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Ontario Bill to Protect Wireless Customers Passes Final Vote

October 31, 2013   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Alison Hermansen
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Ontario is moving forward to protect wireless and cell phone customers with the passage of the Wireless Services Agreements Act.

The new legislation will provide consumers with clear information and fewer surprises when they enter into cell phone and wireless services contracts by Spring 2014. It will protect wireless customers by:

  • Requiring contracts to be written in plain language
  • Ensuring contracts clearly outline which services come with the basic fee, and which would result in extra charges
  • Requiring providers to get customer consent before amending, renewing or extending a fixed-term contract
  • Enforcing a cap on cancellation fees, making it less expensive for consumers to walk away from fixed-term contracts

Protecting Ontario consumers is part of the government's plan to ensure a fair marketplace and help people in their everyday lives. This is part of the Ontario government's economic plan to invest in people, invest in infrastructure and support a dynamic and innovative business climate.

Quick Facts

  • Approximately eight out of 10 Ontario families have a wireless services agreement.
  • The legislation includes all-inclusive pricing requirements that will, if proclaimed, inform consumers of the annual cost of a fixed-term cell phone and wireless services contract.
  • Overall complaints to the federal Commissioner for Complaints for Telecommunications Services have more than tripled over the past four years.
  • A survey by OpenMedia.ca compiled the opinions and complaints of 2,800 cell phone users who called for an overhaul of the cell phone market.

Quotes

"We are protecting Ontario cell phone users by ensuring they know their rights and are better informed. When this bill comes into force, it will give consumers what they have been asking for — clear cell phone and wireless contracts, more choices, and clarity on prices. I want to thank everyone who worked so hard to pass this bill that protects and empowers Ontario consumers”

Tracy MacCharles
Minister of Consumer Services
 

For more information :

Organization: 
Ontario Government
www.ontario.ca