Ontario looking introduce legislation that would “create new rights” for wireless consumers

Ian Hardy

April 25, 2013 5:28 pm

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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.

Check it out here at the Government of Ontario’s website.
Via: Tracy MacCharles

  • iPlunks

    its going to be interesting to how this will work. I hope consumers are prepared to deal with the manufacture when it comes to there cells. Stolen phone part is smart. Again with the fact that there is no term.

    • Matt

      As I’m an iPhone user I always deal with the manufacturer when I need my phone to be fixed. Why wait three weeks for my phone to be repaired through my provider when I can walk into an Apple Store and have it replaced on the spot? If only more manufacturers had B&M stores.

  • TomsDisqusted

    Since this item might turn into another for and against debate about the incumbent carriers, I want to note what happened in the article about Rogers last week. New people appeared, wrote a flurry of comments with standard carrier talking points, and suddenly disappeared when asked about their ties to the carriers. Their profiles contained nothing but promotion of the carriers.

    I’m not claiming to know what exactly happened (paid shills, employees on their own time, passionate investors) and they are free to voice their opinions regardless of motivation, but it is useful to keep in mind the enormous power and influence that Robellus have in Canada, and the possible motivation of some of their defenders.

    And that power and influence is likely to be brought to bear on our MPP’s as they decided how to respond to this new bill.

    • ThisGuy

      I work for Bell and I get mad at them a lot and I tell my rep a lot and ask him wtf is up with the bullshit, like the S3 being 200 bucks, same price as in the us f*****g a, but on a three year term. Why cant the company step up and be proactive. they would win so many f*****g customers. 70 dollars 6gig/unl can ld/text/cid/vm. it would increase the average people pay without pissing them off. Profits are huge already! If you guys are pissed, call support a lot, because it eats away at their profits, a lot.

    • iPlunks

      you dont work for bell

  • Michael States

    I’d like to see the changes that are going to be made before I voice an opinion. I think contract terms, overages, and roaming fees are pretty clear already, but it would be nice to see the phones unlocked.

    • rgl168

      The very first bill proposal tabled by Orazietti contains the clause for mandatory unlocking. However, that clause was removed in the subsequent version of the bill. We should write to MacCharles and demand that clause to be placed back in.

  • Liberal Phone Person

    I love Wynne!

    • JohnN

      You’d better be her type . . . .

  • scroogeguy

    I am a rogers customer in ontario and i love how the ontario government is going to make this WORSE for me. right now with rogers if i were to cancel i would pay the remaining discount given on my phone (yadda yadda 3 year b***h complain moan groan, shut up) and then a $12.50 deactivation fee. with what ontario is proposing i would have to pay a $50 cancellation fee instead of $12.50. this isnt just a rogers thing. telus has the same cancellation structure. the only company who isnt is bell.

    ontario government, please do some damn research so you arent screwing over people who live in your provence.

  • canuck07

    It didn’t say nothing about how carriers should unlock our phones.

  • canada is a monopoly

    why dont these useless ppl first fix the problem of monopoly and cartel of the wireless industry daniel bader/ ian hardy im surprised you guys have not started a petition or something as change.org type thing for us to vote and bring this to attention to the canadian consumers. how pathetic the practices are that they price fix and price match the prices and on top of the 3 yr contracts with literally no services except even and weekends free with some gb of data.

    this is as we call it broadway who-res giving the public a show so the public feels oh yes they did do soemthing when they dont address the real concerns. pathetic

  • Nadefrenzy

    Oh geez it’s that same hot chick from 2 years ago lol.

  • CADDMan71

    this is like the 3rd story in the past year where this image has been used.

  • MacMan156

    ….most people define telecom as an essential service

  • Tom

    I just want to be able to buy devices outright unlocked from any carrier without being forced to subscribe to one month’s worth of service.

  • iPlunks

    Whos is holding the gun to your head? why dont toy pay the $500-$650 for the phone?

  • Dave Wilder

    2 year terms are available… not sure where you are shopping

    • anjew

      the 3 year hardware subsidy here in canada are comparable with the 2 years in the USA.

    • accord1999

      Which is more than offset by the more expensive plans of Verizon, AT&T and Sprint.

  • accord1999

    The 3 year contracts nowadays are basically 3 year financing deals. If you want a 2 year contract, then just sign a 3 year contract, and cancel after 2 years. You’ll just need to pay 1/3rd of the device subsidy, plus a contract cancellation fee of anywhere between $12.50 to $50 depending on the carrier and province you’re in.

    So it’s even better for you, rather than paying the extra up front, you can pay it at the end of two years.

    • anjew

      the carriers are supposed to subsidize the hardware cost at the start as an incentive to be with them. but since we are in canada, there is no such thing as competition.

      hope things change soon, we need some serious reformation with our regulations without any influence from the gad dang big 3