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Videotron Responds to Man Locked Out of Own Account by Wife
There's Nothing We Can Do, Sorry But We Didn't Violate Law
by Karl Bode 08:57AM Friday Sep 14 2012
Back in August we explored how a Canadian citizen and Videotron customer Arthur Pequegnat found himself banned from his own account and e-mail after his wife removed him during an ugly divorce. At the time, Videotron stated there was nothing they could do, since the man had added his wife as an authorized user to the account. After filing complaints with Canadian regulators the CRTC, Pequegnat has received his final and official response: sorry, but too bad. copy of the letter (pdf) provided to Broadband Reports, Videotron states that they acted within the letter of the law:
As explained during our telephone conversation of August 28, 2012, although we understand the inconvenience you may have experienced, we believe our company's actions are compliant with the general principle of law. For all the aforesaid reasons, we inform you that Videotron cannot pay any damages. In conclusion, we would like to assure you that this issue is not a common one and, as we are always striving to service our customers better, we will analyse our policy thoroughly based on your complaint and detailed remarks.
What could he have done differently? Videotron suggests that aside from not letting your supposedly-trusted significantly other have joint authority over accounts, Pequegnat could have made a request to keep his e-mail active before moving out of his home. As the divorce got ugly he could have taken pre-emptive action and removed his wife from the account, though obviously people have other things on their mind during such problems. One problem is Videotron still never informed him the changes were taking place, we'd hope the ISP will resolve in future situations (however rare) of this kind.

topics flat nest 


What could he have done?

For one thing, once he understood that things were getting too ugly to be salvaged, take his wife off the account.



Anal mindsets

You can bet they will still come after him to pay the bill though and the same anal obsessed court of law will say its his responsibility to pay the bill even though he can't use the services!



Re: Anal mindsets

Why exactly is his marital problems their problem? Sucks to be him but he should have removed her from the account.
I do not, have not, and will not work for AT&T/Comcast/Verizon/Charter or similar sized company.



Re: Anal mindsets

Ok, but I don't get it. If he was locked out of his account, then he shouldn't have to pay the bill anymore, and no more. The bill now gets paid by the wife so he is now fine to do whatever. Makes no since to me why this made news unless, he is stuck paying the bill like child support. Is that even possible?

Chesterfield, MO

Re: Anal mindsets

Canada may be different but here in the US, until legally separated (not just leaving the house) or divorced, new income and debt continue to be commingled. This is especially true if the marriage only has one income and all accounts are joint.

If he is the sole income for the marriage, he still pays for everything until the court grants separation/dissolution. The separation/dissolution will include how future income is divided (i.e. alimony and/or child support) and how existing debt will be satisfied.

After separation/dissolution is granted, new debt is separate but it gets thorny if new debt is incurred on an existing joint account. Although the finances are separate by court order, the debtor will continue to seek satisfaction from any party listed on the joint account. If the party that incurred the new debt defaults, any remaining party will likely need an attorney to fight collection. Depending on the size of the debt, this could get more expensive than just paying the debt and closing the joint account.

The lesson here is never permit joint accounts to continue. Close them. If they cannot be closed with an outstanding balance, pay it off. If you cannot afford to pay it off, transfer the debt to a new non-joint account or borrow new money on a non-joint account to pay off the joint account and close it. If none of these options are viable, ask the lending institution if it's possible to lock the account to prevent new debt. (Be careful with the last option as generally anyone listed on the account may have the authority to unlock the account.) If the lending institution refuses to protect you, speak with an attorney and see if the court can order them to permanently block the account and prevent the other party from incurring new debt. Of course this takes time and until so ordered, you are liable.

Regarding any personal property awarded, change the title to avoid continued joint liability (i.e. if one party is at fault in an accident that results in personal injury/death). If one party is awarded real estate that is not sold to divide the equity, make sure the party awarded the property changes the title and if mortgaged, refinances under a non-joint account. Make sure the dissolution orders these actions and include an exception clause if mortgaged and new financing cannot be obtained (force the sale to satisfy the joint mortgage debt).

