Did Telus Drive a Small ISP Out of Business?

Here’s a report alleging that Telus drove a BC woman out of business by maniplulating regulators and courts with false information.

via BoingBoing

Her story seems legit. If so, it’s a real failure on the part of our justice system.


  1. David Cheifetz

    On the other hand, Michel, there’s not a bit of evidence in report to support any of her complaints, so “seems legit” seems, to me, to be an overstatement when applied to her story as she tells in the video clip. (I suppose that does depend on what one’s understanding of the meaning of “seems” and “legit” is).

    Her so-called evidence is the assertion some expert told her she was overcharged and that she obtained something on access to information request that states that Telus provides regulated services.

    I’m prepared to concede that there is at least as much evidence in that video as there is the run-of-the-mill “alien abduction” story, though not perhaps quite as much as there was in GB2’s WMT claim.

    Still, there’s nothing in the video that connects the dots: as in Telus charged us $X for this service. Under some CRTC reg, the most it could lawfully charge was some lesser amount. Here is the paper (or some other form of) proof. Do you think the BoingBoing owner missed that?

    In any event, according to Telus, in a reply on BoingBoing that predates your posting here (you have to scroll down a bit to get past the vox populi

    Ms. Quigley has brought these allegations up before the BC Supreme Court, the BC Court of Appeal, an arbitrator, the CRTC, and the federal Court of Appeal. On each occasion, her claims have been demonstrated to be completely false.

    If, in fact, Telus was charging more for some service than it was entitled to by a CRTC reg, you’d think at least one of those people would have have seen that, by comparing the apple and the apple. And that she’d have included that in her video.

    Apart form that, this is the Telus reply, for what it is worth, posted on boingboing on May 30.


    Shawn Hall from TELUS here. I would like to clarify the actual facts of this situation.

    The allegations Ms. Quigley makes in this YouTube video are simply untrue, and have been proven untrue. Since 2007, Ms. Quigley has brought these allegations up before the BC Supreme Court, the BC Court of Appeal, an arbitrator, the CRTC, and the federal Court of Appeal. On each occasion, her claims have been demonstrated to be completely false.

    TELUS billed Ms. Quigley standard rates for wholesale ADSL bandwidth, which she then retailed to customers. It’s unclear where the money she collected from those customers went, but it did not go to pay her major suppliers for services rendered.

    As to Ms. Quigley’s claim that TELUS overcharged On Call, here’s what the Arbitrator had to say about that:

    “In the result I am satisfied that TELUS has applied a very high standard of care in determining the amounts presently due from On Call and I conclude that as of November 4, 2009 On Call is indebted to TELUS in the amount of $810,669.58.”

    The Arbitrator’s ruling was upheld by the British Columbia Supreme Court.

    Unfortunately, this is a simple matter of a customer not paying their suppliers’ bills over the course of years, finally going bankrupt, and the business being sold. On Call is now being operated effectively by a second local Internet service provider that purchased the operation from bankruptcy. We continue to provide bandwidth to the new owners of On Call Internet Services, and enjoy a strong relationship with that provider, as well as dozens of providers across western Canada.

    No: I do not represent Telus in case anybody wonders.

    For what it is worth, at least to me, $800,000 plus is a lot of overcharges for everybody to miss that Telus was charging more than it was lawfully allowed to.


  2. Well, she claims to have proof that Telus acknowledges the services *in question* were regulated, contrary to what she claims they said in arbitration. Not that anyone should take her story at face value, of course. Nor Telus’ version.

  3. Lots of claims but not a whit of substantiation. Anybody viewing that video should ask why. I once thought better of BoingBoing.

  4. Disclosure–I work for an ISP, though not one that’s involved in this case.

    I would just add to David’s comments, the issue on which she seems to think she has “new evidence” is that certain services were regulated. I don’t know all the facts (because she doesn’t disclose them,) but I would think that whether or not a given service is regulated is a matter of law, not of fact and expert “evidence”. And, for anyone who works in the industry, it doesn’t seem like it’s a particularly tricky matter of law, either. I find it quite difficult to believe that her “expert” discovered an answer to a question of law that should override the judgments of the legal bodies to whom that very question was presented.