Your Consumer Rights for Mobile Phones (The Wireless Code of Conduct)
Charging Fees for Customer Support Calls/Chats
Staff at the CRTC are aware of a recent practice whereby some wireless service providers are charging or planning on charging customers fees for certain customer support calls. We are concerned that this practice may be inconsistent with the Wireless Code and are currently examining the matter to get a better understanding of the extent of this practice.
You can see what we’re asking providers by reading the letter we have sent them (Telecom Commission Letter RE: Fees for customer support interaction).
Every Canadian with a mobile plan is protected by the Wireless Code. It explains your consumer rights and the rules your provider must follow. We created the Code to make it easier for you:
- to understand your mobile plan
- to change providers
- to prevent bill shock
- to return your cellphone if you are unhappy with your service
- and more!
Your Consumer Rights
Read the simplified Wireless Code to learn more about your rights. You can also learn more about why the CRTC created the Wireless Code in 2013 and what changes were made as a result of a review of the Code in 2017.
Watch the American Sign Language (ASL) video on The Wireless Code and Your Rights as a Canadian Wireless Consumer.
Also available in Langue des signes québécoise (LSQ) : Code sur les services sans fil et de vos droits à titre de consommateurs canadiens.
Have a Question?
Question: If you have a question regarding the Wireless Code, please visit our Support Centre.
Have a Complaint?
What the CRTC’s Wireless Code Means for You
- 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 data roaming charges are capped to prevent bill shock.
The account holder, by default, is the only one who can consent to data overage and data roaming charges beyond the established limits, or authorize another user to do so.
- Unlocked cellphones
Mobile devices unlocked free of charge, upon request, and all newly purchased devices unlocked.
- Trial period
You can return your cellphone within 15 days, without penalty, if you are unhappy with your service. Use up to half of your allowed monthly usage during the trial period.
Persons with disabilities: You can return your cellphone within 30 days, without penalty, if you are unhappy with your service. Use up to 100% of your allowed monthly usage during the trial period.
- Clear language
Your contract and related documents must be provided to you in plain language.
If you feel your Wireless service provider is not following these rules, contact them directly. If you’re not satisfied with the answer, contact the CCTS.
Results of the Code
Public opinion surveys
We have asked Canadians about their mobile plans and experience with wireless service providers, each year, since the Wireless Code was created. Here's what we found:
- Wireless Code Public Opinion Research – Spring 2018
- Wireless Code Public Opinion Research – Fall 2016
- Wireless Code Public Opinion Research – Spring 2016
- Wireless Code Public Opinion Research 2015
- Wireless Code Public Opinion Research – Executive Summary (April 7, 2014)
- Wireless Code Public Opinion Research – Quantitative Research Report (April 7, 2014)
Ensuring providers follow the rules
Each year the Commission for Complaints for Telecom-television Services reports publicly on all consumer complaints about the Wireless Code. These reports list the types of complaints that have been resolved and what steps were taken to resolve them. Read their annual and mid-year reports.
We made all providers report publicly on their compliance to ensure they were following the rules. You can read the results in the Implementation Report Card [PDF] which is based on the providers’ Compliance Reports.
The CRTC has also commissioned a report by Deloitte LLP to provide an overview of the collection and use of Canadians’ Personal Information (PI) by Wireless Service Providers (WSP) and third party entities. The report aims to:
- Contribute to the CRTC’s overall understanding of current and emerging privacy issues in the wireless market, in support of furthering the goals of the Telecommunications Act; and
- Assist the CRTC with its review of the Wireless Code, a mandatory code imposed as a condition of service on WSPs pursuant to section 24 of the Telecommunications Act, by providing insights as to how the Wireless Code is meeting its objectives with respect to its privacy provisions.
Clarifying the Code
Providers have asked us to clarify some parts of the Code. To learn more about these clarifications, read the CRTC Decisions related to the Wireless Code.
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