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Manitoba’s Law On Cell Phone Contracts To Protect Consumers Is Now In Effect

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Back in April, a new cell phone legislation to protect consumers was unveiled by the government in the province of Manitoba, which was believed to be one of the best consumer protections in Canada. That consumer protection law for cellphone contracts and fees is now in effect in Manitoba, which basically requires cellphone companies to fully disclose and explain all charges, fees and terms for their service contracts (via CBC).

According to the law, not only do the companies need to fully disclose and explain all charges, but also the consumers can cancel contracts at any time for a reasonable cancellation fee. In some cases, customers will only need to pay the cost of any free phone they were given as part of a long-term contract. The payment would be determined on the basis of the remaining length of agreement.

Consumer advocates called the new rules a good first step and urged customers to be aware of their rights.

“It’s important for consumers to know what they’re now entitled to,” Gloria Desorcy, from the Manitoba Branch of the Consumers Association, told CBC News. “Because if we don’t know, that we’re entitled to it, then we might not complain about it. And that’s our responsibility as consumers.”

Companies that violate the law could face fines of up to $1,000 for a first offence and increased penalties for subsequent violations.

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  • Techie_boy

    Similar legislation is already in effect in Quebec. You can always cancel your contract all you need to pay is the remaining balance of the subsidy you got on your phone.

  • yearoftherat

    They need to have this legislation in Ontario.

  • Acer12345

    This needs to be national.

  • Steve

    Let the free market decide. Government has no place. No one is forcing you to sign contracts.

  • Techie_boy

    Yeah. You’re absolutely right Steve, how dare the “big government” try to strengthen consumers’ position vis-à-vis the defenseless phone companies. How crazy are those Manitobians to have their government vote a law that’s actually useful to like 98 % of their population.

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