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The Canadian Press

00:00 EDT Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Bell Mobility and parent BCE Inc. have been served with notice of a $100-million class-action lawsuit alleging that expiry dates on its pre-paid wireless services are illegal.

The suit is being handled by the Toronto law firm of Sack Goldblatt Mitchell LLP on behalf of Celia Sankar of Elliot Lake, Ont. Ms. Sankar, founder of the DiversityCanada Foundation, is a Bell Mobility pre-paid wireless customer who has had her credit balance seized on two occasions.

The allegations, which have not be proven, accuse Bell of engaging in "unfair practices" and of breaching contracts with pre-paid wireless customers by seizing credit balances contrary to Ontario's Consumer Protection Act. The lawsuit alleges that pre-paid wireless services payments are "gift cards" as defined by the Act, and cannot have an expiry date. If the case is certified as a class action, Ms. Sankar will represent all persons in Ontario who purchased or otherwise acquired pre-paid wireless services from Bell Mobility, Virgin Mobile Canada and Solo Mobile since May 4, 2010.

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