Consumer rights group wants a Wireless Code

Consumer rights group wants a Wireless Code

Consumer rights group the Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) is pushing for the creation of a comprehensive “Wireless Code” that it claims could solve many of the aggravating problems that consumers have with wireless service providers.

Representing the Consumers’ Association of Canada and Council of Senior Citizens’ Organizations of British Columbia in oral hearings before the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) on Monday, PIAC discussed closing loopholes and improving the CRTC’s draft Wireless Code. According to PIAC, the code has the potential to revolutionize consumer rights to receive fair and understandable service from their cellphone providers.

“Canadians need a Wireless Code to improve contracts, allow them to switch carriers without unfair termination fees, and limit bill shock,” said John Lawford, co-counsel for PIAC, in a statement. “We will ensure the CRTC takes its responsibility to get this right for consumers very seriously.”

PIAC focused on five key areas of consumer protection in its statement:

* Notification of extra charges and monetary caps on those charges
* Prohibition of unilateral changes to contracts by wireless companies
* A fair termination fee formula so consumers know the cost of switching carriers
* Unlocking of cellphones
* Effective enforcement of the Wireless Code

“We emphasized the collective responsibility of wireless carriers, the CRTC and consumer groups to respond to the needs of wireless consumers,” said Janet Lo, co-counsel for PIAC, in a statement. “Consumers want and deserve a Wireless Code now.”

The CRTC help public hearings on a Wireless Code this week. (Photo: Shutterstock)

The CRTC has said previously that a code is needed because consumers are often confused about the terms and conditions of their wireless contracts, which vary greatly from company to company. The code is to cover services such as those related to smartphones, texting, voice, mobile Internet and video access via smartphones.

Source | PIAC

 

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Jeff Jedras
Jeff Jedras
Jeff Jedras is a technology journalist with IT World Canada and a member of the IT Business team. He began his career in technology journalism in the late 1990s, covering the Ottawa technology sector for Silicon Valley North and the Ottawa Business Journal. He later covered the technology scene in Vancouver before joining IT World Canada in Toronto in 2005, covering enterprise IT for ComputerWorld Canada and the channel for Computer Dealer News. His writing has also appeared in the Vancouver Sun & the Ottawa Citizen.

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