Ontario has a bill pending. It has apparently passed 2nd reading, but has not yet been enacted.
Bill 5, Wireless Phone, Smart Phone and Data Service Transparency Act, 2011
A few parts Rogers will not like at all:
2. (1) Subject to subsection (2), this Act applies to future performance agreements, whether entered into before or after this Act comes into force...
(2) In addition to the requirements for future performance agreements in the Consumer Protection Act, 2002 and the regulations made under that Act, a future performance agreement to which this Act applies shall set out the following information:
2. A description of any service offered at a discount and the duration of the discount.
(3) In a future performance agreement to which this Act applies, the supplier shall agree to do the following:
1. Remove, free of charge after the agreement expires, any technological or physical feature that restricts the functioning of the goods to a service provided by the supplier or another particular service provider.
2. Remove, free of charge if the consumer pays full price for the goods, any technological or physical feature that restricts the functioning of the goods to a service provided by the supplier or another particular service provider.
3. Alert the consumer when the consumer has reached 90 per cent of the service limit of any particular service under the agreement and is likely to incur additional charges as a result of exceeding the service limit.
4. Alert the consumer when the consumer is likely to incur additional charges as a result of attempting to use a service outside geographical limits, if any, that are set out in the agreement.
5. Provide the consumer with billing statements in paper form at no extra cost to the consumer, if requested by the consumer at any time during the duration of the agreement.
4. (1) A supplier of services under a future performance agreement to which this Act applies shall not demand, request or accept payment for services the consumer does not receive during a period in which goods provided by the supplier under the agreement are being repaired by the supplier, including goods sold at a discount or offered free of charge on the purchase of the service or services.
(2) Despite subsection (1) and subject to subsection (3), if an agreement expires and has not been renewed, the supplier and consumer shall be deemed to have renewed it as a monthly agreement containing the same terms and conditions that are in the expired agreement
(3) If an agreement is deemed to have been renewed under subsection (2), the consumer is not required to pay a higher monthly fee than the monthly equivalent of the cost of the services provided under the expired agreement.
(4) An agreement deemed to have been renewed under subsection (2) shall be in place for a maximum of three months, after which time,
(a) the supplier may stop providing service to the consumer; or
(b) the supplier and the consumer may negotiate a new agreement.
7. (1) A consumer may at any time, without any reason, cancel a future performance agreement to which this Act applies on giving 30 days notice.
So, Rogers will have to inform customers of the expiration dates of any credits or discounts, something they don't seem to always do now. They will be required to unlock, for free, phones bought at full price or that have had their obligations fulfilled. Properly notify customers at 90% of included usage to help prevent unintentional overage charges. Provide paper bills for free upon request. They will have to waive fees for service if the phone they sold you breaks, until they fix of repair it. If your plan (including retentions) expires and you don't renew immediately, your bill, including credits, will remain the same for 3 months or until you renew or cancel. They will now be required to accept 30 day notification of cancelation, something they require but do not allow. And all of this will apply to pre-existing contracts. It also includes the ECF policy that Rogers recently brought in, where the termination fees decrease over time based on the subsidy amount.
It's unfortunate that it takes legislation to prevent all these dirty little tricks (like requiring but not allowing 30 day termination notice and charging for unlocking). Hopefully this bill becomes law. It's no wonder Rogers made the small changes they did in order to try to get ahead of the regulations that are coming. Now if the governments would just get around to 3 year contracts. Surely someone in charge has wondered why only Canadian carriers seem to need 3 year contracts to do business.
Edit: Forgot this one:
(3) The consent of a consumer to amend an agreement under this section does not constitute consent to renew the agreement.
No more sleazy BS of automatically renewing contracts simply because a customer made a change on their account. If they customer doesn't say "yes renew my contract" it can't be renewed". Rogers will hate this if it becomes law.
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