The CRTC's new wireless code, unveiled Monday, will apply to all new contracts for cellphones and other personal mobile devices beginning Dec. 2.
Canadians will be able to cancel their wireless contracts after two years without paying any cancellation fees, even if they've signed on for a longer term.
"Every day, Canadians rely on wireless devices while in their homes, at their jobs, at school or travelling abroad," CRTC chairman Jean-Pierre Blais said in a release. "The wireless code will contribute to a more dynamic marketplace by making it possible for Canadians to discuss their needs with service providers at least every two years."
Among the other provisions in the code is a $50/month cap on data overage charges, and a $100/month cap on international data roaming charges.
Wireless consumers will be able to return their cellphones within 15 days and specific usage limits if they're unhappy with their service, and will be able to have their cellphones unlocked after 90 days, or immediately if they pay for the device in full. The code does not regulate the amount a carrier can charge to unlock a phone.
Consumer advocates welcomed the rules as a much-needed change to the wireless industry.
"We're glad to have it after all these years," said John Lawford, executive director of the Public Interest Advocacy Centre, which participated in the CRTC's proceedings."
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