Beware of double billing
Published Monday, January 28, 2019 6:00AM PST
Last Updated Tuesday, January 29, 2019 10:33AM PST
When you switch your mobile, phone, internet, or TV provider, the day you cancel is the day the billing is supposed to stop. You’re not supposed to be on the hook to the end of the billing cycle.
The CRTC has ruled on this not once, but twice. But now the issue has raised its ugly head again.
Three years ago, Ed London switched from Telus to Shaw looking for a better deal on his TV package, but because Telus bills 30 days in advance, the company wanted to be paid to the end of the month for service London was no longer getting. London fought it and won.
"I'm talking to you again because the same thing is going on," London said.
London loves a deal and he says when his Shaw contract was up, he gave Telus another chance.
“So they won me back,” he said.
And then this last October when his Telus contract ended, Shaw stepped up and offered a better deal.
And what did he expect from Telus?
"That it would be all automatic and when I quit, I quit. And I pay them up to the last day," he added.
Yet London got an $82 bill from Telus for service to the end of the month, even though he was already paying Shaw for that same time period.
The CRTC rules are clear: switching should be seamless. Your new provider can handle the switch. Billing stops the day you switch and your old provider is supposed to prorate the charges if you're in the middle of a billing cycle and not locked into a contract.
Again, London filed a complaint. The Commissioner for Complaints for Telecom-Television Services intervened and London got his money back.
We’ve learned Telus had been fighting the CRTC’s 30-day cancellation policy looking for exemptions to the rule. In June, 2018 the CRTC said no, and gave the company until Oct. 1 to get its systems in place. But that didn’t exempt Telus from having to provide prorated refunds to customers who switch to different providers.
London had switched his service on Oct. 3.
"They didn't bill me by accident. “Would you bill the guy who complains the most and goes to the government and goes on TV?" London asked.
He believes Telus did it deliberately.
Telus told CTV News it was a "one-off error."
In an email Telus stated "what happened to Mr. London was a mistake...the issue was caused by human error."
The company said it has taken steps to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
In the last year Commissioner for Complaints for Telecom-Television Services has received 1,512 complaints from consumers about 30 day cancellation policies – that includes all providers.
London wonders how many other consumers have been double charged after switching providers and haven’t noticed.
"I imagine thousands of people are still paying it because I think 19 out of 20 people just look at their bill and pay it."