An advocacy group for affordable cell and internet services is warning Saskatchewan customers about the risks of a potential SaskTel Sale.
The caution comes after Bell Canada received federal approval this week for its takeover of Manitoba Telecom Services (MTS).
OpenMedia’s David Christopher said Manitoba and Saskatchewan have enjoyed the country’s cheapest cell services – thanks to their regional carriers.
“You’re not talking five, 10 or even 20 bucks a month. You’re talking much larger than that,” he said.
Christopher noted the price difference has created a black market for SaskTel and MTS contracts.
“People who live on the Prairie Provinces actually purchasing plans on behalf of say, someone living in Toronto, for a small fee,” he explained.
Christopher said he’s heard of people charging as much as $100 to lend buyers their Saskatchewan or Manitoba address in order to set up a cell contract.
“If you’re going to be saving $40 or $50 a month, that really adds up. That’s, you know, $500 or $600 over the course of a year,” he said.
Christopher said he expects Manitobans’ cell phone bills to skyrocket once Bell moves in. He also stressed that using a false address to obtain a contract for cell service is fraud.