Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Bell Canada takes a beating, but maybe it is the CRTC that needs the spanking …

Bell Canada agreed today to pay a 10 million dollar fine for misleading advertising over these last many years. Of course, Bell is calling it an “administrative fee” which no doubt allows them to feel a little less criminal and all.

An excerpt from the article Bell Canada pays $10M over misleading ads - Business - CBC News

Bell 'disagrees' with findings

"When a price is offered to consumers, it must be accurate. Including a fine-print disclaimer is no licence to advertise prices that are not available."

In a release, Bell said it "fundamentally disagrees" with the Bureau's findings.

"Bell's advertising has always complied with all applicable laws and been comparable with common advertising practice past and present in the communications marketplace and other industries in Canada," it said.

"However, Bell has decided to immediately resolve the issue and move forward by paying an administrative amount of $10 million."

But frankly, Bell is not alone. All of our providers seem to manage to stick us with all these extra hidden fees for network connection, touch tone (in this day and age that is criminal), network access, and so one …

The CRTC regulates the telecommunications industry in Canada and we continue to have some of the highest fees in the world and some of the most restrictive and onerous policies. Heck, Netflix had to change the Canadian service to drop bandwidth on movies by 80% because people were blowing by their bandwidth caps after only a couple of movies!

Our government overlords have managed to ignore this for a long, long time. Perhaps it is they who need the spanking so they can get on with giving the consumer a fair shake by world standards.

Don’t get me wrong … I’m still a huge fan of Rogers’ technology. And Bell says that they are bringing fiber to the home for high bandwidth cable-like TV service, so all is not lost. But Bell has the old blinders on for anywhere that is not Toronto or Montreal so most of us will wait a long time. And Rogers has an evil tendency to shape our traffic into oblivion more often than they should. So the CRTC has lots of interesting things they could address if they felt the need to actually do something useful …

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