The CRTC recently unveiled a draft, plus held public hearings, of their proposed “national code for wireless services.” This code would protect consumers on many levels, namely creating a structure that all carriers would adhere to that would see clearer wireless contracts and better unlocking terms. Jean-Pierre Blais, Chairman of the CRTC, stated that “the draft code is still very much a work in progress and intended to encourage more discussion.” It’s expected that a final version will be tabled in the coming months.
In the meantime, Tracy MacCharles, Liberal Consumer Services Minister, is on the cusp of proposing legislation that hopes to “create new rights for cell phone and wireless contract consumers” and “help consumers understand exactly what they are contracting for.” Basically, ensuring that we know all the fine print of a wireless contract before signing on the dotted line. MacCharles outlines that the legislation, if passed, would have easier to understand contracts; clearer info on how roaming charges are calculated; better insight into if a cellphone is locked or not, plus the costs associated to unlock it; and that before a carrier makes any changes the customer would have to be in agreement.
The legislation also digs deeper into a stolen or lost phones – something that the CWTA is pushing – and is requesting that “no charges billed to a customer for use of a lost or stolen phone after the reported lost or stolen date.” Overall the proposed legislation is certainly welcomed.