Good news for Manitobans! Similar to Quebec's Bill 60, Manitoba’s upcoming new cellphone contract legislation, The Consumer Protection Amendment Act (Cell Phone Contracts), will create greater transparency in cellphone contracts and create fair practices for cellphone services.
Healthy Living, Seniors and Consumer Affairs Minister Jim Rondeau says "These new rules will ensure Manitobans will have clearer cellphone contracts, fair cancellation fees and reasonable rules for unilateral changes to contracts.”
As of September 15, 2012, the new legislation will require carriers to:
- Provide a copy of the contract to consumers before the contract begins;
- Fully disclose and explain all charges, fees and terms;
- Be restricted from making unilateral changes to contract terms;
- Allow consumers to cancel contracts at any time for a reasonable cancellation fee;
- Include the minimum monthly cost in cellphone advertisements;
- Be restricted from making automatic cellphone contract renewals; and
- Increase consumer protection for cellphone contracts not made in person (including contracts made over the Internet).
Under the new legislation, the Consumer Protection Office can issue administrative penalties to carriers for non-compliance of up to $1,000 for the first offence, $3,000 for the second offence and $5,000 for all subsequent offences.