Private bill takes aim at greedy phone companies

Proposed Ontario law would follow law passed by Quebec last summer to give cell phone users greater protection.

Toronto (17 Nov. 2010) - Ontario MPP David Orazietti has introduced a private bill in the Ontario legislature to crack down on confusing mobile phone contracts and high fees.

Designed to help customers of cellphone companies, the Liberal member says the legislation would stop certain unfair practices by wireless service providers if it is passed.

Among other things, it would reduce cancellation fees and make advertising and the costs more transparent and clarify contracts.

It would also force companies to unlock service to any phone once it's paid for or no longer bound by a contract, allowing consumers to switch to alternate providers.

Quebec implemented legislation in July that limits cancellation fees and stops companies from automatically renewing contracts.

Private member's bills rarely become law in Ontario but the Liberal government of Premier Dalton McGuinty has previously backed two of Orazietti's bills — including a ban on smoking in cars with kids.

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