Bell Gets Slapped By The Competition Bureau… Hard

The Competition Bureau of Canada had a look at Bell Canada’s advertising. Today, they announced that they weren’t too thrilled about it and has decided to slap Bell silly:

Bell Canada has agreed to pay a penalty of $10 million for making misleading advertising claims, the federal Competition Bureau announced Tuesday.

Bell has also agreed to stop making the claims.

The penalty is the maximum amount allowed under the Competition Act.

So why did they get slapped this hard? Here’s why:

The Bureau found that Bell had, since December 2007, charged more than advertised for many of its services, including home phone, internet, satellite TV and wireless.

Additional fees, such as those related to TouchTone, modem rental and digital television services, were hidden from consumers in fine-print disclaimers and were mandatory, on top of the advertised prices.

So, Bell decided to settle this. But they didn’t go quietly:

In a release, Bell said it “fundamentally disagrees” with the Bureau’s findings.

“Bell’s advertising has always complied with all applicable laws and been comparable with common advertising practice past and present in the communications marketplace and other industries in Canada,” it said.

“However, Bell has decided to immediately resolve the issue and move forward by paying an administrative amount of $10 million.”

At least Bell decided to settle. Rogers when placed in a similar situation with their advertising regarding their Chatr brand got slapped with a similar $10 million fine decided to fight it. That’s a #fail in my mind when it comes to Rogers. Not that I’m giving Bell any props here as clearly they are just as bad.

While I’m at it, I deduct points from the Competition Bureau. They should have forced Bell to pay back consumers like they forced Rogers to do. That would have really sent a message that this sort of behavior is completely unacceptable. Still, it’s good that these telcos who can’t seem to treat consumers fairly get slapped for their crummy behavior.

One Response to “Bell Gets Slapped By The Competition Bureau… Hard”

  1. Bell is just going to raise their rates to cover this $10M. It will cost them nothing.

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