Bell will pay out $11.82 million to customers related to 2012 premium texting suit


Bell has become the last of Canada’s big three carriers to come to terms with the Competition Bureau regarding its 2012 premium texting services suit.

As part of its agreement with the Competition Bureau, the carrier, currently the third largest in Canada, will pay out $11.82 million in refunds and rebates to current and existing customers who were wrongfully charged for receiving premium texts. Bell will also donate $800,000 to public interest advocacy groups.

“We are pleased that the agreements reached with Bell and the CWTA bring an end to the legal proceedings initiated by the Competition Bureau. Trust in the digital economy is vital for Canadians in the 21st century,” said commissioner of competition John Pecman. “As with the settlements reached with Rogers and Telus, Bell’s settlement represents a significant win for consumers and will deter others from engaging in misleading advertising that results in unauthorized charges to consumers.”

With an agreement with Bell in place, this marks the end of the Competition Bureau’s investigation in to premium texting services. Prior to the start of the investigation, Bell, Telus and Rogers offered subscription texts related to things like ring tones, games and horoscopes.

The issue with these services was that they often seemed free when in fact customers could end up paying up to $40 per month to receive them. More often than not, the three companies made it difficult to unsubscribe from these services, and they often misled their customers about the costs associated with using these services.

In 2015, as part of their own agreements with the Competition Bureau, Telus and Rogers agreed to pay $7.34 million and $5.42 million respectively in refunds and rebates.

We’ve reached out to Bell to find out the process for how customers will be able to get their refund. We’ll update this article we’ll hear back from the company.

[source]Competition Bureau[/source]