Sending out in-your-face reminders is very helpful. I would even welcome more of them in my MAILBOX (quarterly, yearly, etc).

The wireless sector is changing rapidly. I hope our market evolves with it so that Canadians are SECOND TO NONE in the world.

We deserve FAST service, COST-COMPETITIVE service, RELIABLE service, CLARITY with less confusing contracts, and FLEXIBILITY to fairly adjust out contracts as our lives change (maybe monthly, not every 2 years).

Stephen the traveller's picture

Bring back the 3 year contract option for consumers. This will allow them to spread the payment for their phone over 36 months instead of 24 months which will help to reduce their monthly bills. Allowing consumers to have more choice is always a good thing to do.

dnyarko's picture

@Stephen. Bringing back the 3 year will not solve the cost issue. Prior to 3 years by the Big 3. Fido always had 2 year agreements which worked. However they bumped up their prices quite a bit when the 2 year maximum contracts came into place.
Also the Big 3 on the 3 year contracts, could allow hardware upgrades after 2 years, which meant they could recoup their subsidy costs within 2 years. Don't buy into the marketing ploy by the carriers that the costs have gone up substantially because they had to drop from a 3 year to a 2 year subsidy model.
Maybe one way if you prefer the 3 year model will be to have the CRTC enforce the separation of the phone price from the plan price, as well as enforcing a clear indication of the MSRP of the phones. Then the carriers can sell the phones on a financing model, similar to other industries ( eg an automobile financing) and then determine how many years they want customers to finance the phones for.
The CRTC should enforce any changes with strong penalties for those who default.
which involve increased price plansMaybe it is time to enforce pricing since we have an oligopoly and not a freeWhen regulatory

Josh's picture

There needs to be more competition in Canada the big three take advantage of us. If I have 2GB of data and not use it all in a month Canada should introduce rollover data like they do in the states. Canada needs to let more companies in and then maybe the big three will treat us better and with more respect.

FrustratedInSask's picture

I moved to Saskatchewan four years ago but kept my BC phone number because:
- all my consulting marketing materials use this number
- many of my web accounts use this number for third party verification if I forget my password
Telus will not allow me access to the mobile packages in Saskatchewan because my area code is 604. I am a resident of Sask! How can they refuse me since 96% of all calls and data are in Sask?
Also, I bought an iPhone 5 in 2012 on a two year contract. After the phone portion was paid off, I asked for a reduction in my bill since I was no longer paying for the phone. Not a chance! It is now 2017; I still have the same phone and they are still overcharging me. Probably worth nearly $1000 over the three additional years of payment.
My requests:
1. Separate phone cost from usage cost and disallow continued payment of phone cost after it had been paid out.
2. If there have to be different packages by province, (should need to prove the case for this, though), consumers should be able to purchase from their home province.
Thanks for the opportunity to provide this frustrated feedback.

Brad Jones's picture

Please tighten the rules for the Wireless Code of Conduct and start enforcing the rules laid out in the Wireless Code of Conduct far more frequently and aggressively.

velo99man's picture

A friend upgraded their Rogers mobile phone when they renewed their plan. They gave us their old phone, which had been paid for in full through their monthly plan. When we tried to activate the phone with another mobile carrier, we discovered the phone was locked. For us to be able to use it, our friends are required to contact Rogers and request their phone, which is no longer part of their Rogers account, and pay them $50 to unlock it!
This is gouging at its worst. Rogers a) charges a fee to activate the phone, b) is paid for the full cost of the phone over the duration of the plan, then c) holds the phone hostage requiring the owner to pay $50 if they want to sell or give the phone to someone else to use. Fully paid for phones being removed from an account should be automatically unlocked by the mobile carrier at no charge.

RicharddixonR's picture

I am a long term customer of Rogers and am probably in the higher end of service use (multiple iPhones, internet, tv security etc). Generally I am satisfied with their services. I do have some suggestions:
A) I receive a 45 page bill every month. There has to be a simplistic way to do this. Have set fees for services rather than on measuring use would reduce the TELCO's costs and make it easier for consumers.
B) the data overage charges are excessive. When I am charged 3 or 4 X my regular data charge for an overage of a 20 or 30% of my data cap is excessive. Even the rules for change during a billing cycle when you know you are going over are not constructive.
C) We do need to understand why we are paying so much more than any other country in the world. I understand why the main TELCOs need to maintain their infrastructure, but we need to make sure costs make sense. Is the answer competition or regulations- the problem outcome is a combination of both.

Again, I am generally satisfied with the service I receive from Rogers.

ElleBalance's picture

As a consumer of wireless services in Canada, I am extremely pleased with the CRTC’s implementation of the Wireless Code of Conduct. Specifically, I appreciate the ability to receive a paper contract for my files. It is so much easier for me to understand the terms of my contract with my current carrier. It would be in the best interests of all Canadians if this process continues as full transparency is necessary for our aging population who may not have access to digital devices or email for that matter. Further to this, accessible documents such as large print, braille and Audio CD's should be mandatory for years to come.

ElleBalance's picture

As a consumer of wireless services in Canada, I am extremely pleased with the CRTC’s implementation of the Wireless Code of Conduct. Specifically, I appreciate the ability to receive a paper contract for my files. It is so much easier for me to understand the terms of my contract with my current carrier. It would be in the best interests of all Canadians if this process continues as full transparency is necessary for our aging population who may not have access to digital devices or email for that matter. Further to this, accessible documents such as large print, braille and Audio CD's should be mandatory for years to come.

ElleBalance's picture

As a consumer of wireless services in Canada, I am extremely pleased with the CRTC’s implementation of the Wireless Code of Conduct. Specifically, I appreciate the ability to receive a paper contract for my files. It is so much easier for me to understand the terms of my contract with my current carrier. It would be in the best interests of all Canadians if this process continues as full transparency is necessary for our aging population who may not have access to digital devices or email for that matter. Further to this, accessible documents such as large print, braille and Audio CD's should be mandatory for years to come.

Jackyonge's picture

$50 is $50 - Shared or Individual

The current practice of extreme cost for data overages should not be further encouraged by allowing the carriers to increase the maximum $50 for Domestic overages. You gave them $50, so they made 1gb of data overage $50. If you give them $100 for a share plan, they will find a way to get to $100 a quickly as possible.

If you apply a fair approach to data overages, then the maximum doesn't need to be within the Wireless Code. Fair is charging a relative cost to additional data rather than the fine based charges now in existence. It should be noted that these overage charges have increased since the code came into effect.

On a share plan of 2 device, my smartphone and my tablet, the $100 for an extra 1gb or 2gb is not in the spirit of the code.

Rogers created a great data management tool and fell short when they did not allow the automatic disabling of data usage. It is manually available, but this could have been so much better with an auto disable.

Protect the Consumer not the Shareholder!

ds's picture

I have two complaints about Rogers' pay-as-you-go service:

1) Unlike post-paid customers, pay-as-you customers cannot block the sources of junk phone calls and/or text messages.
2) Charges are billed for supposed voice mail messages left by callers even when the callers hang up before ever even hearing the voice mail system!

gunter's picture

Stop charging for incoming text messages ! I don't text and don't have a texting plan, however when someone sends me a spam text or wrong number I still have to pay for it !!! That is like the post office charging you postage due for junk mail !

Charlie Campista's picture

I like that! why does Canada Post deliver junk mail when I don't want junk mail?

mikem's picture

I'd like to see:

- Elimination of the high prices Canadians pay for service. There is little to no improvement to infrastructure to justify the these high costs from the big three.

- Elimination of unethical policies like 30 day cancellation policies. How is it ethical to be required to pay for a service you have no ability to receive? Cancel your phone or internet service and it's gone that day, but you have to pay for the next 30 days? That makes no sense.

- Elimination of data caps. All Data is equal. No need to nickel and dime customers and segregate them into quotas for what they use. Usage should not be a metric for cost. The service should be unlimited, within reason.

- Simplified plans. Unlimited COMMUNICATION (talk, text, data, etc) for one price that's not metered and only allows you to do what you've paid to do. Need to call another country? Add the option to your plan online so you know and can READ about how you'll be charged. This would SOLVE bill shock.

Cynthia1017's picture

I have changed providers and I prefer to buy an unlocked phone because yes, we agree to a contract of 2 years but after the two years there are 2 options: 1) to buy a new phone and enter into a new contract, and if you need a new size SIM card you are forced to pay an activation fee of $20 and/or an activation fee of $35. All additional money grabs for the cellular company. 2) at least get some $$$ back from our investment of 2 years being with the specific cellular company by selling our phone to someone then having to pay $50 to unlock and/or only sell the phone to someone that has the same provider. Where is the recycle reuse that we promote in Canada?
As for the price plan: the Americans have great plans especially if they have a family plan, and there is no further charges for replacement or defective devices. I had to send back 2 defective iPhone 6 to Rogers and I had to pay the shipping fee to send back and I wanted to swap out for an android phone because of these issues and was denied, I end up swapping with someone else and we both ate up the fee for unlocking to get what we wanted. There should be some safety issue when the company provides defective devices to their consumers, they are providing a service and when that product is not functioning properly then they should have to deal with the manufacture of that phone not the consumer. Canadians pay the highest price for their cellular plans, many people these days do not have home phones and this should be reflected as if it were a wired phone or home phones, get with the times. We have cars that sync with our phones so that we are not having to be distracted while driving and there is no charge for this ( thank goodness).

barai's picture

I'm a Rogers client living on the North Shore in Greater Vancouver. Telecoms aren't investing in infrastructure. I'm 4 blocks away from the main commercial strip, Lonsdale Avenue, in the City of North Vancouver, whereby I often receive an "E" signal (emergency) rather than LTE or 4G on my cell phone. Poor coverage to say the least for the 'investment' these multi-billion firms are making for their shareholders handing out dividends. There should be NO blind spots in the Metro Vancouver area! 1) locked phones. Phones should be unlocked. You're pretty much bought it if you're in a 1, 2, or 3 yr contract. They recoup it with higher monthly fees. Since CRTC implemented 2yr contracts, the monthly price has actually gone UP! 3) when you've finished your contract, your monthly fee DOES NOT go down. Why not if your phone balance has been paid in full? 4) Ability to buy phone outright doesn't always mean it's unlocked. It's still locked to the carrier. If you go to Samsung or Staples and buy a Samsung Galaxy 7, it's still locked to the carrier when you put the sim card in. 5) getting an unlock code is even more difficult if you buy a phone (especially Samsung) outright from either of the 3 big Telecom firms or Samsung themselves! Samsung doesn't respond well and the Big 3 don't help much either 4) BLOATWARE. Unsure how Rogers apps became default apps on my Samsung as it's not on my friend's Telus phone, but you CANNOT remove them. Is this from the carrier itself? This is unwanted applications. I want to remove this stuff. 5) 3 major telecom firms that own the cheaper carriers (eg Chatter/Fido/Freedom,etc) is NOT competition. Open the industry North American wide (eg T-Mobile, Verizon, etc.) If the US and Europe can cover the size of Canada and our Big 3 are such wealthy firms paying CEOs multi-millions, then surely they are big enough to handle actual competitors. 6) spam texts and phone calls. The do not call list doesn't work. Businesses are using it. Mass blanket texts to phones. Stop these. Surely there's a way for the big 3 to monitor repetitive texts and calls with the same message within their systems if they can provide detailed billing invoices. 7) Customer call hours. Ensure telecom call centres can handle calls, nation-wide, hours from at least 8am - 5pm LOCAL TIME. Not we're closed because it's 5pm in Quebec but not in BC. Nothing's worse than calling at 3pm and finding your carrier is closed because it's past 5pm in their province where the call centre is.

Buizel10's picture

I am a Virgin Mobile customer. I use a Galaxy Note 5 and get great service on Bell/Telus network on LTE-A. Extremely fast data speeds but it is way too expensive. Can the goverment set up a state-run cell network that is cheap and does not use AWS? I have experienced bill shock before however it was resolved by Virgin Mobile customer service. Also have I mentioned that data is way too expensive. Compare it to my home country of Taiwan. 50GB of LTE data for $100. However, I do realize that Canada has much lower density, but look at SaskTel and MTS. They caused plans to go down in price in their respective provinces. We need more competition or a state-run telecom. Also, because of Shaw, the list of annoying and expensive carrier list went from Robellus to Robellus FM. The system is broken.

Overunger's picture

Stop Forcing Updates to the Hardware O.S. (Apple)

In response to the question: “We need to hear from you about consumer rights for mobile phones”, my first comment is that the Wireless Code needs further clauses to deal with offensive conduct by the device manufacturers themselves. Specifically, I refer to forced updates of the operating system on the phone: (Apple, I ‘m looking at you …)

I have an iPhone that runs iOS 9.3.5. Since the release of iOS10 in the fall of 2016, I have a weekly battle to fend off Apple’s attempts to force an update to iOS10. Apple pushes the update file down to the phone in the background (taking up over 1 Gig of storage), and then hijacks the login screen with the prompt that IOS10 is ready to install. The only options are to “Install Now”, or “Later”. There is no option to say “No, and stop bugging me about this forever”. The phone is locked by this prompt and cannot be by-passed without selecting one of the options. The phone is not usable unless the user selects one of these options, both of which are undesirable from my perspective.

If one selects “Later” and unlocks the phone, one can then delete the 1 Gig file that Apple has pushed down to the device in the background. However, it comes back again: Apple merely forces the update down to the phone again within a week, and the cycle repeats. Apple provides no options on the device (or anywhere else) to stop this, and this practice by Apple occurs without regard to iOS settings which are set to preclude background updating and automatic updates for apps on the phone.

I object to this for several reasons:
• It’s my phone. Leave it alone. If I want the update, I will get it on my own time, if and when I want it.
• I object to the fact that Apple uses up internet data that I pay for without my express consent, and without any options to stop. We have 3 iPhones in our house. That’s 3 phones x 1 Gig per week x 4 weeks = 12 Gig per month for our house. (That’s counting iPhones only; we have iPad’s that are similarly affected). I believe that Apple’s downloading occurs via WiFi. However, its still my wireless internet connection and data that I pay for.
• I object to the fact that my phone is hijacked by Apple’s upgrade notice. Unlike other normal message notifications, I can’t use my phone until I respond to this notice from Apple.
• As phones age, these iOS updates can cause performance issues (ie, phone is slower). These forced updates are a ruse by Apple to create premature hardware obsolescence.

I submit that both service providers and hardware manufacturers should be precluded from: i) forcing a user to update the operating system on hardware they own; ii) rendering the hardware unusable for any period of time until a user responds to an upgrade option they did not request; iii) using a consumer’s internet data/bandwidth without the express consent of the user; iv) withholding options from the consumer to refuse an update and/or discontinue update notifications entirely; v) unilaterally applying any update to the entire operating system, particularly those that remove functionality in existence prior to the update; vi) requiring the user to consent to unilateral updates to the entire operating system as a condition of sale or service, other than those required to maintain connectivity

Jackyonge's picture

You may be better served with a Flip Phone.

