Say what you want about the STM, but you can't say they're not trying. In an attempt to make our commute at least a little less boring, the Montreal's transport society have been slowly but methodically rolling out wireless service on its metro lines.
We were thrilled back in November when we could finally stalk our Facebook feeds and Youtube our favourite kitten compilations without interruption on the Green line, and now we are overjoyed to announce that metro users will now have access to leading-edge 3G, 4G and 4G LTE technology when travelling on the Yellow line. Yep, you can stop being forced to stare at strangers between Berri-UQÀM and Longueuil stations, and get back to staring at your phone.
This is actually the longest stretch of tunnel STM's wireless network partners (Bell, Rogers, TELUS and Videotron) are lighting up, with a full 2,362 metres of mobile connectivity. Never miss another call, text message, or streaming video while you're traveling back and forth to Parc Jean-Drapeau this summer.
UPDATE: The Government of Quebec has introduced new COVID-19 health measures since this article was published. Please review guidelines and double-check the website and social media pages of the event or activity before you head out. We strongly recommend calling before you go.
Why You Should Go: Indoor gatherings are limited to six people right now, so call your besties up and plan a little shindig at one of your apartments. No better way to start the New Year than with your closest people.
Address: 463, rue Sainte-Catherine O., Montreal, QC
Why you should go: Three similar interactive works, titled Les Diamants, will spend the holiday season on the front lawn of St. James United Church. You spin them around to enjoy a little light and sound show.
Retail stores and telecom companies were unsurprisingly among those that were subject to the most consumer complaints in Quebec in the past year. But they still only represent a small fraction of the complaints sent to the province's consumer watchdog, the Office de la protection du consommateur (OPC).
According to information the OPC shared with MTL Blog, the office received a total of 21,442 complaints between December 1, 2020, and November 30, 2021.
Of those, 15% were concerning car rental services, 10% had to do with large home appliance purchases (stoves, fridges, washing machines, etc.), 8% involved issues with other types of furniture and another 8% were related to home construction, renovation or maintenance.
The OPC also provided a breakdown of the types of consumer-related problems it handled, saying it detected a total of 35,548 in the same 12-month period. The most common issues, representing 31% of the 12-month total, had to do with a delivery or the quality of a good or service.
15% involved a warranty. 13% were allegations of commercial "misrepresentation and omission of an important fact." And 8% had to do with a vehicle sale or repair.
6.5% were complaints of what the office calls a prohibited price practice, including charging more than the advertised price or certain prohibited advertising practices.
"The year was of course marked by the pandemic, the many questions it raised and still raises, as well as the changes it brought about in consumer habits, notably the explosion of purchases made via the internet," the OPC said in a statement sent to MTL Blog.
It said that there was a notable increase in consumer complaints surrounding pricing increases, especially in the auto and construction sectors.
As for the companies that were subject to the most complaints, retail stores led the pack. Furniture store Brault & Martineau was implicated in 453, or 2%, of the 21,442 total complaints sent to the OPC.
It was followed by rival home appliance and furniture store The Brick, which represented 322 complaints (1.5%).
Walmart Canada followed in third place with 304 complaints. 289 complaints named Best Buy, which took the number five spot. Meubles RD was in sixth place (286 complaints).
Appliance manufacturer Whirlpool had the seventh most complaints, 196, and Samsung Electronics Canada had the ninth most at 167. Ameublements Tanguay was in 10th place (157 complaints).
The remaining two spots on the list went to telecom companies. In fourth place was Vidéotron with 298 complaints, while 173 complaints targeted Bell Canada, which landed it in the eighth spot.
The OPC clarifies, however, that the complaints sent to its office between December 2020 and November 2021 are so far unverified and "may be subject to further verification."
It suggests moreover that the size of some businesses could explain a higher number of complaints.
This article’s cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.