The Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications
Commission's (the "CRTC") highly anticipated Wireless
Code came into force on December 2, 2013. The Code, which
applies to all new retail mobile wireless voice and data services
contracts signed as of December 2, 2013, as well as to existing
contracts that are renewed or extended or where the key terms are
amended as of its coming into force date, has been hailed by
Jean-Pierre Blais, Chairman of the CRTC, as "the beginning of
a more dynamic marketplace for wireless services".
The most notable provisions of the Code include allowing
individuals and small business consumers to:
Limit data charges in excess of the usage defined in their
plans to $50/month;
Terminate their wireless contracts after two years without
cancellation fees or penalties;
Limit national and international data roaming charges in excess
of the usage limits defined in their plans to $100/month;
Have their cell phone unlocked after 90 days, or immediately if
they paid for the cell phone in full;
Return their cell phone, within 15 days and specified usage
limits, if they are unhappy with their service;
Accept or decline changes to the key terms of a fixed-term
(i.e. 2 year) contract; and
Receive a contract that uses plain language and is easy to read
The Wireless Code, which establishes a mandatory and more
consumer-friendly code of conduct for the wireless services
industry, will make it easier for consumers to obtain and
understand the information in their wireless service contracts and
prevent bill shock.
Please note that a Motion for leave to appeal certain provisions
of the Wireless Code has been filed with the Federal Court of
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