Canadians can cancel their wireless contracts after two years under new CRTC wireless code

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Wireless code to help Canadians make informed choices and contribute to a
dynamic marketplace

OTTAWA-GATINEAU, June 3, 2013 — Today, the Canadian Radio-television and
Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) issued a wireless code that will make
it easier for Canadians to understand their contracts and sets out their
basic rights. The code will apply to new contracts for cellphones and
other personal mobile devices starting on December 2, 2013.

“Every day, Canadians rely on wireless devices while in their homes, at
their jobs, at school or travelling abroad,” said Jean-Pierre Blais,
Chairman of the CRTC. “The wireless code will contribute to a more dynamic
marketplace by making it possible for Canadians to discuss their needs
with service providers at least every two years.”

The wireless code addresses the main frustrations that Canadians shared
with the CRTC, which included the length of wireless contracts,
cancellation fees, roaming charges and other industry practices. Among
other things, individual and small business consumers will be able to:

- terminate their wireless contracts after two years without cancellation
fees, even if they have signed on for a longer term 
- cap extra data charges at $50/month and international data roaming charges
at $100/month to prevent bill shock
- have their cellphones unlocked after 90 days, or immediately if they paid
for the device in full
- return their cellphones, within 15 days and specific usage limits, if they
are unhappy with their service
- accept or decline changes to the key terms of a fixed-term contract (i.e.,
2-year), and
- receive a contract that is easy to read and understand.

The wireless code will apply to all service providers in Canada. In
particular, the code will apply in full to postpaid services (where
customers pay a monthly bill after using their services), and where
applicable to pre-paid wireless services.

“The wireless code is a tool that will empower consumers and help them
make informed choices about the service options that best meet their
needs. To make the most of this tool, consumers also have a responsibility
to educate themselves,” Mr. Blais added. 

The participation of a large number of consumers and the collaboration of
the wireless industry will ensure the wireless code’s successful
implementation. The CRTC’s public consultation attracted over 5,000
participants, including individual Canadians, who shared their views on an
online discussion forum, in writing and at the public hearing held from
February 11 to 15, 2013.

For more information about the wireless code, please visit


Telecom Regulatory Policy CRTC 2013-271

Wireless code

Wireless code – Your rights as a consumer

Infographic on the wireless code

Video on the wireless code

Reference documents:

Notice of Consultation CRTC 2012-557

News release: “CRTC invites Canadians to participate in the development of a code 
for cellphones and other mobile devices” (October 11, 2012)



The CRTC is an administrative tribunal that regulates and supervises
broadcasting and telecommunications in Canada.

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Follow us on Twitter @crtceng

Media Relations:
Tel: 819-997-9403, Fax: 819-997-4245 

General Inquiries:
Tel: 819-997-0313, TDD: 819-994-0423, Fax: 819-994-0218
Toll-free # 1-877-249-CRTC (2782)
TDD - Toll-free # 1-877-909-CRTC (2782)
Ask a question or make a complaint

These documents are available in alternative format upon request.

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