WIND Mobile, Mobilicity Push for Consumer Protection

by Jordan Richardson on January 20, 2011

WIND Mobile wants Canadians to be protected from the “abusive practices” of wireless carriers. The company has filed a submission to the government of Manitoba’s public consultation on improving consumer protections in that province.

WIND applauded the province of Manitoba for taking steps to ensure consumer protection, adding that Quebec, too, had taken a similar interest. The main focus of the government consultation in Manitoba is on the topic of protection from wireless and cell phone contracts.

“This is a great step in the right direction and we hope to see all Canadians enjoying greater protection from abusive practices of wireless carriers,” WIND’s Anthony Lacavera said in a news release. “All Canadians should be offered similar protection.”

Quebec is being used as a provincial model, as it currently has legislation protecting consumers from automatic contract renewal. It also has a provision to limit cancellation fees.

This news comes on the heels of Mobilicity’s opposition to the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association over consumer protection for Manitoba residents. With the CWTA pushing for a self-regulating apparatus, Mobilicity has voiced its concerns. “We are exceptionally disappointed with the CWTA’s lack of foresight in continuing to act only in the interests of the Big Three wireless oligopoly,” said Mobilicity President and CEO Dave Dobbin. “As members of the CWTA, we repeatedly voiced our opposition to its submission to no avail.”

It has seemed for a long time now that Canada’s Big Three (Rogers, Telus, Bell) have benefited greatly from government protections. The regulatory bodies generally haven’t lived up to their end of the arrangement either, allowing the absurd contracts to continue. Canadians are overwhelmingly dissatisfied with their options.

The question now is whether the likes of WIND and Mobilicity can do anything. Their inception to the industry has come with some pretty gutsy moves, what with Mobilicity filing complaints against Rogers over Chatr and WIND taking the very same provider to task over misleading advertising. But do they have the fire-power to actually shift the balance of power in Canada? And if the balance of power does shift, can we trust them to produce the sea change they claim to represent?

After all, new guys. We’re Canadians. We’ve been hurt before.

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