There are many frivolous lawsuits brought to our courts every day that should be thrown out and not waste the taxpayer's money. However, this class action lawsuit is one that should not only go to the courts, but hopefully be won by the people. After reviewing the facts, the Ontario Superior Court Justice ruled that the case can proceed and go to trial. The CBC reported:
"The suit, led by Celia Sankar of Elliot Lake, Ont., is seeking compensation for more than a million people in Ontario. It alleges Bell breached its contracts with those customers by expiring remaining credit balances too early or for imposing expiry dates at all."
Sankar launched the suit in 2012 after Bell, twice in three years, "seized" the balance remaining on her prepaid plan because she had not used all of her credit balance before their expiry date. The suit argues that prepaid plans fall under the same definition as a gift card and should fall under the guidelines of Ontario's Consumer Protection Act – which means no expiration date may be attached.
Sankar said at the time, "Because the prepaid wireless service is the least expensive way to have a phone, and does not require a credit card or a bank account, it is often the only option for youth, new immigrants, workers on minimum wage, the unemployed, people on disability and seniors on fixed incomes…" Sankar makes an excellent point that the prepaid customers that are being harmed by Bell seizing theirs credits, are the customers least able to afford that action.
The lawsuit seeks $100 million from Bell, in which they said in 2012, "We'll certainly defend against it." The lawsuit is seeking those damages for over 1 million customers that had accounts with Bell, Virgin Mobile Canada and Solo Mobile that had expiration dates from May 4, 2010 to December 16, 2013. No trial date has been set and Bell would not comment specifically on the case, however, spokesperson Jason Laszlo said that, "Bell Mobility always complies with the law."
Please hook up with us on our Google+ Page and let us know what you think – should the prepaid minutes be treated like a gift card or should there be an expiration date attached to them…as always, we would love to hear from you.