Suit: cellphone bill exposed my affair

by Walter Olson on May 17, 2010

An Ontario woman wants Rogers Wireless Inc. to pay C$600,000 for sending her household a “global” invoice that wrongly alerted her husband to lengthy phone calls from which he deduced her extramarital affair, leading him to walk out on her. [Toronto Star]

{ 11 comments }

1 Doug 05.17.10 at 3:45 pm

She had an affair, and got caught by her husband. He did not like it and divorced her, and she is the victim? She caused all of this mess. She should be looking in the mirror and asking herself some tough questions and seeking those answers. Not suing the cell phone company.

2 Bill Poser 05.17.10 at 5:23 pm

I’m not sure exactly how much responsibility Rogers should bear for the breakup of her marriage, but it does seem that Rogers had no business switching the billing for her cell phone, which was in her maiden name, over to her husband, thereby disclosing her cell phone records, without her knowledge or consent. Rogers behavior is far from acceptable. People do have an expectation of privacy in their telephone records.

3 Keith D 05.17.10 at 5:46 pm

Bill: What the article doesn’t say and I suspect happened is that Rogers asked the husband if he’d like to consolidate all their separate bills into one unified bill to save money. My company has several cell phones and we were getting one for each employee to make tracking usage easier. Our carrier started charging extra for that service to convince us to consolidate the bills. That’s what I suspect happened here.

4 Bill Poser 05.17.10 at 6:15 pm

KeithD: Even so, if the woman had her cell phone in her own name, what gave her husband the authority to consolidate the bills? Husband and wife are separate legal persons. Moreover, I can imagine valid reasons for one spouse to keep such bills from another, e.g. if one uses the phone for business purposes that require confidentiality.

5 Patrick 05.17.10 at 7:40 pm

I’m not sure exactly how much responsibility Rogers should bear for the breakup of her marriage

You’re really not sure about that?

6 Robert T McQuaid 05.17.10 at 10:36 pm

Under the traditional law, a marriage unites two persons into one. They share ownership of property, and share responsibility for family assets and children as if there was only one interest. How can an outsider, Rogers, have any responsibility to keep the secrets of one spouse from another?

7 Richard Nieporent 05.17.10 at 11:26 pm

“Nobody does business this way and he’s not stupid,” says Nagy, who is in her 30s. He called the number, spoke to the “third party” who confirmed the affair, which had lasted only a few weeks, Nagy told the Star.

Did the conversation go like this?

Husband: Hello, I noticed that my wife made a number of hour-long calls to this number. I am going to take a wild shot in the dark here. By any chance are you having an affair with my wife?
Lover: Why yes I am.
Husband: Thank you. Have a nice day. Goodbye.

There is a lot more to this story than we are being told. It would appear that her extra-marital affair was not as clandestine as she made it out to be.

8 GregS 05.18.10 at 9:48 am

It’s hard to feel any sympathy for the wife here – it’s her own fault her marriage broke up, because she had an affair, and she seems to be refusing to take responsibility for that, and opportunistically trying to profit from it as well. However, I do think she has a valid complaint against Rogers. Her cell phone was in her own name, separate from the other Rogers accounts that were in her husband’s name. Rogers has no business consolidating all the accounts at one address into one account without getting the consent of all the account holders. And the argument that a marriage unites two people into one doesn’t hold. I don’t think that’s even true in Ontario any longer, and even if it is, there’s no way Rogers could know that these two people were married, as opposed to living common-law or even just being unrelated housemates. I would certainly object strongly if my buddy and I rented a house together and then we found our cell phone accounts getting merged just because we have the same street address.

9 Leafs 05.18.10 at 10:56 am

She really wasn’t the sharpest tool in the shed having the bill sent to her home. She may have some claim that Rogers shouldn’t have consolodated everything, that’s a gray area as we don’t know the content of the Rogers conversation. The customer agent may have asked to verify that Ms. Nagy was his wife. SInce it’s likely that the family already had cellphones, the agent may have just assumed that the other phone was seperate as an error. My wife and I had a similar event happen consolidating our credit cards when we were first married.

However, blaming Rogers for ruining her life is a joke.

So let this be a lesson for all adulterers. If you’re going to have a seperate secret life, get a PO box, and don’t whine when your lives catch up with you. Jeez, at least Jesse had the courage to stand up and admit he was a butthead.

10 mojo 05.18.10 at 11:07 am

Next time use a drop phone, honey.

11 John David Galt 05.18.10 at 12:31 pm

Doesn’t Canadian law have the “clean hands” principle? At least they do have loser-pays.

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