Canadian carriers respond to Competition Bureau ruling on chatr advertising

Rogers Communications Inc.

Earlier today, the Canadian Competition Bureau issued a ruling about recent advertising of Rogers’ chatr discount cell phone and text service, finding it “misleading” and looking to fine the carrier CA$10 million.

WIND Mobile, which had lodged a complaint with the Competition Bureau, quickly issued a press release expressing its support for the decision:

“As longstanding champions of wireless choice for Canadians, we are very pleased that the Competition Bureau has come to this conclusion and we applaud its decision to stand up for Canadian consumers and their right to accurate information,” said Anthony Lacavera, Chairman of WIND Mobile. “This signifies another important milestone in the ongoing fight for fair wireless in Canada.”

The misleading ads by Rogers’ Chatr claim that Rogers’ Chatr has fewer dropped calls than the new entrants, a claim which WIND disputes. “WIND Mobile has built a state-of-the-art, all-IP 3G+ network,” said Ken Campbell, CEO of WIND Mobile. “We are very proud of the quality of our network and could not allow unsubstantiated and misleading claims about its quality go unchallenged.”

Mobilicity also responded with a press release. According to the company’s President & CEO, Dave Dobbin:

“We commend the Competition Bureau for taking action on the complaints that Mobilicity initiated months ago and we are committed to continuing to lead the way to ensure fair competition. It seems that the government of Canada, the governments of Quebec, Ontario and Manitoba, and about 31 million Canadians are fed up with the Big 3. We believe they are fed up with high prices, lousy service and high-handed attitude. Today alone, Rogers was hit with a massive lawsuit by the Competition Bureau and they even called the police on Mobilicity’s Magenta Militia singing dance troupe. We invite all Canadians to join Mobilicity in this fight for consumers.”

Rogers Communications also responded via email to Gadgetorama:

“We’re surprised by the actions of the Competition Bureau,” said Ken Engelhart, Senior Vice President of Regulatory, Rogers Communications. “We have extensive, independent third party testing to validate our claims and we stand by our advertising. We will vigorously defend this action in court.”

“We’ve completed extensive testing in coverage areas across the country and there’s no question that the testing validates the advertising in market,” said Todd Stone, President & CEO, Score Technologies.

Score Technologies is an independent third party organization that specializes in network testing for leading wireless carriers across North America.

This matter is now headed to the courts so don’t expect a speedy resolution…