Telecom & Wireless

New Telecom Contracts Put Consumers First

Consumers in Beijing have long taken to the Internet and the press to castigate Beijing's arbitrary telecommunication service contract clauses. It seems their protests have been heard and now they have two new sample contracts to peruse: the Beijing Mobile Telephone Network Access Contract and the Beijing Fixed Phone Network Access Contract.

The two new contracts have been published jointly by the Beijing Municipal Department of Industry and Commerce and Beijing Communications Administration, and will be formally implemented on December 1.

They feature four highlights and changes from previous contracts. First, the telecom operators have been asked to be responsible for consumers' privacy. Second, the migrant population can apply for local phone service with their own ID card. Third, telecom operators must not impose any surcharge on the consumers. Finally, telecom operators should provide free voice reminders of telephone number changes for the consumers free of charge.

These new contracts are only applicable to people who apply for mobile or fixed telephone service after December 1, and current customers are not covered by these upgrades.

Other key issues of consumers' concern such as the cancellation of monthly rental fees and two-way charging have not been included in the contracts.

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