CWTA gives a couple warning signals on the proposed Nova Scotia cellphone contract changes

Last Friday a press release went out by John MacDonell, Nova Scotia’s minister responsible for consumer affairs, that proposed a few wireless changes to the Consumer Protection Act. Most notably, allowing customers to cancel their service at anytime and capping the cancellation fee at $50. These changes alone would be incredibly welcomed – the full list of proposed amendements can be viewed here.

However, as sweet as these sound, the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (CWTA) seems to have mixed feelings about the proposal. According to an email we received from Marc Choma, CWTA Communications Director, there’s some warning signals that consumers should be aware of, specifically if your contract with a carrier ends and/or porting your number to a new carrier. There’s still a great deal of work that needs to be completed before the government agrees to make these changes, but the CWTA’s email is below… have a read and let us know your thoughts in the comments:

Nova Scotia is leaving more detail to the regulations than other provinces have done, so we’ll have to see how that process unfolds before we know exactly what the impact will be on Nova Scotia consumers. But one thing that Nova Scotia is doing that no other province is doing, and nowhere else in the world that we know of is doing, is requiring carriers to immediately cut off a customer’s service as soon as their contract ends, rather than putting them onto a month-to-month basis at the same rates. So as a Nova Scotia customer, if you don’t proactively renew your service, you’ll wake up one day and your cell phone won’t work because of this law.

As well, because only an active telephone number is eligible for porting, Nova Scotians will be at risk from losing their phone number completely and prevented from taking their phone number with them to a different provider.

We also think it’s inappropriate to use a law to force companies doing business in Nova Scotia to provide their customers with messages the government wants them to hear, even if it has nothing to do with the service being provided. This issue will also have to be looked at from a legal perspective.”