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Commie bastards and cell phone contracts

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1 Commie bastards and cell phone contracts on Mon May 16, 2011 10:31 pm

death128

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I mean... wtf. Why is government getting involved with the free market?

http://www.winnipegsun.com/2011/05/16/toba-to-table-cellphone-regulation-bill-today

I mean, if you can't pay the freaking contract don't get a bloody phone!! Why is the government trying to stop these companies from making a profit?

2 Re: Commie bastards and cell phone contracts on Mon May 16, 2011 10:48 pm

Deank

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I agree that there should be clearer language and perhaps the outrageous disconnect fees need to be addressed but at the end of the day if it were TRULY a free market and not the market that CRTC basically forces on us then that would be best.


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3 Re: Commie bastards and cell phone contracts on Mon May 16, 2011 10:55 pm

Guest

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Elections coming and the Nippers need something to throw to their commie friends.

Next they'll try to cap interest rates eh. Smile

4 Re: Commie bastards and cell phone contracts on Tue May 17, 2011 7:31 am

Outsider

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If the government viewed this legislation as really important, they would pass it this year before the election.

5 Re: Commie bastards and cell phone contracts on Tue May 17, 2011 7:45 am

grumpy old man

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A cell phone is not something people MUST have. If people don't like the rates and fees etc. ton't buy a phone. There are companies out there that charge peanuts for a very plain basic phone. Then you can pay as you go.

No one needs to sign a contract. Ever.

It's the peeps that want the latest gadgets, for free, that sign the contracts. Then it is nothing more than buyer beware...

Once again, the ndp feels the need to micro-manage Manitoba society.


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It's their, they're and there; in Canada it's colour, cheque, rumour and zed...

6 Re: Commie bastards and cell phone contracts on Tue May 17, 2011 8:56 am

grumpyrom

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The way I view this is that many (not all) of the suggested regulations are long over due. I consider myself to be atypical of the average cellphone buyer in that I usually know more than the Rogers or MTS salesreps selling me the phone but that is only because I spend a lot of time on Howardforums understanding what is best for me before I walk into a store. The vast majority of customers do NOT do this, nor should the have to. There is no way it should require an hour or two of preperation beforehand to buy a cellphone and it's associated plan.

I don't see how one can argue against some of the changes such as:
1) Making the advertised price of the plan be the total cost of the plan after taxes and fees. This prevents advertising an artificially low price and then tacking on needless hidden fees (SAF and GRFF) that can be changed arbitrarily during the life of the contract.
2) Making it illegal to change the terms of the contract by a single party. Currently your provider can increase any fee that is not your "monthly plan" fee. This includes SAF, GRFF, texting fees, call display, voicemail, bundles etc. The total monthly contract price you sign up for should stay the same for the contract period. If I can't phone up and decide to pay less in 18 months, they shouldn't be able to tell me I must pay more. An increase is an increase, regardless of it's it to my plan or to their BS fees my monthly bill is still going up.
3) Regulating and making cancellation fees more transperant and logical. Current cancellation fees are usually hidden in the fine print in addition to be ridiculously expensive to cancel ($20/moth remaining to $400 for voice max, $100 for data max). Cancellation fees should be based on the hardware subsidy received and the months left in the contract and nothing else. There should be no way that it costs the same amount to cancel a contract on a cheap clamshell phone as on a new iPhone 4. A simple clear formula of (Subsidy received/months in contract) x (total months left owing) would be much simpler and more fair. This is the current formula used in Quebec. Therefore someone who received a lower hardware subsidy pays less to cancel than someone with a top tier device. Given that anyone not buying a smartphone is at most receiving a $200-300 subsidy on their hardware, charging them $400 to cancel is ridiculous.

I'd also personally like to see an end to 3rd party dealers. These people are worse than used car salesmen. Every single time I have ever been in a MTS or Rogers dealer I have heard numerous lies being spouted by salespersons onto less knowledgable consumers to get them to sign up "now". Lies about contract fees, cancellation fees, coverage areas, roaming, you name it. Whatever it takes to close the deal. I'm fortunate enough to not be taken from me combination of work and personal experiences but from what I've witnessed most people trust their saleperson to tell them the truth, not lie and cheat them into signing. I don't see this ending with the current dealer/commision sales structure. I'd much prefer that all cellphone sales were done by an employee of the actual company I am dealing with, rather than a 3rd party.

Unless your a Rogers/MTS/Bell/Telus shareholder I can't see why you'd be against changes that make this industry less of a buyer beware situation. To me it's a no brainer to add some regulations that at the very least force these companies into being clear and open in their advertising.

7 Re: Commie bastards and cell phone contracts on Tue May 17, 2011 9:08 am

grumpy old man

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Way too much needless government involvement. There are ton's of laws in place to manage fraud.

Will we need regulations on everything?

Chocolate bar manufacturers reduce the size of a bar but keep the price the same? Regulate!

