DAVID ORAZIETTI, MPP
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.
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.
Read about Stronger Protections for Wireless Consumers