You cannot expect regulation to force people to read the manual.

Here is the solution to your "problem":
Automatic Updates are enabled by default, so you'll need to turn them off. This won't help with the current update, but it will stop you from getting these messages in future. So the first thing you should do is dive into settings and turn Automatic Updates off:

Tap Settings.
Tap iTunes & App Stores.
Set Updates underneath "Automatic Downloads" to Off.
This will prevent iOS from downloading updates in future, although you'll still need to deal with the update you've downloaded.

CanadianAce's picture

I am a Telus customer (not looking like that will be the case for much longer)
I have several issues that I believe need to be addressed.

1 - after reading through some of the documents related to these proceedings, combined with past experiences with the CRTC, I believe that the CRTC needs to either expand its role in the regulating of providers or confine itself to frequency licencing and let another entity take over the rest of the regulating. this is based on the list that I found of things not covered in the scope of the hearing and another list of specific questions that you are looking for answers to. if I am reading all of this correctly it adds up to the CRTC not addressing the things that Canadians feel are wrong with the current system.

2 - Bills need to Clearly State device costs. currently we are over paying TELUS because the device cost for my wife's phone was buried in one line item on our bill and now that the phone has been paid for an we are off contract yet we pay the same amount as we did while the phone was being financed and TELUS refuses to do anything about it. (we will be switching providers once my phone comes of contract.) if they were forced to show device balances they couldn't as easily get away with over charging after contracts were over.

3 - Cost... it has been the subject of several studies by different groups and it is consistently been proven that Canada pays some of the highest if not the highest cell phone/data rates in the world.

4 - contract lengths ... when 2 year limits were introduced all they did was increase the monthly cost to the customer. this was an easily foreseeable outcome yet it was done anyway.... if you went back 3 year contracts it would alleviate some of the issues with item 3.

5 - equipment warranties. if the service providers want to continue to finance equipment (phones) then they should be required to provide warranty for the entire term of the financing so that customers aren't stuck paying for a failed phone and service once the standard 1 year manufacturer warranty is up. the rules should state that if a phone cannot be repaired it must be replaced with an equal or better device

6 - not enough competition. currently in Alberta we have 4 providers. TELUS/Koodo, Bell/Virgin, rogers/Fido and freedom. past decisions to allow the big guys to buy up the small guys have not served the public interest. I think a better approach to allow smaller guys to thrive would be to force the big guys to separate their networks form their service providers. then regulate the price for access to the networks. what I'm thinking here is similar to the electric system in Alberta. the distribution is separate from the provider. This would allow new small guys to start up without the need to either set up all their own equipment or pay whatever price the big guys want to charge for access to their networks.

7 - coverage maps and coverage. in my experience there are far to many dead spots in Telus's coverage. if they advertise coverage in an area they should be forced to provide coverage in those areas. or pay a penalty to any customers affected by the dead zones. given the high rates we pay we should have the best network on the planet

8 - transferring a phone number to a new provider. I don't have any experience with this yet but after reading info on the CRTC's site it would have been very easy for me to do things in the wrong order and lose my phone number when I switch providers. there should be some sort of central database when people/companies can register their phone numbers so that the number cannot be assigned to someone else unless it is released by the person/company. this should have to be a deliberate act and not something that can be made automatic when canceling service with a provider.

9 - Bad coverage should not eat into data usage and cost the customer more. I currently work in an area that is well within the coverage area but I end up chewing through my data due to bad coverage. while trying to get a email or web page to load it can take repeated attempts with varying degrees of success, so they phone downloads part of the data then has to re request all the data because it timed out before getting it all so it has to re download the data it already had gotten once.

now i'm sure I'm missing something here so hopefully others have picked up any slack I may have missed. I am also sure that the CRTC is going to look at a lot of the issues that both myself and others have brought up here and say that they are not within their "scope" but every time they say that I refer them to item one

CanadianAce's picture

I am a Telus customer (not looking like that will be the case for much longer)
I have several issues that I believe need to be addressed.

1 - after reading through some of the documents related to these proceedings, combined with past experiences with the CRTC, I believe that the CRTC needs to either expand its role in the regulating of providers or confine itself to frequency licencing and let another entity take over the rest of the regulating. this is based on the list that I found of things not covered in the scope of the hearing and another list of specific questions that you are looking for answers to. if I am reading all of this correctly it adds up to the CRTC not addressing the things that Canadians feel are wrong with the current system.

2 - Bills need to Clearly State device costs. currently we are over paying TELUS because the device cost for my wife's phone was buried in one line item on our bill and now that the phone has been paid for an we are off contract yet we pay the same amount as we did while the phone was being financed and TELUS refuses to do anything about it. (we will be switching providers once my phone comes of contract.) if they were forced to show device balances they couldn't as easily get away with over charging after contracts were over.

3 - Cost... it has been the subject of several studies by different groups and it is consistently been proven that Canada pays some of the highest if not the highest cell phone/data rates in the world.

4 - contract lengths ... when 2 year limits were introduced all they did was increase the monthly cost to the customer. this was an easily foreseeable outcome yet it was done anyway.... if you went back 3 year contracts it would alleviate some of the issues with item 3.

5 - equipment warranties. if the service providers want to continue to finance equipment (phones) then they should be required to provide warranty for the entire term of the financing so that customers aren't stuck paying for a failed phone and service once the standard 1 year manufacturer warranty is up. the rules should state that if a phone cannot be repaired it must be replaced with an equal or better device

6 - not enough competition. currently in Alberta we have 4 providers. TELUS/Koodo, Bell/Virgin, rogers/Fido and freedom. past decisions to allow the big guys to buy up the small guys have not served the public interest. I think a better approach to allow smaller guys to thrive would be to force the big guys to separate their networks form their service providers. then regulate the price for access to the networks. what I'm thinking here is similar to the electric system in Alberta. the distribution is separate from the provider. This would allow new small guys to start up without the need to either set up all their own equipment or pay whatever price the big guys want to charge for access to their networks.

7 - coverage maps and coverage. in my experience there are far to many dead spots in Telus's coverage. if they advertise coverage in an area they should be forced to provide coverage in those areas. or pay a penalty to any customers affected by the dead zones. given the high rates we pay we should have the best network on the planet

8 - transferring a phone number to a new provider. I don't have any experience with this yet but after reading info on the CRTC's site it would have been very easy for me to do things in the wrong order and lose my phone number when I switch providers. there should be some sort of central database when people/companies can register their phone numbers so that the number cannot be assigned to someone else unless it is released by the person/company. this should have to be a deliberate act and not something that can be made automatic when canceling service with a provider.

9 - Bad coverage should not eat into data usage and cost the customer more. I currently work in an area that is well within the coverage area but I end up chewing through my data due to bad coverage. while trying to get a email or web page to load it can take repeated attempts with varying degrees of success, so they phone downloads part of the data then has to re request all the data because it timed out before getting it all so it has to re download the data it already had gotten once.

now i'm sure I'm missing something here so hopefully others have picked up any slack I may have missed. I am also sure that the CRTC is going to look at a lot of the issues that both myself and others have brought up here and say that they are not within their "scope" but every time they say that I refer them to item one

Marc Boulanger's picture

Why are there penalties for data limits overage? If I use more data in one month than what I guessed when I signed up, what is the basis of a penalty? data is not a finite commodity- nor is not a like exceeding a speed limit - just bill me for what I used. There is no reward for a 30-day period of having used less data.

have you experienced bill shock? YES

is it easier now to understand your mobile plan or contract? YES

are you more comfortable deciding whether a new phone and plan works for you? THE PLANS OFFERED ARE TOO COMPLEX - EVERY PLAN HAS ESSENTIALLY THE SAME COST-SERVICE CUT UP INTO TIERS

are overage fees easier to understand and manage? NO -

how do you find managing the data of your shared and/or family plan with multiple users (for example, kids/teens, employees, etc.)? I DO NOT BELIVE IN THE DATA OVERAGE PENALTY - JUST BILL FOR SERVICE PROVIDIED

have you changed service providers and how did it go? YES - IT IS PAINLESS

have you unlocked your phone and was it easy to do YES - BOTH CARRIER AND ONLINE - EASY?

A.J. Brown's picture

I experienced bill shock as I thought I didn't use my SIM card much as I used wifi, I only used the SIM card rarely or so I thought. turned out they don't tell me about "VPN" whatever that is. that seems to keep the SIM card on all the time. I phoned Telus to ask why my bill was so high if I don't use the SIM card much. they then told me I can turn off of deactivate the VPN.

it was never easy to understand my data usage, the information inside the Telus website is useless. it doesn't help me understand my usage, it would be helpful if if would track my usage and let me know when I get close to my first tier of data use.

i understood that my first tier was lIke 5 gb. that would be 5.60. the next tier I forget. maybe ten gb would be 11.20.

I don't know what unlocking a phone means.

I use wifi now on my iPad. I cannot afford a cell phone on top of paying for Internet. I'm on disability.

I've heard of these "bundle" programs but I'm wary because it might actually end up costing more.

how about affordability for seniors who have disabilities..? seems these big companies care for the mighty dollar. people before profits please! or at least balance it out so pricing is fairer. also make it clear with no hidden surprises.

Jason Yi's picture

I am currently a customer of Rogers, and I purchased an iphone 6 under contract a few years ago. Now that the contract is over, Rogers expects me to pay $50 in order to unlock the phone, which is completely ridiculous. Not only is it expensive for what it is, I also essentially have to pay 1/6 of the price I originally paid for the phone just to switch providers. The length of the contract should be the only thing keeping me with the provider, not a lock on the phone itself as well which requires a fee to break on top of that.

In addition, data overage fees is now overly expensive as well. Most of the time, it is cheaper to grab the next highest data plan, instead of paying for the overage fees if a person was to go over for that one month.

Sausage.lx's picture

Hi, Yes I have experienced Bill Shock. Not in Relation to Travelling with my cell phone, but strait Long Distance Charges from my Rogers Wireless. I called my parents on Xmas Day 2016 one in New Zealand, and one in Australia, I talked to both of them for a little under 1hr each.
Then in January I received an added Long Distance Charges bill of $120!!! A $50 Dollar limit was placed on excess Roaming charges. But I received no Notification that I had accrued $120 in long Distance Charges

Nevermind the fact that charging $0.95 per minute to call another 1st world country, A commonwealth country along with Canada is insane. These charges are massively inflated over Costs. Proven by A) If you subscribe to $5 per month addon you will only be charged $0.03 per minute B) Skype, Facebook and hundreds of other services either provide calling to Australia and New Zealand for Free or Cents on the dollar.

How is it Legal for there to be such a huge price change between Addon or No Addon, weather you have the addon or not has no effect on the carrier costs associated to connecting that phone call. This is a price difference of 3166%. There are only 2 choices, how can they be 3166% apart in cost!!!!!

Also when you consider that I am on a Unlimited Canada Wide Calling and Text Share everything plan, then charge $0.95 per minute to call Australia.

Please Help us CRTC save us from the Vampire. All we want is sensible reasonable charges, and Rogers have proven time and time again they can only do sensible reasonable things with CRTC encouragment

DTV2011's picture

>Comments listed below.

have you experienced bill shock?

>Yes.

is it easier now to understand your mobile plan or contract?

>Unchanged.

are you more comfortable deciding whether a new phone and plan works for you?

>Unchanged.

are overage fees easier to understand and manage?

>No, it is not easier to manage overage fees. The challenge each month (back when I still had a data plan) was to avoid leaving unused data on my wireless account (unused data expires instead of carrying over) but to also avoid going over my monthly data cap amount (which would result in additional charges). Due to the delay in updating data usage on my account, I would always either leave unused data on the account or I would go over. It would help if once the data for a certain month is used up then data would stop automatically. A user could then top it up if they want, or wait a few more days/weeks until the new month starts. I'm not aware of such an option, if it exists. In the end I eventually changed to a voice/text only plan for my cell phone (no data) in Fall 2016 when my monthly wireless plan fee increased without any change in service.

how do you find managing the data of your shared and/or family plan with multiple users (for example, kids/teens, employees, etc.)?

> N/A

have you changed service providers and how did it go?

> No.

have you unlocked your phone and was it easy to do?

> No. I went with the same provider that the used phone was locked to since I didn't want to be charged to change providers. Phone locking should end.

other

> I am not in favour of zero-rating data.

Mason Loy's picture

Hi there,
Have been with Virgin, Telus and Sasktel and had issues with being billed after quitting Virgin for over a year. Countless calls and emails later I received my refund 18 months after the charges started.

I appreciate the move to 2 year contracts and my only current issue is with the unlocking fee. Seeing we subsidize the phone with the carrier, they are guaranteed that money if we leave to another carrier so what is the purpose of locking a phone anymore? $50 for something that doesn't actually cost them money and takes mere minutes to do is excessive.

cassidyjcharette's picture

I have used Bell as my service provider for over 5 years due to them being the only adequate service provider in my small town, and my parents have been lifelong customers. Even though we have never switched providers, mostly because we do not have the liberty to do so, we have had constant issues with Bell up until this past year. They have changed our cell phone and internet plans without our knowledge, switching us to different package bundles and charging us more without consulting us, and we had to threaten to switch providers in order for them to remove the added charges that they failed to inform us about.

A specific example would be when our internet plan package apparently was no longer being offered, so instead of informing us of this, they changed our plan, removed our unlimited internet package, and then began surcharging us for going over our monthly limit despite not getting any warnings. Over the course of many phone calls with customer service, we got an updated package and managed to pay the same price as before, and now we get text message notifications when we are nearing the limit of our monthly cellphone data plan.

I also experience surcharge fees when I went on vacation to Australia. Despite not using any data and having my phone on airplane mode whenever I was not connected to wifi, I was still charged $140 in roaming fees even though my phone was basically never in use. I also personally find the unlocking fee a bit excessive. During my visit I was not even aware of unlocking fees or the whole process behind a contract, so I was unable to purchase a sim card and was left with a phone that didn't function while I was in a foreign country by myself for two weeks.

I have had three cellphones in the past 6 years, but whenever I have brought in my phone due to an issue or an upgrade I am always met with employees that are "shocked" that I haven't been notified sooner that I was eligible for a cellphone or plan upgrade. I don't believe I have ever been notified of these options, and I am still not quite sure how to check without calling Bell directly.

CoryB's picture

Some of my comments on the Wireless Code review based on the current practices in the industry are as follows:

1. Fully separate the device subsidy and monthly service costs in advertisement and on monthly billing statements. The structure of device cost recovery introduced in the originally wireless code effectively made the device subsidy a recoverable loan. By fully separating the device subsidy and listing it separately on the monthly bill makes the true costs of devices and the remaining balance more transparent to end users.

