Class action suit against Bell alleges Fibe internet service advertising misleads customers


Fibe, a fibre optic internet service offered by Bell in a variety of regions across Canada, is now the centre of a lawsuit claiming the telecom misled its customers regarding the infrastructure behind it.

A note submitted to court in Quebec highlighted promotional advertisements, including a brochure from 2012 that stated Fibe is “made up of 100 per cent fibre optic connected directly to each home.” In small print under this statement, however, Bell writes that fibre wires are only available “where technology permits.” In most cases Bell’s Fibe internet is directed to customers from these neighbourhood nodes via traditional copper wire.

Bell Class-Action Authorization by Jason Magder on Scribd

In an interview with Postmedia back in 2015, Shawn Omstead, vice-president of residential products at Bell, said that the experience the consumer receives doesn’t differ even if the cable connected to the home is routed through a neighbourhood fibre node and then subsequently via older copper wires.

The first plaintiff in the suit, Côte-St-Luc resident Shay Abicidan, says they took legal action because they believe Bell is lying to its customers.

With class action lawsuits in Quebec, those who are subscribers during a specific period of time are automatically enrolled in the suit whether they opt into it or not. In this particular case, Bell Fibe subscribers in Quebec between 2012 and 2017 are eligible to receive compensation if the plaintiffs win the legal battle against Bell.

Bell also offers its Fibe TV IPTV television via fibre optic cable. Fibe Internet service features following internet speed options: 100 Mbps, download and 50Mbps upload, 150 Mbps download and 50 Mbps upload, 300 Mbps download and 100 Mbps upload, and 1 Gbps download and 100 Mbps upload.

Source: Montreal Gazette