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LETTER: Canada’s sky-high IT rates should be an election issue

The Saskatchewan Internet Child Exploitation (ICE) unit is comprised of investigators from the RCMP, Regina Police Service, Saskatoon Police Service and Prince Albert Police Service.
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After being a Rogers customer for more than 25 years, I recently noticed that my combined, Internet, cell, cable and telephone bill had gone up from about $250 to about $400, a 60 per cent increase. This occurred for three months on my Visa bill before I enquired what was going on with our plan. I was informed that the promotion we had been on for the past three years had expired and these were the new rates but if I wanted to get a new plan it would go back to about $250.

This new plan did not involve any new hardware or even anything more than a monthly commitment. It was simply more of the same that was only available if you phoned, waited on hold for 15 minutes and went through the details with a Roger’s agent. The agent could not make restitution for the gouging other than bring it back for the current month and leave me gouged out of more than $400 for no good reason.

The agent spoke about the benefits of the great promotion but in fact even at the promotional level of about $250, it is by far the highest Information Technology (IT) service cost in the world.

I am told it is no better with the other providers and the main issue with switching is the loss of a long term email address, some apps on your phone as well as having to get used to a different system.

This system of gouging unless you are on top of your current bill expiry date is archaic and does not belong in a first world country. Profit is fine but it should be earned and not through a government protected oligopoly that is designed to gouge and particular to the vulnerable who are not expecting long term service providers to treat them with such disdain.

These high costs also reduce Canada’s competitiveness internationally in an increasingly connected world. It is time to put some teeth in the CRTC and put a stop to the gouging or completely open up the system to all international competitors.

I encourage all federal parties to take up this challenge and put it on their platforms to do something about the high cost of IT services in Canada.

George Power,
St. John’s


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