Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

MTS boss OK with CRTC cell code

If it doesn't depart from provincial law

  • Print

OTTAWA -- A proposed wireless code of conduct for cellphone providers is mostly acceptable to MTS Allstream as long as it doesn't go in a different direction from existing provincial consumer-protection laws, the company's president said Friday.

Kelvin Shepherd presented at Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission hearings on the CRTC's proposed wireless code of conduct in Gatineau, Que., Friday.

The combined company is MTS Allstream, but in Manitoba the wireless business is under the MTS division. Pierre Blouin is CEO of MTS Allstream; Shepherd is president of the MTS division and Dean Prevost President of Allstream.

The CRTC aims to improve protections for wireless customers on issues such as extra fees and information provided to customers about their bills. The proposed code would require plain language used in contracts, the right of a customer to cancel his or her contract without penalty if the terms of the contract are changed, and limits on fees charged to end a contract early.

"Largely we're in agreement with the direction the CRTC is proposing with the wireless code," Shepherd told the Free Press.

However, Manitoba is one of several provinces to already have laws or regulations in place protecting consumers from exorbitant fees for cellphones.

Manitoba's Consumer Protection Act passed in 2011. Among its provisions were limiting the fees for cancelling a phone contract to the value of the phone and time remaining on the contract, and preventing companies from changing the terms of a contract unless that term benefits the customer.

Shepherd said it cost MTS Allstream about $1 million to implement the act, a lot of which went to training sales staff.

He said if a new national wireless code comes in that is different, the training will have to be done all over again and confusion could take hold.

Shepherd told the CRTC hearings the national code works as long as it adds on to existing provincial laws but doesn't directly differ from them.

"The core of what the CRTC is proposing is closely aligned with (the Manitoba Consumer Protection Act)," said Shepherd. "We would find it challenging, and consumers would find it challenging, to deal with two different codes that aren't aligned," he said.

The proposed wireless code says it should be interpreted to always benefit the consumer and will not override any protections provided by provincial laws or regulations.

One area MTS does take issue with is the suggestion that companies cap additional fees, such as roaming and data charges, to $50, before the customer's services are suspended. The idea is to prevent customers from getting huge, unexpected bills. Shepherd said $50 is too low and would result in consumers being inconvenienced when their phones suddenly don't work.

mia.rabson@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 16, 2013 B6

History

Updated on Saturday, February 16, 2013 at 10:52 AM CST: Changes headline to read "MTS boss"

11:30 AM: adds paragraph clarifying the separate divisions and presidents within MTS Allstream

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

New Pornographers frontman says latest album is band's 'best'

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Marc Gallant/Winnipeg Free Press. Local/Standup- BABY BISON. Fort Whyte Centre's newest mother gently nudges her 50 pound, female bull calf awake. Calf born yesterday. 25 now in herd. Four more calfs are expected over the next four weeks. It is the bison's second calf. June 7, 2002.
  • A goose comes in for a landing Thursday morning through heavy fog on near Hyw 59 just north of Winnipeg - Day 17 Of Joe Bryksa’s 30 day goose challenge - May 24, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Do high-profile endorsements for political candidates influence your voting decisions?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google