The skinny bundles offered by most of the telecoms — including Bell, Rogers, and Shaw — don't include the cable box, which has to be rented separately for as much as $15 a month. Depending on the provider, there may also be extra service and installation fees.
Additional channels on top of the basic offerings cost anywhere from $3 to $7, and even a handful of them can quickly bring the bill close to what people already pay for their traditional cable packages.
The skinny packages can also be exempt from the bundled savings usually offered if a customer also has internet and phone service from the same company.
“Clearly the telecom companies, and I’d single out a few in particular, aren’t getting into the spirit of these new rules,” said David Christopher, communications manager at the consumer advocacy group OpenMedia.
“They’re using every trick in the book to make these packages as unappealing as they possibly can with a view to continue locking consumers into the expensive mega bundles with 160 channels.”