Most major cellphone companies, such as Rogers and Fido, already have these rules in place. But beginning September 15, 2012, it will be the law.
These new rules will protect consumers from the death grip of some cellphone providers:
* requires companies to provide a copy of the contract to consumers before the contract begins;
* requires companies to fully disclose and explain all charges, fees and terms;
* restricts companies from making unilateral changes to contract terms;
* allows consumers to cancel contracts at any time for a reasonable cancellation fee;
* requires the minimum monthly cost to be included in cellphone advertisements;
* restricts automatic cellphone contract renewals; and
* increases consumer protection for cellphone contracts not signed in person including contracts made over the Internet.
“Manitoba now has some of the best consumer protection laws in Canada for cellphone contracts. These new rules will make it even easier to understand the costs and terms of cellphone contracts,” said Housing and Community Development Minister Kerri Irvin-Ross.
Companies will still be allowed to offer contracts that are three years or longer, and charge fees to unlock a cell phone or provide paper bills. However, the charges, fees and terms of these services now must be clearly disclosed in the cellphone contract.
Just in time for the iPhone 5!