Canadians urge CRTC to get rid of three-year contracts

December 10, 2012
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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?

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