Bell Wins Ruling vs $100 Million Class Action Over Expiring Prepaid Minutes

Last August, a $100 million class action lawsuit (with over 1 million customers) against Bell over the issue of expiring prepaid wireless minutes was certified to proceed in court, two years after it was launched by Celia Sankar of Elliot Lake, Ontario.

According to an update on the class action lawsuit’s website, Honourable Justice Belobaba of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice ruled in favour of Bell, with findings released on February 12, 2015.

The ruling specifically mentioned Bell and Solo Mobile prepaid customers, when they purchased hardware (i.e. a phone or a SIM card), were acknowledged to accept terms which stated they agreed to the following:

Value deposited into your prepaid account is available as prepaid credits for your Service and such credits are non-refundable, non-transferable, and will expire after a specified time period.

A similar expiration clause was also noted for Virgin Mobile members and highlighted by Justice Belobaba, who concluded the following:

I therefore conclude that Bell Mobility and Solo Mobile intended and their subscribers understood that unused funds would expire and could be seized “after a specified period” meaning at the end of the active period. I conclude that Virgin Mobile intended and its subscribers understood that unused funds could be seized “after the expiry date” meaning at the end of the active period. In all three cases, at the time of contracting, the defendant intended and the subscribers understood that any unused credits would expire at the end of the active period (Day 30) and could be seized after that date (i.e. on Day 31.)

The class action lawsuit counsel, led by Sotos LLP and Sack Goldblatt Mitchell LLP, have filed a notice of appeal to the decision and says they will continue to fight this case in court.

Founder and Editor-in-Chief of iPhoneinCanada.ca. Follow me on Twitter, and @iPhoneinCanada, and on Google+.

  • andrez1

    While I hate the big telcos, I can’t help but wonder how someone agrees to a contract, then sues later when they don’t like what they agreed to.

  • James23

    They just don’t understand why putting money into your phone account would need to expire if unused even when it’s already non-refundable and non-transferable.

  • SV650

    Because the phone company does not want to carry the liability for those minutes forever? Without some form of expiry clause, how would anyone determine when the account was inactive / abandoned?

  • johnnygoodface

    And how small and buried into the Terms of Services this quote was? Ain’t it always the same issue, over and over: 25 pages of terms!