Carrier unlocking of smartphones is a very common affair in respect to US and Canadian telecom markets. However, with effect from December 1, Canadian telecom operators can no longer sell locked smartphones. Further, they are required to unlock existing carrier locked devices free of charge, according to a directive by Canadian Telecom regulator.
Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications or CRTC in short, gave the much sought after verdict earlier today. The regulatory board had asked customers to post their grievances and demands on an online page while reviewing the country’s wireless code earlier this year. Needless to say, many Canadian consumers stepped up to complain about the unlocking fees levied by operators.
As per a report by CRTC, the Canadian telecom operators amassed a total of $37.7 million by simply unlocking smartphones of its users. On an average, operators charge $50 for carrier unlocking. But, starting this December, such charges would be gone forever.
Apart from that, CRTC reformed few other rules regarding telecom contracts. It has now extended the trial period for contracts. The new directive by the Canadian Telecom regulator now allows customers to cancel their contracts within 15 days of commencing trial. This is a marked improvement over the data and voice usage centric contract termination clause. Instead of the previous 30 minutes of voice usage and 50MB of data usage, customers can now use up to 50% of monthly voice and data usage, before cancelling a contract free of charge.
Canadians with disabilities will have double this period. This effectively means 30 days and 100% usage of their monthly plan. Further, the Canadian telecom regulator has also ordered that a carrier is forced to cancel the contract on the spot. So the customers needn’t wait for 30 days before getting their contract terminated.
The Canadian telecom regulator has further set mandatory data and roaming overage caps for contract plans. From now on, telecom operators require the consent of the main account holder before granting the holder or other members in the family plan to continue enjoying services after the overage has reached. The caps for roaming and data overage fees has also been set at $100 and $50 per month respectively.