Shaw Cablesystems sued for disclosure violation

VANCOUVER, Feb. 4 /CNW/ - A class action lawsuit filed in the Federal Court of Canada against Calgary-based Shaw Cablesystems G.P. alleges an illegal practice with respect to the disclosure of interest charges on overdue accounts.

The suit was filed January 31, 2011 by the law firm of Poyner Baxter LLP of North Vancouver, alleging a violation of the federal Interest Act. Such a suit is typically brought in the name of one or more individuals as "representative of a class," and, if successful, would apply to all charges imposed by Shaw on overdue accounts during the past six years pursuant to the Statute of Limitations.

"Shaw's practice of charging an interest penalty on overdue accounts is neither uncommon nor illegal, nor is the rate of two per cent," said lawyer Jim Poyner. "However, the Interest Act specifically requires that the annualized rate be fully disclosed to consumers which, in this case, is two percent compounded monthly, effectively 26.8 per cent per annum. If not disclosed, the law is very clear: the maximum rate that can be charged is five per cent per annum."

Most firms comply with the law by clearly stating all penalties on their statements. Others provide direct links to specific information on their web sites. "No such information or direction exists on the Shaw statements. If one mines down deeply enough on the Shaw web site, the information can be found, but those who can find it deserve a prize," Poyner said.

Shaw provides cable services in multiple locations throughout Canada, principally from Thunder Bay and Sault St. Marie west, and dominantly in British Columbia and Alberta.

The Statement of Claim filed in the Federal Court cites "egregious conduct" and seeks a refund, interest and costs on behalf of all Shaw customers who paid overdue penalties during the past six years.

The complete text of the Statement of Claim can be found at

SOURCE Poyner Baxter LLP

For further information:

Poyner Baxter, Suite 408 - 145 Chadwick Court North Vancouver, B.C. V7M 3K1
Tel: 604.988 6321 Fax: 604.988 3632  e-mail:
web site:

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Poyner Baxter LLP

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