CRTC challenging telcos over additional fees for paper billing

Ian Hardy

July 23, 2014 11:49 am

The CRTC has announced a pro-consumer initiative that’s takes aim at both telecom and broadcast companies and how they sometimes charge customers an additional fee for receiving a paper bill.

The CRTC today declared today that it will start meeting with various Canadian organizations to discuss the practice of charging customers an additional fee if they opt in to receive paper billing versus an electronic bill. The CRTC notes that “there is a wide variation in how companies approach paper bill fees.” Most Canadian wireless carriers note on their site that “If you choose to receive a paper invoice, a $2 fee (per invoice) will apply.” However, some carriers have opted to discount the fee based on the number of additional services you bundle in.

As of November 2013, 36 companies stated they don’t charge fees for a paper bill, while 27 revealed they do. “There is no consistent practice across the industry,” said the CRTC, and its approach is not taken into account the specific circumstances of some Canadians.” The Canadian regulatory body said they are challenging the “communications industry to come up with a clear and predictable approach” to address this consumer issue. The paper bill fee reportedly ranges between $0.99 to $5.95 per month for paper bills.

Jean-Pierre Blais, CRTC Chairman, said, “We are concerned that not all Canadians have a reasonable choice when it comes to paper bill fees for communications services. We are challenging telecommunications and broadcasting distribution companies to come up with a comprehensive approach that will enable Canadians to make informed decisions. We are prepared to explore regulatory options if the industry fails to find an appropriate approach.”

SourceNewswire

  • Marc Palumbo

    Well, we shouldn’t be getting paper-billing unless it’s an absolute must. Online billing should be the only way to go

    • Josh Perry

      Exactly! It’s faster, easier (as long as you have Internet, which you can use for free at a lot of places) and saves paper. I don’t see any reason to need a paper bill

    • Andrew English

      No everyone is online savvy. There are still people in the 60+ age range that either don’t have a computer or only use their computer for emails but don’t do online banking or anything because they simply don’t trust it. Should they be paying a fee to receive their cell or cable bill in paper form? NO.

    • Thomas Ramsay

      My grandma has rogers home phone and cable and has a basic flip phone for seniors and no internet or email, She shouldn’t be charged an extra $2

    • 5Gs

      Well then you should be helping her to learn to use internet.

    • Balls O’Steele

      Why is the CRTC wasting time with this stupidity? They should be demanding rogers lower the data roaming fee they charge wind so we can get real competition. I guess the CRTC is so useless that can only go after this $2 billing red herring.

    • HeyYoWL

      Yeah I’m pretty sure most people don’t care about a $2 charge versus paying double the monthly fee from 2 years ago for less/same usage.

    • PT

      CRTC = waste of taxpayers money
      There you have it. LOL!

    • Andrew English

      It’s simple. If they had Rogers (or anyone else for that matter) lower their roaming fees down then Rogers and these other companies would figure out a way to raise the cost of printing bills to recoup some of that lost revenue they have become so dependent on.

    • Ulysses Grant

      If she is 90 year old, it will be difficult to teach her how to download her ebill. Unless you have patience to teach her over and over again.

    • danbob999

      I think $1-2 is fair for a paper bill. They could also offer people to have a single bill for the year.

    • HeyYoWL

      Have you tried teaching seniors anything new? Unless they really, really wanna learn, they’re not going to retain that information. I’m totally up for e-billing but there’s always going to be some tech illiterate person who is older who wouldn’t do well with these things.

    • 5Gs

      True. I have and its not fun if you have no patience and if the other party is not willing to learn it but then again those people should not be charged to begin with but again they should be charged double as in todays world paper is soon to become obsolete and to entertain such audience there will be hefty price to pay.

    • danbob999

      and what’s wrong with them having to pay for their paper bill?

    • HeyYoWL

      I’m not opposed to fees for paper bills, I’m just saying that it’s not so easy to teach someone older new things unless they’re willing. My dad is older than my mom and he’s picked things up fine, but my mom has no interest in it and she can’t pick things up.

    • Anonymous501

      We know telco’s are way expensive, but it obviously costs a company more to mail out a paper bill than send out electronic ones. You need infrastructure capable of printing the statements, maintenance of those facilities, staff, postage, ink, lease payments for the facility, transportation of those letters to the post office etc…

      Maybe it would look better if they reverse and raise everyone’s price by $2 and offer a discount for people who opt for electronic copies.

      I can’t see why you can’t charge more to a customer that costs your business more. My grandpa’s 80 and he took the time to figure out the internet. I think in the long run, even if your older, your going to save time/money by figuring out the basics of the internet. In my experience with older people half of them are willing to learn, and half of them refuse…. I still see it as a choice with pros and cons.

    • cassandra

      If she doesnt know how to use internet, you can simply call rogers, let them know of this and they will remove the charge permanently, no fuss.

    • Marc Palumbo

      Agree 100%. This makes it a must situation. Anyone with an internet plan and a cell phone should be getting e-bills.

    • Davidyyz

      Call in and get it waived. They waive the fee permanently for seniors and those without internet access, but you have to call and let them know that you fall into one of those circumstances.

    • It’s Me

      Then they should discount those that are willing to move to online. Penalizing those that want to remain with a system they’ve used for years is just a cash grab. It does not cost the $2/month to generate a paper bill and certainly not $6. Charging for it simply adds to their bottom line.

