Videotron Hit with Class-Actions Over Alleged Overcharging in Quebec

Quebecor’s Videotron is facing two class-action lawsuits alleging the company overcharged its residential customers. While Videotron has formally denied some of the allegations, the lawsuits could result in significant damages awarded to a large number of customers if proven in court.

The first lawsuit, authorized as a class action on August 9, alleges that Videotron improperly charged customers for SIM cards they did not request. The case cites instances where customers were charged an additional $10 for a SIM card when purchasing mobile phones from the company, reports BNN Bloomberg.

The other class action lawsuit, authorized on February 3, accuses Videotron of overcharging customers in two specific ways: not issuing refunds for prepaid services upon cancellation and charging a full month of interest on overdue balances.

The lawsuit applies to Quebec customers of all Videotron services, including internet, television, video streaming, and phone services, from October 20, 2018, to February 3 of this year.

Maxime Oullette, a lawyer with Garnier Ouellette Avocats, told BNN Bloomberg that his firm expects to soon receive customer and billing data from Videotron for analysis by accounting firm PwC Canada. Oullette estimates that Videotron customers were overcharged on interest fees for an average of “10 to 15 days.”

Similarly, David Bourgoin of BGA Inc. Avocat said his firm has received over a thousand inquiries from individuals who believe they may be eligible for damages. Lambert Avocats, the law firm handling the SIM card lawsuit, stated that the court’s authorization marks a “significant victory for consumers.”

As of the end of 2022, Videotron had 6.3 million subscriptions, primarily in Quebec. This number has grown to 7.4 million following Quebecor’s acquisition of the Freedom Mobile wireless business as part of the Rogers-Shaw merger. However, these new customers are not included in either of the class actions.

Videotron declined to comment on the ongoing lawsuits, stating, “We do not comment (on) ongoing procedures.”

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