Having fully separate the device subsidy and service cost would allow consumers wanting to use a device for longer than the 24 months covered on a contract or to pay the full cost of a device upfront to receive the same service rates as customers with a subsidized device. Currently customers continue to pay higher rates when their contract ends unless they proactively contact the carrier. Worse, even when on a service plan with a subsidized device (a Bring Your Own Device, or BYOD plan) those customers still pay more per month for the same service than customers with subsidized devices.

2. The CRTC recently ruled separately that broadband Internet is a basic telecom service. Under the original Wireless Code only the "base" plan was rate protected for the duration of the contract. If a customer selects a base plan then adds voice minutes, messaging (SMS/MMS) and data to reach the minimum to receive a subsidized device they often do not realize that only the "base" plan is protected from price increases or other service term changes under the "key contract terms provision". At a minimum the "key contract terms" should automatically protect all basic telecom services for the length of the contract, or more ideally all parts of the service plan agreed to by the customer and the wireless service provider (WSP) at the time the contract is made. Only on MUTAL agreement to make changes to their existing service plan, while under contract, can either side make changes. Following the changes their should be a cooling off period to allow the customer a change to test the new services similar to the trial period when originally signing the contract. At any point in the trial period after a change the consumer wants to revert to the previous service terms they would be allowed.

3. In terms of device SIM locking, as the WSPs currently occur an expense to lock the device they should fully bare the costs of unlocking the device when the device is paid in full, either at the time of purchase, at the end of the agreed contract period or upon receipt of payment before the end of the contract. By requiring the WSPs to pick up the cost to unlock a fully paid device would enhance the protect to consumers without introducing an undue burden to the WSPs. If the cost is too high for the WSPs they would be encouraged to review their own practices of locking devices to begin with.

4. To the CRTC and the WSPs, I would actively encourage that reviews of the wireless code such as this one become prescribed going forward scheduled to occur once every five years. This gives all sides a change to review the current process in action and work together to make changes that protect all interested parties equally.

Lock Shock's picture

Wireless carriers should not be allowed to lock fully paid for or independently purchased devices to their networks. They then charge an unlocking fee. At Virgin Mobile, this ransom is currently $50.00 plus HST

After purchasing an unlocked IPhone, from the Apple Store, we immediately subscribed to Virgin Mobiles pay as you go plan. After three years, we decided to change phone providers to Telus Mobility. Only to be told, our phone was now locked to Virgin Mobiles network and we had to provide the original sales receipt indicating the IMEI and pay an unlocking fee.

After multiple frustrating calls to Apple and Virgin Mobiles customer relations departments, the CCTS helped to resolve our complaint # 00000000750519.

This extortionary practice must be discontinued immediately

Customers should not be forced to pay a ransom for the use their own property.

Jackyonge's picture

I agree with your comments. If you purchased your iPhone directly from Apple, it would never have been locked to any carrier. Something does not jive with the events.

SW1's picture

Totally Agree! There appears to be a grey area here where some devices are sold unlocked but then Sim Lock themselves to whichever carrier you initially activate the device on. There was a similar issue last year with devices being sold by Costco. They have since modified the wording in their stores to make consumers aware of this difference. They still do not sell unlocked devices but at least now it says that it locks to the carrier it is activated on.

chard62's picture

It is a human right for people with disabilities to be accommodated when it comes to all services, including cell phone services. It is impossible for many people to access their cell phones, when ringing, within the 20 seconds needed to pick up the call before the call is directed to voicemail. Many people need at least 45 seconds to do this, and the network services need to accommodate this need. Preferrably with a user adjustable ringing period before transfer to voicemail. None of the providers in Canada currently offer this, and it needs to be a requirement!

Jackyonge's picture

Bell did have this feature prior to building the new BELUS network. It was great as you could quickly adjust your ring time before forwarding to voicemail. The other option is to delete voicemail...

open.sesame's picture

So this time the bone the CRTC is going to throw us --the attempted eradication of the extortionist unlocking fees cell phone companies charge us? Better than nothing, I guess. But the fact that the CRTC opens up to international competitors and then allows the big three to buy up small independent companies to keep the prices high is simply collusion on the government's part. Nothing will be resolved until we get some serious competitors who can offer us reasonable rates instead of the most expensive cell phone costs in the world.

I am paying the same amount with Telus as I was when I was financing my phone. There is no other option as all phone companies charge the same rates. Reminds me of the oil scandal in Quebec where the companies were caught price fixing only no one has caught the cell phone companies. Yet.

I know someone who works for Rogers and they went with another cheaper provider. You know things are bad when the company you work for can't provide you with reasonable service.

And Bell is no better. They hold everyone hostage because of infrastructure like a patent holder who forces anyone who wants to use said patent to pay a king's ransom while they mostly just sit on their fat cables when they're not occasionally roused in desperation to try to get us to buy their home security systems. Everyone but the lawyers and cable guys can go back to sleep now.

CRTC needs to take action on the cost of cell phone rates in Canada, otherwise you are seen as colluding with the companies and in the lobbyists' pockets.

Charlie Campista's picture

I'd like to know WHY
All I hear and read is people that generally COMPLAIN about high charges because they are financially irresponsible and complain when their kids rack up phone charges and completely oblivious about their services. Why should that responsibility be with the service provider? Articles in the newspaper highlight this from a consumer's experience many times yet no one has the guts to state that responsibility is of the parent who pays the bill? Let me go on.
2. Why did the CRTC create a 'call in and complain' culture for cretinous reasons with one aim only: for the complainer to give me a credit on my account because I didn't know calling to the US was long distance or some other dumb ass excuse. Unless it's a billing error, why should people get away with it? My friends do this all the time and I'm embarrassed to admit that they do.Your neat list of codes allow them to get away with it
3. Why won't a consumer take the effort to KNOW what they're signing up for? Why won't the CRTC tell consumers to get informed before they sign on. Did you know that we consumers sign agreements?
4. Why is is it a crime for service providers to be profitable? Do you want your money with a stable bank or a 'here today gone tomorrow' establishment?
5. Have you seen the prices of a decent home these days? Who can I complain to about making it more affordable?

I get alerts all the time and I still go over because I chose to go over. Should I get over my embarrassment and go ahead with complaining so I can get 50% off my bill? That's my experience, I'm a responsible user with bills that fluctuate now and then but don't complain. Should I? Everyone else is, why should I be left out? Here's what I'd like to see from the CRTC; publish number of valid complaints vs number of complaints due to customer ignorance.

Failed Negotiator's picture

People complain about the process because they are some of the highest in the world.
Should we just be happy to pay higher prices? If we had only three companies selling most of the houses in Canada they would not be what you're seeing.

Calvin C's picture

Phone locking should be eliminated and never should have been allowed in the first place. When you enter a service agreement with a carrier with a device subsidy, you already have a term/tab obligation to pay the full price of the hardware if you choose to terminate the service early, so why should the hardware be crippled to work on one network only? What's the justification?

The only reason I can think of is to guarantee roaming income for the carriers, and on top of that the unlocking fee that never should have been there in the first place.

Also, there should be a full cost study done. At the initial implementation of the wireless code, consumers have seen monthly costs go MUCH higher once the subsidy has been separated, which does not make sense at all. The idea of the splitting the subsidy was to provide more transparency, not a convenient excuse for carriers to drastically increase prices.

Peter Nowak's picture

Hi there - my name is Peter Nowak and I'm a journalist who covers technology and telecom issues for a number of publications here in Canada. I posted the following analysis on my blog today, Feb. 15, 2017, over at alphabeatic.com:

If telecom industry analysts are to be believed, Canada’s cellphone providers are supposedly facing a crackdown thanks to an imminent beefing up of the Wireless Code.

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission is looking at forcing carriers to separate monthly plan pricing from phone subsidies on customers bills, Desjardins analyst Maher Yaghi wrote in a note to clients. Yaghi also believes the regulator could ban phone unlocking fees.

On the surface of it, both moves – which would be additions to the CRTC’s four-year-old Wireless Code – would be bad for carriers and wins for consumers.

Splitting monthly plan fees from device subsidies could lead to lower charges and therefore less revenue once subscribers finish up their contracts. Banning unlocking fees would also mean customers would be free to switch carriers more easily and save on roaming by using local SIM cards in other countries.

Looking under the surface, it’s clear as mud that adding such clauses to the Wireless Code is likely to backfire on consumers in the form of higher overall prices.

It happened when the code first took effect in 2013. Carriers simply took the losses they suffered from the code’s de facto ban on three-year contracts and roaming fee caps and transformed them into big rate hikes. Since then, prices, bills, average revenue per user and profits have only gone up even further.

As a former U.S. president was fond of saying, read my lips: beefing up the Wireless Code now will only accomplish more of the same. Carriers will simply recoup any losses from bans on extraneous fees by raising overall prices again.

Don’t believe me? Then believe the markets. Shares of the Big Three – Bell, Rogers and Telus – are unchanged over the past week, despite the spectre of further regulation. Investors aren’t worried – and they shouldn’t be.

The CRTC can ban all manner of surcharges and extra fees, but absent a full-court press to address the real problem – lack of competition – skyrocketing wireless bills will continue.

The regulator and federal government have a few other levers they could pull to make a real difference, but neither has shown a willingness to do so.

They could impose a wholesale market on the Big Three with mobile virtual network operators, but the CRTC decided against doing so last year. It’s ironic, given that wholesale wired internet providers are actually in the process of lowering prices. Hmm, could there be a connection?

Policy makers could also look into the wide-scale vertical integration of Canada’s big telecommunications companies, particularly Bell and Rogers, and the potential harm it’s doing.

High prices, content hoarding and even media censorship are likely side effects of allowing a few companies to own multiple layers of their businesses. There’s no doubt such powerful conglomerates have made it difficult for single-service wireless providers to start up and survive, which is why Wind, Mobilicity and Public Mobile no longer exist.

It may be time to examine whether Canadians would be better off if such monoliths were banned and split up. But that would require considerably bigger cajones than it takes to add a few ultimately futile clauses to the Wireless Code.

Brian J Murrell's picture

+1. Per my own comment below, I believe MVNOs are the answer here in Canada also. It has worked well on the wireline services, now it needs to be applied to mobile services.

It's just too impossibly big of a task for any operator to "spring up" a network capable of running a viable business on. The big three have had many many decades (and in the case of the telephone operators, more than a century) to build such networks in monopoly-granted conditions. It's an impossible ask to have another company do the same in a mere few years, particularly with the Canadian-ownership rules that are currently in place.

Wholesale access to the mobile networks with CRTC set pricing, just like the wireline services is what is needed here in a country as large and expansive as Canada.

GWaye's picture

The new rules helped in some ways, but Telus Rogers and Bell just increased contract prices so their quarterly reports wouldn't take a hit. The fact that we continue to pay the same amount on a contract after the cost of the phone subsidy is paid off instead of it automatically being adjusted seems criminal. Unlocking fees are way too high, and there continues to be no difference between the contracts Telus Rogers and Bell offer. They are not competing with each other at all. Give then extremely high cost to break into this market it seems like it's unlikely for Canadians to get the kinds of prices and features found in many first world countries that Canadian businesses are competing with without pricing caps or a Crown corporation being created to actually offer competition. Look at the pricing differences between Sask and the other provinces. The difference is that Sask has SaskTel to hold Telus Rogers and Bell accountable. Our lack of unlimited data for a reasonable rate is holding back Canadian companies as they try to compete in a global economy. Managing data caps is a completely unnecessary headache for Canadian citizens and companies. The cost difference for the carrier if I download 1GB or 1000GB is negligible, pretty much the electricity to power their routers and cell phone towers. It's fractions of a cent. Data fees are nothing more than a money grab from hard working Canadians that require a vital communication service in the modern world.

Edge's picture

When the new Wireless Code of Contact mandated that contract lengths were capped at 2 years the big 3 carriers got around any lost revenue by colluding to jack up the prices substantially all together. This is the opposite of competition. If there was true competition we would observe a situation that is similar to the "Cola Wars" that started in the 1980's.. the big 3 would compete by lowering prices in the hopes of attracting more customers, thus making more $$$ by having more users. This does not happen!!! Look at the factors that each of the 3 use to measure their success... they only care about churn and keeping the customers they have.. that is the definition of the status quo! Please investigate this industry and determine what fair prices would be for the services they offer.

Ensure that you include an investigation into roaming fees and why they are so astronomical! They are far beyond unreasonable especially if you were to collect evidence around what it actually costs any of the carriers for users to roam.

Craziekev's picture

Consumers should have a choice when it comes to contracts. They should be able to sign an agreement for how many years they would like to pay off the device. What consumers do not know is that they are still paying for the entirety of the phone through the contract even if they get it for $0, $100, $200 or more. It makes sense to have a longer contract and pay less so you can focus on more important things. Then you have the argument that the phones don't last longer than 2 years. They will if they are taken care of. Look at the car industry. They have 8 year contracts and the lower you go the more you pay monthly to pay off the entirety of the car. So why not let the consumers choose how long they would need to pay for their device?

SW1's picture

Misrepresenting Consumer Debt.

The Actual Cost of the device should not be so well hidden within service plans. The fact that you spend hundreds of dollars more a year on the "eligible" service plans for your discounted device is a disservice to the customer and hiding consumer debt and negative equity within the monthly fee. I am not referring to the tab or quota or device cost that is displayed when you first sign up and eventually pay off. I am referring to the actual service plan itself which is typically $50 more a month for comparable Voice/SMS/Data limits.

There is too much creative marketing hiding these basically bad financial principles. I would like to see regulations that force the carriers to be more honest about how much more the shiny new device is actually going to cost the consumer over time.

Example: i am with rogers $75/mth gets me unlimited North American talk and text and 5 GB of data. I own my device as i purchased it unlocked from a manufacturer for ~$650 2 years ago.

To "upgrade" or be eligible for a device discount i would have to change my service plan the closest comparable option is $125/mth with drastically reduced limits for Voice/Data (i.e. evenings and weekends free/2GB) . Add on that the up front purchase price of a new device plus the subsidy/discount amount that i am committed to pay off over the course of my plan. However, once the device subsidy is repaid i am still paying $50 more a month for less service.

Craziekev's picture

I'm a Telus customer and employee.

1 - have you experienced bill shock?
- I have not experienced bill shock. I know what I can use and where to use it.

2 - is it easier now to understand your mobile plan or contract?
- Seems pretty straight forward to me. They give you how much you're paying for the service and it shows you how much your device balance will decrease by every month. The cost for data and how much you get is a little ridiculous though.

