Consumers push for shorter-term wireless contracts

Rita Trichur, The Globe and Mail, Don’t ‘grandfather’ old telecom contracts

“There should be no ‘grandfathering’ of old contracts when the code comes into force,” said PIAC’s executive director John Lawford, adding the code itself should be enacted as soon as “reasonably” possible.

"The applicability of the code to existing contracts is shaping up to be one of the most contentious issues of these hearings. Major carriers have long argued that applying the code retroactively would be largely unmanageable," The Globe and Mail reported on Feb. 11.

Christine Dobby, Postmedia News, CRTC kicks off week-long public hearings

"John Lawford, general counsel at the Public Interest Advocacy Centre, agreed that the ability to get out of a three-year contract with almost no penalty, “takes a lot of the sting out of a three-year contract.” He acknowledged the argument that some people want to subsidize the cost of the latest smartphone and choose to do so through a three-year contract.

“But they [the carriers] never offer two-year contracts. The markets are not working so how do you fix that?” Mr. Lawford said in an interview after making submissions to the panel. “We wanted to really tell them that consumers are very concerned about not having any two-year options. The people just want to make sure that they get two-year options,” Postmedia News reported on Feb. 11.

Steve Rennie, The Canadian Press, Sharp differences surface in CRTC hearings 

"Consumers are sick of termination penalties designed to keep them locked into long-term contracts," said John Lawford of the Public Interest Advocacy Centre. "Consumers are tired of locked handsets. Consumers are often in shock after opening a bill where roaming charges or coverage fees have been applied."

Contract limits are but one of several contentious issues before the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunication Commission as it holds a week of hearings in Gatineau, Que., on its proposed wireless code," The Canadian Press reported on Feb. 11.

The Public Interest Advocacy Centre filed daily reports on the weeklong wireless code CRTC hearing at the consumer group's website.