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.