Vancouver Woman Charged Early Cancellation Fee for Switching Carriers, Despite Expired Contract with Rogers

by Istvan Fekete on November 18, 2013

Rogers charged a Vancouver woman an “early cancellation fee”, despite her having signed up for a contract with another carrier two weeks after her contract with Rogers had ended. The red wireless player finally waived the contract cancellation fee after they discovered – with some help from CBC – that the charges were errant.

A Vancouver woman decided that after her three-year contract with Rogers ended, she would switch carriers. So she did, in October. Two weeks after her Rogers contract had expired and she had paid all of her bills, she agreed to sign a long-term agreement with Telus.

But Rogers considered Susan Angel’s move to be an early cancellation, and charged her a $180 fee.

What’s becoming obvious from Rogers’ move is that carriers are using the early cancellation fee as a punitive measure against subscribers switching carriers. Angel thought she was abiding by the rules: her contract expired, she paid all her bills, so she was free to make a choice without being charged any early termination fee or any other fees.

Notified about Angel’s story, the CBC started investigating the issue. It turns out things got much worse: Rogers told the Vancouver woman, that if she didn’t pay the $180 early cancellation fee, her credit rating would be affected.

CBC asked a Vancouver-based open media advocate about early cancellation fees. Here is what Steve Anderson says about it:

“It’s very tricky, often you have to pay off until the very end if you want to break your service plan, some places still have a termination fee. Usually it’s a very costly endeavour made punitively expensive,” he told CBC News. “That’s on purpose because cell phone companies really want to keep you locked into these expensive services.”

After contacting Rogers about the $180 early cancellation fee charged to Angel, the carrier said she should never been charged and agreed to erase the fee. Although Angel is happy to see that she doesn’t need to pay anything, and that her credit score will remain intact, she still believes the incumbents have too much power over consumers.

This, however, is about to change, starting December 2, 2013, when the new wireless code takes effect, which will allow wireless subscribers to cancel wireless contracts after two years without penalty.

Did you like this post? TheTelecomBlog.com publishes daily news, editorial, thoughts, and controversial opinion – you can subscribe by: RSS (click here), or email (click here).

Written by: Istvan Fekete. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

Previous post:

Next post: