On December 14, the Court of Appeal favorably granted the application for authorization to institute a class action against Videotron, an application that was initially rejected by the Superior Court in September 2019.
This is another important step for the representative of this collective action, Caféier-Boustifo in Ville-Marie, in Abitibi-Témiscamingue, and its owner. Benoît Dessureault.
In 2018, after receiving an invoice of more than $ 1,700 for termination of his telephone line contract with Télébec, Benoît Dessureault decided to take this case to court, ruling this abusive practice.
With the help of a specialized firm, BGA Avocats, he brought a class action against Télébec and Videotron which, according to him, impose similar termination fees, fees he considers excessive.
The case was heard in September 2019 by the Superior Court, which granted Caféier-Boustifo de Ville-Marie the right to bring a class action against Télébec. Videotron is then excluded from the recourse.
The lawyers in the case decided, however, to push the case on appeal so that Videotron would also be subject to the class action. The plaintiff succeeds.
“She proved us right across the board”, welcomes Me David Bourgoin, director of BGA Avocats.
Me Bourgoin can now push the case further.
“It will progress like a normal file of responsibilities. There will be interrogations, there will be accounting evidence. We will ask for complete data on the fees that were collected by these two suppliers from their business customers. We will complete the procedural file and we will wait for a trial. “
Télébec also appealed following the 2019 judgment and challenged the authorization of the class action. The appeal was dismissed in December 2020.
Télébec is therefore maintained in the class action and Videotron is added to it. The class action affects all businesses domiciled or having been domiciled in Quebec and having been imposed or billed since April 20, 2015 by Videotron or Télébec for contract termination conditions or fees.
The next steps, including the trial, should last two years, according to the lawyer responsible for the case.
In the event of a victory, Me David Bourgoin believes that this cause could set a precedent and have a major impact in regions where competition in the telecommunications sector is not fierce and where contract fees are exorbitant, according to him.
The two telecommunications companies concerned declined to comment on the recent decision of the Court of Appeal.