Many of us probably don’t know to much about the way the Canadian cell phone market is, since the most of us are from theUS. But we do know they suffer with a 3-year contract. That’s right, the same phone for 36 months. Could you imagine sticking with an Android phone that long? Especially since OEMs forget about them after 6 months. Grassroots Organization OpenMedia has released a new report this morning. It’s based off of their recent “Cellphone Horror story” poll and is declaring that “Canada’s cell phone market is dysfunctional and in desperate need of an overhaul.”
There were 2,859 submissions between October 17, 2012 and February 15, 2013 that bring nothing new when compared to the CRTC’s Monitoring report, or the Complaints for Telecommunications annual report. Basically, customers in Canada feel that they are paying to much per month and that contracts are still confusing to read, and they receive “disrespectful customer service,” plus “feel mistreated by cell phone providers who put excessive profits ahead of quality service.” Sounds a lot like Verizon, right?
In total there were 12 categories that continued to arise:
1. Notification of additional fees
2. Clarity of advertised prices
3. Clarity of contract terms and conditions
4. Contract cancellation, expiration and (automatic) renewal
5. Changes to contract terms and conditions
7. Onus / responsibility / fault on consumer when it should be on telecom
8. Application of the code to bundles of telecommunications services
9. Hardware warranties and related issues
10. Service disconnections
11. Loss or theft of hardware
12. Telecom’s customer service accuses customer of lying about problem
OpenMedia is suggesting based on their findings that now is the “time for an upgrade” have outlined four recommendations for the carriers and government to improve their cell phone market. Canadians want real choice, Canadians want reliable and respectful service, Canadians want fair contracts, and Canadians want transparency. Their report also showed that Bell, Rogers and TELUS along with their MVNO’s and prepaid carriers control nearly 94% of the wireless market in Canada and “It’s time for policymakers to take bold action to create a level playing field for service providers, encouraging independent service options and facilitating real choice.”
This report almost makes us glad to see how great the US cell phone market is. Sure it’s not great, but at least we don’t have super long contracts that are confusing to read along with constant service disconnections. How many of our Canadian readers are fed up with the current state of the cell phone market up North?