December 2nd was wireless carrier freedom day … sort of

December 2nd was a big day for wireless subscribers in Canada … sort of. If you renew or sign a new contract with a carrier in Canada after this date, the rules just changed substantially in your favour. Sure, Canadians still pay some of the highest wireless rates in the world. The CBC said as much four years ago, and nothing has changed substantially on that front in the time since.

However, the 3 year death grip most carriers had on your wallet for the privilege of getting a decent phone with your plan, and the exorbitant rates they’ve been charging for data overages and roaming have become significantly less so.

In a nutshell

  • No cancellation fees after 2 years
    You can cancel your contract after 2 years with no cancellation fees – even if you have agreed to a longer term
  • Limit on data & roaming charges
    Extra data charges and international data roaming charges are capped to prevent bill shock
  • Unlocked cellphones
    You can have your cellphone unlocked after 90 days, or immediately if you paid for the device in full
  • Trial period
    You can return your cellphone within 15 days, without penalty, if you are unhappy with your service
  • Clear language
    Your contract and related documents must be provided to you in plain language

Read a lot more on the CRTC’s new wireless code and know your rights when dealing with your carrier.