Videotron Responds to Man Locked Out of Own Account by Wife
There's Nothing We Can Do, Sorry But We Didn't Violate Law
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.
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.
| |MajestikWorld TravelerPremium
Re: Brought Doom Upon Himself
said by Wilsdom:Major cause of divorce I hear.
By getting married.
The adventure continues...Sanctuary....
said by DrZEUS: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.
seriously? this made big news? who cares!! lol
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...
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: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.
Yet ANOTHER reason to NOT use your ISP's e-mail service
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