Nova Scotia rings in new cellphone rules
New provincial law in effect to stop service providers from altering contracts
Cellphone users in Nova Scotia who sign new contracts as of Wednesday are now able to cancel their contracts for a fraction of current rates.
The province’s changes to the Consumer Protection Act are now in effect.
The changes mandate that all contracts will expire at the end of the set term unless the customer requests an extension or renewal. Customers can now get out of those contracts for a penalty of no more than $50. They may, however, be responsible for buying their phones.
Service providers are no longer allowed to change the fine print and alter fees unless the cellphone user agrees.
As well, when new customers sign up, they will be given an information sheet on how to be a responsible "digital citizen."
The changes to the Consumer Protection Act were introduced last year. The regulations don’t apply to contracts signed before May 1, 2013.
Several groups have lauded the new rules, including Students Nova Scotia.
Similar changes have been implemented in other provinces. Quebec was the first to tackle cellphone problems in 2009 when it stopped the automatic renewal of contracts and made sure customers weren’t surprised by expensive text messaging fees.
With files from The Canadian Press