Get the Facts Before Signing a Cell Phone Contract
McGuinty Government Offers Tips to Avoid Cell Shock
Ministry of Consumer Services
Back-to-school season is around the corner — a time when tech-savvy students and parents are often looking for a new cell phone package to help start off the school year right.
While it's exciting to get the cell phone with the latest technology, it's important to carefully read any wireless services contract before signing. By asking questions, and reading and understanding the contract, students and parents can avoid surprise fees on future bills.
Here are some points everyone should know before entering into a contract:
- Shop around: Since many wireless agreements are for a two-year or three-year period, be sure you're getting the deal that offers you the services and goods you want, at the best price.
- Keep a copy: Ask for a written copy of your contract. Read the fine print to make sure you understand all of the terms before you sign.
- Compare and contrast: When you get your first bill, check it carefully against your contract to be sure you are only being billed for what you agreed to.
- Honesty is the best policy: Remember, vendors cannot make false, misleading or deceptive representations about what they are selling you; misrepresentation is illegal.
Helping Ontario consumers make informed choices and enforcing protection measures is part of the McGuinty government's commitment to educate, protect and serve Ontarians by ensuring a fair and safe marketplace.
- In May 2012, Ontario introduced the Wireless Services Agreements Act, 2012 that would, if passed, cap cancellation fees, prohibit automatic contract renewals and amendments, and require wireless providers to offer contracts that are easy to understand.
- More than 70 per cent of Ontarians have a wireless 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.
When signing a cell phone contract, remember that there are long-term financial implications. Avoid cell shock and consider all the details before signing any contract."