Wife claims cell phone company exposed her affair

Woman sues Canadian provider after it consolidates her cell phone bill with her husband's landline and Internet bill, revealing details of her calls.

Chris Matyszczyk
3 min read

Cell phone companies exist to bring people together, but sometimes things go awry.

Such was the alleged case of Gabrielle Nagy and cell phone provider Rogers of Canada. The Toronto Star tells of a difficult and troubling situation that had led to Nagy falling out with Rogers to such a degree that she is suing the company.

Three years ago, Nagy reportedly maintained a Rogers cell phone account which carried her maiden name. Her husband enjoyed a cable TV account with Rogers and called to add a landline and internet service.

Rogers, it is alleged, decided that here was a happily married couple who deserved to have a global invoice for all the fine services it purchased. Perhaps giddy at such a breadth of expenditure from one household, the company allegedly sent that worldly invoice to her husband. Which may not have turned out to be such a worldly decision.

What secrets might lurk within your spouse's cell phone? CC Steve Keys/Flickr

You see, the invoice reportedly detailed all of Nagy's cell phone calls. Because many of you have lived beyond your fourteenth year, I know you know what's coming next.

He allegedly noticed some rather long calls to an unknown number. Quickly, an affair was confirmed, as was the departure of Nagy's husband from the marital home.

Her lawyer's "Statement of Claim" declared that Rogers "unilaterally terminated its cellular contract with the plaintiff that had been in her maiden name and included it in the husband's account that was under his surname."

Then, in demanding $600,000 for invasion of privacy and breach of contract, the statement explained: "The plaintiff's maiden name and the husband's surname were different. Such unilateral action by the defendant was done without the knowledge, information, belief, acquiescence or approval of the plaintiff."

Relationships are such delicate things. They can be derailed with just a whim and a whisper. So you might be surprised that Rogers is not exactly lying down and taking it. In its Statement of Defense, the company contends that it "cannot be held responsible for the condition of the marriage, for the plaintiff's affair and consequential marriage break-up, nor the effects the break-up has had on her."

Yes, we're in that tricky area of responsibility. You know, the area in which the phrase "it's not you, it's me" is often muttered when meaning the opposite.

I wonder, though, whether one can muster sympathy for another of Rogers' arguments--the company reportedly claims the couple should have appreciated the positives of the new billing system, as bundling everything into one invoice saved them money.

Nagy contends that she was so distraught at the unfolding of events that she lost her job. Her husband reportedly walked out on her and her two children, aged 6 and 7, without even telling her how he'd discovered the affair. It was only a subsequent communication from Rogers, attempting to cut off her service, that allowed her to pull all of the facts together.

And if you'd like just one more complication, she reportedly says that her lover, who was also married, managed to call Rogers, get hold of her password and then begin to harass her and her estranged husband.

Strangely, Ontario, unlike other Canadian provinces, doesn't have a privacy act, so it will be interesting to see what Solomon-like decision the courts might apply to this rather sad and seemingly unnecessary state of affairs.