Nova Scotia’s NDP government has proposed a law to allow consumers to cancel contracts at any time for $50 max, and also to eliminate hidden fees. Here’s what the new law would bring:
- cancellation fees capped at $50
- no automatic renewal of contracts
- customer permission required to change fees, service options or contract terms
- carriers would be required to clearly state the real cost of any deals or promotions
- carriers to provide customers with info about cyberbullying
These changes would only apply to contracts signed after the law is passed. Other provinces such as Newfoundland and Labrador, Quebec and Manitoba have similar laws. Ontario currently has a similar law in process.
John MacDonell, Nova Scotia’s minister responsible for consumer affairs, said some service providers stuff a lot into their contracts.
“I think quite often you have to take the whole package, and I think sometimes there may be things after they signed up they think, ‘I probably didn’t need that,’” he said.
According to Cameron McNeil from Service Nova Scotia, this law would rebalance the relationship between carriers and their customers:
“What consumers have told us is that they get confused by these introductory offers that are made and are unaware that after a period of time, whether it be three months or six months or whatever, that that introductory rate goes away, and then they’re back onto a regular rate and they feel they’ve been … broadsided by that,” he said.
This is fantastic news for Nova Scotians. It’s only a matter of time before other provinces jump on board to similar laws.