Prior to legal separation/dissolution, if one party is involved in an accident and becomes permanently disabled. Depending on the length of the marriage, the court may grant permanent alimony to support the needs of the surviving party so they don't become a burden to the state.

Change your will. Change life insurance/disability beneficiaries. Change any payable-on-death declarations.

In closing, even if you aren't sure if dissolution is probable, get organized and immediately seek legal counsel to do whatever is necessary to protect yourself from further liability. This is especially true if you are the sole income for the marriage. A good attorney will guide you through all of this.

If some of this stuff seems ridiculous, well, unfortunately it's the law. While I understand religions mandate a formal coupling to avoid sin, if you aren't religious, why would you ever want to get married? It also completely baffles me why anyone would fight to become part of such a twisted, legal mess when love fades and it's dissolved. No marriage should occur without a contract. We plan for our death. We plan for our retirement. Few plan for divorce. I guess folks are hopeless romantics and think it won't happen to them.

Mississauga, ON

Re: Anal mindsets

Forged Documents and Corrupted Officials. Enuf said.


Fallbrook, CA
said by beans :

Ok, but I don't get it. If he was locked out of his account, then he shouldn't have to pay the bill anymore, and no more. The bill now gets paid by the wife so he is now fine to do whatever. Makes no since to me why this made news unless, he is stuck paying the bill like child support. Is that even possible?

Whoever's name on the acct is the one going to pay. When I set up my cable/phone etc they have MY social and run MY credit, when I set up someone else on the acct as an "authorized user" that just means they can act as myself and make changes to the acct and I assume with this guy in the story, the wife went and changed his email password. It's the guys problem he should have taken her off as a authorized user as soon as he knew things were getting bad. He will get stuck with the bill!


Brought Doom Upon Himself

By getting married.

World Traveler
Tulsa, OK

Re: Brought Doom Upon Himself

said by Wilsdom:

By getting married.

Major cause of divorce I hear.
The adventure continues...Sanctuary....


Mississauga, ON


seriously? this made big news? who cares!! lol



Re: ??

said by DrZEUS:

seriously? this made big news? who cares!! lol

The fact of the matter is, what Videotron is stating is that the owner of the account is never the true owner of the account. And videotron is stating this is per law and their policies.

Also, what about private information that may be contained within an account and if this person had cell? Who called who and when is private. But videotron states someone else can take all this.

So in otherwords, what's good for the goose is also good for the gander.

People can put fictitious secondary account holders and if they get nailed with over-usage (and w/ videotron it's the most expensive in Canada), people can just transfer the account to the made up secondary person and get out of paying.

After-all, Videotron did say this is per law and policy....

It can (or should) work both ways. But I get the funny feeling if the shoe was on the other foot it wouldn't. You?

There are a few direct and indirect implications here that affect not only privacy, but also cheating the system and more...

Springfield, IL

1 recommendation

DON'T use your ISP's e-mail

Yet ANOTHER reason to NOT use your ISP's e-mail service - & to simply use a (FREE) e-mail NOT tied to your ISP...when will people learn...

Saint Paul, MN

Re: DON'T use your ISP's e-mail

said by dishrich:

Yet ANOTHER reason to NOT use your ISP's e-mail service

Learned this lesson in the early 90s when I seemed to be changing ISPs every other month. The only thing my ISP is used for is their bills, and even then it is forwarded to my main account.
Want the shirt? - »www.despair.com/thedestructor.html
Not afiliated or making any profit from sales


Fallbrook, CA
I dont use my ISP's email either and not so much of worrying about changing ISPs or being locked out, but because their webmail is crappy and the even limit the amount of messages, storage size, and attachments etc where as with Yahoo I can pretty much do as I please as far as that goes. Plus the way my ISP logs every little thing you say on the phone in the notes on the acct, and even their online chat help support, I wouldnt doubt they sit there when bored and read users emails (the ones that do use the ISPs email)

Greenville, TX


Not surprised... why would the higher ups care about some lowly customer anyways? Gotta follow the books, especially when it comes to customers. However, when something benefits them... to hell with the books!



ya and now you know why like in real life you separate all things regarding communication and assets from your partner cause if things ever do go bad this is how immature people act.