Wait, when I buy a widget the price tag say's $9.99 but when I get to the cash register they add other fees on to the price. WTF?

Cancellation fees should be based on market pressures. Too bad so many people completely ignore the contracts they are signing. How stupid is that?

It is always buyer beware. And if you don't do your homework too bad so sad. But we need less government involvement not more. I can't see why you'd be for more government involvement.


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8 Re: Commie bastards and cell phone contracts on Tue May 17, 2011 9:09 am

Goth_chic

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I would love to see more competition here in Canada. The fastest way to see rates drop is to have more companies fighting for your business.


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9 Re: Commie bastards and cell phone contracts on Tue May 17, 2011 9:51 am

Deank

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"
Chocolate bar manufacturers reduce the size of a bar but keep the price the same? Regulate!"

not the same at all. The same thing would be you signing up to buy a chocolate bar every day for 3 years at $1 and then half way through the contract that costs you $200 to cancel they up the price to $1.50.

A contracts a contract. Only in cell phones can they unilaterally change the contract it seems.

But again. The solution? Get rid of regulation completely, open the market up to whoever wants in at whatever price.


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10 Re: Commie bastards and cell phone contracts on Tue May 17, 2011 9:53 am

JT Estoban

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...so they can be bought up by the current mega-telco's...

This legislation is long overdue IMO.


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11 Re: Commie bastards and cell phone contracts on Tue May 17, 2011 9:59 am

grumpy old man

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Totally is the same Deank. The argument is can companies change the game? The answer is yes, of course. It's inferred the telcos are making unacceptable changes yet the contract you and I signed stipulates this.

Don't like it that the telcos can changes the rules? Don't sign a contract.

So because the telcos want to change the price it is argued we need regulation. To that I say we must then regulate the chocolate bar industry so they never reduce the size of a chocolate bar without telling us if the keep the price the same.


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Yes, I really am that Grumpy...

It's their, they're and there; in Canada it's colour, cheque, rumour and zed...

12 Re: Commie bastards and cell phone contracts on Tue May 17, 2011 10:00 am

grumpyrom

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GOM I understand your ideologically opposed to all forms of government intervention but I fail to follow the logic. Le me see if I have this right:

The fact that my cell provider can advertise one price to get me in the store and then charge me another through endless aditional made up fees (not taxes) is fine? The fact that they can then charge me more MIDCONTRACT by increasing those fees is ok too? The fact that cancellation fees in no way reflect the true cost associated with terminating my service is great too?

BUT, government intervention to put a stop to that BS is bad?

Why not just get rid of all consumer protection laws then if it's all bad. Why not get rid of all government regulations while we're at it? I mean, hell let's start with banking. Not like having a highly regulated banking industry has done us any good lately.

Industries that operate with any degree of ethics and honesty don't require government regulations. The cell phone industry is not one of those industries. If they were their contract's wouldn't be so purposefully obtuse. I thought we'd progressed a little from the Roman days of buyer beware. What's wrong with expecting a little honesty in advertising from big business?



Last edited by grumpyrom on Tue May 17, 2011 10:02 am; edited 2 times in total

13 Re: Commie bastards and cell phone contracts on Tue May 17, 2011 10:01 am

Deank

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You dont have a contract to buy a chocolate bar that is forcing a unilateral change in the contract.

(which btw USED to be illegal under contract law)


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14 Re: Commie bastards and cell phone contracts on Tue May 17, 2011 10:07 am

Outsider

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Goth_chic wrote:I would love to see more competition here in Canada. The fastest way to see rates drop is to have more companies fighting for your business.
I hope you don't mean the same type of competition we have in the gasoline business.

15 Re: Commie bastards and cell phone contracts on Tue May 17, 2011 10:13 am

grumpy old man

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Hidden fees are unacceptable. Like airline landing and improvement fees in travel. Like air conditioning and tire taxes in cars. I hate 'em.

But when I go to sign on the dotted line they are there for all to see. I then make an informed decision: is the price still acceptable for me or not. Why is that so hard to accept?

And if that contract includes language that allows one party to raise their prices unilaterally I weigh my needs with that unknown and agree or don't agree. Why is that so hard to accept?

That said I am not advocating we eliminate all government regulations. But typical of a grumpron argument red herrings are a de facto standard.

Look, if you want big brother involving themselves more and more frequently in your life because you are incapable of looking out for yourself fine. But don't impose your incompetence on me.


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Yes, I really am that Grumpy...

It's their, they're and there; in Canada it's colour, cheque, rumour and zed...

16 Re: Commie bastards and cell phone contracts on Tue May 17, 2011 10:15 am

grumpyrom

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Goth_chic wrote:I would love to see more competition here in Canada. The fastest way to see rates drop is to have more companies fighting for your business.

Actually rates have dropped over the last 10 years steadily (good luck getting an unlimited voice/data plan for $50 2 yrs ago). I have no problem with the rates themselves, my problems are with the issues stated in my previous posts.

