Briefing

Supreme Court bars business customers from class-action suit against Telus

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The court ruled that individual customers must pursue their claims via arbitration because of the terms of their service agreements with the telecommunications company. The subject of the attempted class action was Telus’ policy of rounding the number of minutes a call used in a caller’s plan up to the nearest minute. The proposed class involved two million Ontario residents, 600,000 of whom were business users. (Globe and Mail)

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Talking point: The ruling could save Telus some money. The lawsuit was seeking $500 million in damages; each business customer will now have to decide whether to pursue their own arbitration case, instead of the cheaper and easier route of simply qualifying for the class. But it could also be an important precedent for arbitration clauses. The court decided that Ontario’s Consumer Protection Act—which overrides compulsory negotiation rules—doesn’t apply to business customers.