OTTAWA-GATINEAU, Oct. 11, 2012 /CNW/ - Today, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) launched a public consultation to obtain Canadians' views on a new code for retail wireless services, such as cellphones and other personal mobile devices. Following this consultation, a public hearing will begin on January 28, 2013, in Gatineau, Que.
"Our goal is to make sure that Canadians have the tools they need to make informed choices in a competitive marketplace," said Jean-Pierre Blais, Chairman of the CRTC. "In the past, Canadians have told us that contracts are confusing, and that terms and conditions can vary greatly from one company to another. We are asking them to assist us in developing a code that will help them better understand their rights as consumers and the responsibilities of wireless companies."
Canadians are therefore invited to share their views on:
- The terms and conditions that should be addressed by a code for cellphones and mobile devices
- to whom the code should apply
- how the code should be enforced, and
- how the code's effectiveness should be assessed.
Comments will be accepted until November 20, 2012. Canadians can participate in this proceeding by:
- filling out the online form https://services.crtc.gc.ca/pub/instances-proceedings/Default-Defaut.aspx?S=O&PA=T&PT=A&PST=A&Lang=eng
- writing to the Secretary General, CRTC, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0N2, or
- sending a fax, at 819-994-0218.
The CRTC will also hold an online consultation to promote further discussion among Canadians on the issues and questions raised by this proceeding. Details of the online consultation will be announced shortly.
Telecom Notice of Consultation CRTC 2012-557 Telecom Decision CRTC 2012-556
The CRTC is an independent public authority that regulates and supervises broadcasting and telecommunications in Canada.
Additional information on the code for cellphones and other mobile devices
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) is in the process of establishing a code for retail wireless services, such as cellphones and other personal mobile devices. The code is intended to enhance the content and clarity of wireless contracts. The CRTC has developed a preliminary list of provisions that could be included in the code, but is also welcoming suggestions of any other provisions that would benefit Canadians.
Canadians are invited to share their views, by November 20, 2012, on whether the code should include:
1) Clarity of contract terms and conditions
- a provision that contracts must be written in plain language
- a provision that sets out specific issues that must be addressed in a contract to ensure clarity and completeness, and
- a provision that sets out how and when service providers must provide contracts or service agreements to customers
2) Changes to contract terms and conditions
- a provision that addresses the conditions under which a service provider may amend contract terms for mobile wireless services
3) Contract cancellation, expiration and renewal
- a provision that addresses the conditions under which consumers may terminate their mobile wireless contracts early, including how cancellation fees may be applied, and
- a provision that addresses the conditions under which contracts may expire or be renewed automatically
4) Clarity of advertised prices
- a provision that addresses clarity of advertised prices of services included in a contract, such as monthly and one-time charges for mobile wireless services, including optional services, devices, data and roaming, and any associated fees, and
- a provision that service providers may not charge consumers for optional mobile wireless services they have not ordered
5) Application of the Code to bundles of telecommunications services
- a provision that the wireless code would apply equally to mobile wireless services purchased separately or as part of a bundle of telecommunications and broadcasting distribution services
6) Notification of additional fees
- a provision that addresses the conditions under which a provider must notify customers that they have exceeded the limits of their service agreements and will incur additional fees, and
- a provision that consumers with capped or metered billing of mobile wireless services be provided with adequate tools to monitor usage
7) Privacy policies
- a provision that addresses how service providers must disclose, and notify customers of amendments to, their privacy policies
8) Hardware warranties and related issues
- a provision that addresses how service providers disclose hardware warranty policies and extended warranty policies
- a provision that addresses how service charges will apply while the handset is being repaired, and
- a provision that addresses the conditions under which a handset may be unlocked
9) Loss or theft of hardware
- a provision that addresses how service charges and contract terms will be applied if the customer's handset is lost or stolen
10) Security deposits
- a provision that addresses the conditions under which a service provider may request a security deposit
- a provision that establishes a maximum amount for security deposits, and
- a provision that establishes the conditions under which a service provider must return security deposits
- a provision that addresses the conditions under which a service provider may disconnect mobile wireless services
SOURCE: Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission
For further information:
Tel: 819-997-9403, Fax: 819-997-4245
Tel: 819-997-0313, TDD: 819-994-0423, Fax: 819-994-0218
Toll-free # 1-877-249-CRTC (2782)
TDD - Toll-free # 1-877-909-CRTC (2782)
These documents are available in alternative format upon request.