Canadians urge CRTC to get rid of three-year contracts

December 10, 2012
45 29 37 5

CRTC

Technology moves quickly, and this is especially true when it comes to smartphones. Being stuck with the same phone for several years just isn’t practical for many of us. This is why more consumers are opting to skip the contract altogether by purchasing unlocked devices like the LG Nexus 4. Contracts are especially restrictive in Canada, where three-year commitments are standard practice.

While most countries offer two year contracts as the norm, this isn’t the case for Canadian mobile users. The kinds of discounts offered in the United States for a two-year contract are about on par, price-wise, with what Canada’s carriers are giving their customers with three year deals.

Canada does offers one and two-year contracts as well, but with discounts that are rather paltry in comparison to the rest of the globe. The good news is that the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission may be doing something about it.

The CRTC is planning a national code for wireless services that could clarify wireless contracts and help consumers understand their rights. It would also make it clear to carriers what they can and can not do when it comes to contracts and services.

In order to get a better idea on what the public is thinking, the CRTC recently opened up a public submission process, which gave Canadian citizens a chance to speak out and help have a say on what issues should be focused on in the national code. Out of 1043 submissions, the biggest suggestions had to do with offering more unlocked phones, simplifying the contract and getting rid of the 36 month contract for good.

The CRTC thanked everyone for participating and noted via Twitter that concerned wireless consumers should return on January 28th to comment on the Draft Code. When the outline arrives we should have a better idea of what to expect from the upcoming national code.

Do you think that Canada should get rid of their current 3-year contracts or at the very least offer more reasonable pricing on one and two-year contracts as well?

Comments

  • http://profiles.google.com/k3gman Keg Man

    a phone doesn’t really survive past 2 years of updates without lagging too much. Hell, they function poorly after 1 year of use. I couldn’t possibly sign a 3 year contract.

  • Bradley Bertrim

    The problem in Canada is that the CRTC isn’t really helping protect the consumer, or rather their mandate doesn’t include the protection of the Canadian consumer. The board has executives from big companies such as Rogers and have been known for looking out for corporate best interest under the guise of protecting Canadian content. If the CRTC actually does eliminate 3 year contracts I would be very surprised.

  • Justin S

    I purchased the Note 2 on Rogers a little over a month ago. I was pretty taken back at the fact that I could not even purchase the phone for anything less than a 3 year contract. 1 and 2 years was equal in price to unlocked.
    I’m one to change my phone on a year to year basis, alongside the rapidly evolving rate of technology, so to be held in to 3 years with no other option than to pay full price on the phone seems mildly outlandish.

  • RaptorOO7

    The two year contracts in the US are a crock and 3 years in Canada are nearly criminal. Maybe when flip phones were the rage it was acceptable but not today, not with the rate technology moves and how much lower prices SHOULD be. I say contacts should be no longer than 18 months and I would rather see full retail pricing on phones with out contracts in the US and force the carriers to actually deliver service on par with the EU and GB.

  • rubel

    uhh, just about I thought living in canada was nice…