Apr 30, 2012- 2:20 PM
New legislation from the McGuinty government would stop cell shock, and let you know exactly what you are getting into when you sign a cell phone contract.
That’s important — because more than seven in 10 Ontarians use mobile phones. So it is important that wireless contracts are clear and transparent.
Under the proposed law, wireless service providers would have to clearly explain all costs and services to you. Afterwards, nothing in a fixed-term deal you sign could legally change without your permission.
For example, your cell company would need to spell out the total cost of your monthly wireless services plan — along with any potential charges not included in your base contract.
Before you sign, you would know what is included and what is not — in your local calling area and when roaming — and any other previously hidden charges.
Huge cancellation fees sometimes stop consumers from taking advantage of a better deal or getting the newest phone. Under our proposed legislation, that would change, too. You would not have to pay a fee to cancel a contract with no fixed term.
As for fixed-term contracts, cancellation fees would be capped at $50, and you would be able to walk away from a contract at any time.
If the cost of a phone is included free or at a discount, providers would be able to charge for the amount of the discount that was spelled out when you signed your contract, based on the amount of time left on your term.
Have you ever taken your phone in for a repair while under warranty and been hit with charges for a loaner? The proposed legislation would put an end to that, too. Your cell company would not be allowed to add service charges while your equipment is under repair without providing you with a loaner.
Stopping cell shock is important for millions of Ontario consumers. And we hope cell companies will support this proposed legislation.
A fair price for quality services and boosting consumer confidence is just one more part of the McGuinty government’s commitment to building a stronger economy with good new jobs.
To learn more about our proposed legislation, and to find out what people are saying about it, visit our website: ontario.ca/
You can also follow us on Twitter at @ontarioconsumer to get breaking news about this and the many other ways we are taking strong action for Ontario’s consumers.
Minister of Consumer Service
Posted by Vivian Scinto