3 - are you more comfortable deciding whether a new phone and plan works for you?
- As it stands right now, I won't buy a phone from a carrier any more. There are devices out there that are just as good, cost less and I can stay on the much cheaper BYOD plans. Still the cost for data and how much you get is ridiculous.

4 - are overage fees easier to understand and manage?
- Yes

5 - how do you find managing the data of your shared and/or family plan with multiple users (for example, kids/teens, employees, etc.)?
- continuously monitoring it with the carriers app or online account. If we get close, we disable the data on the device and use our unlimited internet/wifi at home that costs 50% less than our phone bills.

6 - have you changed service providers and how did it go?
- Started with Telus, then went to Bell because they were giving me a $0 down device. Then switched back to Telus for the same reason ( and that I work there now. Now I'm probably going to switch to another carrier like Koodo because my device will work with Koodo ( Telus and Koodo are the same company )

7 - have you unlocked your phone and was it easy to do?
- No but I have customers who have. They ask a lot of information and the device can only be unlocked by the person who previously owned it. It would make sense to have all phones unlocked and use the contract as the "locking" of device. If any breach of contract will be subject to the $50 unlocking fee plus device balance remaining.

In my previous comment, the customer should be able to choose how long they would like to pay for the phone thus affecting the monthly payment.

pir2's picture

Replace Contracts with Hardware Financing

One thing that CRTC should implement is the elimination of hardware payments as part of the monthly service price.

Carriers can offer subsidized hardware, but it shouldn't be bundled into your plan price. Customers would then have the option of "Financing" a phone and paying for monthly service separately and the customer would be allowed to pay off the balance of the hardware at anytime.

This is similar to the Tab systems that the carriers offer, but the tab systems are too complicated. Most of them dedicate a portion of your monthly service fee to the tab. Service fees and phone repayment should be completely separate.

This also offers a benefit to the carriers as they can now offer just selling hardware to a customer or just selling service.

Example: Customer currently pays $80/month on a 2 year contract for an iPhone 7. $20/month of the $80 is actually going towards the repayment of phone. However, even after the 2 years, you're still paying $80/month.

New world: Customer will pay $60/month for their phone service. They will Finance the cost of the iPhone 7 over 2 years($20 x 24Months = $480). The carrier can charge a small interest charge for this option. In this situation, once the repayment of Financing the phone is over, the customer only has to pay $60/month.

alex.888's picture

from what i know, and listening to stories from friends and families, these phone bills are still terrible. For one thing, it seems odd that all plans from the big companies are shared plans. Shared plans are terrible, yet, its a need for families as they could potentially save money. I have friends who share with their family and its terrible. Kids who use data like its nothing, parents to accidentally watch netflix on their data plans, and etc. Yes, its their fault, but they end up draining the months worth of data, in matter of a few hours. Previous plans, like on i'm on, are individual plans. My parents has their data limits, i have my limit, they go over, its their fault, i go over, its my fault, but no one uses each other's data.

Locked phones. Locked phones are just stupid ideas. I think having my device locked to a carrier is weird as i have a contract that forces me to stay with them, and pay the bills. I could leave, cancel, but i'd face a HUGE cancellation fee, as i'd basically buy out the phone up front, and other charges. Thats fine, as that should happen. But, to still force people to pay $50 after they have completed he 2 year contract? The phone is paid for, and is officially, and fully the customers. They should not have to pay the $50 unlock fee. Also, people have to go out of country for trips, and vacations. They should not be forced to pay huge roaming charges, or, unlocking fee's to use the local's sim card to use their phone overseas. This is just a cash grab. I go out every year, and use a local's sim card, which costs like $5 canadian for data, text, and minutes. Sad that nothing like that exists here. Also, i've had friends who suddenly needed to leave the country as it was an emergency. THey get to there, and realize they forgot to unlock the phone. It was troublesome. They had to pull the sim out, put in a new, and realize it didn't work. I had to pretend to be my friend to help him get it done. It was troublesome, still took some time, and couldn't be done cheaply when out of country, as he couldn't call. Plus he gets charged $50. Lastly, my girlfriend had same issue, cept i pre-unlocked it for her before she travelled. she already finished 2 year contract, yet they still need her to pay $50. Contract ended 1.5 years ago, and they still wouldn't do it for free no matter what. She pays $75 a month, 18 months after contract ended, and still wouldn't do it. Just dumb.

Phone bills are still WAY to high. Cost of living has increased dramatically, and internet has become essential in our lives. Mobile internet is even MORE essential that home internet, as its usually MORE important to have data on the go, than at home. Responding to emails, online social services like linkedin, or job offers quickly is usually key to being able to get jobs. Without a cell#, you probably can't even get a decent job these days. There needs to be an absolute basic plan that ANYONE can subscribe to, and not just low income people, or what not. Some people just need to have basic access that works, and not anything else. Freedom is good in general, but its reception still needs work.

There should NOT be any bill shock. People who are paying the bills, are the only ones who can authorize increased bills and payments, and overcharges when extra data is needed. There is no need to have a overage charge CAP, there just shouldn't be any, without the consent and authorization from the account holder. Also, as sometimes the need for data is needed for life/death situations at times, once data limit is reached, there should be throttled data, like Freedom Mobile. Not the best solution, (really, we should be unlimited at the moment), but at least this allow people to contact others in case of emergency easier, (or send out GPS locations, etc).

ANother VERY important thing i want to point out, is that the customer service is very odd. I'm currently using an old plan from Bell. Its 6GB for $60, and honestly, i feel even that is over priced. When the 3 year contract ended, i was mailed 3 stacks of papers (i have lines, me, and my parents). The papers stated that as my 3 year contract is up, they will up my bill to current standards of 6GB which is $125 per line, at the time. It was ridiculous. I called in and asked them about this. They told me this is standard, and is required that all customers once contract ends, will automatically enroll into the new plans, with the same features, but new prices. I told them this is ricidulous. Then they kept asking, are you okay with this? I said no. I want to stay with my current plan. They said, i couldn't, and it would auto enroll. Can i enroll you? Again, i said no. They kept asking again and again, "sorry, we have to change you to the new plan, so i'll be changing you now, do you agree? Is it okay? Can i do this for you?" I realized they just wanted me to say 'yes'. I ended the call afterwards as it wasn't going anywhere. A month later, my bill came. As i do everything online, so i check if it changed, and i almost had a heart attack. It was $120 per line, adding to $360 for a month fee. I couldn't believe they actually did it. So i called in, and asked them to confirm this, as i never allowed any changed to my bill. After the support guy took a look, he told me nothing actually changed. Its true my BILL shows i am charged $120 per line, but its still the normal $60. This was 3 years ago. I am still currently seeing the $120 per line. But i am thankfully not charged that much. So, depending on who you get on the support line, could really give you completely different info. The initial lady that was helping me only tried to sell me a new plan, rather than let me stay on my old plan. I think it is absolutely WRONG to do that, if it didn't need to be done, AND, the fact that my bill STILL shows $120 per line is just stupid.

also, i know that companies have the right to make money, and CRTC can't exactly do anything about it. It seems that every problem that is technically fixed, is actually causing more issues to the consumer too, in terms of fixing of costs. However, there needs to be a point where the government should step in, and force these companies to stop charging so much for basic services. Limits should be significantly increased. Cost should be reduced. Companies like these should not have a net revenue in the billions annually, while customers are barely meeting ends meet. Like tenant contracts, where the landlord MUST provide the tenant with access with water, electricity, or temperature must be minimum, and maximum, etc. Wireless contracts should have set rules, and prices need to be regulated. Sure, these companies will take a MAJOR hit profits, but these companies really shouldn't be profiting all that much from average consumers. Also, there should not be a way AT ALL for ISP's to even sell our data, opt in or not. They have NO RIGHT to sell our data. We pay for these services already, and even now, at an extremely high cost. Yet they want to be able to sell our data. Its just wrong. Thats like me renting an apartment, paying the rent, and still allow the landlord setup a camera around the apartment to record, and stream, and make money out of my miserable life. (i know the example isn't great, but thats how i feel).

I wrote a lot. Probably very poorly. Sorry, anyways, hope it gets read one day.

Aevaro's picture

I am a Telus customer. Overall the experience with Telus is good. There customer service is adequate and they are generally a good provider.

My main complaint is cost of mobile rate plans. We have some of the highest rate plans in the world. For such a developed country this is unacceptable. There has to be a move to set acceptable price points or allow competition from outside of Canada. It is ridiculous that all the big three differ in only a few dollars between similar plans and all of them cost an arm and a leg. We are past the point where 1 gig of internet is acceptable base price while everything above comes with a premium price. South of the border they are in a fight over unlimited data plans while we struggle with the most basic data plans to be affordable. It is far time that the big three get put to task by required regulations or by brining in competition. Even in Canada you can see what competition does. In Saskatchewan, Ontario and Quebec they have some of the lowest prices. Why? Because there is someone outside of the big three was willing to offer reasonable prices and the big three had to cave and lower prices or fold due to competition. Provide Canada with what it needs, better mobile plans coast to coast.

TrentH's picture

I think the carriers are charging far to much for DATA. For example $30.00 for unlimited DATA used to the norm. Now plans come with 1 or 2 GB and then any overages are now $50.00 per GB over the base plan you are on.....this is outrageous. Even 2 or 3 years ago you would only pay $10.00 per GB for overages.

Personally I would like all the carriers have to offer an unlimited DATA option at a fair price.

Oh, and why do people in Alberta always get charged way more for plans than people in many other provinces such as Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba and Saskatchewan. Our plans are usually around double what are offered in the above provinces. What's up with that?

Eldon's picture

Security is now my #1 concern. With the advent of 'smart'phones they now have software embedded and while we are coached relentlessly on our computers to patch them to keep them current, within the mobile realm, we are restricted practically to the version of software we buy with the phone. Yes, some flagship devices get 'feature' updates but monthly security patches, no. And yes, I am speaking of the Android platform. Apple has forced the issue on their devices but carriers and manufacturers play a role in patching and government or the CRTC should play a role in ensuring that carriers and manufacturers are mandated to keeping us consumers safe within our mobility realm.

sryall's picture

OH CANADA! ROI or Humans?
We certainly are standing out! I recall when cell phone shock was $45 per month or $90 fit both.

Now I've managed (as a long-time client) to have my bill with shared data to $90 each.

I know a senior who uses her cell simply for phone calls and has a clam shell phone but MUST have a plan WITH data. She doesn't even text or read text messages or check her voice mail

Competition is good. The big 3 are posting big ROI and keeping their share holders happy but they have to continually notch up the prices.

All 3 have identical plans.

When is the last time someone even saw a public phone box?

Cell phones are the way people communicate.

Landlords are expected to provide acess water electricity and heat. Now cell phones are a basic need. There are no telephone boxes to call 911. Now many people walking alone need a phone for safety.

The truth is, many people have to choose food over safety. They simply can't afford even the most basic cell phone, even pay as you go.

Yes. Plans needs to change.

The big three are putting ROI over the value of humans.

dstriderx's picture

An oligopoly is not competition -- a quick look at the Big 3 (Bell, Rogers, Telus) and their sub brands and all I see are similar price plans: Bell, Rogers, Telus and their subs Virgin, Fido, Koodo. A little further down the chain Public Mobile and Chatr and Freedom Mobile.

If there is a $100 cap on data, there should be a cap on voice only minutes well. Furthermore, texting "Yes" as consent to incur overage (additional) charges above the cap is not secure or reliable protection for the consumer -- the carrier always wins with charges that are astronomical such as $500 to $3000 (from what I have heard on the news outlets (eg: CBC). Carriers should require a password, finger print, or some form of higher security for consent. If I have to enter a password or finger print authorization to download an app from the Google Playstore that costs $0.10, why does a simple Yes to a text message authorize ludicrous roaming/overage charges.

Research needs to be conducted on these "market" plans offerings from the Big 3. Since the previous Wireless code came into effect, number porting and cancellations were good things for consumers. However, each carrier raised plan prices and reduced data allotments each time they claim to be offering new "value added" services to their plans. I fail to understand how a plan adds value if I have to pay more.

Open the market to foreign competition -- allow other carriers to enter the market. For example, if T-Mobile is able to offer a plan for $50 for 5GB of data with unlimited North American Calling (USA, Canada, and Mexico) and the closest for British Columbia: Rogers is $115 for Canada wide calling and shareable 5GB, Bell is $112 Canada wide calling and shareable 5GB, and Telus $125 Canada-US calling and shareable 4GB. It is hard to believe that I am not being gouged, obviously there may be other factors involved in plan pricing but such a large discrepancy. Also, I fail to understand how T-Mobile has managed to resolve the "roaming" in North America and our carriers are justified charging consumers such at Kenneth Hart of Windsor, Ont. $2,800 for .6 GB of roaming data.

Brittain Bancroft's picture

The price of data packages is basically the same across all carriers. The price of the data itself is ridiculous. There is no competition. Three companies offering basically the same plans at the same rate is not competing.

I recently went to Bell Aliant to change my plan, because my original contract expired and my phone was paid off. I asked how much a month I would save by not having a device balance. I then learned that I would save nothing, and if I wanted a lower price I would need a new plan. And that new plans only came with new devices.....and a new device payment! So at the end of the day nothing has really changed. We still pay some of the highest prices in the developed world for mobility services. The contracts are shorter but more expensive. And if you want a new device your bill inevitably goes up...because new contracts are more expensive for the same service. There's a lot of room for improvement.

Rocketfish17's picture

All mobile devices sold in Canada should be sold unlocked from the factory. This will allow for easier use for switching without having to sign a new contract to get a new phone. For all current devices, there should be no charge to unlock the device. We own it, we paid for it, we should be able to use it wherever we want.

There needs to be regulation into how much the providers are charging customers for wireless subscriptions. Since contracts were dropped from 3 years to 2 years. The companies doubled the prices to make up the difference for the lost year of contract. I had 6gb data with TELUS, $65 on a 3 year contract. When the contract was up, if I wanted a deal on a new phone with TELUS or another provider, I would have to sign onto these new Family plans, that start at $120 for the same services I was getting. This doesn't make sense for the consumers. Yes, we can now renew contracts every 2 years since phones are obsolete so quickly, but we're being forced to spend double the price for the same services we had before. This is ridiculous. Coupled with TV, internet, services a household could be spending upwards of $400 to $500 for these services now. Wages increases aren't going up that high. My max 3% yearly raise(if I'm lucky) doesn't make up for that kind of inflation I'd be shelling out for a new plan.

Rocketfish17's picture

All mobile devices sold in Canada should be sold unlocked from the factory. This will allow for easier use for switching without having to sign a new contract to get a new phone. For all current devices, there should be no charge to unlock the device. We own it, we paid for it, we should be able to use it wherever we want.

