The introduction of the new CRTC Wireless Code aims to provide Canadian cellphone users with more consumer-friendly rights. While not eliminating 3-year contracts altogether, the new Wireless Code will allow Canadian cellphone users to cancel their contract after 24 months with no cost. The code ensures that cancellation fees no longer exceed the amount of the phone subsidy, requiring the subsidies of the device(s) to be divided evenly over a maximum of 24 months. As a result of this, if the phone has not been paid off after 2 years, the customer will only be required to pay the remaining amount of the device without worrying about extra fees for leaving their contract early. The CRTC believes the new Wireless Code will be beneficial to consumers and result in a more dynamic marketplace. The new Wireless Code will take effect starting on December 3, 2013. Consumers will be granted a 15-day trial period with no penalty for cancelling or returning their device within this time.
Other positive aspects of the new Wireless Code:
- Customers will only be charged a maximum fee of $50/month for extra data usage
- International roaming charges will be capped at $100/month
- Customers can unlock their device after 90 days (or immediately should they pay for the device in full at the time of purchase)
- Customers will be able to obtain their contract in full
- Suspended billing will be available for customers whose phones are being repaired