Free Trial Periods and Limited Time Discount Offers – Quebec Consumer Class Action

Case name

Free trial period and reduced price Quebec class action;

Quebec Superior Court file #

500-06-000798-161;

Violations

Plaintiff alleges that 25 of the Defendants, all major players in their respective industries, systemically violate paragraph c of section 230 of Quebec’s Consumer Protection Act, by engaging in negative option billing practices. Under Quebec Consumer Protection law, it is illegal for merchants to automatically charge consumers, to whom they have provided services or goods free of charge (or at a reduced price) for a fixed period, the regular price for said goods or services at the end of the fixed period.

For instance, it is illegal for Netflix to offer consumers the first month of services free of charge, and then automatically charge consumers the regular monthly rate after the fixed free period of time. Videotron and Bell Canada are notorious for attracting consumers with very low introductory offers for the first few months of their services, only to unlawfully charge consumers much higher rates at the end of the discounted period of time (generally 3 months).

Proposed Class

Every consumer, pursuant to the terms of Quebec’s Consumer Protection Act (“CPA”), who since July 4th, 2013 (the “Class Period”), was provided services or goods at a reduced price (the “Reduced Price”), for a fixed period (the “Fixed Period”), by any of the Defendants, and who, after the Fixed Period, was required to send a notice to any of the Defendants indicating that he/she does not wish to obtain the services or goods at the regular price (the “Regular Price”);

Proposed Subclass

Every consumer, pursuant to the terms of Quebec’s Consumer Protection Act (“CPA”), who since July 4th, 2013 (the “Class Period”), was provided services or goods free of charge, for a fixed period (the “Fixed Period”), by any of the Defendants, and who, after the Fixed Period, was required to send a notice to any of the Defendants indicating that he/she does not wish to obtain the services or goods at the regular price (the “Regular Price”);

Remedies sought for consumers

Compensatory and punitive damages for Quebec consumers in amounts to be determined. Injunctive relief ordering Defendants to cease this prohibited practice.

Status

Pending Authorization hearing

Files – Free Trial Periods and Limited Time Discount Offers – Quebec Consumer Class Action

pdf_iconApplication to authorize – Nextflix – 04JUL2016

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By | 2017-01-31T17:49:28+00:00 October 7th, 2016|Active Class Actions|Comments Off on Free Trial Periods and Limited Time Discount Offers – Quebec Consumer Class Action