The non conformer's Canadian Weblog

December 6, 2014

A Symptom of a deeper malaise

bell

Bell, Telus face class actions over rounding up calls to next minute

An Ontario court has certified class action lawsuits against Telus (TSX:T) and Bell (TSX:BCE) over the practice of rounding up calls to the next full minute.

Lawyers for two firms representing the plaintiffs say millions of Canadian were affected by the practice in which, for example, a call that lasts one minute and one second is rounded off to two minutes for billing purposes.

While Bell and Telus had previously billed customers on a per-second basis, in mid-2002 they changed their practices so that customers were billed on a per-minute basis, with calls being rounded up to the farthest minute, the suit alleges.

This change was not disclosed by either telecom until the end of the class periods, lawyers for Rochon Genova LLP and the Merchant Law Group LLP said in a release issued Thursday.

The class actions were certified on behalf of Canadian residents who subscribed to Bell services and were billed by the minute between Aug. 18, 2006, and Oct. 1, 2009, and Ontario residents who subscribed to Telus services and were billed by the minute between Aug. 18, 2006, and July 1, 2010.

The allegations have not been proven in court.

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