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oh LOOK

@videotron.ca

New Quebec Class Action against Bell, Rogers, Telus, Fido

Inga Sibiga v. Fido Solutions Inc., Rogers Communications Partnership, Bell Mobility Inc., and Telus Communication Company.
»www.trudeljohnston.com/en/recour···atacell/

On January 10, 2013, Inga Sibiga filed a motion for authorization to institute a class action against the major Canadian wireless service providers.

The claim alleges that the wireless service providers involved in the class action have charged consumers exploitative and abusive fees for using the internet on a mobile device while travelling outside Canada.

The class is defined as follows:

All consumers residing in Quebec who were charged international mobile data roaming fees by the Respondents at a rate higher than $5.00 per megabyte after January 8, 2010.

The Respondents include the major Canadian wireless service providers and their associated brands:

Rogers Wireless, Fido Solutions, and Chatr Wireless;
Bell Mobility, Virgin Mobile Canada, and Solo Mobile;
Telus Mobility and Koodo Mobile.

The Respondents currently charge standard mobile data roaming rates ranging from $5 to $31 per megabyte or $5,120 to $31, 744 per GB. These rates bear no relation to the underlying costs of providing this service and greatly exceed their fair market value.

This proceeding seeks a reduction of these fees to a rate $5 per MB as damages to compensate class members as well as punitive damages for the exploitation of Quebec consumers.


The form to sign up (at no cost to you) with in order to add your name:
»www.trudeljohnston.com/en/recour···aire.php

Additional stuff:
What kicked off this class action:
»www.cjad.com/CJADLocalNews/entry···10488574

Cloneman

join:2002-08-29
Montreal
kudos:4
Reviews:
·TekSavvy DSL
·Bell Fibe
Only a matter of time before this happened.

The carriers seem to think it's funny to give people a mortgage for using their cellphone abroad, whilst making it difficult (if not impossible, to block data roaming at the carrier level, while keeping voice service available)

Phone level data blocks are not reliable. (for the same reason that data counters on your device are not trusted by the carrier)

GreenEnvy22

join:2011-08-04
St Catharines, ON
Reviews:
·Start Communicat..
reply to oh LOOK
It is quite insane what they charge. One of our employees recently used 14MB in Africa and had a $2000+ roaming fee.

The annoying thing is, his phone is set to allow data roaming because he is on Rogers 1GB Canada/US data plan. In order for it to work, you need to leave on data roaming. So while most of our staff have it disabled, the staff like him can't. I've asked Rogers to set a cap on our plan for roaming fees, but no, they somehow can't do anything that magical.

I think it's criminal that if he had bought a roaming pack ahead of time, he'd have paid like $100, but now they charge $2000? It's not like when you buy a roaming pack they go negotiate a deal with the the telco in the country you are going to, since they have no idea where you are going. It's just a made up fee.


ChuckcZar

@teksavvy.com
reply to oh LOOK
Much the same thing as the big 5 banks stealing peoples' money when they trade in foreign stocks while using Canadian currency accounts. Completely illegal and hundreds of billions of dollars will have to be paid back to the traders on record.

xtachx

join:2005-11-19
canada
Reviews:
·voip.ms
reply to GreenEnvy22
said by GreenEnvy22:

It is quite insane what they charge. One of our employees recently used 14MB in Africa and had a $2000+ roaming fee.

The annoying thing is, his phone is set to allow data roaming because he is on Rogers 1GB Canada/US data plan. In order for it to work, you need to leave on data roaming. So while most of our staff have it disabled, the staff like him can't. I've asked Rogers to set a cap on our plan for roaming fees, but no, they somehow can't do anything that magical.

I think it's criminal that if he had bought a roaming pack ahead of time, he'd have paid like $100, but now they charge $2000? It's not like when you buy a roaming pack they go negotiate a deal with the the telco in the country you are going to, since they have no idea where you are going. It's just a made up fee.

Not saying Telus is better, but they do have the data roaming feature set up differently. You cannot turn off data roaming for US. (you have to block all data for this).

But the Canada/US data is separate from International Data, and thats a separate package. That is not on by default and you have to turn it on.

