40:1 Bill 82, Wireless Services Agreements Act, 2012

Best, Hon Margarett R. Minister of Consumer Services

Viewing: Original (current version) pdf

Bill 82                                                          2012

An Act to strengthen consumer protection with respect to consumer agreements relating to wireless services accessed from a cellular phone, smart phone or any other similar mobile device

Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Ontario, enacts as follows:

CONTENTS

Interpretation and Application

1.

Purpose

2.

Definitions

3.

Application of Act

4.

Anti-avoidance

5.

Application of Consumer Protection Act, 2002

6.

Agreements not binding

Consumer Rights

7.

Clear disclosure of information

8.

Advertising

9.

Information and opportunity to consumer before entering into agreement

10.

Disclosure in agreement

11.

Cancellation for non-disclosure

12.

Period of no billing

13.

Notice of exceeding minimum cost

14.

No unilateral amendment by supplier

15.

No automatic renewal or extension of agreements

16.

Payments made under improper amendment, renewal or extension

17.

Cancellation by consumer at any time

18.

Right of action if no refund

19.

Return of security deposit

20.

Cancellation by supplier, agreement with security deposit

21.

Cancellation by supplier, amounts owing

General

22.

Offences

23.

Regulations

Commencement and Short Title

24.

Commencement

25.

Short title

______________

 

Interpretation and Application

Purpose

   1.  The purpose of this Act is to protect consumers who enter into agreements with suppliers for wireless services accessed from a cellular phone, a smart phone or any other similar mobile device.

Definitions

   2.  In this Act,

“consumer” means an individual acting for personal, family or household purposes and does not include a person who is acting for business purposes; (“consommateur”)

“minimum cost” means the minimum amount payable by a consumer for the services provided under a wireless agreement, expressed as a regular periodic amount, regardless of the consumer’s usage of the services; (“prix minimal”)

“Minister” means the Minister of Consumer Services or any other member of the Executive Council to whom responsibility for the administration of this Act is assigned or transferred under the Executive Council Act; (“ministre”)

“optional service” means, in respect of a wireless agreement, a wireless service for which the consumer is required to pay more than the minimum cost; (“service facultatif”)

“prescribed” means prescribed by the regulations made under this Act; (“prescrit”)

“supplier” means a person who is in the business of selling, leasing or trading in goods or services or is otherwise in the business of providing goods or services, and includes an agent of the supplier and a person who holds oneself out to be a supplier or an agent of the supplier; (“fournisseur”)

“trade-in allowance” means the greater of,

  (a)  the price or value of the consumer’s goods or services as set out in a trade-in arrangement, and

  (b)  the market value of the consumer’s goods or services when taken in trade under a trade-in arrangement; (“valeur de reprise”)

“trade-in arrangement” means an arrangement under which a consumer agrees to sell his or her own goods or services to the supplier and the supplier accepts the goods or services as all or part of the consideration for supplying goods or services; (“convention de reprise”)

“wireless agreement” means an agreement between a supplier and a consumer in which the supplier agrees to provide wireless services that the consumer can access from a cellular phone, a smart phone or any other similar mobile device, whether or not the supplier agrees to provide goods to the consumer under the agreement. (“convention de services sans fil”)

Application of Act

   3.  (1)  This Act applies in respect of all transactions relating to a wireless agreement if the transaction takes place on or after the day this Act comes into force and the consumer or the person engaging in the transaction with the consumer is located in Ontario when the transaction takes place.

Definition

   (2)  In subsection (1),

“transaction” means any act or instance of conducting business or other dealings with a consumer, including a wireless agreement.

Application ceases

   (3)  This Act ceases to apply to a wireless agreement if it is amended, renewed or extended on or after the day this Act comes into force and none of the parties is located in Ontario at the time it is so amended, renewed or extended.

Anti-avoidance

   4.  In determining whether this Act applies to an entity or agreement, a court or other tribunal shall consider the real substance of the entity or agreement and in so doing may disregard the outward form.

