At Home: Bell, Telus face class action suit over texting fees
Canadian consumers have plenty to complain about when it comes to the high prices and rigid contracts for their cell phone service, but Bell Mobility and Telus may have pushed customers too far.
Recently, both service providers announced new charges for incoming text messages, and a class action lawsuit has been launched in response to what many see as another excuse to gouge consumers.
Eric Cormier, a Quebec man who has subscribed to Bell Mobility for the past decade, launched the suit, saying that by introducing the incoming-text fees the companies have changed their contract terms.
As the CBC reports, Cormier’s lawyer, Noel Saint-Pierre, says ?This was something that was free up until then and the problem for the consumers is that they cannot re-negotiate the contract.?
The goal, says Saint-Pierre, is to get the court to rule ?that for the duration of a contract . . . the telephone company should not be able to unilaterally modify the conditions of the contract.?
Under the new fee plans, incoming text messages will cost customers 15 cents?a charge that applies to unwanted spam messages as well. Before the new charges were announced, customers who paid on a per-message basis were charged only for outgoing messages. The new fees won’t affect customers with a text messaging rate plan or bundle.
Bell customers will see the charges take effect August 8, while Telus will introduce the new fees on August 24.
It isn’t only Bell and Telus customers who think the new fees are a blunder: Industry Minister Jim Prentice has called the introduction of the fees a ?poorly thought out decision,? and is hoping to meet with chief executive officers of both companies.
In a similar case, T-Mobile is facing a court case over text messaging charges. Last week, a U.S. District Court in Seattle rejected a motion by the company to dismiss the suit.
Foreign News: Daily life in Egypt means sexual harassment for women
A recent study conducted by the Egyptian Center for Women’s Rights (ECWR) found that sexual harassment is still a daily reality for the majority of Egyptian women.
As the Egypt Daily News reports, the study’s findings show that ?48.4 percent of Egyptian and 51.4 per cent of foreign women of all ages are subjected to sexual harassment.? The study also revealed that ?88 percent of the sample witnessed a harassment incident.?
Responses from males who participated in the survey confirmed that sexual harassment is widespread in Egyptian society, with 62.4 per cent of the men surveyed confirming that they have perpetrated?or continue to perpetrate?one or more forms of harassment.
Nehad Abu El-Komsan, ECWR Chair, told reporters that ?creating awareness of the issue is the most important step.?
She added that men committing the harassment aren’t afraid of their actions because they’re confident they won’t face consequences, an attitude reflected in the openness of many harassment incidents. Survey results showed that the majority of harassment occurs in public places, with 69 per cent taking place on the streets.
Abul Komsan has announced that a draft law is currently being created at the National Council for Women.