Angry Canuck Cell Phone Users Sue Telcos Over 911 “Fee”

If you have a cell phone in Canada, then you’re familar with a “911 emergency service access fee” that is on your bill. That fee is supposed to offset the cost of having 911 emergency services across Canada. In my case, that’s $0.50. But according to the CRTC, that fee should only cost you $0.10. That means the rest of the charge is pure profit for the telcos. So you know what that means? It’s time to sue the telcos!:

But a new lawsuit seeking class-action status alleges that only a tiny fraction of the monthly 911 fees usually charged to subscribers – no more than 10 cents – is actually required by regulators to pay for the necessary telecommunications infrastructure. The systems are operated by the former phone monopolies and used to dispatch police, fire and ambulance services.

The rest is pocketed alongside controversial “system access” fees, which range from $6.95 at Rogers and Telus Corp. to $8.95 at Bell Canada Inc. and are the subject of a similar class-action suit that was certified in Saskatchewan last year.

“This is very similar to system access fees except that, if anything, it’s a clearer deception,” said Tony Merchant, the lawyer involved with both cases. “It’s a sum that’s accepted by the public as being, if not legitimate, then at least compulsory.”

The lawer behind this as well as the system access fee lawsuit that he mentioned is part of a national law firm called Merchant Law Group LLP which has a history of filing class action lawsuits against major corporations…..and winning them. This might get Rogers, Bell, and Telus thinking about how to pull their collective asses out of the fire come to a settlement that is good for all parties.

One Response to “Angry Canuck Cell Phone Users Sue Telcos Over 911 “Fee””

  1. I finally decided to write a comment on your blog. I just wanted to say good job. I really enjoy reading your posts.

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