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Avoid cell shock!

Back-to-school season is here – a time when tech-savvy students and parents are often looking for a new cell phone package to help start off the school year right.

While it’s exciting to get the cell phone with the latest technology, it’s important to carefully read any wireless services contract before signing. By asking questions and reading and understanding the contract, students and parents can avoid surprise fees on future bills.

Here are points you should know before entering into a contract:

Shop around Since many wireless agreements are for a two-year or three-year period, be sure you’re getting the deal that offers you the services and goods you want, at the best price.

Keep a copy Ask for a written copy of your contract. Read the fine print to make sure you understand all of terms before you sign.

Compare and contrast When you get your first bill, check it carefully against your contract to be sure you are only being billed for what you agreed to.

Honesty is the best policy Remember, vendors cannot make false, misleading or deceptive representations about what they are selling you; misrepresentation is illegal.

“When signing a cell phone contract, remember that there are long-term financial implications,” said Margarett Best, Ontario Minister of Consumer Services. “Avoid cell shock and consider all the details before signing any contract.” In May 2012, Ontario introduced the Wireless Services Agreements Act, 2012, that would, if passed, cap cancellation fees, prohibit automatic contract renewals and amendments and require wireless providers to offer contracts that are easy to understand.

Posted: Sep 4, 2012

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