A better cell phone deal for B.C.

A better cell phone deal for B.C.

UPDATE July 2, 2019: This campaign is now closed. Close to 3,000 people signed on to the petition by the deadline of July 2nd and signatures were delivered to the government during a stakeholder meeting on July 8th. You can still sign this form to sign up to our list and stay up to date on the latest actions you can take to improve the cell phone market in Canada.


The B.C. government announced its plan to bring in new customer protections for cell phone users. As part of this initiative, they have launched a brief consultation to hear about your experience with cell phone contracts and billing.1

This is a rare opportunity to implement ground-breaking provincial regulations on cell phone contracts that can complement weak federal regulations, but the B.C. government needs to hear from you to know this is an important issue.

Will you sign this petition calling for improved customer protections and transparency in the cell phone market?

We will deliver this petition alongside OpenMedia’s policy recommendations to the B.C. government.

Click here to read the petition text

To the B.C. Government,

People in Canada pay some of the highest cell phone bills in the world and are often subject to predatory contracts and misleading advertising. We call on the B.C. government to improve cell phone customer protections by:

Increasing contract and billing transparency

  • Ensure cell phone contracts and bills are written in plain language that can be easily understood by all users.
  • Clearly inform the customer of all the fees they will incur when purchasing or making changes to a plan.
  • Separate the cost of the plan from the cost of the device in cell phone bills.
  • Eliminate cancellation fees for term contracts as long as the full cost of the device has been paid off.
  • Limit contract length to a maximum of 2 years.

Improving advertising and sales standards

  • Advertise the full cost of a plan, including all extra fees.
  • Clearly outline any restrictions or limitations relating to a cell phone plan.
  • Clearly outline the length of a special or promotional price and the full price the customer will have to pay once the promotional period ends.
  • Define the use of advertising keywords, such as ‘unlimited’ or ‘5G’ to prevent misleading advertising.

Creating strong enforcement mechanisms

  • Create an accessible and reliable complaints mechanism for customers.
  • Establish significant fines and penalties for companies that violate customer rights.
  • Integrate consumer protections found in the CRTC’s Wireless Code of Conduct into the B.C. Consumer Protection Act to give people in B.C. the ability to launch class action lawsuits when companies violate customer rights.

Finally, we recognize that issues of cell phone affordability cannot be sufficiently addressed by the provincial government alone. We urge the B.C. government to pressure the federal government to take action to ensure everyone has access to affordable and reliable wireless services.

This campaign is hosted by OpenMedia. We will protect your privacy, and keep you informed about this campaign and others. Find OpenMedia's privacy policy here.

The Big Three have been misleading and ripping off British Columbians through cell phone contracts for far too long and this is our best chance to stop that.

Current regulations under the Canadian Radio-television Telecommunications Commission’s (CRTC) Wireless Code of Conduct have weak enforcement mechanisms and loopholes the Big Three use to take advantage of customers.2 This is making life more expensive for everyday people in B.C. and is allowing major companies like Bell to get away with predatory practices and misleading advertising.

British Columbians can’t rely on the federal Wireless Code and we need the provincial government to step up regulations through the B.C. Consumer Protection Act. Made-in-B.C. rules can help stop misleading advertising and increase contract and billing transparency.

If our elected leaders hear from people like you, they can use your stories and your support to stand up to the Big Three by improving customer protections and ramping up the pressure on the federal government to bring more affordable mobile plans to everyone across the country.

Other provinces like Quebec, Manitoba, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Nova Scotia, have passed provincial level legislation to protect wireless service customers over the past decade, bringing greater protections to the people in these provinces.3-5

Now it’s B.C.’s turn to stand up to Big Telecom!

This action is hosted by:

Footnotes:

[1] Cell Phone Billing Transparency - Government of BC

[2] Cell phone unlocking charges and unreadable contracts are now banned - CBC

[3] An Act to amend the Consumer Protection Act and other legislative provisions - Quebec National Assembly

[4] Distance Service Contracts - Service NL

[5] Fairer Cellphone Rules for Manitobans - Government of Manitoba

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Press: Laura Tribe | Phone: +1 (888) 441-2640 ext. 0 | Office: +1 (844) 891-5136 | laura@openmedia.org