This is not ideal as well, but a lot better than Rogers.

The ideal system would be:
1. CDN data
2. US Data roaming
3. International data roaming.

Add/Remove these services from mobile self serve (or using a service code like *123*4# ).

And the rates need to come down.. a LOT. Why is that that if we pay $10, the data roaming rate goes from $5/MB to $1/MB. Why is it not $1/MB to begin with?

Also, why do packs need to be added BEFORE I leave? Thats like taking a guess but being penalized for a wrong guess. We should be able to add the "packs" AFTER the usage. (Like >20MB usage auto-adds the $30 pack for 50c/MB)
--
Bell Canada: It is “Preposterous" that consumers should get content they want on their cellphones.


Guspaz
Guspaz
Premium,MVM
join:2001-11-05
Montreal, QC
kudos:23
said by xtachx:

Not saying Telus is better, but they do have the data roaming feature set up differently. You cannot turn off data roaming for US. (you have to block all data for this).

Of course you can turn off data roaming on Telus, it's a feature present on most smartphones. The phone itself will refuse to data roam if told to.
--
Developer: Tomato/MLPPP, Linux/MLPPP, etc »fixppp.org


mlerner
Premium
join:2000-11-25
Nepean, ON
kudos:5
reply to oh LOOK
So are there Quebec laws which would cover this? Because the way it's laid, yes agreed the fees are excessive but wireless prices aren't regulated. As they are private businesses don't they have free reign over pricing or is it different in Quebec?


oh LOOK

@videotron.ca
said by mlerner:

So are there Quebec laws which would cover this? Because the way it's laid, yes agreed the fees are excessive but wireless prices aren't regulated. As they are private businesses don't they have free reign over pricing or is it different in Quebec?

Not sure. Gouging and excessive payables is open for action in all cases as far I know in Quebec. Pretty sure it's the same in the rest of Canada.

Also, with the thousands of similar cases across Canada as documented by the CRTC for the wireless code, it sort of bolsters this.

Court will still have to grant class action status before it continues. It could die at that stage for all we know. Could take a year to 2 years for it to reach class standing. If we follow other Class cases against the Telco's in Quebec (ie. Bell Throttle class action, Videotron Class Action changing unlimited to 100-gigs).

So stay tuned in 2015.

Meanwhile, This one seems only open for Quebeckers as far as I understand it (I could be wrong, or they can change direction). So nothing lost by adding your names.


mlerner
Premium
join:2000-11-25
Nepean, ON
kudos:5
Would be nice to get a lawyers take. I've just never seen a lawsuit or class action of this type so I'd like to find out what is applicable in the law and what type of class action cases are allowed.


Gone
Premium
join:2011-01-24
Fort Erie, ON
kudos:4
reply to Guspaz
said by Guspaz:

Of course you can turn off data roaming on Telus, it's a feature present on most smartphones. The phone itself will refuse to data roam if told to.

While I'm think he meant on the provider side of things, it's worthwhile to point out that you can't turn data roaming off if the phone doesn't think it's roaming even though it actually is.


Guspaz
Guspaz
Premium,MVM
join:2001-11-05
Montreal, QC
kudos:23
Does the phone think it's on TELUS (and show that as the network) when it's in the US? I mean, unless AT&T's towers are advertising themselves as TELUS, I don't see how this could be a problem.
--
Developer: Tomato/MLPPP, Linux/MLPPP, etc »fixppp.org


Gone
Premium
join:2011-01-24
Fort Erie, ON
kudos:4
said by Guspaz:

Does the phone think it's on TELUS (and show that as the network) when it's in the US? I mean, unless AT&T's towers are advertising themselves as TELUS, I don't see how this could be a problem.

It has nothing to do with AT&T and everything to do with how Telus' PRL treats AT&T.


Guspaz
Guspaz
Premium,MVM
join:2001-11-05
Montreal, QC
kudos:23
reply to oh LOOK
A user could probably reasonably argue that if their phone is set to not roam data, then they're not responsible for any roaming chargers for data. The roaming charges would be due to a Telus problem that is beyond the user's control.

