Mobile customers can now bargain like never before



shutterstock_109897385Image: Cellphone user via Shutterstock


By Jill Slattery
May 27, 2015
Cellphone users may be catching a break beginning next week when a new CRTC ruling will prohibit carriers from charging cancellation fees after 24 months of a contract.

In short, the decision will have unexpected benefits for those who signed a three-year contract with their mobile carrier prior to June 3, 2013. As of next Wednesday, June 3, those customers will be able to walk away from their contracts with no penalty. Even customers who signed a three-year contract between June 3, 2013 and December 2, 2013 will be able to save some extra cash as they will still incur cancellation fees, but the charge will be determined by a CRTC formula, not by their carrier.

What this means for Canadian carriers like Bell, Rogers and Telus is that a large wave of customers will effectively become free agents. A Scotia Capital report released in January estimated that 2.2 to 4 million of Canada’s ‘big-three’ customers were still on three-year contracts at the end of 2014. The barrage of customers expected to take advantage of their new-found freedom and ability to switch carriers or negotiate better deals has mobile companies nervous and desperate to retain their business.

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