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Wireless Customers Don't Want Caps on their Monthly Bill?

by Caroline Lebrun

February 13, 2013 9:30 AM

Draft Version of the Wireless Code is out

CRTC Wireless Code As you may know, a draft version of the "wireless code" is being proposed at the moment by the CRTC (Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission) in Gatineau, QC. Hearings are presently running allowing wireless customers to set limits to their monthly bill to prevent unexpected high amounts or Bill Shock. And at the same time, allowing wireless providers to enter their plea.

Carriers have told regulators that proposed measures to protect cellphone customers from wireless bills are bad for customers and will stifle competition, like last week, David Fuller, chief marketing director for Telus Corp. told about proposed rules on wireless contracts and fees: "I think a lot of customers don't want a cap. If they want a service that's capped… that's what a prepaid service can provide. [...] Regarding data and roaming, as long as wireless carriers are providing such notifications and online monitoring tools, as Telus already does, a monthly bill cap is unnecessary."

I can understand that point, but to be honest prepaid and postpaid contracts are very different, prepaid are very less attractive and versatile than postpaid ones. And let's be sincere here, providers want postpaid contracts! They are more profitable!

Many other aspects and other providers like Bell still have to be evaluated and heard. It is very comforting to see that the CRTC is stimulating the discussion and debate between two former enemies, the public and the wireless providers. I do not know anybody happy with this bill, except maybe the provider. Moreover, the three-year terms is also pointed out and discussed in favour of capping contracts at a two years term. Whatever happens, for a good collaboration customers need to be heard so that providers will at least know what they want. They will then be able then to think about what is possible or not to satisfy clients' needs. 

Starting with me, what I want is to get a real service for what I pay for. Do I deserve it? Yes I do! And so does CRTC commissioner Candice Molnar: "Not all customers want to spend their time sorting out how much data they have left, particularly in something like a family plan," she said. "I'm a customer and that's not what I want to do."

The proposed cap limit would be $50 by default. When the customer exceeds that amount, the wireless provider would have to suspend any services that would cause the customer to keep racking up costs. Then again Fuller says: "We firmly believe $50 is far too low, a predetermined cap of $150 or $200 would make more sense."

That I can understand too! Well, we have to find an agreement and it will not be easy, for any of both sides. 

Etelesolv, more than anyone, knows how hard it is to control telecommunication expenses. That is why we've created Telemanager. It provides a virtual window into what companies own, where it is, and how much it costs every month, so they can focus on their core competencies and run their business with the peace of mind that employees, assets and costs are actively being controlled. 

But for you and I, the hearings will continue through Friday 15th. The CRTC is inviting the public to submit comments to the online discussion on the draft code, please do so! 

To learn more about the "Wireless code" draft:

Topics: CRTCBill ShockTelecom Expense ManagementManage Wireless Costs

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