Norco legislator pushes cell phone justice for military

Published 12:00 am Monday, May 2, 2005


Staff Reporter

LAPLACE – For the 2005 legislative session, State Representative Gary L. Smith has proposed a law authorizing the suspension or termination of cell phone contracts upon call to active military service if location makes the phone inoperable.

Smith said he though of this, because of a problem one of his constituents had to go through.

“Her husband had gone overseas,” said Smith. “She had a hard time getting the carrier to cancel the contract, even though the phone did not work overseas.”

Smith said it was hard to afford another cell phone bill with her husband gone and the situation was a big hassle.

“The point of this is to suspend the plan until the individual gets back from active duty,” said Smith. “Some companies have already started to do this.”

The law authorizes a person who is called to service the ability to terminate the contract without imposition of any termination or cancellation fee, as long as the person gives written or verbal notice to the plan carrier, according to information provided by the Louisiana State Legislative website.

“If passed, this law will pertain to all branches for those in active duty and in place where cell phones cannot be used,” said Smith. “But, mainly for our National Guard Members.”

The suspension of the contract will last until 30 days after discharge form active service, without imposition of any activation fee. The person will be required to notify the plan carrier within those 30 days if their contract was suspended, according to information provided by the Louisiana State Legislative website.

“I am going to work with the plan carriers,” said Smith. “We do not want any negative business to come out of this for the companies. We just want it to work out for both sides.”