As of Wednesday, Canadian consumer’s cell phone contract obligations have changed. The biggest change affects those locked into 3-year wireless agreements.

CRTC’s first crack at a wireless code went into effect in late 2013. That agreement mostly applies to new contracts. However, the new terms of the CRTC agreement have expanded to all phone contracts.

Here’s what you need to know:

  1. No More Cancellation Fees After 2 Years
  • Cell phone companies can no longer threaten you with charges if you want to leave them. If you signed up for a contract before June 3, 2013, you are free to leave whenever at no charge. However, if you sign up for a 3-year contract after June 3rd but before December 2nd you will still incur a penalty if they break their contract. This fee can only be a “small” amount, according to John Lawford who spoke on behalf of the Public Interest Advocacy Centre.
  • There’s more information on the potential cancellation fees on the CRTC website: http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/info_sht/t1301.htm
  1. More Deals Are On the Horizon
  • It’s important for you to leverage yourself if you are in the position to re-enter the market. Phone companies will be offering huge deals. Basically, if you had been trapped in an expensive and long contract you are actually in the best spot right now. Be a part of the percent that negotiates a better deal, the CRTC fought in our favor!  “If you have a need for more data, now’s a good time to, even if you don’t dump your carrier, call them and threaten to.”
  1. Roaming Charges will be Reduced
  • CRTC forced a cap on data charges and international data roaming in order to prevent ‘bill shock’ for consumers. This way you won’t receive an insane bill that would cost more than a kidney transplant. The CRTC has stated that they will regulate roaming rates for the big 3 (Bell, Rogers, and Telus). By doing this they will demand more competition as the smaller companies within Canada will also have to follow suit.
  • Did you know that for years Canadians have been paying among the highest rates for cellphone service within the developed world.
  1. Want to Complain? Where do you go?
  • You are encouraged to complain if you feel like your cell phone company is trying to rip you off by not complying with these new rules. You also encouraged to fill out a form if you have more questions, or are confused about anything to do with your carrier. You must file a complaint with the Commissioner for Complaints for Telecommunications Services (CCTS) link here: http://www.ccts-cprst.ca/complaints/guide

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5. A HUGE number will be affected by these changes

  • According to social analysts, up to 4 million subscribers of Rogers, Bell and Telus are estimated to still be on 3-year contracts at the end of 2016. Basically, as of Wednesday, these customers are “free agents”.

To Read More About the New CRTC agreement read the link below:

http://globalnews.ca/news/2030639/a-look-at-the-new-rules-that-take-effect-this-week-for-cellphone-customers/