Exploiting the new legislative provisions inspired by the class action Anglo-Saxon and implemented in late 2014, the association Rural Families launch the first group action in the telecom sector, directed against the operator SFR.
At the end of 2013, the association had accused the operator of maintaining confusion in its communication on its 4G coverage by indistinctly associating it with the 3G + DC-HSPA in a global name of very high speed mobile, suggesting an wider 4G coverage that it was in reality (theArcep had also noted a gap between announcements and reality in the summer of 2014 and asked for a correction of the maps intended for the public).
This confusion would have led to offering high-cost 4G plans to customers in areas that do not yet have access to 4G coverage. As a reminder, at the end of 2013, only large cities had such coverage.
Observing that, unlike other operators, SFR had done nothing to modify its communication, Familles Rurales had put SFR on notice and had threatened it with a summons. The association announces today that it is launching "the first group action against a telephone operator: SFR ".
She explains that "at the time, group action did not exist. Today, beyond continuing its action aiming at the condemnation of the damage which it considers to have been brought to the "collective interest", Familles Rurales intends to allow the subscribers SFR to obtain the repair of the economic losses born from the commercial practices that the association considers illegal".
Rural Families says that consumers have not been able to benefit from reliable information and that many of them have "was able to subscribe to a 4G offer while SFR knew this technology was not available on their territory".
It must be said that the communication battle over 4G coverage was massive and fierce between telecom operators during the early days of deployments, to the point that the regulator was annoyed.