Under the Wireless Code, any salesperson must communicate with you clearly and in plain language. This applies whether they’re dealing with you on the phone, online, or in the store. If something is unclear, ask questions until you understand.
Generally they cannot lie to you to get the sale. And they can’t tell you that:
the phone or plan is of better quality than it really is
the phone or plan is only available for a limited time if that’s not true
you’re getting a special price, when in fact anybody can get that price
Another type of unfair practice is when a salesperson does something “unconscionable,” like:
taking advantage of a disability or language issue
charging far more than what’s reasonable
pressuring you to buy when they know you can’t afford it
You don’t always need 10 gigs of data, unlimited overseas calls, or fancy answering machine services. Think beyond the marketing gimmicks. What will you actually use? Lots of “daytime minutes”? Free texting?
Check out what everyone is offering. This is especially important when your long-term contract expires. Prices may have come down. Other providers’ plans may be much cheaper than what you’re currently getting.
Sites like WhistleOut or PlanHub help you quickly compare plans and carriers. Spending 5-10 minutes here can save you hundreds of dollars a year.
When getting a new phone or plan, don’t feel as if you’re just the “little guy” with no bargaining power. Salespeople are often paid on commission. They want to sell you a plan, and they know you have options.
So play hardball. Ask them for their very best price. Tell them about a better deal from a competitor, and ask them to match it. Include prepaid phones in your price comparisons. Be persistent before you sign up!
Make sure you understand the contract before signing. There’s a lot of fine print here for you to review and understand. Fortunately, the salespeople have to give you a summary of the key terms, so at the very least, read this!
Remember, take your time with these decisions. Phone companies want you to think this is a “low commitment” choice, but it can end up costing you.
This information applies to British Columbia, Canada