Application of Consumer Protection Act, 2002

   5.  (1)  In addition to the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act, 2002 that apply to a wireless agreement and the parties to it, sections 6, 7, 11, 12, 92, 94, 98 to 101, 103, 107 to 115 and 117 to 120 of that Act apply to a wireless agreement and the parties to it, reading,

  (a)  references to a consumer agreement as references to a wireless agreement;

  (b)  references to that Act as references to this Act;

   (c)  references to matters that are prescribed as references to matters prescribed under that Act; and

  (d)  references to the regulations in those provisions, except for section 92 of that Act, as references to the regulations made under that Act and the regulations made under this Act.

Exception

   (2)  Despite the Consumer Protection Act, 2002, Part IV and sections 93, 95 and 96 of that Act do not apply to a wireless agreement if this Act applies to it as a result of section 3.

Conflict

   (3)  In the event of a conflict between this Act and the Consumer Protection Act, 2002, this Act prevails.

Agreements not binding

   6.  (1)  A wireless agreement is not binding on the consumer unless the agreement is made in accordance with this Act, the regulations made under this Act, the Consumer Protection Act, 2002 and the regulations made under that Act.

Court may order consumer bound

   (2)  Despite subsection (1), a court may order that a consumer is bound by all or a portion or portions of a wireless agreement, even if the agreement has not been made in accordance with this Act, the regulations made under this Act, the Consumer Protection Act, 2002 and the regulations made under that Act if the court determines that it would be inequitable in the circumstances for the consumer not to be bound.

Consumer Rights

Clear disclosure of information

   7.  If a supplier is required to disclose information to a consumer under this Act or the regulations made under it, the supplier shall disclose the information in a manner that is clear, comprehensible and prominent and shall deliver the information in a form in which the consumer can retain it.

Advertising

   8.  (1)  If information on the cost to a consumer is included in any advertising with respect to a wireless agreement, the supplier shall ensure that the information includes an all-inclusive cost, other than the harmonized sales tax payable under Part IX of the Excise Tax Act (Canada), that shows,

  (a)  the total cost payable by the consumer over the term of the agreement, if the agreement is for a fixed term;

  (b)  the minimum cost, if the agreement is for no fixed term; and

   (c)  all costs, if any, payable by the consumer under the agreement that are not periodic costs and that are payable in addition to the minimum cost and the harmonized sales tax, if the agreement is for no fixed term.

Prominence

   (2)  The supplier shall ensure that the all-inclusive cost is the most prominent cost information on the advertising.

Consequence

   (3)  If information on the cost to a consumer is included in any advertising with respect to a wireless agreement, the supplier shall not demand, request or accept payment from the consumer in excess of the all-inclusive cost, other than the harmonized sales tax payable under Part IX of the Excise Tax Act (Canada), shown in the advertising in respect of the offer that the consumer accepts.

Information and opportunity to consumer before entering into agreement

   9.  Before entering into a wireless agreement, a supplier shall bring to the attention of the consumer the information set out in paragraphs 2, 3, 5 and 7 to 19 of subsection 10 (1) and shall provide the consumer with an express opportunity to accept or decline the agreement and to correct errors in it.

Disclosure in agreement

   10.  (1)  A supplier under a wireless agreement shall ensure that the agreement is in writing and that it discloses the following information:

    1.  The name of the consumer.

    2.  The name of the supplier and, if different, the name under which the supplier carries on business.

    3.  The telephone number of the supplier, the address of the premises from which the supplier conducts business and information respecting other ways, if any, in which the consumer can contact the supplier, such as by contacting a fax number or an electronic mail address.

