‘How Would You Regulate Carrier Power?’ (Weekly Contest!)

Comments

Snidely Whiplash wearing the Rogers Logo

I believe it was Mark Twain BBCool Simon who once said, “If you own the tracks and the trains, you own the passengers.” In Canada, if there was ever a modern day version of the great train barons, it would be the telecoms: 3 year contracts, expensive data plans compared to our U.S. counterparts, lizards selling phones… it’s terrible.

Yesterday Simon had a great interview with Canadian MP David McGuinty, who has introduced a bill to eliminate extraneous wireless costs like data overages and system access fees and unlock all phones. However, we want to do one better and bestow the BlackBerry Nation with the (hypothetical) power to regulate carriers any way you see fit. What will you do?

The person who posts the best comment will win a FREE YEAR-LONG 30G SUBSCRIPTION TO SUGARSYNC and a sweet BLACKBERRY COOL TEE SHIRT.

LAST WEEK’S WINNER IS Murphy the Dog, who wrote maybe the funniest post to ever appear on BlackBerry Cool:

I’m on the fence but leaning towards the Thunder. I think I prefer the bigger screen over real keyboard. I have a problem with small keyboards anyway you look at it. Spell Check is my friend. Will be adding what ever Micro SD card it will allow. I haven’t been this excited since the time I forgot how to sit down. I hope its not as disappointing as that Aaron Neville Bullhorn that I bought at that garage sale.

  • Aaron

    Personally, I’ve not had a problem with my 3 year contract with Rogers. They gave me a subsidized price of $0 on a phone that was worth $299.99 retail. My plan is fine, relatively inexpensive, and I rarely go over.

    However, if I were to suggest a few things to the carriers, I would recommend the following things:

    1) The same plan to be available on a 3 year, 2 year, 1 year, and 1 month contract signup for new customers.
    – You shouldn’t be penalized for signing a contract in a country where you’re not going to stay in. I know carriers have special plans that are only available on a 3 year term, and that feels like it’s cheating the system a bit.

    2) Contract Length should dictate the subsidy price on the phone.
    – Yeah, if I want to get a free phone, I should sign into a contract with a service.

    3) A cancellation fee for breaking the contract should represent the subsidy cost of the phone, and not the potential profits that the company would have received from my potential bill.
    – Telus, I’m looking at you. Fuck you for a potential $1200 cancellation fee; No Cap indeed. Bell’s flat rate of $400 is outrageous. Roger’s $20 per month for each month remaining to a max of $400 is still very high.

    4) Remove or Incorporate the System Access Fee. “Expanding the Network” crap is tedious. It’s a pure money grab and everybody knows it. Just include the potential profits from that into the price plan and get over it.

    That’s about it for now.

  • Aaron

    Personally, I’ve not had a problem with my 3 year contract with Rogers. They gave me a subsidized price of $0 on a phone that was worth $299.99 retail. My plan is fine, relatively inexpensive, and I rarely go over.

    However, if I were to suggest a few things to the carriers, I would recommend the following things:

    1) The same plan to be available on a 3 year, 2 year, 1 year, and 1 month contract signup for new customers.
    – You shouldn’t be penalized for signing a contract in a country where you’re not going to stay in. I know carriers have special plans that are only available on a 3 year term, and that feels like it’s cheating the system a bit.

    2) Contract Length should dictate the subsidy price on the phone.
    – Yeah, if I want to get a free phone, I should sign into a contract with a service.

    3) A cancellation fee for breaking the contract should represent the subsidy cost of the phone, and not the potential profits that the company would have received from my potential bill.
    – Telus, I’m looking at you. Fuck you for a potential $1200 cancellation fee; No Cap indeed. Bell’s flat rate of $400 is outrageous. Roger’s $20 per month for each month remaining to a max of $400 is still very high.

    4) Remove or Incorporate the System Access Fee. “Expanding the Network” crap is tedious. It’s a pure money grab and everybody knows it. Just include the potential profits from that into the price plan and get over it.

    That’s about it for now.

  • Chris

    In a perfect world we could move from carrier to carrier with our phones. Its not a perfect world and by no means is the system that allows these companies to charge customers outrageous fees perfect. I for one would like to see companies drop term fees. Offer better plans and think for once about the customer that has been loyal rather than the “new” customer. If they spent less time trying to regulate and more time offering better packages they would in the end be more profitable. Lets face it… You get a bill, your upset, you move to another carrier. As if the carrier hasn’t received enough in subsidy’s to cover the cost of the phone they claim is worth $599!

    With options to Opt out customers would find their “soulmate” and remain loyal.

    Whats in it for the company. As I said.. Customers will want to be where they are and will be more likely to use the services the company has to offer. I know when I use to have more than one wireless account I simply set all the features to the lowest option and let the contract run out.

