Manitoba government introduces new rules for cellphone carriers

Consumer Affairs Minister Gord Mackintosh has announced that Manitoba will be seeing new cellphone law in 2012. The new rules follows the simplified structure that Quebec has in place and could save customers up to $640 a year. Mackintosh stated that “Manitobans have told us they are frustrated by high cancellation fees, unilateral changes to contract terms and prices, hidden charges and complex and unclear contracts. They have asked for greater fairness and the ability to make informed choices and this legislation will make that happen.”

There are seven ways the new law will protect customers (full list below) and if a company is found breaking the law they could be fined between $1,000 to $5,000 each time, or under the Consumer Protection Act could be fined upwards of $300,000:

-Allow cell phone customers to cancel contracts before the end of term;
– Prohibit unreasonable cancellation fees, while allowing cost recovery for equipment provided or subsidized as a contract incentive;
– Stop charges for service that can’t be accessed due to damaged or defective equipment, unless the customer is responsible;
– End unilateral amendments to a material element of a contract if the change doesn’t benefit the customer;
– Require the minimum monthly cost to be included in advertisements;
– Require companies to fully disclose and explain all charges and terms; and
-Limit automatic contract renewals.

Source: WFP
(Thanks Jason!)