Manitoba Launches Consultation on Cell Phone Contracts
December 16, 2010
Tags: cellphones / consumer protection / manitoba
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While I’m not a Manitoban, I’d hope that actual stakeholders can comment on the ‘bundling’ of cell phone subsidy contracts into the plan price. This doesn’t seem to be mentioned in their paper, and in my opinion is one of the more egregious consumer violations in most contracts.
There is no incentive for the customer to continue using an old device, or bring their own device, since the monthly cost is the same whether you take the subsidy or not. This encourages people to enter contracts they don’t really need to enter and actually consider whether they want to buy a new phone or not when theirs runs out.
I have no trouble with providers subsidizing the hardware, but it should be a completely separate contract from the phone service. This would also neatly clear up cancellation issues by allowing the customer to cancel their service contract but retain the phone loan contract (or buy it out).
Other than that, the improvements they’re looking at sound good and mostly necessary. I imagine they will get good public support for their suggestions.