    Also if there is going to be a “fee” to opt out it should be capped and regulated. Like for example… You sign a 3 year deal with lets say Rogers. For this you receive a “free” BB Curve. Valued at lets say $500. Staying with the provider for 3 years basically buys you the phone. So.. lets divide the amount the phone cost by 3 Years. $166 a year. Now thats .46 cents a day for the phone. If one decides to opt out first of all the phone should be unlocked when the contract is “fullfilled” and 2 the customer could be charged .46 cents a day for the remainder of the term. Now for some this would be larger than others but thats what makes the most sense right??

    Ok this is long and crazy enough… Just my 2 cents

  • Chris

    In a perfect world we could move from carrier to carrier with our phones. Its not a perfect world and by no means is the system that allows these companies to charge customers outrageous fees perfect. I for one would like to see companies drop term fees. Offer better plans and think for once about the customer that has been loyal rather than the “new” customer. If they spent less time trying to regulate and more time offering better packages they would in the end be more profitable. Lets face it… You get a bill, your upset, you move to another carrier. As if the carrier hasn’t received enough in subsidy’s to cover the cost of the phone they claim is worth $599!

    With options to Opt out customers would find their “soulmate” and remain loyal.

    Whats in it for the company. As I said.. Customers will want to be where they are and will be more likely to use the services the company has to offer. I know when I use to have more than one wireless account I simply set all the features to the lowest option and let the contract run out.

    Also if there is going to be a “fee” to opt out it should be capped and regulated. Like for example… You sign a 3 year deal with lets say Rogers. For this you receive a “free” BB Curve. Valued at lets say $500. Staying with the provider for 3 years basically buys you the phone. So.. lets divide the amount the phone cost by 3 Years. $166 a year. Now thats .46 cents a day for the phone. If one decides to opt out first of all the phone should be unlocked when the contract is “fullfilled” and 2 the customer could be charged .46 cents a day for the remainder of the term. Now for some this would be larger than others but thats what makes the most sense right??

    Ok this is long and crazy enough… Just my 2 cents

  • Bryan

    While I agree that long contracts are atrocious and charging cancellation fees, system access fees, long distance fees ans fees for services such as voicemail and caller ID are pure avarice, the best way for Canadian subscribers (hereto forth known as ‘the victims’) to get fair and equitable treatment form the carriers is for the CRTC to let in some of international carriers. Opening up legislation to allow more competition and bringing in companies that operate in several countries on the globe (not just our narrow minded cartel of carries with seemingly no knowledge of business practises of their counterparts outside our borders). The introduction of the O2′s, the Vodas, the Oranges, the DT’s would bring a more international business model to Canada and therefore offer better subsidies on phones and plans where all the ‘extras’ are included. I will never ever believe that it actually costs extra for a user to have caller ID. Caller ID is part of the digital evolution from the old analogue networks. I’m willing to bet that if there are any costs associated with caller ID, it would actually costs the carries to NOT include it.
    We as Canadians have to let the carriers (and our government) know how we feel. We are the consumers, we are the ones spending the money on the services (that we got by just fine without less than a decade ago, btw) and we are the ones electing the officials who are supposed to have OUR best interests in mind.
    CANADA UNITE!!

  • Bryan

    While I agree that long contracts are atrocious and charging cancellation fees, system access fees, long distance fees ans fees for services such as voicemail and caller ID are pure avarice, the best way for Canadian subscribers (hereto forth known as ‘the victims’) to get fair and equitable treatment form the carriers is for the CRTC to let in some of international carriers. Opening up legislation to allow more competition and bringing in companies that operate in several countries on the globe (not just our narrow minded cartel of carries with seemingly no knowledge of business practises of their counterparts outside our borders). The introduction of the O2′s, the Vodas, the Oranges, the DT’s would bring a more international business model to Canada and therefore offer better subsidies on phones and plans where all the ‘extras’ are included. I will never ever believe that it actually costs extra for a user to have caller ID. Caller ID is part of the digital evolution from the old analogue networks. I’m willing to bet that if there are any costs associated with caller ID, it would actually costs the carries to NOT include it.
    We as Canadians have to let the carriers (and our government) know how we feel. We are the consumers, we are the ones spending the money on the services (that we got by just fine without less than a decade ago, btw) and we are the ones electing the officials who are supposed to have OUR best interests in mind.
    CANADA UNITE!!

  • http://ARSvend.com/ Jeff Sutton

    I think we could push for contract portability legislation similar to the number portability. The contact would still be binding but other carriers would offer concessions to lure customers away.

  • http://ARSvend.com Jeff Sutton

    I think we could push for contract portability legislation similar to the number portability. The contact would still be binding but other carriers would offer concessions to lure customers away.