The Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has announced a new code of conduct for cellphone companies that Canadians will be happy about. One of the new rules that the new code of conduct says that Canadians can cancel their wireless contracts without fees after a two year period.

The CRTC unveiled the new code of conduct today that set our new guidelines and will allow consumers a number of new options, including:

  • Terminate their wireless contracts after two years without cancellation fees, even if they have signed on for a longer term
  • Cap extra data charges at $50 a month and international data roaming charges at $100 a month to prevent bill shock
  • Have their cellphones unlocked after 90 days, or immediately if they paid for the device in full
  • Return their cellphones, within 15 days and specific usage limits, if they are unhappy with their service
  • Accept or decline changes to the key terms of a fixed-term contract (i.e., two-year), and receive a contract that is easy to read and understand

The CRTC has been working on the code for a few months now after consulting with consumers and the industry. According to CBC News, the CRTC heard a lot of angry comments about lengthy three-year contract terms offered by wireless carriers when it was working on a draft version of the new code for wireless services.

CRTC chair Jean-Pierre Blais said of the new code: “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.”

In the U.S., Europe and other countries in the developing world, contracts of no more than two years are standard practice.

“What we were concerned about was ensuring that there was a dynamic marketplace, that is, that people didn’t feel entrapped in their contracts when they want to maybe use the offer of a new entrant or a competitor across the street,” Blais said. “So it really is about freeing up Canadians to choose either stay with their current carrier, under negotiated terms, or go to a competitor.”

As a Canadian myself, I think this is an excellent and much-needed rule for wireless carriers and something that should have been introduced much sooner.

Image Credit: Mashable