Wednesday, June 19, 2024

The CRTC targets termination fees for wireless device financing plans

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Maria Gill
Maria Gill
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The Canadian Radio, Television and Communications Commission (CRTC) said Thursday that consumers who have wireless phone financing plans of three years or more will be protected by a policy setting termination fees.

Since 2019, Canada’s major mobile carriers have introduced plans that separate mobile phone payments from the monthly service fee.

In the same year, the CRTC advisory indicated that if the wireless service plan expires after two years, but the payment plan for the new device expires after three years, the one-year difference could be costly to Canadians wanting to change their plan or operator. .

Now, the CRTC says consumer protection rules, incorporated into its wireless code, will apply to financing plans for taller devices, just as they apply to supported cell phones.

The Wireless Act states that Canadians can cancel a cell phone service contract after two years without termination fees, even if the consumer had originally agreed to a longer period.

The code also specifies the amount of early termination fees and gives formulas to calculate the amount of fees to be paid based on the number of months remaining.

The Telecommunications and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) indicated that it has requested the Communications and Television Services Complaints Commission to separately pursue complaints regarding device financing schemes. Wireless operators will have one month to update contracts to reflect Thursday’s announcement.

“We want to ensure that device financing schemes are not used to keep customers with their current provider when the service contract expires,” CRTC CEO Ian Scott said in a statement.

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