According to The Globe and Mail, the code, which took effect in 2013, required carriers to limit early cancellation fees and place a cap on data roaming charges. In addition, the code made it mandatory for service providers to spread out the up-front costs associated with smartphone-based plans over a two-year period.
Shortly after the code was introduced, the carriers banded together to challenge it in court, citing their disagreement over the implementation date as their reason.
When originally introduced, the code did not apply to existing three-year contracts, but that will change, come June 3. The court ruled that anyone currently locked into a three-year contract – the norm in Canada – could cancel their service without having to pay the often hefty cancellation fee and any outstanding balance on their account.
The ruling is welcome news for Canadians looking to escape what could once be described as binding contracts, as it will give them more freedom to shop around for better deals without having to worry about their existing plans.
In an effort to prevent a large-scale customer exodus on June 3, the major providers have collectively sweetened the pot by offering additional features and significant discounts on new devices. They have also offered to waive any outstanding subsidy balances.
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