Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION
Posted: 02/11/2013 1:00 AM | Comments: 0
MONTREAL -- The hot-button issues Canadians have with cellphone contracts -- roaming fees, ability to unlock handsets and three-year contracts -- will get another opportunity to be heard this week.
The CRTC will hold a week of public hearings starting today on its proposed wireless code. The regulator is aiming for a set of national standards for the content and clarity of cellphone contracts.
In the lead-up to the hearings, Canadians have again made it clear they don't want three-year contracts offered by wireless carriers.
"Eliminate three-year contracts," said a comment submitted by a user identified as Celli041 on the online forum for the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunication Commission's draft wireless code.
"Eliminate onerous processes that make it harder to get out of a contract and go elsewhere for cellphone services."
The CRTC has said it heard a lot of "anger" from Canadians about three-year contracts when it was putting together the draft version of the national code for wireless services, released last month.
So far, the CRTC hasn't taken up the idea to get rid of such contracts and has instead dealt with such issues as early termination fees, allowing the consumer to cancel service at any time.
Telecom analyst Iain Grant said the CRTC should ban three-year contracts because they don't foster competition and prevent consumers from easily moving to another carrier.
"You lock them in and you get them into some sort of auto-renewal cycle forever," said Grant, managing director at the SeaBoard Group.
"What does that do to a vibrant marketplace?"
He also said it makes it htougher for new wireless companies like Public Mobile, Wind Mobile and Mobilicity to win customers.
Grant said the CRTC has chosen to "treat the symptoms and not the disease," noting Canada is the exception with its three-year cellphone contracts while two-year contracts are the norm in the United States and Europe.
Consumers can also get stuck with aging devices.
"In the land of technological innovation, which is the smartphone world, three years is an eternity," Grant said.
A participant in the CRTC's online forum agreed. "Maximum two-year contracts," wrote Yeti.
However, consumers don't always like paying up front for their iPhone, Android or BlackBerry smartphones.
-- The Canadian Press
Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 11, 2013 B5
Having problems with the form?Contact Us Directly
Chicago firm moves to acquire cabinetmaker with local ties
The top 10 movies on the iTunes Store
Continental making a comeback
Obama vetoes measure against swifter union elections
Supreme Court weighs patent fight over Spider-Man toy
Spotify's Top 10 most streamed tracks
USDA: Record soybean acres expected, corn acres to drop
1000s of Detroit-area homeowners apply to avoid foreclosure
NYC man accused of scamming families of abducted children
Child-care benefits shifting: PBO report
Jos. A. Bank laying off 122 after Men's Wearhouse merger
Greece: current phase of reform talks wrap up in Brussels
Berkshire Hathaway buys 2 small Virginia newspapers
US hits Syrian bank official, 3 companies with sanctions
Freedom, W.Va. sign agreement on chemical spill site cleanup
Tech and financial firms sign World Trade Center leases
Transportation strike in Argentina shuts down country
Teachers' earns 11.8 per cent return in 2014
US consumer confidence rises in March
Family faces hearing in burning mansion-insurance fraud case
US Steel to idle part of Minntac; 680 layoffs expected
Supreme Court sides with Idaho in Medicaid pay dispute
Norway signals wish to join China-led Asian investment bank
US stocks open slightly lower a day after a big jump
TowerBrook to buy women's clothing brand J.Jill
US home prices rise modestly, weigh on affordability
Microsoft makes cheaper version of Surface Pro 3 tablet
Boston University alumnus gives $50M gift to school
Charter nabs Bright House in latest cable deal
New Ontario deficit number expected
Amaya revenue soars with PokerStars
Program to put 'Kids Eat Right' logo on Kraft Singles ending
Toronto and New York markets remain down
China announces plans for deposit insurance in bank reform
Euro bailout rebel quits senior German governing party job
Harman buying Bang & Olufsen Automotive audio business
Anti-censorship group: China behind cyberattacks on US sites
Eurozone deflation eases as oil prices appear to bottom out
US stocks slightly lower a day after big jump
French eye cockpit entry, psychological screening rules