CRTC looking for insight if a “national code for wireless services” should be created

The Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC), TELUS and Rogers all recently submitted requests to the CRTC to develop and implement a “National Wireless Services Consumer Code”. This would streamline the terms and conditions in wireless contracts and bring regulation to the industry in every province. This so-called code would be based on what Quebec enforced with Bill 60 that brought “consistent experiences” for wireless customers. In Rogers filing they noted that:

“Rogers believes that consumers appreciate and value the recent amendments several provinces have made to their consumer protection legislation. Consumer rules, if sensibly introduced, can make wireless agreements simpler for consumers and make it easier for them to enjoy the benefits of wireless technology. Rogers is committed to making a legally binding Consumer Code available to all Canadians. The ideal solution is a single comprehensive national consumer code that will protect consumers in a reasonable and consistent manner.”

Today, CTRC’s Acting Chairman Leonard Katz announced they’re seeking for feedback “on the state of competition in the Canadian wireless sector”, specifically this proposed national code for wireless services. In the press release the CTRC said they’re looking for insight to see “whether the wireless market has changed enough to warrant its intervention” and bring this national code idea to life.

Some of the proposed concepts that are tabled would bring easy and simple to understand contract terms and conditions, carriers giving consumers 30-days notice of any contract changes, consumers giving carriers 30-days notice of their intent to cancel their wireless contract, consumers given 60-days notice of their contract period ending, and that all advertising should display the total cost including monthly fees.

Leonard Katz said “Our practice has been to rely on market forces as long as we are convinced that the interests of consumers will be looked after. In this case, we are seeking evidence that our intervention is necessary before considering the development of a national wireless code.”

If you want to have your say on this issue, head on over the CRTC website here by May 3rd.