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Thread: New CRTC Code: 2 year contract limit, Data/roaming caps, Device unlocking

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    New CRTC Code: 2 year contract limit, Data/roaming caps, Device unlocking

    Full text of The Wireless Code

    CRTC News Release - June 3

    OTTAWA-GATINEAU, June 3, 2013 — 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.

    “Every day, Canadians rely on wireless devices while in their homes, at their jobs, at school or travelling abroad,” said Jean-Pierre Blais, Chairman of the CRTC. “The wireless code will contribute to a more dynamic marketplace by making it possible for Canadians to discuss their needs with service providers at least every two years.”

    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.

    “The wireless code is a tool that will empower consumers and help them make informed choices about the service options that best meet their needs. To make the most of this tool, consumers also have a responsibility to educate themselves,” Mr. Blais added.

    The participation of a large number of consumers and the collaboration of the wireless industry will ensure the wireless code’s successful implementation. The CRTC’s public consultation attracted over 5,000 participants, including individual Canadians, who shared their views on an online discussion forum, in writing and at the public hearing held from February 11 to 15, 2013.

    For more information about the wireless code, please visit www.crtc.gc.ca/wirelesscode.
    A Canadian tale of wireless competition, and Another
    From unjust discrimination to undue preference - a CRTC timeline

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    Media coverage:

    Globe and Mail - CRTC’s new wireless code spells end of three-year contracts

    CBC - New CRTC wireless rules demand 2-year contract cap, unlocked phones

    Toronto Star
    “We didn’t focus on the length of the contract, we focused on the economic relation,” Blais said in an interview with The Canadian Press.
    “So, in effect, it’s equivalent to those asking for a ban of three-year contracts without us actually banning three-year contracts, because what we’re saying is the contract’s amortization period can only be for a maximum period of 24 months.”

    --
    Last edited by pjw918; 06-03-2013 at 11:31 AM.

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    Early cancellation fee: calculation (subsidized device)

    G. 2.
    i. When a subsidized device is provided as part of the contract,
    • for fixed-term contracts: The early cancellation fee must not exceed the value of the device subsidy. The early cancellation fee must be reduced by an equal amount each month, for the lesser of 24 months or the total number of months in the contract term, such that the early cancellation fee is reduced to $0 by the end of the period.
    • for indeterminate contracts: The early cancellation fee must not exceed the value of the device subsidy. The early cancellation fee must be reduced by an equal amount each month, over a maximum of 24 months, such that the early cancellation fee is reduced to $0 by the end of the period.

    ii. When calculating the early cancellation fee,
    • the value of the device subsidy is the retail price of the device minus the amount that the customer paid for the device when the contract was agreed to; and
    • the retail price of the device is the lesser of the manufacturer’s suggested retail price or the price set for the device when it is purchased from the service provider without a contract.

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    No more bull crap Wind tab and the huge reduction in the tab on the last month. Wind now has to have contracts exactly like R/B/T.

    Sent from my SGH-I317M using HowardForums

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    Cancellation Date

    G. 5.
    i. Customers may cancel their contract at any time by notifying their service provider.
    ii. Cancellation takes effect on the day that the service provider receives notice of the cancellation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by xtachx View Post
    No more bull crap Wind tab and the huge reduction in the tab on the last month. Wind now has to have contracts exactly like R/B/T.

    Sent from my SGH-I317M using HowardForums
    This comes into effect in December, who knows if WIND will still be around by then To their credit, they did come up with the tab idea before the big three and also they were the first ones to not include "early Cancellation" fees if you left early, you just had to payoff the tab balance. However their high end phones were usually $50 more than most providers.

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    Interpretation of the Code

    [Preamble]
    If any part of the Code or the customer’s contract is ambiguous, or if it is unclear how the terms of the Code or the contract are to be applied, then the Code and the contract must be interpreted in a manner that is favourable to the customer.

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    These new rules address many of the common reasons for leaving Robellus. So I don't see this as a good news for Wind.

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    Unlimited Services

    A. 3.
    i. A service provider must not charge a customer any overage charge for services purchased on an unlimited basis.
    ii. A service provider must not limit the use of a service purchased on an unlimited basis unless these limits are clearly explained in the fair use policy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sluma View Post
    This comes into effect in December, who knows if WIND will still be around by then To their credit, they did come up with the tab idea before the big three and also they were the first ones to not include "early Cancellation" fees if you left early, you just had to payoff the tab balance. However their high end phones were usually $50 more than most providers.
    No they didn't. Sorry.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pjw918 View Post
    G. 2.
    i. When a subsidized device is provided as part of the contract,
    • for fixed-term contracts: The early cancellation fee must not exceed the value of the device subsidy. The early cancellation fee must be reduced by an equal amount each month, for the lesser of 24 months or the total number of months in the contract term, such that the early cancellation fee is reduced to $0 by the end of the period.
    • for indeterminate contracts: The early cancellation fee must not exceed the value of the device subsidy. The early cancellation fee must be reduced by an equal amount each month, over a maximum of 24 months, such that the early cancellation fee is reduced to $0 by the end of the period.

    ii. When calculating the early cancellation fee,
    • the value of the device subsidy is the retail price of the device minus the amount that the customer paid for the device when the contract was agreed to; and
    • the retail price of the device is the lesser of the manufacturer’s suggested retail price or the price set for the device when it is purchased from the service provider without a contract.
    This is very good. They're pre-emptively closing potential loopholes involving tabs that decrease by an uneven amount per month, or jacking up the outright price of a device to artificially inflate the early cancellation fee. Very pleased about this.

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    Good news this new code is entirely reasonable. I suspect that 2 year thing is more-or-less what is already in place minus the admin fee after 24 months though. But I really like the caps which will for sure infuriate users in the future when they have to call and consent to more overages... but fair is fair.

    December can't come soon enough. They should have imposed this on the carriers 30-90 days after today.

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    Disconnection

    I. 2. Notice before Disconnection
    i. If a service provider intends to disconnect a customer, it must notify the customer before disconnection, except in cases where
    a. action is necessary to protect the network from harm; or
    b. the service provider has a reasonable suspicion that fraud is occurring or likely to occur.
    ii. In all other cases, a service provider must give reasonable notice to the customer at least 14 calendar days before disconnection.
    ...
    I. 3. Disputing Disconnection Charges
    A service provider must not disconnect a customer if
    i. the customer notifies the service provider on or before the scheduled disconnection date listed in the notice that they dispute the reasons for the disconnection;
    ii. the customer pays the amount due for any undisputed portion of the charges; and
    iii. the service provider does not have reasonable grounds to believe that the purpose of the dispute is to evade or delay payment.

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    Trial Period

    G. 4.
    i. When a customer agrees to a contract through which they are subject to an early cancellation fee, 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.
    ii. The trial period must start on the date on which service begins.
    iii. A service provider may establish reasonable limits on the use of voice, text, and data services for the trial period.
    iv. During the trial period, customers may cancel their contract without penalty or early cancellation fee if they have
    a. used less than the permitted usage; and
    b. returned any device provided by the service provider, in near-new condition, including original packaging.
    v. If a customer self-identifies as a person with a disability, the service provider must extend the trial period to at least 30 calendar days, and the permitted usage amounts must be at least double the service provider’s general usage amounts for the trial period.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tendenzi View Post
    No they didn't. Sorry.
    oops, my bad. They were the first ones that I was aware of.

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