December 30, 2015 11:39am
Telus has become the latest national carrier to reach an agreement with Canada’s Competition Bureau relating to its 2012 premium texting services suit.
In a press release sent out earlier today, the Government of Canada announced the Telus has agreed to give $7.34 million worth of rebates to current and past subscribers who were wrongfully charged for receiving premium texts.
According to the terms of the agreement, current customers will automatically receive a rebate, while former customers can expect to receive a communication from the company detailing how they can claim their rebate in the near future. Customers from both Telus and Koodo will be eligible for the rebates.
In addition, Telus will donate to Ryerson University’s Privacy and Big Data institute, which will use the funds for research relating to consumer rights.
Back in 2012, the Competition Bureau undertook an investigation into premium texting services that were offered by all three of Canada’s national carriers. At the time, Telus, Rogers and Bell offered subscription texts related to things like ring tones, games and horoscopes. The issue with these services was that they often seemed free when in fact customers could end up paying up to $40 per month to receive them. After concluding its investigation, the Bureau found two common issues with the services. One, it was often difficult for subscribers to opt out the respective service they were enrolled in; two, they were misled about the associated costs.
“Consumers expect and deserve truth in advertising. Allowing a third party to take advantage of consumers through misleading advertising is a violation of the Competition Act,” said Matthew Boswell in a statement issued to MobileSyrup. “We are pleased that Telus has taken steps to prevent this from happening again, as we continue our work to ensure that consumers benefit from accurate information in the digital economy.”
Earlier in the year, Rogers reached a similar agreement with the Competition Bureau. Canada’s largest carrier agreed to offer $5.42 million in rebates relating to the same case.