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Bell Canada illegally overcharging on SALES TAX

The following is an account of what happened to a friend of mine. For whatever reason he decided to check the tax calculation on his cellular bill and found a mistake:

I have just noticed and believe that Bell Canada has been incorrectly charging the GST and PST on my Bell Mobility account.

My exact example is as follows:

Plan charge of $20
Usage charge of $22.80
Long Distance charge of $3.00
Subtotal of $45.80

The above was/is undisputed and agreed upon by both Bell and myself. However the discrepancy lies with the tax amounts charged.

They were charging $2.31 for GST and $3.76 for PST. I can’t tell you why I decided to double check the amounts but I do periodically with all my bills and when I did I discovered that those amounts were incorrect. 5% GST on $45.80 should be $2.29 and 8% PST should be $3.66.

The difference was only $0.12 but it was the principle of the matter. If Bell is doing this with all of its customers they are making quite a mint! I spent just over an hour on the phone with Bell, and at times it got quite heated. In the end I got my $0.12 back but couldn’t get it through their heads that their system was improperly calculating the amounts. And for the life of me they refused to follow the simple calculations on a calculator. Now I will be going back through my previous bills to see just how much they have over charged me.

After talking to a couple of my own friends and asking them to double check their bills, they too have small discrepancies. I know its only a few cents, but on a large scale, Bell is potentially taking in millions of dollars that they should not be.

I am curious to know if anyone else has had the same complaint or if I am missing something?

Let’s do the math together, shall we?

Actual math: $45.80 x 5% (GST) = $2.29

Bell’s math has to be either $45.80 x 5.05% (GST) = $2.31  OR $46.25 x 5% (GST) = $2.31

For the PST:

Actual math: $45.80 x 8% = $3.66

Bell’s math:  $45.80 x 8.22%= $3.76  OR $47.00 x 8% (PST) = $3.76

Now a simple calculation on say 3 million customers being overcharged $0.12 per month = $360,000 per month = $4.32 million a year from miscalculating the tax.  Nice work if you can get it.

Bell’s math is just wrong.  Or am I?  Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?

Copy a CD, owe $1.5 million under “gluttonous” PRO-IP Act

I hate the RIAA.  They are greedy and trying to support a dying industry.  It’s silly to think that they have won in court the right to charge someone $9,000 per song ripped, when it only costs $1 on i-Tunes.  Stupidity.


By Nate Anderson | Published: January 29, 2008 – 09:57PM CT

Not content with the current (and already massive) statutory damages allowed under copyright law, the RIAA is pushing to expand the provision. The issue is compilations, which now are treated as a single work. In the RIAA’s perfect world, each copied track would count as a separate act of infringement, meaning that a copying a ten-song CD even one time could end up costing a defendant $1.5 million if done willfully. Sound fair? Proportional? Necessary? Not really, but that doesn’t mean it won’t become law.

The change to statutory damages is contained in the PRO-IP Act that is currently up for consideration in Congress. We’ve reported on the bill before, noting that Google’s top copyright lawyer (and the man who wrote a seven-volume treatise on the subject of copyright law), William Patry, called the bill the most “outrageously gluttonous IP bill ever introduced in the US.”

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