New cell phone rules just a step away from reality
Last week, Bill 60, the Wireless Services Agreements Act 2013, passed second reading in the Ontario Legislature. If passed, consumers would be provided with clear information and fewer surprises when they enter into cell phone and wireless services contracts.
The act would 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
Bill 60 has now been referred to the Standing Committee on General Government and public hearings are expected on Wednesday, October 9, 2013 and Monday, October 21, 2013.
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.
Approximately eight out of 10 Ontario families have a wireless services agreement.
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.
“Ontario consumers want clear cell phone and wireless contracts, more choices, and no hidden fees. And our bill, if passed, would better protect consumers with strong enforcement measures," said Tracy MacCharles, Minister of Consumer Services