Canadian Consumers Could Get Break on Cellular Contracts

Have you ever had a cell phone plan that just didn’t work for you, and you wanted to end it and try something different? Maybe you found yourself in a financial situation that made having a cell phone plan something of a luxury. Whatever your reasons for wanting to end the contract, you had to pay quite bit to get out of it. Well, according to the Herald News, some proposed changes to Canada’s Consumer Protection Act could change all that.

Complaints from more than 150 consumers in Nova Scotia to the Commissioner for Complaints for Telecommunications Services, the Better Business Bureau and local government led to the proposed legislation that would limit the penalty for ending a cellular contract early to a maximum of $50.

The new legislation would also prevent cell phone companies from automatically renewing or extending consumers’ contracts and require them to provide consumers with information about safe cell phone use and cyber bullying.

Some believe that this new legislation could lead to cell phone providers treating their customers with more respect because they will no longer be able to impose inhibitive financial penalties on dissatisfied customers who want to take their business elsewhere.

Tory Opposition leader Jamie Baillie, who manages his two daughters’ cell phone accounts as well as his own, told the Herald News that he supports the proposed amendment but cautioned: “In order to ensure that we don’t drive up the cost for consumers, I think we should be working with all provinces to make sure we have national standards for simplified cell phone contracts and lower fees.”

Only those contracts signed after the amendments take effect in fall 2012, barring any unforeseen causes for delay, will benefit from this new legislation.

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