The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission today announced that starting December 2, 2013, those of us up north will be able to cancel our contract after two years without penalty, that domestic data overage charges will be capped at $50/month ($100 for roaming), and that devices will be able to be unlocked after 90 days (or immediately if bought outright). The new code also stipulates that buyers will have 15 days to return any device so long as it's within certain usage limits, have the power to accept or decline mid-term contract changes, and that they'll have a contract they can actually understand. These changes are all a result of public hearings that happened back in February.
This, in short, is freakin' sweet. The code will apply to all of the major carriers. For those unfamiliar, three-year contracts are currently the norm up here, and early termination fees in the past have been as high as $500. Right now, we've got a kind of pro-rated system where carriers factor in the initial subsidy provided for your device and how much longer you've got left on your contract in order to calculate how much customers need to cough up to leave. This can still be pretty high, and may even get higher if that subsidy has to be crammed into a smaller period of time.
Needless to say, I'm really, really pumped about these changes. We're waiting on statements from Rogers, Bell, and TELUS to see what they have to say about the new Wireless Code, but one can assume they won't be thrilled about it. If you're interested in digging into the details, you can have a read over here.
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