Canada will soon require all smartphones to be sold unlocked
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Here's another thing the US could learn from its neighbor to the north. The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, or CRTC—Canada's version of our FCC—has announced that as of December 1, 2017, every single smartphone sold in the country must be sold unlocked, no ifs or buts. The new ruling extends not only to devices purchased upfront but also to phones bought as part of a carrier contract. Talk about a great idea!
In addition, that same date will mark the end of all fees for having a smartphone unlocked. Any Canadian who purchased a locked phone before December 1 and wants it unshackled from its carrier's chains will be able to request an unlock code for one easy payment of zero dollars and zero cents (Canadian, of course). This will truly free customers to choose the best and most convenient carrier and plan to suit their specific needs.
But wait, there's more! Canadian wireless customers will also be allowed to cancel their service contracts, penalty-free, within 15 days, no questions asked.
One final thing: primary account holders will now have more control over secondary line users when it comes to roaming and data overage charges. This means that before a user tries to incur these types of fees, they will have to be approved by the person in charge of the account. It's a great way to prevent unnecessary or surprise fees on your monthly bill.
All of these changes form part of Canada's Wireless Code of Conduct, created in 2013 but revised today because of concerns that it did not go far enough in addressing various customer grievances. These new rules will surely help Canadians breathe easier when taking the plunge into a new mobile phone contract.