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    Consumers' Union and Raphaël v. Bell Canada

    Bell Canada / Bandwidth Slowdown

    This class action seeks to obtain a reduction in price for Residential Internet ADSL services provided by the defendant Bell Canada between  October 28, 2007, to February 29, 2012.

    The action also seeks compensation in the form of punitive damages against Bell Canada.

    Latest news

    In a judgment rendered on October 23, 2019, Justice Lussier of the Superior Court granted Bell Canada’s lawyers permission to examine ten class members residing in Quebec and ten class members residing in Ontario. The Court limited the potential questions to the following topics:

    1. The class member’s awareness of advertisements or other representations regarding Internet services offered by Bell Canada;
    2. The circumstances of and reasons the member subscribed to the Internet services offered by Bell Canada;
    3. The use of peer-to-peer file sharing applications;
    4. The existence of the alleged prejudice (i.e., any slowdowns of service they experienced, which applications were affected, etc.);
    5. The damages suffered.

    The names of class members will be drawn at random, and TJL will communicate with them directly to make sure that they have all the information they need to prepare for their examination.

    On May 9, 2018, Justice Fournier dismissed an application for a partial exclusion of Ontario class members. That decision was confirmed by the Quebec Court of Appeal.

    The defense was filed on November 7, 2018 and the out-of-court examination of the Bell Canada representative took place in February 2019. The parties should have the file completed in 2021. From that point, they will be able to obtain a trial date, which could be in 2021 or 2022.

    Conditions to be part of this class action

    You are part of the class action if you meet all of the following criteria:

    – Between October 28, 2007, and February 29, 2012, you were subscribed to one of the following Bell Canada residential ADSL Internet services:

    – Total Internet Essential;
    – Total Internet Essential Plus;
    – Total Internet Performance;
    – Total Internet Performance Plus;
    – Total Internet Max;
    – Sympatico High Speed;
    – Sympatico Internet High Speed Ultra;
    – Sympatico Basic;

    – Between October 28, 2007, and February 29, 2012, you used peer to peer file sharing applications between 4:30 p.m. and 2 a.m.;

    – You lived in Quebec or Ontario.

    YOU ARE NOT AFFECTED BY THIS CLASS ACTION IF you are a merchant who were subscribed to one of these services for the purposes of your business.

    Summary of the class action

    The applicant submits that between October 28, 2007 and February 29, 2012, Bell Canada systematically reduced the bandwidth of customers using certain protocols, including peer-to-peer technology, during peak hours. According to the application, Bell Canada violated its contractual obligations, made false representations and rendered a non-compliant service.

    On April 12, 2012, the class action was authorized by the Court of Appeal.

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