Wireless code to help Canadians make informed choices and contribute to a dynamic marketplace.
Today, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) issued a wireless code that will make it easier for Canadians to understand their contracts and sets out their basic rights. The code will apply to new contracts for cellphones and other personal mobile devices starting on December 2, 2013.
The wireless code addresses the main frustrations that Canadians shared with the CRTC, which included the length of wireless contracts, cancellation fees, roaming charges and other industry practices. Among other things, individual and small business consumers will be able 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/month and international data roaming charges at $100/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., 2-year), and
- receive a contract that is easy to read and understand.
The wireless code will apply to all service providers in Canada. In particular, the code will apply in full to postpaid services (where customers pay a monthly bill after using their services), and where applicable to pre-paid wireless services.