The Competition Bureau is investigating whether the marketing claims made by Rogers that its Infinite wireless phone plans have unlimited data are deceptive.
The Federal Court of Canada has, therefore, granted the Competition Bureau a court order requiring Rogers to produce records and information pertaining to that investigation.
Rogers launched Infinite in 2019, introducing a number of “unlimited data plans with no overage charges,” aimed at “putting the customer first, helping them get the most out of their wireless services,” said the company’s president at the time, Joe Natale.
The Bureau alleges that there are, instead, significant reductions in data speed, known as throttling, after a subscriber reaches a certain data cap.
However, the competition watchdog maintains that there is no conclusion of wrongdoing at this time.
In 2016, the Competition Bureau eyed Comwave’s marketing practices, which misrepresented its internet and home phone services as “unlimited”, when in fact there were monthly caps on usage. The Toronto-based telecommunications company was, consequently, ordered to cough up a penalty of C$300,000.
A year later, the Bureau published guidance for advertisers in the telecommunications industry, warning against enticing consumers with claims that promise unlimited services, only to impose additional mandatory fees or caps.
Rogers’ spokeswoman Sarah Schmidt told the CBC that its Infinite wireless plans are “truthful and clear”. She also said that such plans are quite common across Canada, and that Rogers finds the timing of the investigation and the focus on Rogers “quite concerning.”
The Competition Bureau last sparred with Rogers when it challenged its $26 billion merger with Shaw, failed and, as a result, was ordered by the Federal Court to pay $13 million to Rogers for the lengthy court battle.