CRTC to probe cellphone plans that spread device payments over multiple years
Code of conduct limits mandatory contract terms
Canada's telecommunications regulator is investigating mobile phone plans that allow customers to spread the cost of new devices over several years to determine if they comply with an industry code of conduct that limits mandatory contract terms.
A notice distributed by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission to various companies says providers offering the option must submit answers to a more than a dozen of questions by July 30.
The CRTC wants to know about the terms of the financing agreements that are now in place or being contemplated, the devices eligible for financing, and whether financing is available without subscribing to a wireless service plan.
The CRTC's notice, dated July 16, comes about a week after Rogers Communications announced a new 36-month device financing option as well as a 24-month device financing option.
The CRTC's wireless code requires carriers to limit service contracts to 24 months in length or less and there have been questions about whether device financing plans over a longer term would be acceptable to the regulator.