CRTC’s new code, and cell phone plans in Vancouver
As you may know from the previous post about phone plans in Vancouver, at some point of time (about 2-3 years ago) the most common way to get a descent phone plan and a good device you had to sell your soul and a first-born child in a vortex of a 3-year sentence. However, the recent changes in the CRTC (Canadian Radio-television Communications Commission) guidelines play in customers’ favour.
The new code will allow consumers 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 a month and international data roaming charges at $100 a 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., two-year), and receive a contract that is easy to read and understand;
However, there will still be charges to unlock the phone, and the amount is not set. Knowing how sneaky some providers may get (cough*Rog*cough*ers), I think they will set a fee as high as the price of the phone in addition to the mark-up you pay on the cost of the plan.
What I learned though, is that after your contract expires (at least, with Fido) you will be automatically switched to a month-to-month plan with the same conditions and cost. If you call to cancel, the customer service rep will switch you over to the loyalty department, who will try to retain you as a customer by offering you a better plan.
Also, if you switch carriers, you may still get calls from your old provider trying to lure you into their nets again. If you get bothered by that, or any telemarketing calls for that matter, you can register your number in the Do-Not-Call directory. Note, that it takes 31 day to get your number added to the list. You need to renew your registration every 5 years. Adding your number to the list does not mean you will not get any telemarketing calls.
Who can still call you:
– Companies with whom an existing business commercial relationship with the consumer exists (e.g. if you have signed up for a product or service, the rep who signed you up may call you for up to a 18 months);
– Newspapers looking for subscriptions;
– Political parties and their candidates;
– Registered charities seeking donations;