Wednesday, September 02, 2009

You don't fool me, Bernard Lord

Canada's cellular providers want you to know they're committed to helping consumers make informed decisions about their cellular service. Honest, they totally are. That's why they've developed their own industry created, self-enforcing code of conduct! Let's read more:

Canada's mobile phone companies will be required to make sure consumers understand their contracts when they buy a cellphone under a new code of conduct.

The code of conduct also says cellphone companies are to "communicate with their customers in a way they understand."

The rates, terms and coverage offered all have to be explained clearly to consumers, said Bernard Lord, head of the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association.

"In some cases, our members will have to change and adapt some of their practices to meet the code that is now in force as of today," Lord said Tuesday.

Much of the new code of conduct is already respected by cellphone companies, he added.

But wait, there's more:

But, Lord said the new code will give consumers the information they need to make informed decisions.

"This will mean good service, better service, easier to resolve complaints," he said from Ottawa.

Well that's great, the industry and Lord want to ensure consumers have the information they need to make informed decisions. I think that's just super of them, so kudos.

But, wait. Where have I heard Lord's name before?
Bernard Lord, the head of the CWTA and former Conservative premier of New Brunswick, said he did meet with Industry Canada officials to discuss the calculator. The CWTA's position was that the calculator was flawed since it did not take into account data plans, bundle discounts and hardware subsidies offered by carriers.

"The minister made the right decision, to not continue to dump good taxpayer money into a tool that was ineffective," he said.

Oh, that's right. Conservative Party insider and former New Brunswick Premier Bernard Lord is the telecommunications industry lobbyist who claimed credit for convincing Tony Clement and the Conservatives to kill the taxpayer-funded cellphone rate calculator that, independent of industry, would have given Canadians unbiased information to make better decision about cellphone contracts.

Industry Minister Tony Clement is taking fire for scrapping a taxpayer-funded online tool that would have helped consumers pick a cellphone plan, allegedly after being lobbied by the wireless industry.

The cost calculator would have compared rate plans from across different cellphone providers and was scheduled for a June launch.

The service was shelved just weeks before rollout after Clement's officials met with representatives from Bell, Telus and the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association, according to University of Ottawa law professor Michael Geist. The cellphone industry was afraid the service would eat into their revenues, Geist said on his blog on Monday.

While I'm sure there's some good things in this voluntary industry code, their actions kind of put the thing in a whole new light, no?

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LeDaro said...

Lying Bernard Lord. It is well known. I will tell you a story which may give you some measure of the man. Bernie’s idol was and probably still is George W. Bush. When Bernie was still premier of NB, Bush was visiting Ottawa and then was going to pay a brief visit to Nova Scotia. Bernie was in Europe at the time on taxpayer’s dime. He cut short his visit and flew back directly to Ottawa to meet Bush. He did not stop there he followed him to Halifax. Later he bragged that he broke protocol to speak briefly to his idol and role model Bush in Halifax. Security had to escort him away from Bush. Does this give you some idea who Bernie is?

sassy said...

Thanks for this post. The spin put on this story yesterday made my blood boil