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Videotron - minimum 50% channels must be in French and from Quebec?  XML
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Joined: Feb 23 2008 18:18
Messages: 1

I just tried to subscribe to Videotron's digital cable system with a custom package and had a long conversation with the customer service rep about what can and can not be done.

Basically, I tried to order

* Basic service ($13.99) which includes a mix of English and French
* Hispano package ($14.99) because I am studying Spanish and I'd like to watch news in that language.

Simple enough, right? I was told flat out that I could NOT do that. Why? Because if one orders anything beyond the basic service, over 50% of those "additional" channels must be in French and from Quebec.

So, my only option would be to match the 11 channels from the Hispano package with at least 11 French-language Quebecois channels, and those already in the basic package do NOT count. Eventually they forced a "Franco-package" for $20 down my throat which I was less than excited about.

I looked for "fine print" like that all over the Videotron site and couldn't find anything AT ALL. Nevertheless, the customer service rep was adamant that it's illegal to have more international channels than Quebecois channels.

Frankly, I am pissed because I just spent $100 on this stupid box and now they're extorting more money from me for channels I will never ever watch? WTF????? Have you heard of such a thing?


Joined: Dec 03 2006 15:48
Messages: 211

Interesting question.

Purely on a personal level, I agree with you - it sounds like a clever bill padding technique masquerading as a policy aiming for the protection of culture, but you raised a very good point, namely: shouldn't Videotron disclose such things in advance, right in its brochures?

I couldn't find this rule anywhere on the ordering pages (although some other rules give there were very specific). However, I did find the following in their general Terms & Conditions:

1. Videotron reserves the right, as a condition for
providing the cable broadcasting Service, to compel the
Customer to subscribe and keep a minimum number of
channels, the content and thematic grouping of which may
from time to time be established by Videotron based on
regulatory requirements and Videotron policies.

It seems that what you heard on the phone was a "policy" rather than legislative requirement, but I could be wrong. Whether they're doing is legal, I can not tell you (I am not a lawyer), but it seems that they are doing it in accordance with their own vaguely-worded policy, so technically speaking, this could be ok.
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