Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

MTS wireless users to get warned before going over data limits

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Beginning Monday, MTS wireless customers will start getting ample warnings if their data usage is about to surpass their plan's defined threshold.

The new enhanced alerts are part of the measures necessary to comply with the CRTC's Wireless Code of Conduct that comes into effect Dec. 2.

MTS president Kelvin Shepherd said the company had already taken other steps to comply with the code, including eliminating three-year contracts and the sometimes onerous fees charged to consumers who want to get out of those contracts.

Starting next week, MTS will provide customers with alerts that notify them when their digital wireless data use is getting close to surpassing defined thresholds.

Those alerts will require customers to confirm they are willing to pay additional charges if they use services over their limit. If they do not confirm, the additional services will be discontinued to ensure they will not run up the extra charges.

MTS will also start providing wireless contracts in alternative formats upon request, including braille, large font and PDF.

The CRTC Wireless Code of Conduct was released in June, and in August MTS announced it would discontinue three-year contracts.

Shepherd said the company also implemented some improved pricing at that time related to handset subsidies that are attached to contract commitments.

Typically, if you purchase a handset without a contract you might have to pay as much as $700. When you enter into a wireless contract there is a handset subsidy. On the old three-year contracts, handsets might have cost as little as $100. There was varying degrees of handset pricing on shorter contracts.

In the meantime, MTS and other telecom companies are involved in a court challenge of the CRTC's Wireless Code Of Conduct that would affect those three-year cellphone contracts retroactively.

The telecom companies are arguing a number of three-year contracts won't expire until after that deadline, potentially leaving them on the hook for some of those subsidies they already paid.

martin.cash@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 28, 2013 B10

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