Cell phone companies targeted in suit over unlocking fees

Canada's cellular service providers are named in an application for a class action lawsuit seeking compensation over the fees charged to unlock cell phones.

The suit names CJAD's parent company Bell, as well as Telus, Rogers and Videotron and their subsidiaries and seeks to recover as much as $22 million for Quebec clients.

The CRTC ruled earlier this year that unlocking fees would be banned as of December 1, putting an end to the practice of companies selling phones that are programmed to only work on the service provider's network.

Unlocking fees can run as high as $50.

The lead litigant, Verna Jane Dumlao tells the Journal de Montreal, that unlocking fees are like buying a purse with a locked zipper and paying a fee to use that pocket.

The suit seeks reimbursement for the fees paid to the companies since August 2014 and $25 in punitive damages for everyone who unlocked a phone.

More information about the application can be found here: