Wednesday 5 June 2013

Is the Ontario Wireless Legislation Now Required?

As noted in this blog, a new national CRTC Wireless Code will come into effect on 02 Dec 2013.

The question I now have is what impact will this have on the proposed Ontario wireless code first announced in April 2012 and re-introduced in April 2013 with minor adjustments. This was discussed in this blog.   

Based on information available in public sources, most of the major points identified for inclusion in the Ontario legislation are included in the CRTC Wireless Code.

The only significant differences, in my opinion, are:
a     The Ontario proposal allows customers to cancel their agreement within a year of signing and get a full refund if wireless companies don't abide by all the rules in the proposed legislation. There is no similar proposal in the CRTC Wireless Code.

b.     The CRTC Wireless Code identifies how the customer complaint process will be handle d  through the  Commissioner for Complaints for telecommunications Services Inc. (CCTS)  while the Ontario proposals to date does not identify how customer complaints will be handled.

Unfortunately, neither proposal identifies what the sanctions for non-compliance are, how they will be applies, who will benefit if financial sanctions are to be applied and what the timeline for complaint resolution will be.
I am not sure the provincial legislation is any longer required except for the PR image it may create. In fact it may hurt customers more than help.
If the vendors have to create and monitor separate contracts and wording for each individual provincial jurisdiction they operate in, there is little doubt the cost of the requirement will be passed on to the customer somewhere along the chain.   
Perhaps all that is required is a one or two line bill that simply states that the CRTC Wireless Code will be the law in Ontario.  

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