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Toronto upset after Rogers, Bell and Telus hike 10GB data plan prices

Remember 14 months ago when when Rogers, Bell and Telus waged an all-out price war that resulted in hordes of people waiting for hours on the phone to scream that they'd better get 10 gigs of data for $60 a month or else?

Rogers, Bell and Telus don't—or rather they do, they just don't care that you had to buy out your old wireless contract to get that deal. Or that you had to pay for your new iPhone in cash to keep it. Or that Canada still has some of the highest wireless rates of G8 countries.

But whatever.

All three of Canada's major telecom providers, as well as subsidiary brands Fido (Rogers) and Virgin (Bell), have abandoned their famous $60/10GB plan in recent months.

And by "their" famous plan I mean Freedom Mobile's famous plan—the one that Rogers, Telus and Bell all price-matched to ensure a fourth competitor didn't eat into their 90 per cent market share.

It started with Rogers and Fido upping the prices of their 10GB plans to $65 in December.

Still a great price, but the move was seen as shady, especially given how many people had switched providers just one year earlier to qualify for the $60 deal.

Bell and Virgin similarly announced a $5 per month price increase last month, much to the annoyance of those who went to great lengths to get on that $60/10GB "bring your own device" plan in the first place.

Telus kicked things up a notch by hiking prices to $70 per month, though its lower-tier brand Koodoo has yet to up the cost of the plan at all.

"So, Telus, the whole thing $60 was a bait and switch, huh?" wrote one Toronto mobile phone user on Twitter this week.

"Competing usually means lowering prices, not all of the telcos magically raising their rates on the same plan at the same time. I want my plan price back."

"I don't understand why we can't have competition to these 3," wrote someone else of Telus, Rogers and Bell. "Anywhere is cheaper than Canada. Even a remote island in the Carribbean is about a 1/10 of the cost."

The Big 3 say that their price increases are justified.

The hike reflects "ongoing network and service investments," according to Rogers, while Telus cited "dramatically" improved network coverage and speeds as the reason for its rise in rates.

People aren't buying it, to say the least, but what else is new when it comes to Canadian telecom monopolies?

Regardless of how customers feel, there's not much they can do about feeling duped but complain to the CRTC... though many smart people have tried and failed going down that road before.

That said, the CRTC did publish a news release late last month in which it asked Canadians to "share their views" on the state of our country's mobile wireless market.

The move is part of a larger review which will result in a decision about "whether further action is required to improve choice and affordability for Canadians."

Most people would say it is. If you've got an opinion on this issue, go nuts.

Lead photo by

Mack Male


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