HOW TO: Escape Contracts without paying ECF - Canadians ONLY!
Another guide by me.. because, well, I love my iPhone and I love TiPb more :P
This guide works only for Canadians - as it requires a specific citing of a law we have under our charter of rights and freedoms. I don't know if this will work with US or other Countries around the world.
First, you'll need a few things:
1. This guide open on your screen
2. A decent memory to remember certain things
3. Good negotiation skills - optional, but strongly recommended!
4. The want and need to escape your contract, without paying any early cancellation fees :P
First, a bit of background info that's good to know. In Canada, we are covered against changes in contracts we've signed for 30 days after the change is dated and received by the final party involved. What this means is, that 30 day countdown starts when YOU open the letter, not when they ink the new terms and "forget" to send you the updated terms for 29 days.
What this all means is, if a cell phone (or any service provider, including Satellite, Home-Phone or other service) provider changes the terms of your contract, (which happens quite often, without the consumer knowing) you have 30 days to agree to these changes. If you deny the changes, you have the legal right to drop the contract and leave the company.
Yes, this means, if they change the, for example, late payment fee from $25 to $27, you can call them, and quote the "Material Adverse Clause" in the charter of rights and freedoms act of 1982. Yes the year is correct, even though Canada got their rights and freedoms much earlier.
Now, when you call your cell phone provider, you will need to speak to a supervisor, simply because the front line customer service agents usually don't know about legal laws, or are not prepared to deal with it. This is where negotiation skills come into play, simply because it's going to be tough to get on the phone with a supervisor.
They will try to tell you that the MAC doesn't affect you, because you've never made a late payment, or whatever their excuse is, and that you will pay your ECF, but you are protected under law, and a simple threat of court action usually loosens their grip significantly. They're calling your bluff at knowing the law, so you call theirs and stand your ground.
Even if the change to your contract doesn't even come close to affecting you, like a change in long distance per-minute charge and you've never made 1 minute of long distance calls, you still must agree to the changes.
Now, Canadian law does have a protection clause in there, protecting the contractors (The cell phone provider), which states that if no response is received from the consumer within 30 days of postage date, the law states you agree to the changed terms. So, make sure when you see a change is made, call as soon as possible, time IS a factor!
EVERY CANADIAN CAN ESCAPE THEIR CONTRACT COME JULY 1ST 2010:
Enacted July 1st 2010, the Harmonized Sales Tax comes into effect, and GST and PST are being abolished. Your contract states something along the lines that "I agree to pay all charges, including GST and PST". Well, you are no longer required to pay GST and PST, so their contract will need to be modified to change it to say HST. You don't agree to these changes do you? Well, MAC.. Bye Bye contract