Stronger Rights for Wireless Consumers
Ontario Government to Introduce New Rules for Wireless Contracts and Services
Ministry of Consumer Services
Ontario is taking steps to ensure that consumers are provided with clear information and fewer surprises when they enter into cell phone and wireless services contracts.
The province intends to introduce legislation that, if passed, would make it easier to understand the costs and terms of wireless services contracts. The legislation would also ensure wireless services providers are clear with information before contracts are signed.
The proposed legislation, if passed, would benefit wireless consumers 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 a higher bill
- Requiring providers to get consent from the consumer before amending, renewing or extending a fixed-term contract
- Enforcing a cap on the cost of cancelling a contract or no fee at all, making it less expensive for consumers to walk away from fixed-term contracts
These proposed reforms would protect the rights of consumers while furthering the new Ontario government's commitment to building a strong economy and a fair, safe and informed marketplace.
- Approximately eight out of 10 Ontario families have a wireless services agreement.
- Overall complaints to the federal Commissioner for Complaints for Telecommunications Services overall have more than tripled over the past four years.
- A recent 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.
Ontario consumers want easy to understand cell phone and wireless contracts with no hidden costs. We want to remove the confusion and frustration that come with unclear contracts. Our proposed legislation, if passed, would be backed by meaningful enforcement so that consumers are better protected.”
Millions of Ontarians subscribe to wireless phone services and they want fair and transparent contracts. The Consumers Council of Canada is pleased that the government is putting the onus on wireless services providers to comply and meet consumer needs.”