There needs to be regulation into how much the providers are charging customers for wireless subscriptions. Since contracts were dropped from 3 years to 2 years. The companies doubled the prices to make up the difference for the lost year of contract. I had 6gb data with TELUS, $65 on a 3 year contract. When the contract was up, if I wanted a deal on a new phone with TELUS or another provider, I would have to sign onto these new Family plans, that start at $120 for the same services I was getting. This doesn't make sense for the consumers. Yes, we can now renew contracts every 2 years since phones are obsolete so quickly, but we're being forced to spend double the price for the same services we had before. This is ridiculous. Coupled with TV, internet, services a household could be spending upwards of $400 to $500 for these services now. Wages increases aren't going up that high. My max 3% yearly raise(if I'm lucky) doesn't make up for that kind of inflation I'd be shelling out for a new plan.

David Eaton's picture

I use to work for cell phone companies, as a store manager. So I've seen the good the bad and the downright UGLY. Canada(and the states) is one of the only a few countries where you buy your phone at the same store as you order your service. Most other countries you go to best buy, the source, etc(or their version), and then go to the service provider and get your sim card. The same way here as we get T.V. and the Internet. We buy our TVs and computer(laptop, tablets etc) at best buy then buy our service. This has created major issues for us. First, off anytime someone breaks their phone they then think they should get a free one from their provider. They send $50 a month for 24 months =$1200 and then they want a $1000 phone for free. The service providers are already losing money on each handset and customer want more. You don't see people calling up internet providers and demanding a new laptop because they dropped it and broke it, so why do customers demand phones.

This may hurt and people may hate me for saying it but the major of customer service issues that I had at my stores, came from companies not giving you a free phone when you break yours. Now before you think I'm ragging on customers there was a point to this.

Move the sales of the phones out of the service providers and leave them at the manufacturer's store/ 3rd party retailers like best buy. Now, this wouldn't be an easy thing do to with, gsm, aws, CDMA etc. but that comes to my next point.

Unlocking is useless unless you can use it on other networks. All phones that are sold should be forced to include all the usable frequencies in said country. This will drop the manufacturing cost because apple/Samsung etc will not have to run 10 different lines of phones, won't have to add software for each carrier, instead, you can freely move between carriers.

Network towers - We have 4 national companies all building 3 different( bell/Telus counts as 1 as they share) networks to all do the same thing. Canada is HUGEEEEEE to allow any real movement in rural Canada to develop property tower system will be crazy, and to have 3 different companies do it, just insane and a waste of money and thus driving up the cost. Canada should have 1 network that each company, can but X mins and X GB of data in each area. Much the same way bell maintains the phone lines for home, and others buy off of them. Or how bell runs home cable internet and tech-savvy buys off of them. We need to do this, it would drop down our fees each month. It is possible to do, bell and Telus already do it, its call MOCN(multi-operator core network). This will allow for quicker deployment of new frequencies and allow for quick upgrades to service.

If we were able to move to this the barriers to entering the market would shrink. Wind spent $1 billion dollars before it opened its doors, between leasing the frequency, leasing the land for the towers, putting up the tower, getting repeaters into malls and other areas with bad service, and not to mention the legal cost to keep fighting to be allowed to open. How can you expect a company to join the market when they have to spend that much to open the doors. if they were just moved to buying X mins and X data they would be able to open up in a small area and expand based off of their pricing and business practices.

VOwifi - this needs to be built into all devices and allowed to move between companies. We are seeing more and more access to the internet in a different way. Having Vowifi will allow people to access voice and text without having any signal. With many cities moving to free wifi, this would allow people to start moving away from the networks and move to just data use, as well as use it in areas where companies have built towers, like rural areas. But we need to be able to move companies with it and not have it build into OEM software. I currently have a t-mobile phone but i cant use this in Canada because the software doesnt allow us to change the settings

David Eaton's picture

I use to work for cell phone companies, as a store manager. So I've seen the good the bad and the downright UGLY. Canada(and the states) is one of the only a few countries where you buy your phone at the same store as you order your service. Most other countries you go to best buy, the source, etc(or their version), and then go to the service provider and get your sim card. The same way here as we get T.V. and the Internet. We buy our TVs and computer(laptop, tablets etc) at best buy then buy our service. This has created major issues for us. First, off anytime someone breaks their phone they then think they should get a free one from their provider. They send $50 a month for 24 months =$1200 and then they want a $1000 phone for free. The service providers are already losing money on each handset and customer want more. You don't see people calling up internet providers and demanding a new laptop because they dropped it and broke it, so why do customers demand phones.

This may hurt and people may hate me for saying it but the major of customer service issues that I had at my stores, came from companies not giving you a free phone when you break yours. Now before you think I'm ragging on customers there was a point to this.

Move the sales of the phones out of the service providers and leave them at the manufacturer's store/ 3rd party retailers like best buy. Now, this wouldn't be an easy thing do to with, gsm, aws, CDMA etc. but that comes to my next point.

Unlocking is useless unless you can use it on other networks. All phones that are sold should be forced to include all the usable frequencies in said country. This will drop the manufacturing cost because apple/Samsung etc will not have to run 10 different lines of phones, won't have to add software for each carrier, instead, you can freely move between carriers.

Network towers - We have 4 national companies all building 3 different( bell/Telus counts as 1 as they share) networks to all do the same thing. Canada is HUGEEEEEE to allow any real movement in rural Canada to develop property tower system will be crazy, and to have 3 different companies do it, just insane and a waste of money and thus driving up the cost. Canada should have 1 network that each company, can but X mins and X GB of data in each area. Much the same way bell maintains the phone lines for home, and others buy off of them. Or how bell runs home cable internet and tech-savvy buys off of them. We need to do this, it would drop down our fees each month. It is possible to do, bell and Telus already do it, its call MOCN(multi-operator core network). This will allow for quicker deployment of new frequencies and allow for quick upgrades to service.

If we were able to move to this the barriers to entering the market would shrink. Wind spent $1 billion dollars before it opened its doors, between leasing the frequency, leasing the land for the towers, putting up the tower, getting repeaters into malls and other areas with bad service, and not to mention the legal cost to keep fighting to be allowed to open. How can you expect a company to join the market when they have to spend that much to open the doors. if they were just moved to buying X mins and X data they would be able to open up in a small area and expand based off of their pricing and business practices.

VOwifi - this needs to be built into all devices and allowed to move between companies. We are seeing more and more access to the internet in a different way. Having Vowifi will allow people to access voice and text without having any signal. With many cities moving to free wifi, this would allow people to start moving away from the networks and move to just data use, as well as use it in areas where companies have built towers, like rural areas. But we need to be able to move companies with it and not have it build into OEM software. I currently have a t-mobile phone but i cant use this in Canada because the software doesnt allow us to change the settings

Failed Negotiator's picture

You have some good points but let's be clear about the subsidy. The subsidy in a $70 plan these days is around $20 and only covers a $480 phone. A $1000 phone requires an even more expensive plan. So if someone is paying say $100 for two years, the provider has gotten $2400 of which the phone dollar amount is listed going down each month by $40. No one is getting a "free" phone and the providers are not losing money. Have a look at their financials. Do you see anything about their losses due to replacing phones? Nope. Doesn't exist.

780Bert's picture

I have a cell phone with Telus in Canada and Verizon in the States. I paid off one cell phone in Canada and tried to get it unlocked to use it in the States. Verizon could not do it so I had to buy a new phone. I had a Sask tel phone recently that I also couldn't get unlocked to use as a Telus phone and no go. Had to buy a new one.

Canadian rates are much more expensive and Telus much harder to deal with. I much prefer my cell in the States.
It seems ridiculous to me that, once the phone has been paid for, it shouldn't cost anything to unlock it. This whole thing is a phone company rip off to force customers into getting new phones at their overinflated prices. All of the time the CRTC seems to run around with their heads stuck up dark places while being pushed around by the Canadian telecom giants. This has been going to for way too long.

KCrowley1's picture

I haven't noticed any change myself.
I am with Rogers. The one issue that irritates me is that if I want to upgrade to a new phone I have to change my plan. There is only one new phone offered if I want to keep the same plan I currently have and it is a step down from what I have.
So I guess when my current phone finally dies I get to pay to get a new one, plus I am forced to get a different, more expensive plan.

Sandro Licastro's picture

I was a Rogers customer for over 20 years and switched to Bell.. I live and work in Canada but my job requires me to also work in the US.. So far NONE of the Canadian mobile companies can provide a realistic plan to effectively integrate with a US provider and offer anything other than ridiculously expensive plans and services..

ATT: Pay As You Go offers North American unlimited call and text and up to 5gigs of data on 4G for $55.00 a month (incl taxes and fees).. In Canada I currently pay about $100 plus taxes and fees not including any overages and gawd forbid I use my phone out of country; For unlimited call and text in Canada ONLY and 2gig on LTE..

What is wrong with this picture? How can we afford to do business in Canada or the US when our very own telecom system is completely un-able to provide the very BASICS of services in north american?

Don't get me started with this 90 day wait period before you can get your own phone unlocked.. I still have no clue why this is a CRTC mandate? It seems peculiar why this is an issue at all.. In the long run we have already payed dearly for the phone and usually tied into a contract.. What is this extra layer of bureaucracy for and who does this protect? The consumer or the service provider?

Bell Aliant Sucks's picture

We the people need to take action.

If the Canadian government doesn't do something about these company's (especially Bell Aliant) I am saying we need to sue the companys or the government. The government has been allowing not only phone company's push people around but internet and phone do the same! I am a (very unhappy) customer of bell aliant, my name says it all to be honest. Bell Aliant has a monopoly over me and so many other people, I contacted the CRTC and all they did was suck Bell's d*** and ignore us. We pay 79.99/month for 1.5 Mbps for Internet alone, its kind of retarded to be honest. I say that because on their website they offer 100 Mbps for 89.99/month, so for 10 dollars more you can get internet that is 66 times better ?? THEY EVEN HIDE THE OPTION FOR HIGH SPEED INTERNET SO PEOPLE CAN'T SEE THE SHADY STUFF THEY ARE DOING. LIKE HELLO CRTC SOMETHING IS WRONG, PEOPLE WHO ONLY GET HIGH SPEED INTERNET FROM BELL ARE BEING ABUSED. Allow more companys for the US and EU to move in to get rid of the Monopoly, it is illegal for the government to take bribes by the way. My next step if they don't do anything is to get a huge group of unhappy people and go for a class action lawsuit against the government for lots of money. Not because we hate the government, because we want to be able to comfortably pay for our bills without having to worry about not having money.

We the people must stand up for ourselves, and unite to make change.

Brian J Murrell's picture

SIM unlocking absolutely and without a shadow of a doubt should be performed by the carrier for free. As many others have said, requiring a fee to do that with a phone that is completely paid off and fully owned by the owner is holding the device for ransom.

If carriers find this is an expensive thing to do and need to recover costs for it, then they shouldn't SIM lock phones in the first place. They can't have their cake and eat it too.

The much, much bigger problem though is the oligopoly that exists in all but 2-3 provinces. In all of those provinces there only exists the big three (and their flanker brands) carriers and the prices and plans are the same across all three. But then there are the 2-3 provinces where there is a fourth major player, usually owned and run by the province where plans and prices are much much (as much as 50%) lower than the "big three".

Do you really think this is all a coincidence? I know the competition bureau says they cannot find any evidence of "collusion" but just because evidence can't be found doesn't mean something isn't happening. Anyone, who has just common sense can see what is going on amongst the big three. Perhaps they are not even "formally" or "technically" colluding. Perhaps they are just all just refusing to undercut each other and keeping prices exorbitantly high. The end result is the same. The consumer is being screwed.

The solution of course is competition. But the reality in a country as big as Canada is that it is absolutely prohibitively expensive (read: impossible) to build a new network and try to operate a business solely on it. It simply cannot be done. It's been tried over and over again and failed. The big three have had 50 to (over) a hundred years to build their networks in monopoly-granted conditions. Nobody can compete with that. Nobody can erect a network big enough and fast enough that has the kind of coverage that will attract the required critical mass of customers to create and maintain a viable business. Certainly nobody within the bounds of the existing rules about Canadian ownership.

What is the solution? MVNOs (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mobile_virtual_network_operator). Just like the cable companies and telephone companies currently have to do with their wireline networks and provide wholesale access to other competing companies at reasonable rates set by the CRTC (which still provides those companies with a profit on the wholesale access, despite all the whining we hear from those companies), wholesale access needs to be granted to competing companies on the big three's mobile networks at similar CRTC fixed pricing.

One just has to look at the choice of wireline Internet service providers the consumer has access to in order to see how well that system has worked. One just has to look at the CRTC's recent decision about Bell and their fibre network to see how well the CRTC believes that system to be working.

So why not apply this model to mobile networks? That would provide new start-up mobile companies the foot in the door they need to be able to provide a national service with the coverage needed to attract customers. While they are building a viable customer base with such access they can start to build out their own physical network and replace their wholesale access to the big three networks with their own network at a pace that is viable -- and not have to spring up a huge national network almost instantly -- and invariably fail at it.

Finally I would like to discuss exorbitant overage penalties -- because they are penalties, not simply cost recovery fees. Simply put, why does the usage over and above what one has contracted for in a given period have to cost so much (many many times in a lot of cases) more than the usage that is in the time period's allotment?

What is more (by many times) expensive about data outside of one's allotment that the carriers need to charge so much more for it than the data inside of one's allotment?

This is clearly a money-grabbing penalisation and needs to have a stop put to it. More competition would put an end to that pretty quickly also. Again, competition that could be provided by MVNOs.

Dakota680's picture

I am currently in the situation of wanting to have a phone unlocked by bell and they just flatly refuse. I own the phone out right and is not under contract so Bell should have absolutely no right to hold the phone hostage. Something needs to be done. Definitely more competition is what we need. Makes me sick when you see the cell and Internet plans in the states. No I don't want to move to the States. Something needs to be done here.

ultrasuperman's picture

I can keep this fairly brief.

1) have you experienced bill shock? I think out of my 5 years at Virgin Mobile I have only had bill shock 3 times and those 3 times we're just VM screwing something up.

2) is it easier now to understand your mobile plan or contract? I really don't notice a difference between 5 years ago and 1 year ago, the only thing I can tell is a slight formatting difference.

3) are you more comfortable deciding whether a new phone and plan works for you? I can't trust cell phone stores when it comes to buying a phone and plans because they get bonuses on each and each week could be a different promo, one week Samsung could be giving a $10 bonus, next could be LG, next could be selling any plan above $80. The only way to buy a plan and phone now is to do all the phone research online then go searching for plans, find one that suits your needs then go to the store and ask to see if they have any hidden deals.

4) are overage fees easier to understand and manage? Yes and no. For domestic overages it's pretty easy but roaming is crazy, they all have different plan names which offer different things and the staff rarely knows what's going on.

