Increased cellphone roaming fees to be investigated by CRTC

Mar 24 2023, 5:35 pm

If you’ve been out of the country recently, you may have noticed a spike in cellphone roaming fees.

That’s because two telecom giants, Bell and Telus, hiked their roaming costs earlier this month.

The Canadian government is not taking these increases lightly.

In a letter to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) on Thursday, Minister of Innovation, Science, and Industry François-Philippe Champagne called on the regulator to look into these roaming fees.

He stressed how the CRTC plays an important role in empowering consumers to make informed decisions.

“This is part of a concerning trend to charge more for existing services broadly at a time when inflationary pressures are making it difficult for Canadians to pay their bills,” wrote Champagne.

He goes on to say that these fees add to the cost of someone’s bill “beyond the main sticker price.”

“In many cases, these fees are much less visible and are unpredictable or challenging for consumers to understand,” the minister wrote.

The CRTC retweeted the letter, sharing its support on Thursday.

“We know Canadians want access to affordable and reliable telecoms services,” the regulator tweeted. “We will be commissioning a study to examine this issue in greater detail.”

This news comes alongside reports that the upcoming federal budget will include a plan to crack down on hidden or unexpected consumer fees.

Isabelle DoctoIsabelle Docto

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