Class action lawsuit against A25 bridge operators
Published Thursday, January 24, 2013 2:29PM EST
Last Updated Thursday, January 24, 2013 9:38PM EST
MONTREAL—The signs are clear for most, but for some of the thousands of drivers who paid administration fees to use the A25 toll bridge between Laval and Montreal, a refund might be in their future.
A Quebec Superior Court judge authorized a class action lawsuit on Thursday against the private company that operates the tolls.
The suit was brought by the Union des Consommateurs who argued the fees charged for using the bridge are not clear.
"We should see big signs that when you're crossing that bridge—depending on the hour—you have to pay $6.84 or $7.44 and not doing the math while driving across that bridge," said Philippe Viel.
“Under the consumer protection act you have to put and put a bigger stress on the total amount that you have to pay when you cross that bridge.”
Signs just before the bridge advertise the toll fee and the administration fee separately.
The class action suit covers only those drivers who do not have transponders for the toll bridge and who were charged the $5 administration fee.
When you add the service charge to the toll, the total for drivers without transponders is almost triple the cost of crossing the bridge. That annoyed Linda Raizenne when she used the bridge just a few months after it opened.
“A little while later I get a bill: $5. I said what? $5? How come $5?” said the upset driver.
Raizenne wasn't aware of the service charge because there were no signs at the time. She's upset on principle.
“I wouldn't have minded paying the $1.80 whatsoever because, you know? But $5? No.I felt that was really gouging us without warning us.”
The company that manages the A25 Bridge refused CTV Montreal’s request for comment, saying the matter is now before the courts. But in a statement they reminded everyone who receives a bill that they still have to pay it.
The company's website still doesn't show the total charge for crossing the bridge.
The Union des Consommateurs doesn't know how many people could be affected by the class action lawsuit, but thousands of drivers who don't have a transponder have paid the administration fee.
They're asking the court to return the fees plus a $5 penalty per driver.
It could take years for the case to be resolved.