    4.  The date on which the agreement is entered into.

    5.  The term of the agreement.

    6.  The expiry date, if any, of the agreement as agreed to by the parties to the agreement.

    7.  A description that itemizes each of the services, including optional services, that the consumer can access under the agreement and the effect of each of the services on costs payable by the consumer, including, where applicable,

            i.  a statement of the minimum cost,

           ii.  a statement of the maximum usage of each of the services before the consumer will become liable for costs not included in the minimum cost,

          iii.  a description of all restrictions on each of the services under the agreement, including, without limitation, restrictions relating to the time of day, day of the week, technological features or geography that will result in the consumer becoming liable for costs not included in the minimum cost and a description of how the cost payable by the consumer is calculated in those circumstances,

          iv.  an explanation as to how the cost payable by the consumer for each optional service is calculated, including, without limitation,

                  A.  a description of any restrictions on the optional services that will result in an increase in the cost payable for using the services and a description of how the cost payable for the increase is calculated, and

                  B.  the cost payable for additional minutes or additional data usage beyond the amount covered by the minimum cost,

           v.  a description of all services under the agreement provided at a discount, the amount of the discount and the duration of the discount, and

          vi.  a description of all other costs payable by the consumer under the agreement, including charges, penalties, interest, sign-up fees, system activation fees and other amounts or consideration and a statement of the amount of those costs or how the amount is calculated.

    8.  The manner of easily obtaining information on the cost payable by the consumer for services that the consumer can access under the agreement without the need for a separate agreement and for which the cost payable by the consumer is not included in the minimum cost, if the supplier cannot establish it at the time of entering into the agreement.

    9.  A description of any goods that the supplier provides in connection with the agreement, including any goods that the supplier provides to the consumer free of charge or at a discount as an inducement for entering into the agreement or not cancelling the agreement.

  10.  If the supplier provides goods free of charge or at a discount as an economic inducement to the consumer for entering into the agreement or not cancelling the agreement and if the supplier may be entitled to some payment with respect to those goods if the agreement is cancelled, an estimate made by the supplier in good faith of the retail price of each of those goods and the value of the inducement.

  11.  A statement indicating whether any of the goods that the supplier provides in connection with the agreement are used or reconditioned.

  12.  A statement indicating whether any of the goods that the supplier provides in connection with the agreement are subject to any technological or physical features that restrict their functioning to a service provided by the supplier or another service provider and, if so, a statement of the duration of the restriction.

  13.  If the agreement includes a trade-in arrangement, a statement to that effect, a description of the arrangement and the amount of the trade-in allowance.

  14.  A description of any manufacturer’s warranty or other conditions and warranties that apply, at no additional cost, to any goods provided to the consumer free of charge or by sale, whether or not at a discount, in connection with a wireless agreement, including,

            i.  what is covered under the warranty,

           ii.  the duration of the warranty, and

          iii.  how the consumer can make a claim under the warranty.

  15.  The terms and methods of payments payable by the consumer under the agreement, including,

            i.  the currency in which amounts are expressed, if not in Canadian currency, and

           ii.  any charges for choosing paper or other formats for bills.

  16.  The total amount, if any, payable by the consumer before or at the time of entering into the agreement, the minimum amount payable by the consumer for each billing period and the amounts, if any, payable by the consumer at the end of the agreement.

  17.  The manner of calculating the amounts that the consumer is required to pay to the supplier if the consumer cancels the agreement under section 17.

  18.  The rights, if any, in relation to cancellations, returns, exchanges and refunds that the supplier agrees the consumer will have in addition to the rights under the Consumer Protection Act, 2002 and under this Act.

  19.  All other prescribed matters.

Copy of agreement to consumer

   (2)  A supplier under a wireless agreement shall deliver a copy of the agreement to the consumer as soon as practicable after entering into the agreement or by the prescribed time, if a time is prescribed.

Cancellation for non-disclosure

   11.  (1)  A consumer under a wireless agreement may cancel it within one year after entering into the agreement if the agreement does not meet the requirements of subsection 10 (1) or if the supplier does not comply with subsection 10 (2).

Notice of cancellation

   (2)  To exercise the right described in subsection (1), the consumer shall give notice to the supplier.

