Your consumer rights for mobile phones (The Wireless Code of conduct)
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
- change providers
- prevent bill shock
- 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.
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.
Have a question?
If you have a question regarding the Wireless Code, visit our Support Centre.
Have a complaint?
Secret shopper program
In the Report on Misleading or Aggressive Communications Retail Sales Practices, the CRTC found that it is apparent that misleading or aggressive retail sales practices are present in the telecommunications service provider market in Canada and identified a nationwide secret shopper program as a potential solution to monitoring all service providers’ retail sales practices. The 2020 Secret Shopper Project Detailed Findings Report details the findings of the first round of this secret shopper program, with a focus on the larger wireless service providers.
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 – 2020
- Wireless Code Public Opinion Research – Spring 2019
- 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 (CCTS) reports publicly on all consumer complaints related to the Wireless Code. Those reports list the types of complaints that have been resolved. Read their annual and mid-year reports.
We require all service providers to report annually on their compliance to make sure they’re following the rules. In 2014, service providers were required to report on their implementation of the Wireless Code. 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.
Ensuring Canadians continue to be protected by the Code
The CRTC has published a Notice of Consultation to examine whether device financing plans are in compliance with the Wireless Code, and how to ensure these plans could comply with the Code:
- Show cause proceeding and call for comments – The Wireless Code – Device financing plans
- CRTC launches review of cellphone financing plans
Have a look at recent letters that were sent:
CRTC will examine recent 36 month wireless device financing plansWhile the CRTC acknowledges that wireless device financing plans that exceed 24 months may render devices more affordable and attractive for Canadians customers, the Commission wants to ensure Canadians continue to be protected by the Wireless Code.
Clarifying the Code
The CRTC recently published clarifications related to the Wireless Code. To learn more about these clarifications, read the CRTC Decisions related to the Wireless Code.
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