Canadian government won’t interfere with incoming SMS charges

Apple Online Store“Minister of Industry Jim Prentice said Friday the government had no intention of introducing new legislation to regulate cellphone companies over changes in text messaging services,” CBC News reports.

“Prentice had met with the heads of Bell Mobility and Telus over the companies’ new texting charges introduced in July, which called for customers whose cellphone plans did not include texting bundles to be charged 15 cents for incoming text messages. Previously, customers without text plans were only charged for outgoing messages,” CBC News reports.

“Prentice said in a statement Friday that after meeting with the two companies, he was ‘assured that customers charged for spam could contact their service provider to have the charges removed from their bills,'” CBC News reports. “‘Given these undertakings by Bell Mobility and Telus, I would encourage consumers dissatisfied with existing plans to seek alternatives. The telecommunications market in Canada is dynamic — choice is available,’ he said.”

“Bell’s new texting charges went into effect Friday. Telus announced a similar plan, with its changes set to take effect on Aug. 24,” CBC News reports.

“Consumers have protested the move as a cash grab in response to the increasing reliance on text messaging in Canada,” CBC News reports.

More info here.

45 Comments

  1. Can you block text messages? I certainly don’t want to be charged for spam incoming messages, and I don’t want to be bothered with begging for a refund. This is getting ridiculous…

  2. This industry minister is the same joker who claims there’s plenty of competition in the ISP space, when in reality it’s either your cable provider (only one in a given geographic area) or Bell (since all other 3rd party providers have to use Bell’s lines).

    This is typical of conservative approach to people–react, rather than prevent. They’re making the onus on *us* to waste *our time* to deal with this shit (get charges reversed) after the fact, rather than prevent the problem from happening in the first place!

    Choice is an illusion when it comes to cell phones and internet here, and straight capitalism cannot work when a corrupt monopoly or duopoly hold all the cards, force us into 3-year contracts… and the government is in their pocket.

  3. Annoyed, “MDN – Give up that annoying Indiana Jones pop-behind, its driving us nuts !!!!”

    Try PithHelmet. I get no pop-ups, pop-unders, pop-behinds, or ads.

  4. Personally… a move like this is cellular suicide… it will drive customers, especially young ones, away to Rogers.

    Mind you… this just means Rogers will start charging on incoming SMS messages too.

  5. “…assured that customers charged for spam could contact their service provider to have the charges removed from their bills…”

    They will probably charge for the phone call (for the 15 minutes on hold) and then there’s an admin fee to have the charges removed. And you can only have 1 spam message removed at a time. Oh and only a maximum of 5 can be removed in any month. Ads sent by Bell or Telus are not considered spam.

  6. We on ATT also get charged for incoming text messages. It’s not just a Canadian telco rip off. I pay for my son’s cell phone and when I see a spike I can go to the billing detail and see that while he has texted out maybe four or five times, his friends have sent him 70-100 messages which cost ME!!!. Why the hell texting isn’t billed solely to the originator I don’t know. Telephone calls are billed to the originator, why not cell phones? It’s double-dipping by the telcos and it isn’t right.

  7. It’s a bitch when you are so used to the government doing everything but wipe your butt for you, isn’t it?

    Grow up and take care of yourself. Change plans, change carriers, move to the USA. The Conservative government will not, I repeat, not be coming around to wipe your butt any time soon.

  8. Oh, I thought you Americans were so against governments interfering with the god-given right of all corporations to do whatever they want! Corporations are good and are so very good, because, well, they’re corporations!

    As soon as the idiot leaders of Canadia start emulating American style economics (i.e. corporations get a free pass paid for by the public), that’s just more proof to brainwashed Americans that Canadians are stupid.

    Healthcare for free? Baw, impossible!

  9. I’m curious. Is your government still trying to make you register all of your guns? Last I heard a lot of people were telling them to shove it. Don’t take their shit and they can’t take your guns.

  10. Dish,

    Most Americans have swallowed that anti-national healthcare crap to the hilt. They will feel that way until they have no coverage and their backs are to the wall. The fear of impending bankruptcy or death can work wonders on your political beliefs.

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