Are you looking to subscribe to Internet access services? The following tips may be of interest to you before signing a contract with a provider.
These questions should help you choose the Internet access plan that best suits your habits and your needs:
- What is your budget?
- What download speed and monthly download capacity do you need? To evaluate these needs, consider the following elements:
- the number of people that will use Internet in your home;
- the number of devices that connect to the Internet in your home (desktop computer, laptop computer, mobile device, video game console, etc.);
- the number of videos (clips, shows, movies) that your household watches online every month;
- the number of hours your household spends playing video games online every month.
- Do you need security services to protect your computer, your files, and your identity?
Before signing up for Internet access services, the Office de la protection du consommateur advises that you inquire about the duration of the proposed 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.
Fixed length contracts
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 will vary based on whether you received a discount on a product essential to the use of the service, such as a 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.
Description of the services
For example, ask questions regarding:
- the download and upload speed, usually measured in megabytes per second (MB/s);
- the monthly download limit, usually measured in gigabytes (GB);
- the availability of a tool that lets you check your Internet usage to ensure you will not go over the download limit included in your plan.
Inquire about the following:
- the fees that will be charged for services that are not included in your plan, such as the purchase of a data package to expand your download capacity;
- the fees that will be charged if you go over your plan’s download limit;
- the terms of payment, for example the obligation to pay one month in advance upon sign-up;
- the installation costs.
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.
Contract terms and conditions
Ask the service provider about subjects such as:
- the duration of the proposed contract;
- the possibility, for you and for the service provider, to amend the terms of the contract, and under what circumstances;
- the contract renewal terms;
- the contract cancellation terms.
Devices essential to the use of the service
Remember to enquire about:
- costs to purchase or rent the devices;
- the devices’ warranty details;;
- the devices’ delivery delays;
- who to contact in case of a problem.
The Internet access service provider must give you a written contract for Internet access services. Check if the contents are consistent with what you were told.
Required content for all Internet access service contracts
As of June 30, 2010, all Internet access 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;
- 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 modem or a router;
- the duration and the end date of the contract;
- the contract cancellation terms.
Contracts concluded online or by phone
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 Internet access service contracts;
- all the information that the service provider was required to give you before your acceptance of the offer.
Contracts concluded with an itinerant merchant
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 Internet access service contracts. See What a contract with an itinerant merchant contains for more details.
All contracts concluded in person
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.
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