Time of cancellation

   (3)  If a consumer cancels a wireless agreement under this section, then subject to subsection (5), the cancellation takes effect when the consumer gives the notice mentioned in subsection (2).

Return of goods

   (4)  If the consumer received goods from the supplier, either free of charge or at a discount, in connection with the wireless agreement, the supplier may, within 15 days of receiving the notice of cancellation from the consumer, require that the consumer return the goods to the supplier.

Time of cancellation

   (5)  If the supplier requires the consumer to return goods under subsection (4), the cancellation is not effective until the time that the consumer returns the goods unless otherwise prescribed.

Effect of cancellation

   (6)  If a cancellation of a wireless agreement made under this section has taken effect, the agreement is void and the supplier shall not demand, request or accept payment for services provided to the consumer under the agreement.

Same

   (7)  If a cancellation of a wireless agreement made under this section has taken effect, the agreement is void and the supplier shall refund to the consumer all amounts paid under the agreement within 15 days of the time that the cancellation takes effect and calculated, if applicable, as specified by the regulations made under this Act.

Period of no billing

   12.  A supplier under a wireless agreement shall not demand, request or accept payment for the services that the consumer does not receive under the agreement if,

  (a)  the supplier has provided goods to the consumer in connection with the agreement;

  (b)  the goods are necessary for the consumer to receive the services and are under warranty;

   (c)  the consumer has returned the goods for repair or replacement in accordance with the warranty; and

  (d)  the supplier has neither provided a replacement to the consumer free of charge for the goods, nor had the goods returned to the consumer once they have been repaired or replaced.

Notice of exceeding minimum cost

   13.  A supplier under a wireless agreement shall have a system in place for providing advance notice to the consumer, at a time that is reasonably close to the time at which the consumer accesses services that will result in a cost payable by the consumer in addition to the minimum cost, that the consumer’s use of those services will result in the additional cost.

No unilateral amendment by supplier

Fixed term agreement

   14.  (1)  No supplier under a wireless agreement that is for a fixed term shall amend the agreement unless the consumer agrees to the amendment explicitly and not merely by implication.

Same

   (2)  For the purpose of subsection (1), an acknowledgement that the consumer has received a proposal by the supplier to amend the wireless agreement does not in itself constitute agreement to the proposal and an agreement by the consumer to an amendment is not valid unless the consumer has received notice of the specifics of the amendment before agreeing to the amendment.

Onus of proof

   (3)  For the purpose of subsection (1), the onus of proving that the consumer agrees to an amendment to a wireless agreement lies with the supplier.

Effective date of amendment

   (4)  An amendment made in accordance with subsection (1) is effective on the date specified in the amendment.

Copy of amended agreement to consumer

   (5)  A supplier under an amended wireless agreement shall deliver a copy of the amended agreement to the consumer within 45 days of the day on which the supplier receives the consumer’s explicit agreement to the amendment.

No fixed term agreement

   (6)  No supplier under a wireless agreement that is for no fixed term shall amend the agreement unless,

  (a)  the agreement authorizes the supplier to amend the agreement by providing a clear and comprehensible written notice that complies with subsection (7) to the consumer at least 30 days and no more than 90 days before the amendment is to come into force; and

  (b)  the supplier provides the notice to the consumer in accordance with clause (a).

Notice of amendment

   (7)  The notice mentioned in subsection (6) shall include an updated copy of the wireless agreement as it will read if amended and shall set out,

  (a)  the provisions of the agreement affected by the amendment showing how they read before the amendment and how they will read if amended;

  (b)  the date that the amendment will come into force;

   (c)  the fact that the consumer may accept the amendment by taking no action in response to the notice; and

  (d)  a statement that the consumer may cancel the agreement in accordance with section 17.

Consumer’s rights

   (8)  The consumer may accept the amendment mentioned in subsection (6) by taking no action in response to the notice given under that subsection or may cancel the agreement under section 17.

