Canadian Competition Bureau says Rogers ads were misleading

Canada’s largest cellular telecom by subscribers, Rogers Communications, could face stiff penalties imposed by the Canadian Competition Bureau (CCB), after an internal investigation into allegations made by competitors concerning advertising claims were found to be inaccurate.

The investigation was initiated last September following a complaint to the bureau by one of Canada’s latest discount telecom players, Wind Mobile, who argued information conveyed in television and print ads for the Rogers discount telecom, Chatr, were false and misleading.

 More specifically, Rogers claimed that consumers would not have to worry about dropped calls compared to the other discount carriers.

An investigation has now concluded the claims in the advertising were in fact misleading, and that consumers relied on that false information to make purchasing decisions.

The CCB has ordered the company to pull all advertising forms that contain the inaccurate claims, and to even issue new advertisements that clarify the original misleading claims.

Additionally, the bureau could impose compensatory damages to remedy consumers who could have already entered into agreements under new phone terms.

The Ontario Superior Court of Justice will oversee the investigation completed by the CCB, which could impose up to $10-million in files for the company for the misleading advertising.

Rogers says independent third parties verify the claims made in the advertisements, and that it would vigorously defend all allegations brought against the company.

Rogers issued a statement late in the week from Score Technologies, a U.S. firm that conducted testing which prompted the claims. Score Technologies chief executive said in the statement, “We’ve completed extensive testing in coverage areas across the country and there’s no question that the testing validates the advertising in market,”

Rogers previously held a complete monopoly over the entire GSM network standard in Canada after acquiring the discount carrier Fido.

Following a joint investment by top rivals, Bell and Telus, which saw capital investments of up to $500-million from each firm in new GSM infrastructure across the country, finally ended the Rogers GSM monopoly in November 2009 when the new networks were finally launched.

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Hercules holds a B.Comm Finance from Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) level 3 candidate. He was previously a contributor at FiLife, a finance website owned by Dow Jones and IAC. Write to [email protected]
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  • Bite

    Do NOT use the word “discount” to describe new carriers. Wind, in particular, is NOT a discount carrier. The fact that they charge less than robelus does NOT imply that they are discount (like cheat-r is robbers’ ‘discount’ brand…), but rather COMPETITIVE.

  • Chmop

    So you quote the corp’s officially-issued double-speak, but fail to provide examples of the ads in question…?
    What a waste of time.

    • Yella

      sounds like 1) you don’t live in Canada 2) you’ve been living under a rock, which one is it?

  • watch tv shows online

    Rogers is just the Canadian version of AT&T. Always dropping calls, misleading ads (and used to be called Rogers AT&T)

  • Guest

    Reality is, whether you like Rogers, Bell or Telus, the ad is not misleading. The coverage of the new entrants is in fact minimal when compared to the big 3. And how is the drop call rates misleading? Can no one do simple math? Carriers process millions of call per month and in the case of the big 3, it is millions per day. If a new entrant is dropping even .5% more calls than the others it equates to 5000+ calls daily. If they handle even a fraction of the calls of the big 3, this number becomes even more substantial than it already is. So again, how is this misleading?

  • malky

    ive had them all,, Rogers is the worse ON THE WESTCOAST!~


  • Maljkj

    everyone has their preference and the numbers are the same for all the big 3 in canada. i live in Vancouver and travel quite a bit.

    everyone has issues with telus,bell,rogers

    everyone has less issues when their bills are less than $45 a month and do not have a contract.

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