Are you looking to subscribe to a home phone service? The following tips may be of interest to you before signing a contract with a provider.
These questions should help you choose the plan that best suits your habits and your needs:
- What is your budget?
- Do you need optional services that may be offered by the provider (voicemail, call display, call waiting, etc.);
- Do you need a long-distance call package?
Before signing up for home phone services, the Office de la protection du consommateur advises that you inquire about the duration of the proposed contract.
You may also need to choose between 2 types of contracts: an open-ended contract, or a fixed term contract.
If you choose an open-ended contract:
- you will receive a bill each month, but you will not be bound by a contract for a fixed period of time;
- the price of the services may be raised. See Amending a contract for further details;
- you will not normally pay fees if you cancel your agreement.
If you choose a fixed length contract, you will be bound by an agreement for a fixed period of time, lasting, for example, from 1 to 3 years. During this time, the price of the services cannot be raised. See Amending a contract for further information on this subject.
If you cancel your contract, you may have to pay cancellation fees. Before signing an agreement with a service provider, find out about these fees. They vary based on whether you received a discount on a product essential to the use of the service, such as a phone or a VoIP modem. For more information, see the page about cancellation fees for fixed-length contract.
The Office de la protection du consommateur advises you to ask the service provider about all the subscription features before signing a contract.
Other fees may be added to the monthly fees charged for the services. Inquire about the following:
- the per-minute cost for long-distance calls that are not included in your plan;
- the additional fees charged for options, such as call display, voice mail, or call waiting;
- the terms of payment, in particular, the obligation to pay a month in advance when you sign up for the services;
- the installation costs and emergency service fees.
All fees that you must pay, other than taxes, must be included in the price advertised by the service provider. See What is included in the advertised price? for more information.
Find out about discounts available if you combine services from the same service provider, for example television, Internet and telephone.
Ask the service provider about topics such as:
The service provider must give you a written contract for home phone services. Check if the contents are consistent with what you were told.
As of June 30, 2010, all home phone service contracts must include the following elements on the first page:
- a detailed description of each of the services specified in the agreement;
- the monthly fee for each service, including the costs for optional services, such as voicemail or call waiting;
- the total amount you will be charged each month;
- a description and the list price of products sold or offered free with purchase, such as a phone or a VoIP modem;
- the duration and the end date of the contract;
- the contract cancellation terms.
Before you enter into an agreement with a service provider on its Web site or by phone, the service provider must give you information including:
- the name, address, telephone number, and if applicable, the fax number and electronic address of the business;
- a detailed description of the services specified in the agreement;
- the total amount you will have to pay, according to your contract, and the payment terms;
- the cancellation terms.
To find out more about what information the service provider must give you, see the pages about:
- getting all required information before concluding an agreement online;
- getting all required information before concluding an agreement by phone.
The service provider must send you a copy of the contract (for example, by email or by standard mail) within 15 days of its conclusion. The contract must contain:
- the information that must be included in all home phone service contracts;
- all the information that the service provider was required to give you before your acceptance of the offer.
If you sign a contract at your home with a service provider using door-to-door vendors, the contract must contain information specific to itinerant merchants in addition to the information required in all home phone service contracts. See What a contract with an itinerant merchant contains for more details.
All contracts concluded in person with a service provider, for example in-store or from an itinerant merchant, must be clearly and legibly written on paper in two copies.
The service provider must first sign the last page of the original and the duplicate, and must then:
- allow you look it over;
- ask you to sign the last page of the original and the duplicate;
- provide you with a copy of the contract. Filing a complaint
If your service provider has not respected the above regulations, you can contact the Office de la protection du consommateur to find out about your options for recourse and to file a complaint. See Contact us to find out how to reach us.
Last update : February 28, 2023
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The information contained on this page is presented in simple terms to make it easier to understand. It does not replace the texts of the laws and regulations.