Wireless Prices Poll Finds Only 8 Per Cent Of Canadians Think They Have A 'Good Deal'

Posted: Updated:
ANGRY CELLPHONE
Portrait of angry adult female on blue blouse reading a message on her cell while screaming on isolated white background | pablocalvog via Getty Images
Print

If there’s one thing that unites Canadians, it’s a deep conviction that we're getting ripped off on wireless prices.

A new poll from Angus Reid shows that fewer than one in 10 Canadians say they are getting “a good deal” on their cellphone plan, while six in 10 say they're paying too much and more than half — 55 per cent — say more competition is needed.

But while a majority want want more competition in wireless, few are aware of a recent CRTC decision that many experts say makes this less likely, the poll found.

The results themselves suggest that more competition would make consumers happier with their services. It found the highest level of satisfaction with cellphone competition was in two provinces that have four, instead of three, major wireless carriers: Saskatchewan (where SaskTel is the fourth player) and Quebec (where Videotron offers wireless).

wireless price poll
Sixty-one per cent of respondents in the Angus Reid poll say their wireless bills are too high, while 19 per cent say it's "about the right price," and only 8 per cent feel they have "a good deal." Chart: Angus Reid Institute)

As HuffPost has reported before, those provinces that have four major players have significantly lower wireless prices than provinces where there are only three major players.

For instance, when the big three wireless companies all raised prices earlier this year, blaming the falling loonie (an argument many analysts didn’t buy), prices didn’t go up in Manitoba, Saskatchewan or Quebec.

The poll found many Canadians — 61 per cent — are unaware of a CRTC decision that some experts say will make it more difficult to bring new competition to the market. The CRTC in February sided with the large telcos, and rejected a request from a group of small telcos to mandate access to the large telcos’ networks.

The small telcos are or want to operate as “mobile virtual network operators” — essentially resellers of the large telcos' wireless bandwidth. In some other countries where MVNOs operate, they have had some effect in bringing down prices to consumers. Wind Mobile, recently bought by Shaw, is Canada's largest and best-known MVNO.

videotronVideotron is one of four major wireless carriers in Quebec. (Photo: CP)

“Awareness of the decision drives opinion on it,” Angus Reid said in its poll results. “Those who have been following the issue in the news mostly believe the CRTC made the wrong decision, while those who haven’t been following are unsure.”

If Canadians are convinced they aren't getting the best deal on wireless, it may have to do with all the stories out there asserting Canadian wireless prices are among the world's highest, and the packages offered by the wireless companies are pretty much all the same.

Sometimes they're almost identical, as a Reddit user showed recently with a comparison of wireless prices. With one exception, plans at Rogers’ Fido brand and Telus’ Koodo brand are identical.

Card

Like Us On Facebook

Also on HuffPost:

Close
Canada's Unfair Wireless Prices (2014)
of
Share
Tweet
Advertisement
Share this
close
Current Slide

Earlier on HuffPost:

Suggest a correction

Around the Web

How Canada's wireless prices compare with international rates ...

Canadian Wireless Prices Rising At 3X Inflation: Report | IT Business

Rates go up as growth slows in Canadian wireless market, report finds

Fight for affordable internet to take centre stage at CRTC hearing today

Is high-speed Internet a basic right? CRTC to weigh in