Competition Bureau Gets Court Order to Investigate Rogers Unlimited Plans
The Competition Bureau has secured a court order from the Federal Court of Canada to further its investigation into Rogers Communications Inc. and its subsidiary, Rogers Communications Canada Inc. This development mandates Rogers and its subsidiary to submit relevant records and information for the Bureau’s ongoing inquiry.
Central to this investigation are the marketing strategies used by Rogers for its Infinite wireless phone plans. The Bureau is scrutinizing claims that these plans offer unlimited data. Rogers throttles speeds after a customer’s initial data bucket is exhausted.
“Rogers Infinite data plans include high-speed data up to the speeds (if applicable) and allotment indicated in your plan on the Rogers network, extended coverage areas within Canada, and Roam Like Home destinations,” explains the Rogers website fine print.
“Once you have reached the high-speed data allotment of your plan, you will continue to have access to data services with no overage beyond the high-speed data allotment at a reduced speed of up to 512 kilobits per second (for both upload and download) until the end of your current billing cycle,” says the Rogers website.
This inquiry aims to assess whether Rogers’ marketing tactics may contravene the civil deceptive marketing provisions outlined in the Competition Act. However, it’s important to note that, as of now, there has been no conclusion of wrongdoing by Rogers, says the Competition Bureau.
The Competition Act strictly prohibits any form of false or misleading representation to promote products, services, or business interests.
This is not the first instance of scrutiny in the telecommunications sector. In 2016, the Bureau took action against Comwave for advertising their internet and home phone services as “unlimited,” despite actual monthly usage caps. Additionally, in 2017, the Bureau issued guidance for advertisers in this industry, cautioning against luring consumers with the promise of unlimited services while imposing hidden fees or caps.
Back in May 2022, the Competition Bureau tried to block the Rogers-Shaw merger but ultimately failed.