Competition Bureau documents say “Chatr’s dropped call rates were higher”

Rogers discount wireless brand Chatr has been causing ripples in Canadian wireless even before they launched. New entrants Mobilicity and Wind Mobile both filed complaints again them at various government levels. On November 19th the Competition Bureau announced that their evidence found Rogers Chatr brand had “misleading advertising” specifically for “fewer dropped calls than new wireless carriers”.

The Bureau is heading to the Ontario Superior Court of Justice and asking Rogers to immediately stop advertising they have fewer dropped calls and possibly pay an “administrative monetary penalty of $10 million dollars”. We received a tip last week from a internal Chatr document that shows Rogers is obeying the first request.

“All collateral and brochures that has have printed “fewer dropped calls than new wireless carriers” is to be destroyed immediately. Recently the Competition Bureau announced that they will be pursuing legal action against Rogers in regards to chatr advertising claims. As a brand chatr stands behind our advertising, and have independent third-party testing to validate our claims. We are confident in our network and will continue to provide our customers with a no-worries talk-happy experience.”

Today the Globe published a good article with stats from the initial court document filings. The Competition Bureau’s stated that a “comparison of the actual dropped-call data of Chatr and new entrants between July 28, 2010 and October 27, 2010 establishes that the difference in average dropped call rates is insignificant, ranging from 0.11% to 0.77%”. The report also cited Ottawa numbers where “Chatr’s dropped call rates were higher than those of a new entrant on 84 days out of the 92 days… In Toronto, Chatr’s dropped call rates were higher than a new entrant’s on 53 of the 92 days, establishing that the statements were false 58% of the time. This fact makes the Representations false in Toronto”.

When we interviewed WIND CEO Ken Campbell back in August he said that the industry average of dropped calls is less than 1% and they are “well below” this mark. Rogers said their independent third party testing by Score Technologies will help “vigorously defend” themselves in court. Would be great to see those numbers.

Source: Globe