Manitoba’s new simplified cellphone contracts, otherwise known as the The Consumer Protection Amendment Act (Cell Phone Contracts), will officially go into effect on September 15th. This is similar to what Quebec has done with Bill 60. Under the new legislation (listed below) wireless carriers like Rogers, Bell and regional carrier MTS will have to abide by the rules. If they are found guilty The Consumer Protection Office can lay down “administrative penalties” that range from $1k to $5k.
Carriers will be required to:
- provide a copy of the contract to consumers before the contract begins;
- fully disclose and explain all charges, fees and terms;
- restrict companies from making unilateral changes to contract terms;
- allows consumers to cancel contracts at any time for a reasonable cancellation fee;
- have the minimum monthly cost to be included in cellphone advertisements;
- restrict automatic cellphone contract renewals; and
- increase consumer protection for cellphone contracts not made in person including contracts made over the Internet.
Healthy Living, Seniors & Consumer Affairs Minister Jim Rondeau stated that “We’ve listened to Manitobans and we’re responding with some of the best consumer protection in Canada for cellphone contracts. These new rules will ensure Manitobans will have clearer cellphone contracts, fair cancellation fees and reasonable rules for unilateral changes to contracts.”
September 15th is only 6 long months away… Mark your calendars Manitobans.
Update: This programs is now in place – learn more here.
Source: Manitoba Gov’t press release