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2010/06/02

CCTS Decision – Bell vs Consumer Cx re “Unlimited” Cell/Data Plan

Filed under: Uncategorized — RogersWatch @ 20:39
Tags: , , ,

Hmmm. I read upon this a little while ago so I’m just getting around to discussing it.

The CCTS decision (re complaint #10461) is published here (released early 2010):
http://www.ccts-cprst.ca/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/CCTS-Complaint-10461.pdf

Overview:
– cx enters consumer plan, 3-yr CP, for “Unlimited” wireless data, $75/mo, approx Oct 2007
– 4 mos later Bell cancels the cx’s plan due to cx ‘overusing’ data (cx is using approx 1GB/data of wireless data, according to bell the equivalent of 4,900-13,000 “average” cx’s [is that mean,median or mode kind of “average” there, Bell?])
– Bell then charged $400 ECF to cx
– cx moves to different plan 1GB/mo + overages ($120-$400/mo), Bell rescinds ECF charge
– Bell also reverses $3,600 in overage charges
– 8 mos later cx is again suspended for excessive usage, pursuant to AUP
– so cx contacts CCTS, wants Bell to be forced to restore original $75/mo “Unlimited” plan & pricing
– in discussions with CCTS cx indicates that they used the service for video conferencing, webinars, etc

– CCTS (specifically Josée Thibault) examines AUP and ultimately “Recommends” that Bell is within rights to determine, in its “reasonable opinion”, what is “excessive usage” and terminate cx plan accordingly.
– This was in part based on the Bell Terms (of Service) stating that the wireless service was not intended for (per the ToS)  “multi-media streaking, VoIP, etc” (contrast with what cx told CCTS, above)
– This was also in part discussed in terms of what is “excessive” usage, and that cx’s usage was clearly “excessive”

– Cx is unsatisfied with the “Recommendation” and communicates same to CCTS, forcing CCTS to ‘review’ the “Recommendation” and thereafter issue a final “Decision” (which is binding on the TSP, but not on the cx if the cx communicate such to the CCTS)
– Howard Maker, top gun at CCTS (and a lawyer by trade) issues all decisions it seems, and he issued this one
– It analyzed the process by which the Recommendation was arrived, the underlying fundamental facts as observed therein, the conclusion and the ‘protestations’ of the cx.
– He “Decided” that all was properly performed and the cx’s protestations weren’t at issue (‘fairness’ sorts of arguments).

My Analysis:
– CCTS did a good and proper job, they made the correct call. Cx, good bad or otherwise, got zapped by an not-uncommon scummy contract clause that is ‘upholdable’ in court.

Yet I decry that companies are allowed to use the word “unlimited’ with any qualification attached. Somebody oughtta hit our legislators in the head with a big, fat dictionary. (The material harm to others, I would propose, is that those companies who do offer a true, blue “Unlimited” feature or product lose some significant value in making that claim because of of the tarnishing of what “Unlimited” has come to mean in the marketplace; caused by Bell, Rogers, et al.)

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