17 Re: Commie bastards and cell phone contracts on Tue May 17, 2011 10:17 am

grumpy old man

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Deank wrote:You dont have a contract to buy a chocolate bar that is forcing a unilateral change in the contract.

(which btw USED to be illegal under contract law)
I understand there is an implied contract when I buy something. The chocolate bar company agrees to sell me something I want and I agree to pay for it. If something changes should they tell me? Should we regulate those changes?

KFC changed the way they make their hot wings. I fricken hate them now. Guess what? I won't buy them again. That is the kind of regulation KFC understands.


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Yes, I really am that Grumpy...

It's their, they're and there; in Canada it's colour, cheque, rumour and zed...

18 Re: Commie bastards and cell phone contracts on Tue May 17, 2011 10:20 am

grumpyrom

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grumpy old man wrote:Hidden fees are unacceptable. Like airline landing and improvement fees in travel. Like air conditioning and tire taxes in cars. I hate 'em.

But when I go to sign on the dotted line they are there for all to see. I then make an informed decision: is the price still acceptable for me or not. Why is that so hard to accept?

And if that contract includes language that allows one party to raise their prices unilaterally I weigh my needs with that unknown and agree or don't agree. Why is that so hard to accept?

That said I am not advocating we eliminate all government regulations. But typical of a grumpron argument red herrings are a de facto standard.

Look, if you want big brother involving themselves more and more frequently in your life because you are incapable of looking out for yourself fine. But don't impose your incompetence on me.

Wow, really you want to go there when you use your candy bar as an analogy?

Let's just accept that you and I are atypical of the average cell phone consumer as is evidenced by the amount of public outcry on this issue. Signing up for and understanding something as basic as a cell phone plan shouldn't require one to do their homework first before walking into a store, nor should it require 30 min of reading fine print with a magnifying glass before you sign.

I'm not even going to bother trying to argue this one with you anymore. Your right as always GOM, it is your board after all.

19 Re: Commie bastards and cell phone contracts on Tue May 17, 2011 10:21 am

grumpyrom

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grumpy old man wrote:
Deank wrote:You dont have a contract to buy a chocolate bar that is forcing a unilateral change in the contract.

(which btw USED to be illegal under contract law)
I understand there is an implied contract when I buy something. The chocolate bar company agrees to sell me something I want and I agree to pay for it. If something changes should they tell me? Should we regulate those changes?

KFC changed the way they make their hot wings. I fricken hate them now. Guess what? I won't buy them again. That is the kind of regulation KFC understands.

Last time I checked you didn't sign a 3 year contract with KFC where they promised the recipe would stay the same. Nor will it cost you $200 to go buy wings elsewhere.

20 Re: Commie bastards and cell phone contracts on Tue May 17, 2011 10:31 am

eViL tRoLl

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Goth_chic wrote:I would love to see more competition here in Canada. The fastest way to see rates drop is to have more companies fighting for your business.
It's not necessarily the number of companies that matters. There is no true compettion because the cell phone companies collaborate so closely that they are virtually indistinguishable. E.g. Telus and Bell share the same HSPA towers, MTS and Rogers share towers, Rogers owns Fido, etc. They all try to sell bloated plans with features most people rarely use, but that are bundled with needed features. We need regulation that forces companies to explain their services in plain language. Maybe Grumpyrom could help translate in the meantime ...

21 Re: Commie bastards and cell phone contracts on Tue May 17, 2011 10:41 am

Deank

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much like cable/internet regulation is a huge chunk of the problem. the CRTC FORCES the telcos to charge certain amounts for certain things and only allows so many in.

mind you... with Canada being such a small market spread out over such a large distance not many phone companies would WANT to come in.


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22 Re: Commie bastards and cell phone contracts on Tue May 17, 2011 10:51 am

sputnik

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I am still waiting for Wind Mobile to come to Winnipeg.

23 Re: Commie bastards and cell phone contracts on Tue May 17, 2011 10:58 am

grumpy old man

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grumpyrom wrote:I'm not even going to bother trying to argue this one with you anymore. Your right as always GOM, it is your board after all.
Another typical grupyron discussion ploy. Default to the "it's your board" tactic. WTF has that to do with anything? Grow up and debate fer chrissakes...


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Yes, I really am that Grumpy...

It's their, they're and there; in Canada it's colour, cheque, rumour and zed...

24 Re: Commie bastards and cell phone contracts on Tue May 17, 2011 11:02 am

grumpy old man

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grumpyrom wrote:Last time I checked you didn't sign a 3 year contract with KFC where they promised the recipe would stay the same. Nor will it cost you $200 to go buy wings elsewhere.
Sarcasm? Okay, I'll be your huckleberry...

You don't have to sign a contract at all for your cell phone. What's the difference? You don't like the offer cell company A is offering? Find another company to do business with.

Same same.


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Yes, I really am that Grumpy...

It's their, they're and there; in Canada it's colour, cheque, rumour and zed...

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