Wireless code welcomed by Ottawans

The new federal wireless code is something to text home about — just not when you’re visiting New York City.

Scott Giles still remembers when he used his phone in the Big Apple four years ago.

“I bought a package through Telus and they basically told me I had a certain amount of data usage and (I) wasn’t really sure,” said Giles.

“Didn’t really explain to me what data usage (was) and what I could and couldn’t use. And I guess with texting, it went over by quite a bit.”

An additional $230, he said, and “they didn’t cut me a break.”

With four months left on his three-year contract, Giles is considering his options.

“They’re offering me another three-year term, right, and I’m kind of saying I’d like to do it by monthly,” said Giles.

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission released details on its code Monday.

Highlights include no cancellation fees after two years, and caps on data and roaming charges.

“I think it’s a good step in the right direction because cellphones are the most common and flexible form of communication for people,” said Chris Home-Cutler, an iPhone user whose three-year term with Rogers ends this year.

“I mean, no one uses their home phone anymore.”

With upgrades and new models being released “I’ve been stuck with a phone that I don’t really like and no real way to get out of it,” he said.

“So a change that would actually stop companies from being able to offer such a long, aggressive plan would definitely be beneficial.”

Home-Cutler said he’s determined to remain contract-free.

Chris Mandigo, of Kanata, keeps getting sucked into committing.

“The only reason I keep going three years is because I get a better deal on the phone, but I’d rather not be,” said Mandigo.

The Blackberry user is about halfway through a three-year contract with Telus.

Kelly Wattie would like to see her bill chopped in half.

“It’s with Bell and it’s like anywhere between $600 and $800 a month,” said Wattie, from Stittsville.

“Three people have a smartphone and I have a — I don’t know what I have,” she said laughing.

With the changes, “it sounds like it’s going to be cheaper for me,” she said.

The code kicks in Dec. 2. and applies to all new contracts.

For details, visit crtc.gc.ca/wirelesscode.

Twitter: @ottawasunkroche


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