This would only work, however, if the user attempts to refrain from intentionally using data.
--
Developer: Tomato/MLPPP, Linux/MLPPP, etc »fixppp.org


oh LOOK

@videotron.ca
reply to mlerner
Just realized the original post states why this started:

"exploitative and abusive fees"

That is indeed actionable, as stated. Not the first time I see this.

Price gouging in this manner (as described above) is indeed against the law.

During the ice-storm back around 1998, I also recall someone being dragged to court because he raised the price of his firewood (logs) from 60$ per cord to 150$ per cord to take advantage of the situation to profit more.

said by mlerner:

I've just never seen a lawsuit or class action of this type so I'd like to find out what is applicable in the law

So getting back to what you said, yup this is actionable. Seen it before. But the court will have to agree with what they wrote up to allow it to get standing.


whaat

@telus.net
reply to xtachx
said by xtachx:

Not saying Telus is better, but they do have the data roaming feature set up differently. You cannot turn off data roaming for US. (you have to block all data for this).

My telus cellular smart phone has data(internet) told to not roam. Even the phone part is told not to roam.
Last time I was near the border while still in Canada and it couldn't see a Telus tower it popped up a message of can't connect since you are now in 'Merica. Was just a dead spot for Telus reception.

But still better than the Rogers customer last month on the hill side in White Rock cbc news story, who pretty well refused to turn off roaming since her phone would no longer work at home. And Rogers loves people who can't seem to understand that a little inconvenience is better than hundreds of dollars in b.s. roaming charges.

Heres the simple way carriers deal with roaming. The portion of the U.S. cell array that points at Canada has a roaming agreement for border issues. Same for Canadian towers. Phone as a minimum and data at a justifiable rate or data blocked unless you click through the confirm data roaming charges screen.

All it takes is for a lawsuit to pry the actual money that Rogers pays to the U.S. carrier out into the open. Blacked out portions included.
There is a hidden war that canada is purposely losing to the U.S. when it comes to cell towers and people complaining about roaming along the border. "Your countries tower signal is too powerful and since my phone is in roaming mode by default, I cry when the bill comes." 300 million versus 35 million.

I think it was on this forum about someone whose kid thought they were on home Wifi for their phone data, except that the smartphone popped back onto the cell network due to a weak wifi signal. And call support was useless for explaining the issue with how a weak wifi will shift the phone onto cellular mode.

Cloneman

join:2002-08-29
Montreal
kudos:4
Reviews:
·TekSavvy DSL
·Bell Fibe

1 edit
reply to Guspaz
said by Guspaz:

said by xtachx:

Not saying Telus is better, but they do have the data roaming feature set up differently. You cannot turn off data roaming for US. (you have to block all data for this).

Of course you can turn off data roaming on Telus, it's a feature present on most smartphones. The phone itself will refuse to data roam if told to.

This is not reliable. A malicious program (or simply a modded nightly android rom with bugs) can accidentally enable data roaming.

When the stakes are as large as they are with data roaming overages, no amount of paranoia is sufficient, and the carriers should do their part an implement proper blocking mechanisms at their level ,if requested by the users.

Most people who get huge data bills probably got them by their own neglect, however everyone should be protected. It doesn't make sense that an accident, for example caused by someone else borrowing your phone (or getting it stolen) for 10-15 minutes can cause thousands of dollars of overages that need to be disputed. Carriers have to allow customers to Opt-out of data roaming at the NETWORK level.

xtachx

join:2005-11-19
canada
Reviews:
·voip.ms
reply to Guspaz
said by Guspaz:

said by xtachx:

Not saying Telus is better, but they do have the data roaming feature set up differently. You cannot turn off data roaming for US. (you have to block all data for this).

Of course you can turn off data roaming on Telus, it's a feature present on most smartphones. The phone itself will refuse to data roam if told to.

The problem is, that in case of an error in billing, you are on the hook to pay the bill. If it is blocked by the provider, you are not responsible for paying the data roaming bill - since it was blocked.

It also prevents accidental usage - provider blocks are much more effective than phone blocks.
--
Bell Canada: It is “Preposterous" that consumers should get content they want on their cellphones.


Atticka

join:2001-11-26
Montreal, QC
Reviews:
·TekSavvy DSL
reply to oh LOOK
Side note about incurring roaming charges...

