Media Advisory: June 3 is Cell Phone Freedom Day: new mobile phone customer protection rules come into effect for 2–4 million Canadians
June 1, 2015
This will create millions of “free agents” who will now be able to move between providers, or renegotiate with their current providers without fear of penalties. Canadian carriers have already been bracing for the June 3 deadline, ramping up efforts to convince customers to stay – offering perks like discounts on phones and one-off pricing offers.
The code contains significant customer protections for mobile phone and Internet users, including an end to 3-year contracts, caps on roaming charges at home and abroad, the right to unlock your device, and the option to return your phone within 15 days of purchase with no penalty. More information can be found in an explainer produced by the Commissioner for Complaints for Telecommunications Services (CCTS) here.
The Code of Conduct happened after OpenMedia called on the CRTC to take it forward, and worked with tens of thousands of Canadians through a sustained, multi-year crowdsourcing campaign to lay out a plan that the regulator could adopt. To do so, we asked Canadians to submit their “Cell Phone Horror Stories”, which were then turned into used as part of our expert submission at the hearing that determined the substance of the rules.
Responding to Canadians’ comments at the hearing, Big Telecom giants had some outrageous things to say, which are highlighted in OpenMedia’s “Things Big Telecom Says” video, which has received a combined 30,000 views on Facebook and YouTube.
The Code was put in place out of recognition that Canadian customers of mobile services had faced years of mistreatment at the hands of Big Telecom giants who dominated over 92% of the market. However, a number of providers appealed the decision in delay its implementation. OpenMedia worked with lawyers from the Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic (CIPPIC) to oppose the carriers’ challenge and, on May 19, scored a major victory at the Federal Court of Appeal as the carriers’ case was rejected.
Canadians are speaking up for greater choice and affordability at https://UnblockCanada.ca
OpenMedia is an award-winning community-based organization that safeguards the possibilities of the open Internet. We work toward informed and participatory digital policy by engaging hundreds of thousands of people in protecting our online rights.
The Wireless Code going forward. CCTS announces interpretation on three-year contracts. CCTS.
What you need to know about the end of three-year cellphone contracts. The Global and Mail.
Federal Court of Appeal Denies Attempts to Delay Implementation of Wireless Consumer Protection Code. Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic (CIPPIC).
Cellphone carriers lose court challenge over CRTC wireless code. The Globe and Mail.
Together we won a major court battle with Big Telecom over the wireless code of conduct. OpenMedia.
An overview of what the rules mean for Canadians. OpenMedia.
Cellphone customers have bargaining power thanks to CRTC contract rule. CBC.
Things Big Telecom Says. YouTube.
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OpenMedia works to keep the Internet open, affordable, and surveillance-free. We create community-driven campaigns to engage, educate, and empower people to safeguard the Internet.
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