Pro-consumer move to ensure clarity and choice long overdue for Ontario residents
TORONTO, April 12, 2012 /CNW/ - WIND Mobile today commended the Government of Ontario on its introduction of legislation to protect wireless consumers in Ontario, something WIND Mobile has been actively advocating for years. The legislation, which would simplify and create greater transparency in wireless contracts, would also limit the ability of large wireless carriers to charge anticompetitive early termination fees and punitive charges.
"Hats off to the Government of Ontario for demonstrating leadership on consumer protection in the wireless market," said Anthony Lacavera, Chairman and CEO of WIND Mobile. "As longstanding champions of wireless choice for Canadians, WIND Mobile is glad to see Ontario taking strides to promote real competition and protect consumers from unfair practices. This is a good day for consumer protection."
The Ontario legislation is similar to consumer protection legislation passed in the provinces of Manitoba and Quebec and currently introduced in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. Those various statutes contain a number of provisions designed to give residents greater protection in their interactions with wireless carriers.
"Everyone wins with greater competition. We are happy Ontario has recognized that mandatory clear rules and effective enforcement tools are necessary to ensure that consumers can make informed choices and act on those choices, which is what is needed to keep the traditional wireless carriers from abusing their market power," added Lacavera. "It shows that the Government of Ontario understands that competition is not just allowing new providers into the marketplace. We also need to remove the barriers that prevent consumers from taking advantage of increased choice and better value. The proposed legislation promises to do just that. All Canadians should be offered similar protection and I hope other provinces will follow suit."
Canada's wireless sector has historically suffered from a high degree of concentration and insufficient competition. Market mechanisms and self-regulation alone have not been enough to protect Canadian consumers from abusive practices of the dominant wireless carrriers, such as activation fees, system access fee and relatively long (three year) contracts. For example, according to a 2010 study, "Death Grip: Caught in a Contract and Cannot Quit", at 24-36 months, typical Canadian postpaid contract terms are the longest in the world. The same report noted that a Canadian seeking to cancel his or her iPhone after 6 months would pay a about twice as much as an American - An AT & T customer would pay $256, while a customer of one of the Big Three would pay between $500 and $600.
About WIND Mobile
WIND Mobile provides voice, text and data services to Canadians on a next-generation wireless network and is committed to offering a level of wireless service presently not available in Canada. WIND is built on actual conversations that are happening with Canadians who are passionate about wireless and creating a better mobile offering nationally. For more information about WIND Mobile, please visit www.WINDmobile.ca.
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Senior Manager, Media & PR, WIND Mobile 647.700.5071