UPDATE Outrage After Canadian Wireless Carriers Hike Prices
According to TELUS Media Relations rep Shawn Hall, Telus changed their rates 2 months ago and actually reduced rates on a couple of plans last week.
Rogers also issued a statement saying:
“Like any business, we regularly adjust our prices and the services we offer. We do this not only in our wireless business but across all products we offer our customers,” they wrote, noting that not all price plans changed. “These changes do not affect a customer’s current plan. They only apply to customers who choose to sign up for one of these new plans.”
Original story below
Canada's three wireless giants, Bell, Rogers, and Telus, have all quietly increased their baseline wireless prices by $5 over the weekend. The cheapest smartphone plan is now $80 and includes 500 MB of data, unlimited nationwide calling, unlimited messaging, voicemail, and call display.
The price hike came over the weekend with no fanfare, no press conferences, and no explanations.
These increases follow a pricing model simplification made last summer. Instead of paying for specific amounts of minutes, texts, and data, customers now pay a baseline fee depending on which type of phone they use and then add data for the family unit to share. All of these base prices have been increased.
Due to a lack of competitors, the wireless carriers were able to raise prices in every province except Manitoba and Saskatchewan.
While the monthly prices will stay the same for existing customers, the new prices affect only brand new wireless customers, who could now be paying up to $165 a month for service.
Michael Geist, an E-Commerce lawyer and technology law columnist, says that these companies are doing it partially because they can get away with it. "Until we get more competition in the marketplace, I don't think there's any doubt we'll see fees continue to increase in the future."
The government has been trying to introduce a fourth wireless provider, Quebec's Videotron, in hopes of stimulating competition and stemming price increases. The company was recently given 700 Mhz licenses in Alberta, Ontario, and B.C. However, it remains to be seen whether or not Videotron will be able to compete on a large scale with the Big 3, and until then, smartphone users will have to live with higher prices.
[caption id="attachment_81675" align="aligncenter" width="320"] Canadian Wireless Carriers Raise Prices: Bell, Rogers And Telus Hike Fees © Leedsn | Dreamstime.com