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CRTC: Should Wireless Carriers Follow a Standard Set of Rules?

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The CRTC looks to seek input from Canadians on whether wireless carriers should all follow a certain set of rules when dealing with customers. The CRTC wants to know if ‘competition’ in Canada is enough to protect consumers, and has launched a consultation on the topic after requests from consumer advocates.

Rogers proposed some rules in March of what the code might include:

  • Specify what kind of changes a wireless provider can and cannot make to a consumer’s services during the life of a contract and how much notice is required for allowable changes.
  • Allow consumers to cancel contracts at any time provided they give their wireless provider 30 days’ notice. Specify what fees wireless companies can and cannot charge consumers when they cancel their contract early.
  • Require wireless providers to give consumers 60 days’ notice that their contract is about to expire and ban providers from automatically renewing it except on a month-to-month basis.
  • Require ads for wireless services to include all monthly fees.

The CRTC’s acting chairman Leonard Katz noted in a statement he wants to see if there is enough evidence out there to support the CRTC getting involved, rather than letting the market manage itself:

“Our practice has been to rely on market forces as long as we are convinced that the interests of consumers will be looked after,” he said.

The interests of consumers should be the CRTC’s top priority. Cancellation fees, system access fees, 911 charges, and others continue to burden the wallets of Canadians. Do you feel we’re being protected from the pricing plans, strategies, and fees implemented by our ‘Big 3’ carriers?

[via CBC]

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