SaskTel employs new wireless code

Lisa Goudy
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Grasping SaskTel contracts is now simpler for customers.

“The (Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC)) did implement the Wireless Code of Conduct,” said Michelle Englot, spokesperson for SaskTel. “Basically it’s to make it easier for consumer and business customers to understand their contracts and their rights when it comes to wireless services provided by any company in Canada.”

The code, which came into effect on Monday, deals with SaskTel’s terms and services. There are several practices set by the code that SaskTel already fulfilled with.

For instance, SaskTel lets customers know about data usage on an international scale, such as voice, text messaging and data usage rates.

Other practices SaskTel already met were unlocking phones, offering trial periods for wireless contracts and phones, giving customers the contract and documents in language that is easy to comprehend and offering 12- and 24-month contract terms.

“There are no longer three-year contract terms,” she said. “We haven’t for several months actually … It was essentially to give customers more options in terms of not being locked in to long-term contracts.”

She said SaskTel had to make some changes to meet the new wireless code. The new provisions SaskTel met include limiting cancellation fees, offering a standardized trial period for wireless contracts and phones, allowing customers a minimum seven-day “grace period in order to top up on their prepaid cards,” said Englot.

She added a new provision is also providing customers with disabilities with a copy of contracts in an “alternative format” and to give them an extended trial period to make sure the phone and service is adequate for their needs.

“There is one element of the code that SaskTel did receive an extension from the CRTC in order to implement due to billing system limitations,” said Englot. “We’re looking at implementing a billing system at this time and we can’t implement the data capping component of the wireless code at this time.” 2 min13s

The new system has ongoing improvements, but there won’t be a launch until June 2014. The CRTC extension is until June 30, 2014.

“For SaskTel as a wireless provider, it certainly provided some challenges in order to implement all of the requirements of the code. So we’ve been working hard on doing that,” she said. “However, we have met all elements of the code except for one.”

SaskTel will send out a bill insert to all customers detailing the new code standards. For more information on the changes for more about the code, visit code.

Follow Lisa Goudy on Twitter @lisagoudy.

Organizations: SaskTel, Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission

Geographic location: Canada

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