Canadian Wireless newbie Wind Mobile wants the federal and provincial governments to provide better consumer protection for users of mobile phones.
“All Canadians should be offered similar protection,” Wind Mobile chairman Anthony Lacavera said this morning, citing such possibilities as reducing early contract termination fees. Quoth the Globe and Mail:
Wind Mobile has filed a submission to the Manitoba government’s public consultation paper on improving consumer protection for cellphone and wireless contracts in that province.
Wind said it applauds Manitoba as well as Quebec for taking leadership on consumer protection in the wireless market.
Quebec has legislation that limits cancellation fees and stops companies from automatically renewing contracts.
And Lacavera also noted that a private member’s bill was recently introduced in the Ontario legislature to end “unfair” wireless practices.
Unfortunately, overall, consumers have it rough. Anthony noted that a Canadian cancelling an iPhone contract after six months would be on the hook for twice as much as a U.S. consumer.
Competing startup carrier Mobilicity is also calling on governments to support changes to contracts that favour consumers more. Indeed, Mobilicity is publicly opposed to the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association’s position on consumer protection for wireless users in Manitoba: in the words of president and CEO Dave Dobbin, “We deeply disagree with the CWTA’s disregard for the need for more consumer protection not only in the province of Manitoba, but right across our country.”
Unfortunately, these guys are still fresh off the block and don’t carry a lot of clout. But perhaps if they’re persistent enough, something may actually happen—although with the support of the Big Three (Rogers, Bell, Telus), it’s unlikely. And why would the Big Three ever favour the consumer? That’s like one of the Big Five banks not charging fees for basic banking needs. Fat chance.