5) how do you find managing the data of your shared and/or family plan with multiple users (for example, kids/teens, employees, etc.)? I don't have a family plan so I can't say for myself but I know people who the only way they can fully track it, is to use the built in phone data trackers with the limits on.

6) have you changed service providers and how did it go? I recently got a new plan and it went no different than when I got my first plan 5 years ago.

7) have you unlocked your phone and was it easy to do? I have unlocked my phone and for someone like me who is a techie it was pretty easy because I knew what I was doing but if someone did know what they were doing they would get lost quick, just like the phone rep did when I unlocked it.

8) Have we missed something that should be considered during our review? There are 2 things:
1) Unlocking a phone should be free at the end of the contract because at that point the company no longer owns the phone and if you look the the numbers people will unlock phones to give to a younger person so they can get a cheaper pay as you go plan which usually the main provider doesn't offer.
2) COMPETITION!!!!! You guys keep saying you are all for competition yet you never do anything to actually make competition. Have you actually looked for buying a phone lately? They are all the same, same minutes, same data, same price, same phone, you just pick your company colour. There are 2 easy ways to fix this: 1) allow a foreign company in (I want to support Canada but lets be honest not even Tim Hortons is Canadian). 2) Make a Government sponsored plan, they don't need to be a for-profit so they can sell the plan at cost and if they want to make a little money they can reinvest that back into the network, unlike Bell who complains when $6 billion profit is a bad year.

A_G87's picture

I am a 10-year Rogers customer. I have seen a lot of policy change in the company and some of it to protect profit, and some that help consumers. The problem with the growth and evolution of the telecom industry in Canada is that the growth has been limited to 3 big name providers. Product offerings have been expanding, options growing, and all the while, the prices have been ballooning (seemingly without check).

The big 3 have had no reason to provide competitive pricing. Much like gasoline prices, those who provide these products know that regardless of what they charge, customers WILL pay, because they need those products and cannot find suitable quality substitutes.

The CRTC needs to stop protecting our telecom giants from international pressure. Canadians mobile data prices are incredibly out of control. Rogers/Telus/Bell have had more than enough time to amass their monopoly stockpiles of profits.

If the CRTC is not open to forcing companies provide services at globally competitive prices, then it's time to open our markets to UK and US providers, and create TRUE competition.

Stop focusing solely on Average Revenue Per Unit and start emphasizing Average Value Per Unit.

Protect Canadian consumers, NOT just Canadian corporations.

Failed Negotiator's picture

I was honestly shocked when I read the discussion I the minutes about negotiating for better rates. Perhaps the CRTC has never tried this but you can't actually do this.
Go into a mall and try to get Bell, Rogers or Telus to match each other as they will flat out tell you no. Even taking a Koodo plan to Telus will get you an explanation that they cannot match the price. The only negotiating is begging the loyalty departments.

Failed Negotiator's picture

My second concern is the device balance. When I signed my last contracts I was told I could get a bring your own device discount applied. This magically disappeared after you sign the contract.
Telus also signed us up for device protection with limited usage and time. When both of these elapsed and the protection was no longer available they kept charging us for the protection.

Kessenich's picture

I'm Deaf. Excuse me if my grammar is not good whatever.
Any smartphones should be increase or double GB of shareable for VRS Canada, Skype and FaceTime for SIGN LANGUAGE. It's long chat than hearing. Bell has expensive add 1gb for 25 $ or 2gb for 35 $. It should be 15 $ or else discount for Deaf or HOH.
All hearing people are talk fast and save a lot than Deaf too. Hearing people does not understand what their culture way. The money is not everything what bell, rogers or Telus want to profit.

Alphabunny's picture

Cost of Phone vs Cost of Plan
Providers should not be allowed to bundle the cost of the phone in with the cost of the plan. The two items should be broken out separately so it is clear to the consumer what they are paying for the service and what they are paying for the device. This will also help lower bills after the cost of the device has been paid over the 2 year window that is currently allowed for financing a device. This will also help consumers become more aware of what they are paying for and will allow them to compare the plan prices offered by the different vendors vs the device prices. It will also help the consumer better understand the replacement value of the device that they are purchasing just in case of loss or damage.

Catherine Joell MacKinnon's picture

There needs to be more affordable GB plans for those who are Deaf, and uses ASL, as our primary language. We rely heavily on Video Relay Service, Facetime & Skype,on our smart phones & iPhones too. Right now, I'm only using 1 GB plan, per monthly by Koodo. When I used to live in the United States, my previous carrier had a "TAP" plan for Deaf and Hard of Hearing users, "UNLIMITED" flat fee per monthly. That also includes texting, et al. The form was signed by a certified audiologist in order to qualify, for a specific"TAP" plan approved,by the phone carrier. The phone plan contracts are somewhat confusing, here in Canada. The real beef I have is the large amount of "UNUSED VOICE DATA PLAN". I don't use it because I cannot hear on the phone. I suggest to roll over the voice data plan to increase the GB for those who use Video Relay Service quite significantly, while keeping the same amount of $ in our plans! Especially in emergency situations with our family and friends, out on the road, in a store, hospitals, etc, it's readily accessible without worrying if we will run out of "data" or must hook up on "free wifi". Wifi is still not readily available YET. I was in a hospital, several of months ago, and I used data because their wifi was very weak. It went over the limit. I had no choice, as I needed to communicate with my family via texting and emails. (At the time, I was on 500 MB plan, it wasn't enough). Thank you for your time in reading this!

Jeffrey's picture

I have been with Rogers as a customer for over twenty years. I spend my winters (6 months) in the U.S. And with my unlocked iPhone, I have become a T-Mobile customer for the last 4 years during my U.S. Vacations. For $65 per month T-Mobile provides me with unlimited voice and text messages to and from anywhere in North America (U.S., Canada and Mexico), 6 gigs of LTE data, and unlimited music app usage such as Google Play, that doesn't use any of my data.

We need this price point for the same level of service from our Canadian wireless providers...we overpay for less service today in Canada...yes, I know that the populations ar different but the Canadian wireless networks already exist and have been paid for.

In addition, because Rogers bills customers a month in advance for their wireless services, I have had to contact Rogers for the last 4 months and counting to adjust my bill....my wireless services are supposed to be on seasonal hold while I'm out of country, but Rogers billing practices seemingly override my seasonal hold and charge me in advance every month, even though I'm not in Canada using Rogers..

Stephen McIntyre's picture

All carriers should be on equal footing. For that to happen contracts need to go as well as device subsidies. If someone wants to finance a device from a carrier they can do so in virtually the same way with a monthly charge on their wireless bill. If someone decides to leave a network while financing a device there will be no issue as the financing charges will still be unaffected. All devices should be sold unlocked and should be global GSM, AWS friendly for compatibility between networks.

Jonathan MacDonald's picture

As a Canadian, I never experienced a bill shock. This is because I never got a Canadian plan. I got my first plan when I attended university in the States for 7 years. I never got a bill shock from that american plan because the contract was clear and reasonable (Deaf plan via Sprint). When I went back to Canada, I always got a prepaid plan here, even if it was annoying to deal with the required top-up. You just cant receive a surprise bill because it's pay as you go. It sucks when you are in a serious situation. I just cant see myself spending a lot of money for limited services I can benefit from my American smart phone. Having a smart phone, in Canada, is not an option for me at this time, due to insufficient plans to meet my needs.

I haven't had an opportunity to revisit cell plans here in Canada because (1) I am not convinced that a Canadian tele-company will meet or exceed above American plans for Deaf and Hard of Hearing people. I look forward to seeing what will be offered this spring. I know a smart phone is best for me, since I can use it to communicate with my parents and family in my mother tongue to keep their signing skills high. For the time being, I use my iPad to communicate with them, instead of my prepaid cell, which can be frustrating at times because I dont want to bring my ipad with me every time I leave my apartment.

Yes, I was able to unlock my prepaid cell without an issue, although it took some time due to communication barriers between myself and the representative.

Mcheng's picture

Still don't have a favourite service provider - hopped from one provider to another. Then I got tired of doing that and decided to stick with the last sign up - Rogers. I have my own share of frustrations throughout the years. So I'm gonna point out a couple of things that we, deaf customers, have endured:

1) All phone plans usually come with wide-calling, call display w/ name display, voicemail, call waiting, group calling, extra minutes, messaging, and 1-60GB of data. We have to pay up for services we don't use at all. The only two things we actually use are text messaging and data for FaceTime, internet surfing, etc.

2) There's no flexiblity in customizing our phone plan. Zilch. Again, we pay for services we don't use at all.

That's why I decided to cut off my phone plan and opted for tablet plan. Still, the whole tablet plan is not as flexible as I wanted it to be. I am still unable to text with people who are andriod users. However, it is better than paying for services I don't use.

Daniel's picture

Selling Cellular Data by Allotment by carriers should be banned! The concept of Cellular Data Allotment is purely for the benefit of carriers. Data consumption should be thinked like buying gas at the gas station (for pre-pay customers) and buying natural gas or electricity (for post-pay customers; use first and pay by actual usage later).

A pre-pay customer purchases gasoline in a gas station. Why should he or she lose the product he or she purchased if he or she does not use it up within a certain period of time?

Due to the concept of Data Allotment, consumers, who are in fear of data use overage, which will cause a much-higher-than-normal rate, will be forced to buy large data allotments, which they will never fully utilize and will expire shortly. This is a waste of customers' money and it increases the cost of using data.

All carrier should be regulated to charge by per-MegaByte (MB) data usage ONLY, without any step increase or decrease. And data purchased by customer should not expired (for pre-pay customers).

darosa888's picture

I have recently switched from freedom mobile to Fido. I believed in freedom mobiles motto of bringing truth mobile freedom to consumers. Their price range was excellent and it allowed us unlimited everything, like most mobile plans in the United States and many other countries. I switched because unfortunately the call quality was getting really bad. I had been a customer of theirs for 5 years. In the past 6 months it got really bad. Trying to get things done over phone calls was not happening. Now I have crystal clear reception with Fido. Although I am paying much more and limited with data. I unlocked my phone online with a service that cost I believe 29.99. Crtc you are making inroads but we have alot of work to do to create mobile freedom here in Canada. Let's take a great leap forward and either help out freedom with their network or allow foreign companies in. Bell/Rogers/Telus have really been unfair to the consumer for far too long. And still, they are allowed to gobble up companies, like that one bell bought recently in Manitoba was it? I would gladly over back to freedom mobile when their network is on par with the others. CRTC please continue to allow smaller companies the opportunity to flourish as well as new entrants. When we have the freedom of unlimited then we can truly communicate with fellow Canadians and family overseas without the thought of bill shock

Ljackson23's picture

I am Rogers customer for almost 5 years. It was harder for me to change my new cell phone as I found out that if I decide to change new phone .. it will cost me much more than my old plan.. even I just need to change cell itself but they wouldn't let me keep my plan as I find $80 with 6GB Data plan and also 200 minutes voice plan and plus unlimited text and picture or video sent .. I tried to get my voice plan to be removed they will cost more money so I gave up and kept this plan for 4 years to $80 bucks every month even I have to watch on my data plan every month before it go over price.. it's too much responsiblity and worry about on my daily routines. It's become difficult for me.. even more that I am often cautiously to keep my cell phone in good shape but it is not due to memory inside my phone issues relate to apps stoles up all spaces I have.. now I'm more scared to get new phone to get better access but the problem I don't have extra money to spend more on my phone bill alone which I'm single person to take care of my daily! Hopefully for better plan and data to feel much more flexible in future and for deaf community to feel comfortable without worries.. it's very frustrated!

m_freebird's picture

1. SIM Locking: New phones come automatically locked to a given provider. This practice should be eliminated, as it discourages users from traveling and getting local SIM cards (roaming rates are unbelievable) or switching carriers if a better deal comes along. SIM locking should be banned, or if carriers insist on keeping it, the phone should automatically be unlocked at no additional charge when the subsidy has been paid off.
2. SIM Unlocking fees: This is an easy process, and carriers charge minimum $50 to unlock the phone, a process which takes under 3 minutes. Carriers should be prohibited from charging this fee as it again prevents competition, and customer choice.
3. Roaming: Carriers in the United States have better roaming options than Canada. Roaming fees should be prohibited (Within North America), and models from the USA should be incorporated in Canada, such as unlimited talk, text and data across Canada, USA, Mexico. Users on these networks (Ex: T-mobile) enjoy these features, and can use their phones in the aforementioned countries as if they were in the USA when they are traveling.
4. Plans: For the high prices Canadians pay for phone plans, plans should include genuine North American plans (see my previous point) where talk text and data is available to countries who are in the +1-(phone number) calling area. For many companies, including technical support who use the 1-8XX numbers, which are generally based in the USA, it is expensive for us to access these numbers when needed. Knowing Americans who live in Canada, they say they keep their American plan here, as switching to a Canadian plan would be more expensive, especially for contacting family and friends in the United States. Carriers should make this policy, and upgrade ALL customers to North American plans (introduce and make retro-active at no additional charges)
5. Pricing: Canadians pay the highest rates for talk, text and data. Scandinavian countries are provided with significantly higher individual data for a fraction of the cost we do (Ex: a $40 plan there would include 8GB of personal data with unlimited talk and text). Have Canadian providers give Canadians a similar pricing model. Even the United Kingdom provides mobile services at half the price of Canada.
6. Competition: WE NEED MORE. All providers in Canada are Rogers, Bell, or Telus, and the “low-cost” carriers (which are not low-cost at all) are all owned (for the most part, with a few exceptions) by the big 3. Open up competition from other providers, many Canadians would be willing to give business to a company like T-Mobile or some other carrier if they offered better plans than ours do. Give us competition so we have choice, our plans get better, and most importantly, it will drive our costs down. Allow foreign competition.
7. North America plans: See points 3 and 4. Contacting anyone outside Canada is expensive, even if your texting. Plans should include unlimited talk and text, and your monthly data allowance for Canada, USA, Mexico, Caribbean.
8. Data overages: I am a Rogers customer, and having a share-everything style plan has its benefits, but having 5 users on my account, if I have data overages, I am charged to a maximum of $50 per line. So for 5 users, thats $250 in data overages. Data overages need to be cheaper to encourage data usage, but more importantly users need to be able to tell their provider the limit they are comfortable paying. If a customer is not willing to pay overages, then the carrier should be expected to cut off data at the carrier level for the remainder of the billing cycle when the allowance has been used completely, and offering additional data at a small price. This is what Koodo offers (“Shock-free data”). All carriers should provide this “shock-free” data concept. 2
9. Plan Inequality: As a former Koodo customer, a nation wide plan with 5GB of data costs $90/month in my home province of Ontario, conversely the same offering in Manitoba and Saskatchewan is the only plan offered at $48/month. Plans need to be offered consistently across the country
10. Better International Packages: Package prices for most customers traveling outside North America are too expensive for the incredibly limited results you get. For example, as a former Koodo customer, If I wanted to travel outside the USA, my package would be $45 for 30 days, but for that, I would only be getting 50 airtime minutes, outgoing texts and data megabytes. Plus on top of that, I would be getting charged again just to use the package I paid for. This is where a carrier like Rogers shines with their “Roam like home” offering. Carriers should have an offering like this where you can use your phone anywhere as if you were on your home network.
11. Expensive: CRTC commissioned a study last year, finding at all levels of mobile service, we pay the second highest rates in the G7 countries. For all the reasons listed above, we are getting gouged with cell phone prices in a time when more people are using cell phones over traditional landlines.