Prior rights and obligations of consumer

   (9)  An amendment to a wireless agreement, whether the agreement is for a fixed term or no fixed term, does not retroactively affect rights and obligations acquired by the consumer before the effective date of the amendment.

No effect on renewal or extension

   (10)  A consumer’s agreement to an amendment to a wireless agreement shall not constitute agreement to a renewal or extension of the term of the agreement.

Supplier’s disclosure obligations

   (11)  Section 9 and subsection 10 (1) apply with necessary modifications to an amendment to a wireless agreement under this section.

Improper amendment

   (12)  If a supplier purports to amend a wireless agreement contrary to this Act and the regulations made under it, the amendment is void.

Non-application of section

   (13)  This section does not apply to an amendment of a wireless agreement if the amendment benefits the consumer and does not increase the consumer’s obligations under the agreement.

No automatic renewal or extension of agreements

   15.  (1)  No supplier under a wireless agreement shall renew or extend the agreement unless the consumer agrees to the renewal or extension explicitly and not merely by implication.

New agreement

   (2)  A wireless agreement that is renewed or extended shall constitute a new wireless agreement and is subject to the requirements that apply to entering into a wireless agreement, including those in sections 9 and 10.

Improper renewal or extension

   (3)  If a supplier purports to renew or extend a wireless agreement contrary to this Act and the regulations made under it, the renewal or extension is void.

Payments made under improper amendment, renewal or extension

   16.  If a wireless agreement has been amended, renewed or extended contrary to this Act and the regulations made under it, the supplier shall immediately refund to the consumer all payments that the supplier has accepted or otherwise received from the consumer in respect of the improper amendment, renewal or extension.

Cancellation by consumer at any time

   17.  (1)  A consumer may, at any time and without any reason, cancel a wireless agreement by giving notice to the supplier.

Date of cancellation

   (2)  The cancellation takes effect on the later of the date the consumer gives notice of cancellation to the supplier or the date that the consumer specifies in the notice, which date cannot be later than the expiry date of the term of the wireless agreement if the agreement is for a fixed term.

Effect of cancellation

   (3)  Subject to this section, the cancellation terminates the rights and obligation of the parties under the wireless agreement on a go-forward basis from the date on which the cancellation takes effect.

No goods received free or at a discount, no fixed term agreement

   (4)  If the consumer cancels a wireless agreement with no fixed term and in respect of which the supplier provided no goods to the consumer free of charge or at a discount, the supplier shall not charge the consumer a cancellation fee and shall not demand, request or accept payment for the cancellation.

Same, fixed term agreement

   (5)  If the consumer cancels a wireless agreement with a fixed term and in respect of which the supplier provided no goods to the consumer free of charge or at a discount, the maximum amount that the supplier may charge the consumer as a cancellation fee is the lesser of $50 and an amount representing not more than 10 per cent of the price of the services that were provided for in the agreement but not supplied by the date of cancellation.

Goods received free or at a discount, no fixed term agreement

   (6)  If the consumer cancels a wireless agreement with no fixed term and in respect of which the supplier provided goods to the consumer free of charge or at a discount, the maximum amount that the supplier may charge the consumer as a cancellation fee shall not exceed the amount determined by the following formula:

A – (A × B ÷ 48)

where,

A =  the estimate that the supplier has made in good faith of the value of the economic inducement described in paragraph 10 of subsection 10 (1) and that the supplier is required to disclose under that paragraph,

B =  the number of months that have elapsed under the agreement until the cancellation, counting the final part of a month, if any, as a whole month.

Same, fixed term agreement

   (7)  If the consumer cancels a wireless agreement with a fixed term and in respect of which the supplier provided goods to the consumer free of charge or at a discount, the maximum amount that the supplier may charge the consumer as a cancellation fee shall not exceed the amount determined by the following formula:

A – (A × B ÷ C)

where,

A =  the estimate that the supplier has made in good faith of the value of the economic inducement described in paragraph 10 of subsection 10 (1) and that the supplier is required to disclose under that paragraph,

B =  the number of months that have elapsed under the agreement until the cancellation, counting the final part of a month, if any, as a whole month,

C =  the number of months in the term of the agreement, counting the final part of a month, if any, as a whole month.

