CRTC looking for input into wireless code of conduct until February 15

Tell the wireless industry to stop gauging consumers. Tell the CRTC what you want to see in the new wireless Code of Conduct:

Ottawa (12 Feb. 2013) – The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) is examining the telecommunications industry once again in order to develop a Wireless Code of Conduct for businesses in Canada. In order to stimulate concrete discussion, the CRTC released a draft Wireless Code for review and comment.

The CRTC is responding to the growing number of complaints against an industry seen as greedy, ruthless and one which ignores the needs of Canadian consumers. 

"We have been advocating for a mandatory code for the wireless industry for years," said James Clancy, National President of the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE).

"This is a good start to what we hope is a healthy discussion about the rights of consumers in an industry with little regulation and oversight. Greed must not trump fairness."

The CRTC kicked off public hearings on February 11 which will continue until February 15. Canadians are invited to share their views on the draft and to join the online discussion. 

Despite small moves to satisfy angry consumers, telecom companies have done very little to overhaul the way they do business. This ongoing love-hate relationship is reflected in the outcomes of a recent Globe and Mail survey which asked its readers about what they see as the major problems in the industry. The top responses were: prices and regulation; lengthy contracts; better clarity in contracts; out of control fees and a tougher watch dog. Ninety-five per cent of respondents agreed that the CRTC should be given the power to fine wireless providers that do not obey industry rules.

The Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) presented at the hearings in Ottawa on February 11 along with Consumers Association of Canada, and the Council of Senior Citizens’ Organizations of British Columbia.  PIAC's presentation focused on five key areas for consumers: notification of extra charges and monetary caps on those charges; prohibition of unilateral changes to contracts by wireless companies; a fair termination fee formula so consumers know the cost of switching carriers; unlocking of cell phones; and effective enforcement of the Wireless Code.

Janet Lo, Co-Counsel for PIAC said PIAC’s oral presentation emphasized this unique opportunity to create a durable, workable and fair Wireless Code: “We emphasized the collective responsibility of wireless carriers, the CRTC and consumer groups to respond to the needs of wireless consumers,” said Lo, “Consumers want and deserve a Wireless Code now.”

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The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE

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