m_freebird's picture

1. SIM Locking: New phones come automatically locked to a given provider. This practice should be eliminated, as it discourages users from traveling and getting local SIM cards (roaming rates are unbelievable) or switching carriers if a better deal comes along. SIM locking should be banned, or if carriers insist on keeping it, the phone should automatically be unlocked at no additional charge when the subsidy has been paid off.
2. SIM Unlocking fees: This is an easy process, and carriers charge minimum $50 to unlock the phone, a process which takes under 3 minutes. Carriers should be prohibited from charging this fee as it again prevents competition, and customer choice.
3. Roaming: Carriers in the United States have better roaming options than Canada. Roaming fees should be prohibited (Within North America), and models from the USA should be incorporated in Canada, such as unlimited talk, text and data across Canada, USA, Mexico. Users on these networks (Ex: T-mobile) enjoy these features, and can use their phones in the aforementioned countries as if they were in the USA when they are traveling.
4. Plans: For the high prices Canadians pay for phone plans, plans should include genuine North American plans (see my previous point) where talk text and data is available to countries who are in the +1-(phone number) calling area. For many companies, including technical support who use the 1-8XX numbers, which are generally based in the USA, it is expensive for us to access these numbers when needed. Knowing Americans who live in Canada, they say they keep their American plan here, as switching to a Canadian plan would be more expensive, especially for contacting family and friends in the United States. Carriers should make this policy, and upgrade ALL customers to North American plans (introduce and make retro-active at no additional charges)
5. Pricing: Canadians pay the highest rates for talk, text and data. Scandinavian countries are provided with significantly higher individual data for a fraction of the cost we do (Ex: a $40 plan there would include 8GB of personal data with unlimited talk and text). Have Canadian providers give Canadians a similar pricing model. Even the United Kingdom provides mobile services at half the price of Canada.
6. Competition: WE NEED MORE. All providers in Canada are Rogers, Bell, or Telus, and the “low-cost” carriers (which are not low-cost at all) are all owned (for the most part, with a few exceptions) by the big 3. Open up competition from other providers, many Canadians would be willing to give business to a company like T-Mobile or some other carrier if they offered better plans than ours do. Give us competition so we have choice, our plans get better, and most importantly, it will drive our costs down. Allow foreign competition.
7. North America plans: See points 3 and 4. Contacting anyone outside Canada is expensive, even if your texting. Plans should include unlimited talk and text, and your monthly data allowance for Canada, USA, Mexico, Caribbean.
8. Data overages: I am a Rogers customer, and having a share-everything style plan has its benefits, but having 5 users on my account, if I have data overages, I am charged to a maximum of $50 per line. So for 5 users, thats $250 in data overages. Data overages need to be cheaper to encourage data usage, but more importantly users need to be able to tell their provider the limit they are comfortable paying. If a customer is not willing to pay overages, then the carrier should be expected to cut off data at the carrier level for the remainder of the billing cycle when the allowance has been used completely, and offering additional data at a small price. This is what Koodo offers (“Shock-free data”). All carriers should provide this “shock-free” data concept. 2
9. Plan Inequality: As a former Koodo customer, a nation wide plan with 5GB of data costs $90/month in my home province of Ontario, conversely the same offering in Manitoba and Saskatchewan is the only plan offered at $48/month. Plans need to be offered consistently across the country
10. Better International Packages: Package prices for most customers traveling outside North America are too expensive for the incredibly limited results you get. For example, as a former Koodo customer, If I wanted to travel outside the USA, my package would be $45 for 30 days, but for that, I would only be getting 50 airtime minutes, outgoing texts and data megabytes. Plus on top of that, I would be getting charged again just to use the package I paid for. This is where a carrier like Rogers shines with their “Roam like home” offering. Carriers should have an offering like this where you can use your phone anywhere as if you were on your home network.
11. Expensive: CRTC commissioned a study last year, finding at all levels of mobile service, we pay the second highest rates in the G7 countries. For all the reasons listed above, we are getting gouged with cell phone prices in a time when more people are using cell phones over traditional landlines. Carriers (Koodo) should not charge $10 for calling into customer service to make account changes.

canadiancellphoneplanssuck's picture

very frustrated at high cost and little benefit of cell phone plans
- charges to unlock from provider $50
-roaming options: U.S. carriers offer roaming within North America, Canada, Mexico
-being charged to call 1-800- numbers , because most are based in the States
- Canadians pay the highest rates for talk, text, data
- All providers in Canada are either Rogers, Bell Telus, or sub-companies of these monopolies ( no competition)
- data overages have maximum $50 per phone per plan
- same plans across country are all different rates
- Better International Packages- limited is offered at current prices

Alex Cichocki's picture

Why does Manitoba have $70 for 10gb, but in Toronto $70 gets you 500mb?

Why does data for a tablet cost less than cell phone data? It's the same thing. I was once told by a Rogers rep that it wasn't, and we got into an argument over it. I haven't done research on this lately, but I remember at one point it was $40 for 5gb for a tablet, and if you wanted 5gb for a phone it would cost you double. $80 + $25 for text/calls/emails etc.

The U.S. doesn't have regional plans, and neither should we. Someone accessing a providers network whether it be in Toronto or Vancouver should be charged the same.

Yes we have more people in certain areas, but higher population = more revenue = more money to service the towers.

Canadians are constantly being ripped off (Torontonians especially) with everything, from insurance, to gas, to taxes, to cell phone plans. It's time to grow some balls and challenge these wireless providers that are making billions in revenue each year rather than bending over and saying "well it is what it is, here's $70 for 500mb, and when I go over my data, I'll just give you $10 for overage charges".

Ottmum's picture

Yes, bill shock every month. All 4 of us have cell phones. One can be considered a normal user (100-200 min/month within Canada, 50 text,3GB). For the other 3 of us would be "light users", the 2 teens use a few hundred texts each, but they and I routinely use a combined total < 60 min/month and I use 300MB data (they do not have data due to exhorbitant cost). Family of 4 paying $200/month just to carry these things around just-in-case - it's a matter of safety these days since finding a phone booth is near impossible. Only 1 is subsidized. My phone is 3 years old and I intend to keep it as long as it works, the kids are hand-me-downs. We can't even get any cheaper with prepaids, especially that they don't let you roll over unused allotments. The prepaid plans that would save us money might be tight for limits some months, and could be okay if we could carry over or buy smaller topups than they offer or if they would let the topups they do offer not expire so quickly.

Bills are clear, plans and overage fees clear. I am not happy with the lack of notice to prepurchase extra data addon. While traveling, a text message arrived that I was 80% over (500MB limit) and offered a chance to add-on, but I did not have the phone with me at that time. An hour later after dinner, upon returning to the room and seeing the message, I tried to buy an add-on and was told it was too late as it had now passed 100% - it was at 503MB. You aren't allowed to buy an add-on if you've already gone over your limit, you can only suffer being charged higher per GB overage fee. This is ridiculous when you are on a small plan like 500MB, the 20% advanced notice they give you is 100MB data. I can understand being on 3Gb plan, the 20% advance notice would be 600+MB - plenty of time.

Data on a shared plan? Are you kidding - for this convenience of not worring with individual data, these "family" plans cost minimum $75/month for EACH phone. Sure, 6GB would be perfect for the 4 of us to share, but when 3 of us are habitually light users (wi-fi available mostly), it's insane. Why are light users being penalized? We are subsidizing power users who have unlimited everything for $150/month and brag about this being super cheap while using 30+GB and over 500 minutes Int'l long distance! It's not fair nor affordable for a bulk of Canadians.

Changing providers is easy - the new provider is always more than happy to take your business and help any way to make it easy for you. And you MUST change after having had a phone subsidy because even after your term is up, your bill (which was paying service + device) and now is paying only service remains the same price! You'd think the portion alotted to the phone would disappear. The only way you can drop your bill is to take advantage of a promo elsewhere because these 3 monopoly have no sense of obligation at all to keep loyal customers, they do not recognize any seniority.

Unlocking - fee is nonsense once you've paid for the phone either upfront or via a portion of your monthly contract. You then need to pay more to unlock and be able to remove proprietary programs you don't want or to take the phone to use on another network. It's ransom, nickel and diming to get every last cent. It is in essence a cancelation penalty, even though your contract has already been completed per agreement.

Your review didn't ask specifically, though I did mention here as did others... you should look at affordable pricing since mobile phone are in our lifetime & culture an 'essential' service. Average middle class family earning 70000 is spending 4-5% on mobile if they're lucky... WAY TOO MUCH.

shoey5's picture

1. Can we please eliminate the practice of locking phones. There is no benefit to it short of holding customers (whether on contract or not) at ransom.

2. In edition to eliminating locked devices, eliminate the control carriers have on when a device should (if ever) get a manufacture firmware update.

3. Except for a limited amount of devices, it's almost impossible to purchase a legitimate unbranded device in Canada. Many large retailers won't sell them. I suspect because Carriers don't want it and prefer locked devices.

4. Eliminate or restrict exclusives on devices, let carriers compete with their packages not force you to sign up with them because they own the market on a device.

5. Why is it every time one of the Big 3 carriers raise their prices, the others quickly follow them with the same or similar price hike.

shoey5's picture

1. Can we please eliminate the practice of locking phones. There is no benefit to it short of holding customers (whether on contract or not) at ransom.

2. In edition to eliminating locked devices, eliminate the control carriers have on when a device should (if ever) get a manufacture firmware update.

3. Except for a limited amount of devices, it's almost impossible to purchase a legitimate unbranded device in Canada. Many large retailers won't sell them. I suspect because Carriers don't want it and prefer locked devices.

4. Even if you accept the previous points and purchase a device off contract from a carrier that is locked and hope that the carrier will release firmware updates for it, your buying it at a cost higher than the MSRP. Carriers are even screwing users on the price of an off contract device in an attempt to force consumers into a contract.

5. Eliminate or restrict exclusives on devices, let carriers compete with their packages not force you to sign up with them because they own the market on a device.

6. Why is it every time one of the Big 3 carriers raise their prices, the others quickly follow them with the same or similar price hike?

NSVic's picture

I have moved between Telus, Fido, Rogers and now with Koodo. First thing about moving between carriers. I had fully paid up phone and had to pay the full month of bill to Telus when I moved from Telus, apart from paying the phone unlocking fee. Whereas when I moved from Rogers to Koodo, i just had to pay for the number of days I was with Rogers before my number was ported. So everybody has its own set of rules.
Talking about device unlocking fee, it should be totally abolished once the device has been paid off because then it is fully my device then why should I pay for unlocking. In fact the carriers should unlock it on their own once they have recovered the price.
Talking of the pricing, we are at the mercy of the carriers, they dictate everything. There is absolutely no competition. CRTC is a mute spectator or they have some other interest. Right now the plans in SK are much cheaper than other parts of Canada so why they can not have the plans all over. Now Bell is buying SK telecom or maybe already bought, all carriers will increase pricing once they get rid of the competition.
Although I am writing all this, as well as many others are but I do not think CRTC is going to do anything.
Good luck Canada

Sailor68's picture

No Fees for Unlocking Cellphones after the 2-year contract has ended. The mobile service companies do not own the phone after the contract. The phone is mine and I can do anything I want with it. From that point and after, I should actually have the information to unlock the phone provided to me from the manufacturer for free of charge. STOP the non-sense fees!!!

kav2001c's picture

I have a couple of issues I would like to address:

1- False Advertising / Misleading Advertising - the cell phone companies really abuse this issue. The worst in recent memory was after Rogers Inc purchased Mobilicity. They created an entire website offering special plans, then after customers signed up, claimed they could not honour pricing they quoted. There are numerous CCTS complaints on this matter and CCTS is unable to force Rogers to honour what they promised.
2- After previous Wireless code, most carriers have stopped subsidizing phones. They increased base price plans, made contracts only 2 years, then charge far more for hardware than they ever did before.
3- Blacklist abuse - All 3 major carriers are abusing blacklist by blocking phones. The blacklist was intended to protect consumers from having phones stolen and used by someone else. Instead carriers are using blacklist as a way to punish consumers who try to leave and go to another carrier after they unlock the phone.

Benjamin Lehto's picture

I don't like headcheese!!!!

Now see this comment I just wrote?

Yeah, this will have more effect on the CRTC than all the comments previously submitted that have valid and well thought out issues, put forth by the people that are getting shafted by the Wireless providers in this country.

Price and Competition is what people are mostly wanting to see brought into reality in Canada. Now find a way to do that CRTC.

BTW, headcheese is nasty.

stmisery's picture

Why are carriers allowed to charge exorbitant amounts for data overage? As if the cost of mobile data in Canada isn't bad enough already. For example, if a carrier charges $35/month for a 2.5GB data package, why are they allowed to charge $10/100MB as the overage rate? That's essentially $100/GB, in a time where data usage is on the rise. People are being punished for going over, then have to call their carrier and beg for mercy. Overage should not be looked at as some kind of gold mine. Data overage should be limited to the price of the data package, perhaps a tiered approach would work. Someone with that $35/2.5GB data package should not be charged more than $35 for their next 2.5GB of data usage in the same billing period.

Oscar De Leon's picture

- Bill shocker with all three, here is the procedure: you switch provider no changes on your bill till you have that month where you travel, used more than usual for that period, automatically that becomes your usage for every bill there after, there is no way to prove that carrier that you are not using the amount of data they claim.
- if you go over 1 byte of you data there is a charge, yet the majority of the contract you only use 60% of your monthly data, consumer should be allowed to carry over data, or charged ONLY for the data used, just like it was changed for carryover minutes in calls in many countries
- You can not fool users with bogus "studies" claiming that our prices are competitive, I travel and have family in the US, they pay way less, and world wide ever lower, why? Because there is free market and therefore competition, governing body does not sleep with 3 providers

CAVANNVS's picture

I am a Rogers/Fido prepaid user.
1. I refuse to use any plan which requires a contract. Such plans are restrictive and grossly over-priced.
2. Suggestions for changes to prepaid charges and conditions.
a) Ban any "airtime charges" for incoming calls and texts. In addition to being a blatant money grab, those charges are incurred for wrong number calls, incoming "spam" texts etc.
I/We have both T-Mobile (US) & "3" Network (UK) SIMs for use in their respective jurisdictions. Incoming charges are non-existent. All charges applied by Mobile Carriers should be subject to review and approval by CRTC. That's the only way in which to keep the carriers from gouging their customers.

b) A credit balance should never expire. Certainly apply a condition such as one or more transactions on the account within a 6 month period. Typically in the UK (3-Network) a simple text to another account, will keep any balance current for a further 6 months.
With reference to a) above,: The lack of incoming charges means that a subscriber can receive calls even if the balance is zero. Here, if one forgets to top-up before the expiration date, any balance is lost. That amounts to an arbitrary confiscation of customers' money. Granted there is a "grace" period, but, see my preceding comment about non-expiration.

c) Roaming Charges. Should be significantly reduced by CRTC order and "capped" at the resultant level. Presently, roaming charges are absolutely exorbitant. As for roaming charges within Canada? Make that practice illegal.

d) Long Distance Charges within Canada. Ban them outright! This country must be the only jurisdiction in the Western hemisphere where mobile phones incur long distance charges. E.g., T-Mobile US. Prepaid is $0.33/minute from anywhere to anywhere in the US including Alaska & Hawaii.
Time to get rid of the Rogers/Bell/Telus et al rip-off.

e) Phone locked to specific carrier. That practice should be totally illegal. When any person obtains cell phone it should be usable with ANY carrier. All mobiles which I own (and have owned) are/were unlocked. I use reliable sources from which to obtain the unlock code. I have to pay for the that code but the price is far smaller than the bare-faced robbery amounts charged by the carrier(s). If phones MUST be locked when first purchased, then the carrier should have to provide the code, free of charge and upon request after, for example, 90 days.

To conclude: There is a distinct perception, held by many phone users, that the CRTC is "in the pockets" of the "big three" carriers. I hope it's not true. However, it's time to for CRTC to show some intestinal fortitude and actually dictate conditions to carriers. Essentially, "This is the way it's going to be, whether or not you like it".

PS: I get past Rogers long distance charges with Skype Out whenever WiFi is available. ~2.2 cents/minute to a UK landline. The same charge back to Canada from Rome. Local charges to a landline are the same.

kjb's picture

The wireless code has no teeth. Our bills do not go down once the device is paid for, but the bills went up with the implementation of the 2-year contract period. Data overages are terrible and inadequate notice is given. Shameful. There is zero benefit for the consumer. My overall monthly bill for one person for telecommunications (mobile, home phone, long distance and internet but no tv ) is $170.00. This is not sustainable.

DeafWirelessCanadaCommittee's picture

The Deaf Wireless Canada Consultative Committee is going to post several ASL and LSQ videos that required assistance in posting on this site. Deaf, Hard of hearing and Deaf-Blind members of the Canadian community deserve to be heard as well.

We are posting at each Committee or Deaf Community member's request.

This video is in ASL and by Michael J. Stewart of New Brunswick:
https://youtu.be/YdYu5j_N66Q

DeafWirelessCanadaCommittee's picture

Thank you for letting members of the Canadian Deaf, Hard of hearing and DeafBlind community participate and post in their most comfortable mode of communication: sign language - ASL or LSQ. Please enlist ASL or LSQ interpreters to translate these videos. Thank you.

Either Committee members or Deaf community members required assistance in posting on this site, so we are assisting, hence there will be multiple posts. Here are their videos posted by our account at their request.

This is one is from a BC Deaf Community member, Darrell Siebring of Surrey, BC.

This video is in ASL: https://youtu.be/hmlWjqrdwXA

DeafWirelessCanadaCommittee's picture

Thank you for letting members of the Canadian Deaf, Hard of hearing and DeafBlind community participate and post in their most comfortable mode of communication: sign language - ASL or LSQ. Please enlist ASL or LSQ interpreters to translate these videos. Thank you.

Either Committee members or Deaf community members required assistance in posting on this site, so we are assisting, hence there will be multiple posts. Here are their videos posted by our account at their request.

This is one is from a BC Deaf Community member, Darrell Siebring of Surrey, BC.

This video is in ASL: https://youtu.be/hmlWjqrdwXA

DeafWirelessCanadaCommittee's picture

ASL comment from Betty in NS - https://youtu.be/-M5Tq6Ox0Tk

Thank you for letting members of the Canadian Deaf, Hard of hearing and DeafBlind community participate and post in their most comfortable mode of communication: sign language - ASL or LSQ. Please enlist ASL or LSQ interpreters to translate these videos. Thank you.

Either Committee members or Deaf community members required assistance in posting on this site, so we are assisting, hence there will be multiple posts. Here are their videos posted by our account at their request.

Shajiyem's picture

Over the last ten years, I have experience with all the big 3 and the small 3's as well as the new entrants. I am not a person always complaining about each and every incident. Most of the time I was able to resolve the issues with the service providers. My opinion is that as adults everyone should be resposible for one's actions and that includes the use of phones. Having said that, the current situation is not very encouraging for our future. What the public have been complaining, still exists there without much change. And the chief among them is the high user fee. I believe the only way to address that issue is more competion; nothing more nothing lesss. The second, which is also part of the first one, is the roaming charges, specially outside Canada. I am talking about just crossing the border to USA.
As everybody argues, the unlocking fee has to go after the contrat, if any, is completed and the carriers shouldn't wait for a request from clients; it should be automatic.
I am baffled, how the carriers offer similar plans at the same time without collusion. Even a fourth grader understands that without colluding, they can't update at least their websites at the same time with the same offers.
The organization of Commissioner for Complaints for Telecommunication Services is a joke. Without any power to enforce its decisions, why should we have such an organization.
And coming to the billing part, the carriers still try to play around with misleading bills, so that, they can skim the customers in small bits, if things go unnoticed. For example, I joined Koodo on Dec 22nd of 2016 and their first billing cycle is upto 27th. I got the first bill together for Dec 22 - 27 and Dec 28 - Jan 27, 2017 which is okay. The second bill is from Jan 28-Feb 27 and the third Feb 28-Mar 27. Though I paid the bill for Jan 28-Fe 27 and the detailed bill shows it, the opening statement shows my bill as Dec 28 - Jan 27.

deaftravel's picture

For ASL, and LSQ customers, no overage penalties. No throttling. Unlimited voice minutes = unlimited video calling minutes. Even better, unlimited data packages for all Deaf, Hard of hearing & DeafBlind Canadians in the fairness for their video calls on wireless without anxiety and stress for their communication needs.

Disclaimer: This is a personal view and they are my own from my life experience, and in no way represents any organization. I share my wireless issues as a Deaf Canadian citizen.

Thank you for letting members of the Canadian Deaf, Hard of hearing and DeafBlind community participate and post in their most comfortable mode of communication: sign language - ASL or LSQ.

Please enlist ASL or LSQ interpreters to translate these videos. Thank you.
Here is my ASL video: https://youtu.be/ZEaBl9RvmIA

deaftravel's picture

Forgot to add:

No fees for unlocking as it may be required to test out which package fits video calling needs of the ASL & LSQ consumer.
No overage penalties for those with video calling needs.
45 days trial period with 6GB as the minimum.

Shared packages need to be more fairly priced. Costs are a bit exaggerated and exorbitant with shared packages. While shared packages are necessary for families and couples under the same address, guidelines and policies need to be established to govern this practise.

Canada is still way too expensive with its wireless packaging costs.

Unlimited, fair and affordable data packages for Deaf, hard of hearing, and Deaf-Blind ASL and LSQ users.

GPS needs to be taken into consideration for blind and DeafBlind Canadians which puts pressure on data packages.

Thank you.

WiFiWiMax's picture

1. Carriers should not be permitted to charge for unlocking phones once the phone is paid for. IF it's MY phone, then I should have FULL access without further charges. The unlocking charges are cash cows for the carriers. As an example, when you verify your Rogers account and ask to unlock, it's done within 10seconds and entirely remote! How is it fair to consumers to pay $50+HST for a service that costs Rogers next to nothing? Bell charges $75.

2. Prepaid carriers should be required to provide their customers with FULL account disclosure. I have 7-11 Speakout and all I can see is my balance but I have no idea what they are really charging me. I can't get a statement or notifications. Supposedly I pay $1.99/mo for 9-1-1 but I have no way of knowing of they really charge that. I have no way of knowing if they are adding hidden charges. Even an online only statement with option to save as PDF would be sufficient. But I should not have to give a company money up front, have them earn interest on the unused part and then not provide me with PROOF of the charges.

3. Prepaid carriers should be required to refund unused balances when a customer leaves. I had Bell prepaid, I switched and Bell kept my $18.75 balance. After talking to 5 managers, I was told that they had a $18.75 admin charge to close the account. There was no such policy printed anywhere. Coincidental that the admin charge equalled to the penny by unused balance? And they would not even let me use the balance to buy other Bell product or services.

4. There should be serious penalties for carriers that break the rules. The Wireless Code states that a customer may return a phone within 15 days if they are not satisified. Koodo will do that but in the "fine print" they say "provided you do not use more than 100 minutes of airtime." A friend recently got burned by Koodo when they tried to return a phone 2 days later but had used 156 minutes of airtime. They were a customer for two years and had a plan that gave them unlimited calling in Canada and yet Koodo rep at the Peterborough Ontario Walmart said that because they had used more than 100min, they would not take the phone back or cancel the new contract. That's not what the contract said and it's not what the Wireless Code says.

WiFiWiMax's picture

CCTS a waste of taxpayer money! I agree with another commenter that the CCTS is worthless. It has never worked. I filed 3 complaints against various carriers, wireline and wireless. In the case of the wireline, CCTS stated on the website and verbally that the carrier was not a member and would now be required to be a member because they had a complaint. That was more than 3y ago and that carrier is still not listed. I contacted CCTS again a year later and they said policy had changed, even though the website had not, and they could not force the company to be listed. I never heard any more about my complaint. I also never heard any more about two previous complaints against wireless companies. CCTS doesn't do anything but spend taxpayer money. Shut it down or make them work.

DeafWirelessCanadaCommittee's picture

Hello, we are posting on behalf of several deaf community members who wish to share their feedback in sign language. CRTC, please request an interpreter to help you translate sign into English.

Tatiana Kamaeva: https://youtu.be/Q0u2Erp69uk
Guennadi Kamaev: https://youtu.be/mh2ZjYwjuWw
Devin Currie: https://youtu.be/b9e4A6dfKUc
Darryl Siebring: https://youtu.be/hmlWjqrdwXA
Michael J. Stewart: https://youtu.be/YdYu5j_N66Q
Betty MacDonald: https://youtu.be/-M5Tq6Ox0Tk
Nataly Malka: https://youtu.be/gqH3GmQsmks

Thank you.

DWCC (Deaf Wireless Canada Consultative Committee)
www.deafwireless.ca

WiFiWiMax's picture

Why are wearables costing us more? Because wireless companies won't allow the data from a wearable(ie smartwatch) to access their networks unless I pay. Rogers wnats $10 a month per watch. Come on! The watch works with the iPhone, not the network. This is ROBBERY! CRTC must BAN this practice! Just because the watch has a digial serial number does not mean the wireless companies should charge. Next thing is they will want me to pay for extra for my smart car that connects to my cell phone.

cdn.royale's picture

To Whom It may concern:
My name is Darryl Hackett and I presently live in Ottawa. I am a Deaf consumer who is fluent in American Sign Lanagauge (ASL) and I would like to share my final comment in CRTC TNC 2016-293 with you in this Youtube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ioVaoinOIE . Thank you very much for your attention and time. Much appreciated, Darryl Hackett.

jimmie's picture

Consumers are mislead on device cost

As long as providers are allowed to 'bury' the actual price of a phone from plain view consumers are essentially mislead on device cost and their financial exposure.

Advertising that communicates device pricing of "$0", or any figure lower than the consumers actual financial liability, must be prohibited.

It's high time the CRTC mandated wireless providers to clearly separate device financing from the cost of wireless service.

Consumers could then make clear and informed decisions on the relative value of the wireless service itself.

jimmie's picture

Corrections of specific Code oversights and omissions:

A.3. Clarity - Unlimited Services
- any provider advertising unlimited data must continue to provide data service at a usable [specified] bandwidth once the nominal data quota is reached
Rate throttles of less that 100kbps cripple even basic browsing of the modern web; it's not unlimited use if the service cannot be used.

C.1. Critical Information Summary
- all PPU charges must be specified and displayed on both contract and CIS

E. Bill Management
- quota warnings should be obligatory on both data and voice at 75, 90 and 100% of included usage
Consumers are currently unprotected from voice overages.
Pricing on lower tiered plans with limited minutes is typically an exorbitant .50/min.
All providers have the ability to send warnings at specific usage points.

F.3. Mobile Device Issues - Lost or stolen
- a provider must advise any person enquiring on the status of a particular phone whether or not that device (IMEI) is attached to any contract with that provider and whether or not there is an outstanding device balance
Consumer access to the affordable used cell phone market has been markedly suppressed by the arbitrary or delayed blacklisting of devices.

Jeffrey Beatty's picture

The majority of Deaf and HH were forced to watch their data budget via video call while majority wireless telecom providers offer Unlimited Voice Calls Plan. Real truth! It is “Data shock” for all of us.

Data limits don't look good for all of us due to Unlimited Voice Calls disparity.
We need to have reviewed and ensured that Deaf and HH Accessibility Plan are clear and understanding their mobile plan/contract. Must be displayed on website clear and transparency for all Deaf & HH users to make their choices to choose.

Data Management cannot use throttle due to 911 Emergency Video calls.

Wireless Providers cannot throttle on our video calls anyway. We have to educate Deaf people to remind Wireless Providers that they cannot throttle our video calls due to 911 emergency

We must force CRTC that all the wireline and wireless providers cannot use Network Management aka throttle on our video calls - emergency - due to life, health, safety or property (911 calls) - CRTC mandated.

I believe that having unlimited data plan will resolve barriers and simply greater accessible video calling on equal footing with Hearing’s Unlimited voice calls.

I believe it is right timing that Verizon and AT&T just join Unlimited Data bandwagon now. All four major US carriers now have Unlimited Data!

My question for our Canadian Wireless providers: What's your excuse? Now It is their turn to provide an Unlimited Data plan for once again.

For Deaf & HH Accessibility Plan:

Simple formula:

Pay per minute voice calls + Unlimited Data Plans + Unlimited Text
(No Voice Plans)

Lastly, Must have our Accessibility Lens in CRTC. It is time for CRTC to establish Accessibility Office (AO) now! It is long overdue!

#canada150 #AccessibleCanada #AccessibilityLens

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