Canadian Carriers Lose Appeal on CRTC Wireless Code

May 22, 2015 by

Photo credit: Gloria Nieto/The Globe and Mail 

The Globe and Mail reported Tuesday (May 19) that Canada's biggest cellular carriers lost a legal challenge over the CRTC's proposed two-year service agreements for subscribers.

We first blogged about the "new" CRTC wireless code when it was announced two years ago. Technically, the code does not mandate two-year contracts (it does not eliminate three-year ones), but it does allow Canadian subscribers to cancel their contract after 24 months with no cost.

"The code (which came into effect in December 2013) did not initially apply to existing contracts, although three-year terms had been the norm in Canada for years," wrote the Globe and Mail's Christine Dobby on May 19. "But as of this June 3, the code will apply to all agreements, meaning anyone still on a three-year contract will be able to walk away without paying off the balance of the device subsidy they owe and no additional cancellation fee.

"Despite the pending legal appeal, Canadian carriers have already been bracing for the June 3 deadline, ramping up efforts to convince their existing customers to stay by offering perks such as discounts on new devices and waiving the remaining subsidy balances owing," Dobby added.

"This is a great win for Canadians, and sets a strong precedent for the CRTC’s ability to stand up for great choice and affordability in Canada’s telecom market,” OpenMedia campaigns manager Josh Tabish said in a statement.

Posted in: Industry News