Jul 16, 2013

By Margaret H. Johnson

Isn’t it great? The new regulations? Three year contracts have always be wrapped in danger because nobody can predict the future. Many people can’t predict job security that far ahead. We’re lucky to plan beyond one year at a time.

A friend just called and told me this. “You know Margaret, I know I should be a better consumer, but there is something about finding the time to call these corporate structures. You know, the first hurdle is the information tree – press 1 or 2 or 3….up to 6. Invariably I press the wrong one and get bounced back to another trip around the tree.” 

“Yes, it happens to me all of the time, too.”


“Okay. Now, I reach someone. I tell them that my cell phone bill is way too high at $130.00 a month. I’ve should’ve called sooner but all kinds of other priorities kept blocking the way. What can you do for me?” He asked. 

The service provider said, “We have a promotion on now that will give you….the options he reads off resembles many of the recent regulation changes. In 5 minutes my cell bill dropped down to $70.00.”

I wanted to pass this story along to everyone right away. It just happened today. Call your cell phone provider and see if you end up with a smaller, less costly bill.

Cell phone companies no longer are allowed to charge cancellation fees if you break your 3 year contract after a 2 year period. In Canada, most contracts are 3 years.

A few of the other changes are as follows:

  1. International roaming notification

      i.        A service provider must notify the customer, at no charge, when their device is roaming in another country. The notification must clearly explain the associated rates for voice, text messaging, and data services.

     ii.        Customers may opt out of receiving these notifications at any time.

  1. Cap on data roaming charges

     i.        A service provider must suspend national and international data roaming charges once they reach $100 within a single monthly billing cycle, unless the customer expressly consents to pay additional charges.

    ii.        A service provider must provide this cap at no charge.

  1. Cap on data overage charges

      i.        A service provider must suspend data overage charges once they reach $50 within a single monthly billing cycle, unless the customer expressly consents to pay additional charges.

     ii.        A service provider must provide this cap at no charge.

  1. Unsolicited wireless services

      i.        A service provider must not charge for any device or service that the customer has not expressly purchased.

  1. Mobile premium services

      i.        If a customer contacts their service provider to inquire about a charge for a mobile premium service, the service provider must explain to the customer how to unsubscribe from the mobile premium service.

I strongly suggest all cell phone users go to the CRTC website at the following link and learn about the new rules. This should prove to be a great cure for cell phone blues.


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