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Bell ordered to repay consumers $11.82M for unwanted premium texts

Bell Canada head office is seen on Nun's Island, in Montreal, in an August 5, 2015, file photo.
Bell Canada head office is seen on Nun's Island, in Montreal, in an August 5, 2015, file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

OTTAWA – Bell will pay $11.82 million to its current and past customers after a Competition Bureau investigation into the telecom’s premium text messaging charges.

This marks the highest amount of money obtained for consumer rebates under a Competition Bureau agreement to date.

READ MORE: Telus to rebate $7.34M to wireless customers over ‘misleading’ texts

The Competition Bureau started its investigation in 2012 and looked into whether Bell, Rogers, Telus and the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (CWTA) made or allowed false or misleading advertising for premium text messaging services, like trivia questions and ring tones. The bureau also investigated whether the telecoms charged consumers without their authorization.

Bell will also donate about $800,000 to public interest advocacy groups, create a consumer awareness campaign, notify affected customers and enhance their corporate compliance program as part of the agreement.

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The Competition Bureau also settled with the CWTA, which will also develop a consumer awareness campaign, among other things.

Last year, Telus agreed to pay $7.34 million in rebates, while Rogers settled for $5.42 million.