Have you ever felt like you paid too much to use your cellphone? Did you feel like you were being deceived with regard to what you were going to owe? If so, and if you used Telus or Bell Mobility, you may have been right. Both companies are now being sued for illegal, deceptive billing practices that could have swindled thousands of customers out of additional money all over Canada.
The impact is to those who had pre-paid plans and monthly plans starting on July 30 of 2005. The deception allegedly stopped around Sept. 1, 2010, so anyone who started a plan in between those dates may have a case.
The issue was with rounding practices. Consumers were not told how it was going to be done, but the companies rounded the numbers consistently for those talking on their phones and using up those minutes. This was said to bring in billions of extra dollars for the companies over the years.
Basically, they always rounded up to the next minute. This may not have made a huge difference for someone who talked for two minutes and 58 seconds, but they’d still lose those two seconds, as they were billed for three minutes. Of course, for someone who talked for two minutes and one second, the loss was even greater, as that was also billed as three minutes.
Rounding itself is not illegal if customers are told about it and agree to it, but the company neglected to do that and customers thought they were being billed for exactly the time they spent on the phone. If this happened to you, you may deserve compensation.
Source: Rochon Genova, “Update – December 2, 2013: Class Action Launched Against Bell Mobility and Telus for Unlawful Billing Practices,” accessed May 05, 2016