Surprise, surprise: Complaints arise over complexity, cost of Canada's telecom giants Rogers, Bell, and Telus

Posted by Knowlton Thomas

big(As if we didn't know already.)

Canada's Big Three, the telecom oligopoly consisting of Rogers, Bell, and Telus, have been accused in a report of having cellphone contracts that are too long, too confusing, and—wait for, this one's a surprise!—too costly.

Canada's largest wireless providers have confusing and overly lengthy cellphone contracts that are more expensive than those found in other countries, says a report released yesterday by a telecom consultancy.

The SeaBoard Group consultancy crafted the report, entitled “Death Grip," and it says the big three's contract terms and “early termination fee” penalties that are “downright draconian." The SeaBoard Group report said Canadian wireless contracts “are some of the longest in the world," with penalties to cancel usually tied to the number of months remaining on the contract. From The Globe and Mail:

The government licensed new competitors in part to bring down prices and introduce more consumer choice. “It is true that Canadians are now offered more choice before they purchase their wireless services,” the report says. “This choice disappears, however, once they enter into a mobile services contract.”

The report also notes that Canadian carriers are smaller than many of their global peers and therefore have weaker buying power. Orascom Telecom Holding SAE,  which funds new wireless company Wind Mobile, has roughly four times as many wireless customers worldwide as Bell, Telus and Rogers combined. What this means is that smaller players have to pay more for handsets—but the report does state that this can't account for the whole discrepancy between Canadian telecom companies and other global players on contracts.

Company:
Telus Corp.
Website:
http://www.telus.com
Location:
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Technology is a key enabler for TELUS and our customers, providing advantage and differentiation in the marketplace. By managing the life cycle of current technologies and the timely introduction of new technologies we deliver superior service value to our customers and long-term growth oriented investment performance to our shareholders. For investors, TELUS is succeeding in managing technology and capital... more

Company:
Bell Canada
Website:
http://www.bell.ca
Location:
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Bell is Canada's largest communications company, providing the most comprehensive and innovative suite of communication services to residential and business customers in Canada. Operating under the Bell brand, the Company's services include Bell Home Phone local and long distance services, Bell Mobility and Solo Mobile wireless, high-speed Bell Internet, Bell TV direct-to-home satellite and VDSL television,... more

Company:
Rogers Communications
Website:
http://www.rogers.com
Location:
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

We are a diversified Canadian communications and media company. We are engaged in wireless voice and data communications services through Wireless, Canada's largest wireless provider and the operator of the country's only national Global System for Mobile Communications ("GSM") based network. Through Cable we are one of Canada's largest providers of cable television services as well as high-speed Internet access... more


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Knowlton Thomas

Knowlton Thomas

Knowlton is the managing editor of Techvibes. Based in Vancouver, Knowlton has been published in national publications and has also appeared on television and radio. Previously he was an editor for New Westminster weekly The Other Press and served on its board of directors. When not working, Knowlton enjoys playing tennis, hiking, and exploring weird side streets. more




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