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Orazietti announces passage of cell phone bill

Saturday, November 02, 2013   by: SooToday.com Staff

NEWS RELEASE

DAVID ORAZIETTI, MPP

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Orazietti announces passage of cell phone bill in Ontario Legislature

Provincial government delivers on stronger protection for cell phone users

SAULT STE. MARIE - Ontario is moving forward to protect wireless and cell phone customers with Wednesday’s Third Reading passage of the Wireless Services Agreements Act, including measures originally proposed by David Orazietti, MPP for Sault Ste. Marie.

"This legislation introduced by our government will help protect Ontario consumers from costly, confusing, and abusive cell phone contracts," said Orazietti. "This is a pocketbook issue that affects over 80 percent of Ontarians and our government's bill will make cell phone contracts fairer, more transparent and more affordable.”

Bill 60 provides consumers with clear information and fewer surprises when they enter into cell phone and wireless services contracts.

It is expected the Act will come into force in Spring 2014 and 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 additional charges
  • Requiring service providers to get customer consent before amending, renewing or extending a fixed-term contract
  • A cap on cancellation fees, making it less expensive for consumers to walk away from fixed-term contracts

“We are protecting Ontario cell phone users by ensuring they know their rights and are better informed,” said Tracy MacCharles, minister of Consumer Services. “If proclaimed, this bill would give consumers what they have been asking for - clear cell phone and wireless contracts, more choices, and clarity on prices.”

“This legislation will have a positive impact on the millions of Ontarians who count on wireless technology to make their lives easier and more rewarding,” said Orazietti. “I’m proud to be part of a government which is protecting Ontarian cell phone users and creating a fair arena for cell phone companies and consumers.”

Orazietti has twice introduced legislation calling for greater protection and transparency for consumers of wireless phone and data services.

In November 2010, Orazietti introduced Bill 133, the Wireless Phone, Smart Phone and Data Service Transparency Act, which passed Second Reading in the Legislature with support from all political parties.

In 2011, Orazietti re-introduced the proposed legislation as Bill 5, which again passed Second Reading with all-party support.

Quick facts

Approximately eight out of 10 Ontario families have a wireless services agreement.

The bill includes all-inclusive pricing requirements that would, if proclaimed, inform consumers of the annual cost of a fixed-term cell phone and wireless services contract.

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.
 
Learn more

Read about Stronger Protections for Wireless Consumers
 
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Comments
7
Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of SooToday.com. If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
3rd times a charm 11/2/2013 12:30:12 PM Report

what about places like koodo who charge you $50 to unlock your phone when you own the phone and want to change service providers? If I own the phone, they have no right to charge me an unlock fee--greedy bastards!
Brianne 11/2/2013 12:48:13 PM Report

Cellsunlock.com for $4.99 you can unlock your phone ;)
rcssm69 11/2/2013 1:07:27 PM Report

But the free, or close to free phone you got was part of the contract. If you've fulfilled the contract, you get to keep the phone! Isn't that the bonus. Why would they unlock it for free and let you go to another service provider? Stick with them if you were happy, and get another free, or close to free phone! Or, of course, you could pay $50 and go anywhere!
rcssm69 11/2/2013 1:09:33 PM Report

If you bought an unlocked iPhone, Samsung Galaxy, or Blackberry Z10, you would've paid $600+! You got it for around $99!
steelworker 11/2/2013 2:12:21 PM Report

Gee whiz: " a pocket book issue" -like one billion dollars of taxpayer money the Libs pissed away on the gas-plant scandal. Unbelievable.
Prometheus 11/2/2013 2:15:45 PM Report

From a consumer’s perspective there is nothing new in Bill 60 that is not already covered in the CRTC Wireless Code which comes into effect on December 2, 2013, well ahead of Bill 60.

Bill 60 does have some references to other Ontario statutes but they tend to affect the carriers and not the consumer.

Also, the cap on cancellation fees does not affect how much the consumer has to pay for any phone subsidy which may have been provided if they choose to walk away. The carriers can still set the price of the phone used to calculate the cancellation fees. Under some conditions the fees could still be hundreds of dollars depending on the cost assigned to the phone.

All in all, Bill 60 is really a waste of ink and time as all the critical elements are covered in other directives and regulations. In some respects, the bill may actually add to the consumer costs.

It is too little, too late.

Also, while the Ontario government is trying to sell this bill as consumer legislation, it is really an intrusion into an area of federal jurisdiction – telecommunications.
Sam C 11/2/2013 7:05:08 PM Report

3tac... I think the $50 is way too high, but I don't see why you shouldn't pay some sort of service fee.

You don't show up at the garage with 4 litres of oil and a filter, and expect the mechanic to do an oil change for free.
Comments
7
Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of SooToday.com. If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
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