Answering my own questions since 2001

Rogers Could Face $10 Million Fine For Misleading Ads

A reader sent along this follow-up to the Rogers billboards I mentioned last week. As you may recall, the Rogers sub-brand chatr was running, to my mind, some perplexing ads.

It turns out those billboards weren’t only perplexing, but potentially unlawful:

The Competition Bureau is seeking a penalty of $10 million against Rogers Communications Inc. for ads claiming that its discount cellphone and text service, Chatr, has fewer dropped calls than its new competitors.

The bureau announced Friday that it has begun legal proceedings against Rogers in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice under the misleading advertising provisions of the Competition Act. In addition to the penalty, the bureau is asking the court to rule that Rogers must immediately stop its advertising campaign and pay restitution to affected customers.

I gather the upstart Wind Mobile filed the complaint.

UPDATE: I got a note from somebody at Rogers with a response:

“We’re surprised by the actions of the Competition Bureau,” said Ken Engelhart, Senior Vice President of Regulatory, Rogers Communications. “We have extensive, independent third party testing to validate our claims and we stand by our advertising. We will vigorously defend this action in court.”

“We’ve completed extensive testing in coverage areas across the country and there’s no question that the testing validates the advertising in marketing,” said Todd Stone, President & CEO, Score Technologies.

Score Technologies is an independent third party organization that specializes in network testing for leading wireless carriers across North America.

2 Responses to “Rogers Could Face $10 Million Fine For Misleading Ads”

  1. JohnB

    “We’re surprised by the actions of the Competition Bureau,”.

    Nothing surprises me about Rogers except, perhaps, their surprise at Competition Bureau’s reaction.

  2. the mechanic

    … $10 million??? on what grounds? did rogers cause a fatal food poisoning outbreak? did rogers perpetrate a devastating oil spill? $10 million for doing nothing more than boasting about how good its product is in advertising material? holy smokes! since when is that illegal? the crooked federal government of canada really is shot to hell …

    … this malicious prosecution was brought not by unsatisfied rogers customers but by the lawless canadian government which is being used by two of rogers’ competitors to unfairly attack the company with hateful litigation. in actual fact, the CUSTOMERS of rogers are COMPLETELY SATISFIED with the product rogers is selling …

    … and why has the corrupt canadian government agreed to assist two of rogers’ rivals by undertaking a malicious prosecution against the beloved canadian institution? the reason is because the bankrupt stephen harper government is so flat broke it will go to any extreme to find easy cash, including by laying false charges against wealthy companies like this fabricated charge against rogers communications …

    … on the positive side, at least the filthy canadian government is taking rogers to court as opposed to unilaterally declaring the company guilty and then issuing an outrageous fine that can’t be opposed. there is no question in anyone’s mind that when this matter is challenged in court it will be tossed out, just like the stephen harper government should be tossed out …

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