Comwave to pay over $300,000 to settle telecom services advertising case
Competition Bureau concludes that additional fees and limitations for internet and home phone services were not adequately disclosed
September 13, 2016 — OTTAWA, ON — Competition Bureau
As a result of a Competition Bureau investigation, Comwave Networks Inc. of Toronto has agreed to pay an administrative penalty of $300,000 for making what the Bureau concluded were false or misleading representations in regards to charges and the level of service for internet and home phone connections.
Under the consent agreement, Comwave has also agreed to pay $60,000 towards the costs of the Bureau’s investigation, as well as establish a corporate compliance program designed to help it avoid similar issues in the future.
The Bureau concluded that Comwave’s advertisements misrepresented the charges consumers would face for telecommunications services and that the advertised prices were not attainable because of additional non‑optional fees.
The Bureau also found that Comwave misrepresented its internet and home phone services as “unlimited”, when in fact there were monthly caps on usage.
The Bureau concluded that while this information was disclosed in fine print disclaimers, and Comwave's staff had been instructed to provide some of this information to customers when they called the call centre, this was not sufficient to prevent the advertisements from being misleading.
To address the Bureau’s concerns, Comwave has agreed to change advertisements to accurately explain its services and costs to customers.
- The consent agreement between Comwave and the Competition Bureau is made under the civil deceptive marketing practices provisions of the Competition Act.
"When shopping around for telecommunications services, consumers deserve clear and accurate information in order to make informed purchases. Comwave cooperated with the Bureau’s investigation and is correcting its advertisements to better reflect the services offered by the company, along with associated fees."Matthew Boswell
Senior Deputy Commissioner of Competition
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