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Consumer-Friendly Cell Phone Legislation in Effect on Saturday

September 13, 2012 4:48 PM | News

A new law in Manitoba to make cell phone contracts more transparent will go into effect on Saturday.

The legislation will require wireless providers to provide a copy of the contract to consumers before the contract begins, requires them to fully disclose and explain all charges, fees and terms, and restricts companies from making unilateral changes to contract terms.

“Today, many families depend on cellphones,” said Healthy Living, Seniors and Consumer Affairs Minister Jim Rondeau. “This new legislation will help Manitobans get the cell phone contract that is right for their family by ensuring service providers give them the information they need to make informed decisions.

Companies will also have to allow consumers to cancel contracts at any time for a reasonable cancellation fee, and restricts automatic contract renewals.

The province’s Consumer Protection Office will monitor industry practices to ensure compliance with the new legislation. Businesses that do not comply may be issued administrative penalties of up to $1,000 for the first offence, $3,000 for the second offence and $5,000 for all subsequent offences.