Get Informed Before You Sign a Cell Phone Contract

News Release

Get Informed Before You Sign a Cell Phone Contract

Ontario Government Offers Advice as Students Go Back to School

Ministry of Consumer Services

Ontario is providing some helpful tips for students and parents looking for the latest mobile technology in preparation for the coming school year.

Getting the latest technology is exciting, but usually comes with a contract. It's important to know exactly what you are committing to before you sign on the dotted line. Extras like data or out-of-country services can quickly result in unexpected charges and high bills. Getting out of a contract can also mean hefty charges. Ask questions before you sign the contract and make sure you understand the agreement to avoid unwelcome surprises on your bill.

Here are some tips everyone should follow before signing a contract:

  • Shop around and compare: Make sure you're getting the services you want, at the best price. 
  • Understand the contract: Ensure you understand all of the terms of the agreement before signing. Take your time to review the paperwork and ask staff questions at the mobile technology retailer. 
  • Review your bill: When you get your first bill, check it carefully and confirm you are being billed properly. Always check your monthly invoices to be sure that no unexpected charges appear.

Educating and protecting Ontario consumers is part of the government's plan to ensure a fair, safe and informed marketplace.

Quick Facts

  • Approximately eight out of 10 Ontario families have a wireless services agreement.
  • In 2011, Ontarians spent $886 on average per household for cell phone and other handheld text messaging services.
  • In April 2013, Ontario introduced the Wireless Services Agreements Act, 2013 that would, if passed, cap cancellation fees, have companies show the total price in wireless services pricing advertisements, and require wireless providers to offer easy-to-understand contracts.
  • Overall complaints to the federal Commissioner for Complaints for Telecommunications Services have more than tripled over the past four years.

Additional Resources

Quotes

Tracy MacCharles

“With two teens of my own, I know how busy this time of year is preparing for school. That’s why it’s important to take the time to understand the services you are agreeing to pay for when looking at mobile device contracts. By making the informed choice and spending wisely, parents and students can protect their hard-earned money.”

Tracy MacCharles

Minister of Consumer Services

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