As of Dec 1., all wireless providers in Canada were required to eliminate cell phone unlocking fees, as per new rules by the CRTC. However, many Bell customers have complained that the company has not been honouring those rules.
The wireless provider has a policy in place that will only allow it to unlock phones for free for current and former Bell customers. Anyone who has a phone locked to Bell but isn’t signed up with them are still being required to pay unlocking fees.
Many people are accusing the company of using unfair loopholes to make a profit. Even former customers have come forward and accused Bell of not unlocking their phones for free, even though they are technically listed as part of the company’s free unlocking policy. Instead, Bell has been aggressively pressuring people to sign up for their service, and only then does the company proceed to unlock their devices.
This is a stark contrast to Rogers and Telus, who have both officially confirmed that they will be unlocking all phones attached to their network free of charge, so long as the phone was legally bought.
The Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) has filed an official complaint to the CRTC, asking for a clarification of its unlocking rules to see if Bell is in the right with their current policy. The group is urging the CRTC to make an official statement that confirms all carriers must unlock any phones that they themselves locked free of charge, no questions asked.
Despite all this, Bell continues to affirm that they are operating within CRTC regulations.