CRTC ruling eliminates contract breaking fees after 2 years in Canada, among other changes

crtc

As citizens of the Great White North already know, we Canadians get completely hosed on our cell phone contracts.  Canada has been shown to have one of the worst systems from a consumer perspective and there has been growing backlash over the last several years.  Consumer groups have been pushing the Canadian Government, in form of the CRTC, to institute new laws and policies to help the Canadian Wireless consumer.  Well.  Today. The consumer has seemed to have won a victory finally.

The CRTC has decided that cellphone companies are NO LONGER allowed to charge you cancellation fees if you break your contact, if you have been on your contract for at least 2 years.

In Canada, most contracts are 3 years.   I am going to wait a minute while all of our non Canadian readers get back up off the floor ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

……………………………………………..

Ok your back?  Good

The new ruling basically makes all 3 year contracts, 2 year contracts, as there is now no penalty to cancel if you have gone past the 2 year mark.

In addition, the law also puts a cap on additional data charges for local and roaming at $50 and $100 respectively.

Changes will allow consumers to:

  • Terminate their wireless contracts after two years without cancellation fees, even if they have signed on for a longer term.
  • Cap extra data charges at $50 a month and international data roaming charges at $100 a month to prevent bill shock.
  • Have their cellphones unlocked after 90 days, or immediately if they paid for the device in full.
  • Return their cellphones, within 15 days and specific usage limits, if they are unhappy with their service.
  • Accept or decline changes to the key terms of a fixed-term contract (i.e., two-year), and receive a contract that is easy to read and understand.

The CBC has a great article up on the topic so if you want to know more details, head over there

Now the great question this new law creates is.  What will happen to contract subsidized phone prices in Canada?

Only time will tell.

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  1. Do these changes apply to existing contracts then? Or do these changes only apply to newly created contracts? Are there any effective dates, wish it were retro-active lol

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