Costs payable on cancellation

   (8)  If the consumer cancels a wireless agreement, whether it is for a fixed term or no fixed term, the supplier shall not charge the consumer any fee, charge, penalty, interest or other amount, other than,

  (a)  the cost of any services that the supplier has provided to the consumer under the agreement but for which the consumer has not paid in accordance with the agreement by the date of cancellation; and

  (b)  any cancellation fee permitted under subsections (5), (6) and (7).

Right of action if no refund

   18.  (1)  If a consumer cancels a wireless agreement under section 11 or 17 or has made one or more payments under an improper amendment, renewal or extension of a wireless agreement and if the consumer has not received all of the required refund of payments from the supplier and has provided a demand for the amount owing, the consumer may commence an action in the Superior Court of Justice and the amount that the consumer is entitled to claim shall be three times the part of the required refund that the consumer has not received.

Exemplary or punitive damages

   (2)  In addition to making an order in an action mentioned in subsection (1), the court may order exemplary or punitive damages or whatever other relief that the court considers proper.

Return of security deposit

   19.  (1)  If a consumer under a wireless agreement cancels the agreement in accordance with this Act and the regulations made under it, the supplier shall return to the consumer the security deposit, if any, paid by the consumer, less the amounts, if any, that the supplier has used to pay outstanding amounts due under the agreement, if the agreement authorizes the supplier to make that use.

Interest

   (2)  The amount that the supplier is required to return to the consumer under subsection (1) shall include interest at the rate specified in a Minister’s regulation, if any, made under subsection (3).

Minister’s regulations

   (3)  The Minister may make regulations for the purposes of subsection (2).

Cancellation by supplier, agreement with security deposit

   20.  (1)  If a consumer under a wireless agreement has paid a security deposit under the agreement, the supplier shall not cancel the agreement for failure to pay outstanding amounts under the agreement when they become due if they do not exceed the amount of the deposit.

Notice of use of security deposit

   (2)  If the supplier uses all or part of a security deposit paid under the agreement to satisfy amounts that the consumer does not pay when they become due, the supplier shall notify the consumer in writing when so using the deposit.

Cancellation by supplier, amounts owing

   21.  (1)  If a wireless agreement entitles a supplier to cancel the agreement and the supplier cancels the agreement, the supplier shall not charge the consumer, in respect of the cancellation, an amount in excess of the cancellation fee that the supplier would be entitled to charge under subsection 17 (5), (6) or (7) as applicable if the consumer had cancelled the agreement.

Right of action if no refund

   (2)  Section 18 applies with necessary modifications to any refund owing to a consumer by reason of a cancellation of the agreement by the supplier.

General

Offences

   22.  (1)  A person is guilty of an offence if the person,

  (a)  contravenes or fails to comply with section 7, subsection 8 (1), (2) or (3), section 9, subsection 10 (1) or (2) or 11 (6) or (7), section 12 or 13, subsection 14 (1), (5) or (6) or 15 (1), section 16 or subsection 17 (4) or (8), 19 (1), 20 (1) or (2) or 21 (1); or

  (b)  contravenes or fails to comply with a provision of a regulation made under this Act that the regulation specifies is an offence.

Corporation

   (2)  An officer or director of a corporation is guilty of an offence if he or she fails to take reasonable care to prevent the corporation from committing an offence mentioned in subsection (1).

Attempt

   (3)  Any person who attempts to commit any offence mentioned in subsection (1) is guilty of an offence.

Penalties

   (4)  An individual who is convicted of an offence under this Act is liable to a fine of not more than $50,000 or to imprisonment for a term of not more than two years less a day, or both, and a corporation that is convicted of an offence under this Act is liable to a fine of not more than $250,000.

