The Consumers Council of Canada has welcomed the introduction of Bill 133, “Wireless Phone, Smart Phone and Data Service Transparency Act, 2010,” a private member’s bill, in the Ontario Legislature. The bill proposes greater protections for consumers of wireless phone, smart phone and data services. The legislation would require clear disclosure of all optional and mandatory services, including the disclosure of “hidden fees” and contract cancellation penalties. The legislation would also limit contract termination fees, among other provisions.
“Contracts for cellular voice and data services and equipment rate as top-10 sources of consumer complaints in Ontario,” said Consumers Council of Canada President Don Mercer. “Many consumers feel their rights are unfairly limited and find it hard to understand their responsibilities under these agreements. Quebec has exercised its authority for contracts in this area. Now this bill in Ontario proposes action as well. Provinces across Canada should take responsibility and prompt action, and ultimately work toward a nationally harmonized approach that recognizes today’s consumers are highly mobile. The Consumers Council of Canada encourages members of the Ontario Legislature to seriously engage this bill as a practical measure.”