Although you may have data service turned off with your service, you also have to make sure the data roaming feature turned off on your phone.

A co-worker recently received a bill for $1200 (~120Mb of data over three days in the US). He tried to argue with Rogers that since his data option was turned off at the co. he shouldn't be charged. The problem however was that his phone still had data roaming "on" and AT&T simply connected him and charged Rogers for his data usage.

LostTheGame

join:2012-11-24
Ottawa, ON
That's what I'm not seeing here; no one speaking of the cost levied on the Telcos by the international carriers


Guspaz
Guspaz
Premium,MVM
join:2001-11-05
Montreal, QC
kudos:23
said by LostTheGame:

That's what I'm not seeing here; no one speaking of the cost levied on the Telcos by the international carriers

They have mutual agreements. Yes, AT&T is charging Rogers an obscene per-minute rate, but Rogers is charging AT&T an obscene per-minute rate in return. Why? Because they both get massively inflated profit from this.

The typical excuse from Rogers (and I'm using them as an example here) is "Oh, we're not overcharging, that's what we're paying to AT&T". Yeah, well, that's because Rogers negotiated that rate.

Compare the roaming rate for Fido prepaid in the US, $2.00 per minute.

Compare this to Public Mobile roaming in the US, $0.15 per minute.

Why is Public Mobile so much lower? Because they didn't sign a mutual-overcharging agreement like Rogers did.

Data is similar. Fido seems to have removed data roaming entirely unless you buy a data roaming pass, but compare the fact that the pass starts at $2.50/MB and goes down to $0.20/MB depending on how much you buy. There's no reason they couldn't be charging $0.20/MB for any roaming data usage. It's still insanely expensive, but it'd be a heck of a lot more reasonable. Not long ago, using a gigabyte of data while roaming would cost you $30,000. At $0.20/MB, they would be down to $200. It's progress, at least. Or it would be, if they didn't make it hard to get.
--
Developer: Tomato/MLPPP, Linux/MLPPP, etc »fixppp.org


Gone
Premium
join:2011-01-24
Fort Erie, ON
kudos:4
said by Guspaz:

but Rogers is charging AT&T an obscene per-minute rate in return. Why? Because they both get massively inflated profit from this.

If you think AT&T is taking a loss on the 35 cent/minute Canadian roaming they charge their customers compared to the $1.45 it costs a Rogers customer here to roam in the US, you've got another thing coming.

Furthermore, if you think Rogers is paying more, not less, than Public Mobile to their American partners for roaming, you're also off your rocker. Rogers obviously pays less on volume alone. Everything extra is pure profit thanks to the lack of realistic competition in this country and to think anything otherwise is beyond naive.

NefCanuck

join:2007-06-26
Mississauga, ON
Reviews:
·voip.ms
reply to Gone
said by Gone:

said by Guspaz:

Does the phone think it's on TELUS (and show that as the network) when it's in the US? I mean, unless AT&T's towers are advertising themselves as TELUS, I don't see how this could be a problem.

It has nothing to do with AT&T and everything to do with how Telus' PRL treats AT&T.

As I own a Telus phone and have been to the US multiple times with it, I can say with certainty that the phone will display that it is on AT&T once it gets out of Telus range and into AT&T's towers and will warn you multiple times that if you use data at that point, you will be subject to roaming fees.

I had celluar data turned off and had no surprises on my bill when I returned to Canada (I only used the phone on wifi hotspots and wifi networks)

The next time I hit the US, I intend to buy a T-Mobile SIM and sign up for a per day data package while I'm there.

NefCanuck

InvalidError

join:2008-02-03
kudos:5
reply to Guspaz
said by Guspaz:

Compare the roaming rate for Fido prepaid in the US, $2.00 per minute.

Pretty ridiculous compared to the $0.25/min it used to be when I originally started using Fido 12 years ago. Back then, even prepaid was billed by-the-second and $10 vouchers extended expiry by 60 days.

It is pretty sad how much worse they have gotten since then.

At least we have hope that IP messaging and VoIP will eventually put enough pressure on carriers to force a sanity check on SMS and voice rates.