$ 22 Million in costs of unlocking phone

News 17 August, 2017
  • Photo Marie-Ève Dumont
    Verna Jane Dumlao was found unfair to have to pay $ 50 plus tax to use their phone with a local supplier during a trip to the Philippines in 2016.

    Marie-Eve Dumont

    Wednesday, 16 August, 2017 20:46

    Wednesday, 16 August, 2017 20:46

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    A class action claim was filed against the cellular companies to recover the approximately $ 22 million that would have been imposed on Quebec for three years on charges of unlocking your phone.

    “I had paid for the phone, but I still had the hands tied, even if it was my property. It is as if I bought a purse that the zipper is locked and that I need to pay to unlock it “, says Verna Jane Dumlao, a representative of the resort.

    The Council of radio-television and telecommunications commission (CRTC) has recently announced that from 1 December next, the cost of unlocking will be banned and that companies will no longer be able to sell locked phones.

    The chairman of the CRTC, Jean-Pierre Blais, has called such charges ” a tax of farewell taken from the client who wants to leave “, while apologizing for not having acted earlier.

    $ 88 Million in the country

    The lawyer in charge of the class action, Joey Zukran, of the firm of CPA Lawyers, is therefore based on the CRTC decision to force the companies to reimburse customers the amount of “disproportionate and unfair” of $ 50 or more, in some cases, to be paid on applications for release from August 2014. Punitive damages of $ 25 per consumer quebecers injured are also claimed.

    The application is the major telephone companies wireless canadian, who also do business under several names, Bell (Virgin Mobile, Solo mobile), Telus (Koodo), Rogers (Fido, Chatr), and Videotron.

    Nearly$ 88 Million would have been paid by Canadians to package providers cell the 2014 to 2016 period for the unlocking, we read in the petition filed Monday in superior Court. I Zukran therefore considers that there would be at least$ 22 Million to recover the Quebec.

    “Fee-gouging “

    “The investigation conducted by the CRTC shows that the suppliers have asked the companies that make cell phones like Apple or Samsung to lock down the devices so that it was not more expensive not to do so. This is a conscious decision which led to the expenses abuse for the consumer, ” supports Me Zukran.

    An unlocked phone allows the customer to change the company who provides the package of the cell or use his mobile phone in another country with a local supplier, rather than choose packages for roaming that are often very expensive.

    Only in 2015, approximately 923 000 phones have been unlocked in Canada by the companies wireless, according to the CRTC, who told Me Zukran that several tens of thousands of Quebec could therefore benefit from the use.

    It is necessary, however, that a judge first approved the class action claim before that court procedures do not snap into place, which could take several months.