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article imageComplaints cause Canada's CRTC to review roaming cellphone rates

By Marcus Hondro     Sep 28, 2013 in Business
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) is reviewing the charges companies make to customers when they are "roaming." Friday was the deadline for some 35 telecom companies to hand over info on their roaming rates.
They are conducting the review because customers are complaining they are being charged excessively for using their phones when traveling in Canada and the U.S. "A decision on whether there is a need to intervene will be made once the CRTC has reviewed the information it has asked the wireless companies to provide," Chris Seidl of the CRTC told media in an email.
Cellphone users "annoyed" with rates
As users know cellphone rates when away from their service area are high and difficult to figure out. The CTV spoke with analyst Eamon Hoey, of Hoey Associates Management Consultants in Toronto, who said he expects the CRTC to regulate the rates.
Hoey believes that it is only the beginning of the telecommunications body regulating the industry. "Consumers are more than just a bit annoyed at the rates that they're paying not only for basic cellular service, but for roaming, for additional charges, for contracts, you name it," said Hoey.
He said the country's wireless carriers pay only "pennies per minute" to foreign carriers for their agreements (to AT&T, Vodafone and others) and yet charge much more to the consumer.
The CRTC has not set a deadline when it will rule on roaming rates.
More about Crtc, roaming cellphone rates, cellphone roaming, cost of cellphones
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