No More Cell Shock!
McGuinty Government Taking Strong Action to Protect Wireless Consumers
Ministry of Consumer Services
The Ontario government is taking strong action to help eliminate the shock many consumers get from opening their cell phone and wireless services bills.
The province is introducing legislation to make it easier to understand the costs and terms of wireless services agreements while ensuring service providers are upfront with information before contracts are signed.
Here's how consumers will benefit if the legislation is passed:
- Contracts will be written in plain language;
- Contracts would spell out which services come with the basic fee, and which would result in a higher bill;
- Providers must get it in writing before they renew or amend a contract;
- A cap on the cost of cancelling a contract;
- Only a modest fee for walking away from fixed-term contracts.
Taking strong action to protect Ontario consumers is part of the McGuinty government's commitment to educate, protect and serve Ontarians by ensuring a fair and safe marketplace.
- The proposed legislation, which would affect new contracts, would take effect six months after being passed. It would also cover existing agreements that are amended, renewed or extended after that date.
- More than 70 per cent of Ontarians have a wireless services agreement.
- About 62 per cent of all complaints received by the federal Commissioner for Complaints for Telecommunications Services in 2010-2011 were about wireless services. More than 41 per cent of those complaints came from Ontarians.
We want to eliminate the 'cell shock' many people experience because the terms of their agreements lack clarity. Service providers should give people the information they need so they understand the terms, and all costs of any cell phone and wireless services agreements they sign."
Millions of Ontarians subscribe to wireless phone services and we are moving forward with important legislation that reaches the same objectives as those proposed in two bills I previously introduced. This is a pocketbook issue that consumers want addressed, and our government bill contains measures that will make cell phone contracts considerably more fair and transparent."