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Community reaction to Nova Scotia's planned cellphone contracts changes

Categories: Canada

 The maximum fee to cancel a cellphone contract in Nova Scotia would be $50 if a bill becomes law. (Canadian Press)Nova Scotia plans to regulate cellphone contracts so that customers can cancel their agreements at any time for no more than $50.

The NDP government introduced a proposed law today to unlock cellphone plans and do away with hidden fees.

Customers who cancel early would still have to buy out their equipment.

Newfoundland and Labrador, Quebec and Manitoba have similar laws, while Ontario has one in the works.

The CBC Community welcomed the news, many of whom erupted in simple and joyous celebration.

"Finally." - jennam04
"Hallelujah!" - Jmac4444
"This is excellent news!" - gurn22
"Nice." - good1961
Readers also shared their grievances of expensive cellphone bills and cancellation charges, and hoped the new laws signaled a wider change in Canada's wireless market.

"GREAT news! The cell carriers have been abusing customers for far too long. Get some more competition too!" - Bill_comments

"This is a great start, however we shouldn't be complacent. Considering we are charged some of the highest rates in the world for cellular service, we still have a long way to go." - wpgplumber

"I never had a problem with contracts if it was to subsidize an expensive phone, and if the cancellation charge was fair relative to the subsidy, it actually makes sense. I didn't however, enjoy the practice of forcing you to sign a contract regardless of whether you were buying a subsidized phone or not. Then, the cancellation fee is a bit ridiculous." - redefinescience

"If the phone balance has to be paid off anyway, why should there be ANY fee to cancel a contract? A customer receives bad service and wants to switch to another provider, so the old provider screws him over once again. Bam! We should all buy our phone outright, one that can be used with all or most providers, and get a 'pay as you go' plan." - ZeeBeeCee
To others, the cancellation fee change was just the first step in what they said are a number of changes needed in the market.

"How about this becomes a nationwide law?" - strongsilenttype

"They should go one step further and make it illegal to sell a locked phone. There are other countries in the world that when you say you have a locked cellphone they're like 'huh? what do you mean?' That's because in their countries locked phones do not exist." - red_fox

"Next should be roaming charges - another rip off." - BillKelley
A few commented that customers might be to blame themselves for the exuberant charges, but were met with heated rebuttals about over-complicated contract agreements that don't make an effort to tell buyers about all possible charges and rate increases.

"Honestly though, people who fall into these traps deserve to pay the extra sum of money. They're the ones who signed the detailed contracts which stated the terms. Maybe if people actually paid attention to what they were getting themselves into then we'd all be better off." - Samsung88

"Yeah? Well if those terms and conditions were made plain and not buried in the ultra-fine print, how come we hear about cell bills in the tens of thousands of dollars? It doesn't matter if the details are there, they have to be apparent." - KiltedGuy
"If a person can't obey the terms and conditions of a contract THEY sign, then why the heck are they signing it in the first place?" - S. Leblanc

"Have you ever looked at these contracts? Some of them are 100 pages long of fine print and include clauses the whole way through to let the cell company adjust them whenever." - VerbTheAdjectiveNoun
A recent Go Public story put the spotlight on an exceptional case where a B.C. father refused to pay a $1,400 bill received from Rogers after his teenage son was charged for sending hundreds of texts to his girlfriend, despite a contract that includes unlimited texting in Canada.

Thanks as always for your feedback and discussion.

What do you think of the new and proposed laws to regulate cellphone bills and cancellation charges? Do they go too far, or not far enough? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Related Link: Do we need a law to regulate cell phone bills?

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