Cellphone Freedom Day! On June 3 you’ll be able to end your 3-year-contract for free
Starting June 3, three year contracts which have run or 24 months or more can be cancelled without any penalties. Together, we helped make this code of conduct happen by developing our crowdsourced action plan for the future of our wireless market.
If your cellphone provider has been calling you unexpectedly with offers of a better deal or a free phone upgrade, it's not a fluke. Canada's big three carriers – Bell, Rogers and Telus – are preparing for an unprecedented wave of customer free-agency as a new regulation kicks in on June 3.
And that wave could mean some good deals for people who are willing to bargain with their carrier.
While three-year deals are still technically allowed by the CRTC, the rule will effectively kill such contracts because they forbid carriers from charging early cancellation fees after 24 months.
As a result, anyone who signed a three-year contract before June 3, 2013, will be able to walk away from it next week without having to pay any penalty.
Customers who signed three-year contracts between June 3 and Dec. 2, 2013, may still be subject to a cancellation fee, but it will be calculated according to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission's Wireless Code formula and not the terms of their contract.
"It (the cancellation fee) will likely be significantly smaller than it would otherwise have been," CRTC spokesperson Patricia Valladao said.
Along with the normal wave of two-year contracts ending in June, the CRTC rule means wireless providers are now facing a so-called "double cohort" – an additional group of customers who would otherwise have a third year left on their agreement. And that's making the carriers nervous.