Consumer Protection?

WTF did we let happen to Consumer Protection? Ever since the Mulroney days we let them gut it more and more so now fraud and outright lying are the norm witch Canadian businesses!
From every single cell carrier advertising UNLIMITED!!! then immediately stating the download limit they impose, to Air Canada after sucking in billions of gov’t Covid aid yet forced by the Court to cough up small refunds a YEAR LATER to Staples, BestBuy and the like not disclosing the computer they gave you a “sale” price on has been on the shelf unsold after two years… like WTF???
Older guy just brought a new laptop to get me to trnsfer files from the old one. Mentioned how they gave him such a deal $1400 instead of $1800…
… it’s an MSI gaming laptop… with WIndows 1909 FFS… to a 70 year old man.
Have half a mind to drive to PG go in the store and start screaming how they ripped off a senior citizen. The guy “needs” a Chromebook and they sell him a 2year old gaming laptop, he thankfully took my advice and resisted the hard sell of a virus protector and extra warranty from the crooks. Probably laughed like the jackals they are as soon as he left.
How in hell did we let the gov’t Consumer Protection get totally gutted? It’s now they can do anything they want because their a “business” and you are just another mark?

The Canadian mobile market is a bit crazy.

So here’s a weird thing … if you come to Canada with a foreign SIM in your phone, you’re probably paying less than any Canadian plan for data. And you’ll be roaming on Bell, Telus or Rogers. So not only are the Canadian companies still making a profit, but so is the international carrier.

So lately, I’ve been trying different eSIMs in my phones. I currently have a Polish eSIM in one phone, which cost me $30 for 10 gigs. Not a great deal, but beats most Canadian plans. Pre-paid too.

And another one of my phones has this crazy deal: Hong Kong eSIM that has 35 gigs for 365 days validity. That cost about $45 Canadian. Which works out to just under 3 gigs/month, and about $3.75 / month. Crazy. The only downside is that you have to jump through some hoops to make TikTok work on a Hong Kong SIM, since it’s banned there :slight_smile:

So yeah, cell service in Canada is way overpriced.

Consumer protection…what a quaint and antiquated idea: sorta went out the door with the guarantee repairs that bonded clients and corporations once upon a time.
That’s an idea: let’s get corporations to work on it!
Both examples… the big box store rip off and the high cost of mobile require specialized knowledge to some degree: which both previous posters have but us techno deprived (me) may not have. Suggestions? How do we protect ourselves or get the best deals?
By the way…a person’s age shouldn’t be an excuse - I honestly don’t think deception or providing misinformation is ever an acceptable sales practice.

Compared to the experts (MiG, herbie) I would classify myself as an intermediate level consumer of IT products. I protect myself by doing a lot of research prior to buying any type of technology; I try to find accurate reviews of interesting products. I’m a technology enthusiast; I buy a lot of things.

I’m no expert, but honest to God my brain is not full of holes like Swiss cheese. For years I wrote a weekly consumer column for the ‘local rag’ in the early 1990s. To no avail. No one listened, no one learned and most who read it would today deny to your face that what has happened since is happening now. “Telus gives me 100Mb Internet for only $15 month… I can drive my F350 to Prince George and back to shop (360km) for ten bucks!.. you can buy a good laptop new these days for $200”
Now I don’t believe we need a Constitutional Amendment to protect the stupid. but seeing agencies meant to protect and serve our interests (CTRC!) lunching with Telco CEOs, allowing History Channel to merely show Dirty Dozen every Remembrance Day to meet Cdn content obligations and pronouncing high speed Internet targets without considering a cost to customers for that target is let’s say ‘mildly upsetting’.
Almost as upsetting as realizing Joe Average is a fucking idiot, and “average” MEANS half the people are stupider than that.
Kind of makes it a moral imperative for the other half to look out for more than themselves!

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A free market.

If companies refuse to compete in a free market, then regulate it.

Right now, the big three telcos in Canada are not competing. Every time there’s a new player in the market, they buy them up, rather than compete. It’s not a free market.

If a company in Hong Kong can give me an LTE data plan for less than $4.00 a month, and still make a profit, while roaming (and paying to use) the Bell or Rogers networks, then that tells you that we’re way overpaying.

Either these companies start really competing, or they should be broken up or regulated.


A free market? Isn’t that an economic myth from the 50’s and 60’s in which happy little elves called entrepreneurs work for the benefit of all by earning wealth for themselves, as well as their corporate Santas (CEO’s) and trickling down their wealth to the masses? (Or at least letting the masses watch them ride a rocket into space?).
Sorry for the cynicism…
I was actually hoping for some very legal and doable advice…ranting and economic theory…not practicable. How do I get a 4 dollar data plan? I need/want to buy a new phone - how do I do that. Is there a way to avoid a techno babble sales pitch that sounds fantastic if only I understood.
I have been vaccinated a number of times in my life…but these days I really worry about what I’ll find going down the rabbit hole of reviews and research.
I guess I’m just a little dumber than Joe Average.
I appreciate the expertise of all three previous posters … I’d just like to have their wisdom in a colouring book format - or a least connect the dots.
Suggestions, anyone?

For the 3 HK eSIM, you’ll need:

  • a phone that supports eSIMs. So like iPhone XR or newer.
  • visit | DIY Prepaid. I chose Canada, then 365 days / 35 GB. * It costs $268 in Hong Kong dollars – today that’s about $43.09 in Canadian dollars. Or about $3.60 Canadian per month. And you get 35 gigs for the year, or roughly 2.9 gigs per month.
  • sign up for an account there, and pay for the eSIM, they will e-mail you a QR code. Scan the QR code with your phone and it will install the SIM.
  • you can have as many eSIMs as you want, and even a real physical SIM. I have one from Poland, and another from Israel as well as my local Public Mobile SIM (which has an Alberta number). You can switch between them as needed, or specify one for all voice calls, another for data, etc.

A couple of caveats: you’ll be roaming on Canadian networks, so you’ll have to turn on your data roaming. Your internet traffic will be flowing through Hong Kong, which is fine for anything encrypted. But if you do any banking or other sensitive stuff, do it with a VPN, as your bank will probably freak out that someone in Hong Kong is using your account.

No, that’s late-stage capitalism.

A well regulated free market wouldn’t allow 3 mobile companies to form a cartel. It would step in and make it illegal for a company to be both a wholesaler and retailer of internet access, for example. It wouldn’t allow entrenched companies to constantly buy out any new competition.

Brilliant…thanks MIG for the distinction between late stage capitalism and a free market.
Also, a big thanks for a straightforward explanation of how to access lower cost data: simple and basic, stripped of jargon. Concepts I didn’t understand were searchable.
If nothing else…The Wizard of Oz taught me to look behind the smoke and mirrors…(which you enabled me to do!) Big tech is too often portrayed with a lot of baffling techno gabble to obfuscate.
Now if I only had a brain.

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