Limitation

   (5)  No proceeding under this section shall be commenced more than two years after the facts upon which the proceeding is based first came to the knowledge of the Director as defined in the Ministry of Consumer and Business Services Act.

Regulations

   23.  The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations,

  (a)  specifying anything in this Act that is described as being prescribed or specified in the regulations made under this Act;

  (b)  governing the application or non-application of the Consumer Protection Act, 2002 or the Electronic Commerce Act, 2000 or any part of those Acts to this Act;

   (c)  defining, for the purposes of this Act and the regulations made under it, any word or expression that is used in this Act but not defined in this Act;

  (d)  exempting any supplier, wireless agreement, goods or services, any combination of any of them or any class of any of them from any provision of this Act or the regulations, and prescribing conditions or restrictions that apply in respect of an exemption;

  (e)  specifying the form and content of a wireless agreement or any notice, documents or disclosures required under this Act;

    (f)  specifying the form, manner and content of any disclosure that this Act requires with respect to a wireless agreement;

  (g)  requiring a supplier to provide to a consumer under a wireless agreement notice with respect to roaming and other charges payable by the consumer for using the mobile device from which the consumer can access services under the agreement and governing the notice;

   (h)  requiring a supplier to provide to a consumer under a wireless agreement the necessary information to remove limits imposed by particular wireless service providers on using the mobile device from which the consumer can access services under the agreement and governing the information;

    (i)  governing the notice that a consumer must provide to a supplier when exercising a right to cancel a wireless agreement under this Act;

    (j)  governing rights and obligations of consumers and suppliers, in addition to those specified in this Act, with respect to wireless agreements;

   (k)  providing for any transitional matter necessary for the effective implementation of this Act or the regulations.

Commencement and Short Title

Commencement

   24.  This Act comes into force on the first day of the month that begins on or immediately after the day that is six months after the day this Act receives Royal Assent.

Short title

   25.  The short title of this Act is the Wireless Services Agreements Act, 2012.

 

EXPLANATORY NOTE

The Bill enacts a new Act to govern wireless agreements. A wireless agreement is defined as an agreement between a supplier and a consumer in which the supplier agrees to provide wireless services that the consumer can access from a cellular phone, a smart phone or any other similar mobile device, whether or not the supplier agrees to provide goods to the consumer under the agreement. The Act applies to a wireless agreement and the parties to it in addition to the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act, 2002 that normally apply. In addition, certain provisions of that Act are made applicable to a wireless agreement with certain changes. Those provisions include the power of the Director designated by the Minister to issue compliance orders and a prohibition against parties waiving any of their substantive or procedural rights.

The Act sets out disclosure obligations for suppliers under a wireless agreement. The obligations deal with information on the cost to a consumer that must be included in any price advertising with respect to a wireless agreement as well as extensive information that must be disclosed in an agreement itself. The latter information includes a description of the services provided under the agreement, the effect of each of the services on costs payable by the consumer and a statement of the minimum cost payable by the consumer expressed as a regular periodic amount, regardless of the consumer’s usage of the services. If a wireless agreement does not meet the disclosure requirements or if the supplier does not deliver a copy of the agreement to the consumer as soon as practicable after entering into the agreement, the consumer may cancel the improperly made agreement and receive a full refund of money paid.

The Act contains other measures for protecting consumers under a wireless agreement. For example, a supplier must have a system in place for providing advance notice to the consumer when the consumer accesses a service under the agreement that will result in a cost in addition to the minimum periodic cost. A supplier must comply with certain disclosure requirements in order to amend a wireless agreement. A consumer is allowed to cancel a wireless agreement at any time and without any reason. The Act sets limits on cancellation fees that the supplier is allowed to charge.

It is an offence to contravene or fail to comply with a number of provisions of the Act.

The Act includes authority to make regulations on matters such as specifying additional rights and obligations of consumers and suppliers.

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