    • 5Gs

      Well its like charging for bag. Do you really thing they care about environment. Its just cash grab. I agree. If i am charged $2 for paper billing then i should be discounted $2 for online.

    • malingerer

      EXACTLY!!! If I elect to take the ebill then give me a DISCOUNT for doing so. It saves the company money (approx $7-$10 per customer), they need to pass some of that along.

    • MassDeduction

      I’ve long believed grocery stores should charge for a bag, and offer an identical credit if you bring a bag. Now *there’s* an incentive to do the right thing. Similarly, the telcos could charge $1 for paper billing, and give a $1 discount for online billing. There’s your $2 difference, yet fewer people would complain about it. Those on paper billing would feel less “boned”, and those on online billing would be more positive about it whereas it’s at best a neutral for them right now.

    • vn33

      Just what I wanted to say … Telcos are saving $$, shouldn’t they pass that saving to us ? Fat chance, I guess …

    • duwenbasden

      Then they’ll just up everyone’s bill by $2, and discount you $2 for online.

    • Who Needs Facts

      A metered stamp on a 30g letter costs $1.15.

      As most of the Telcos likely contract out the paper billing, I’m guessing having the bill printed and stuffed into that $.03 envelope does cost $.82

      They drop the fee and it gets spread across everyone’s bill. So either “user pay”, or we all pay.

    • It’s Me

      Up to 30g is $0.75 in postage for metered letters. An average envelope weighs about 6.75g. An average A4 or letter sized sheet of paper is about 4.5g. So, 5 sheets in an envelope would be about 29g.

      And I expect your estimate of $0.82/per letter to have a automated system print, fold and stuff and letter is even more massively inflated (which makes sense since it was made up just to bring the total to $2). I also hope they are getting a better price on envelopes that retail customers can get by buying a single box at Staples (the $0.03/envelope is already on the high side of retail consumer pricing).

      Who needs facts indeed.

    • Who Needs Facts

      So all Mobility bills are five pages or less? You know this how?

      What about the other crap that gets stuffed in? That weighs nothing? What about a bill that has a sixth page or eight or 10th? And the paper itself? Free? Ink?

      The employees work for nothing? They don’t have leases, equipment, heat, etc?

      What the heck is wrong with you? You obviously need to get out of the basement and into the real world. You are so out of touch with reality it is sad.

    • It’s Me

      Look, you got caught making up numbers and inflating numbers. Don’t get all pissy about it now. No one expects anything less from the usual crowd of shills that come out for these articles. It’s almost like you’re paid for it…

    • Who Needs Facts

      Yawn. You’re tired…go pull out the couch and goto sleep.

    • It’s Me

      Ouch, zinger.

      Is your bitterness because they aren’t paying you enough? Don’t take it out on their customers. Ask for a raise. You deserve it for trying so darn hard. Atta boy.

    • Who Needs Facts

      Night It’s Me. You gave 110%; no 125% today. Nothing wrong with an E for effort.

    • It’s Me

      Another zinger!

      See ya later, who needs math.

      (Have I mentioned how appropriate your name is? And I’ll bet you look super cute when you put on the team cheerleaders outfit)

    • Who Needs Facts

      To use your term, umm Zinger?

      Anyways. Time to hit the hot tub before an early round of golf tomorrow.

      Another decent job of dismissing your original statements and launching into a diatribe that serves as a vent for your anger.

    • It’s Me

      Will any of your friends be able to keep score for you, or is this a short bus field trip to the golf course?

      I’m not angry. The shill and cheerleaders deserve to be spotlighted. You in particular are simple.

    • Who Needs Facts

      You’re angry dude. You are pissed at the world. You rail on every telecom story that involves the incumbents. Every single one. No matter what. Every time.

      If I dispute your comments, you change topics, launching personal attacks, dragging out the oh so tired shill comments and becoming that guy that no one wants anything to do with.

      You succeeded in dragging me down to your level making things personal and I apologize to the forum for that. I’m sure people are tired of it.

      I step away form this topic with my last point.

      Wind, the golden child of the government, the champion of the consumer, and the savior of the Canadian wireless industry charges $4.00, twice that of the incumbents, for a paper bill.

      Golf went well. Got rained on but was a good morning with the boys.

    • It’s Me

      Are you serious? I dispute your lies, show what you were making up and then you start going on about how you’ve been spending time picturing me and then trying to be insulting. You did that. Don’t whine now because I returned the favour.

      But no, I’m not angry. Seeing you shills get butthurt when you are caught in your lies is actually hilarious. You turned into quite the pitbull when you get cornered. Rabid little dog. I guess that’s a hiring standard? Dishonest but dog like loyalty.

    • ScooterinAB

      So you would propose a discount to those who switch to online billing and a… penalty for those who don’t? Because whatever way you cut it, wherever you hide the fee, those who do not want to go paperless are being penalized. I personal don’t care which way it goes, but let’s not kid ourselves that a discount is clearly superior to a fee when the cost ends up being the same.

      And yes. It does cost about $5 to mail a bill. But most companies only charge $2 (I’m not just talking about telecoms), because it is a reasonable middle ground. Printing, postage, and staff all cost money. Paper bills aren’t made from sunshine and rainbows.

    • It’s Me

      $5? Why not $50? $100?

      Between you and Who Needs Facts, is it “let’s see who can make up the stupidest ways to shill with insanely dumb estimates day”?

      Seems like it’s that day more and more often.

    • ScooterinAB

      Things cost money. People like to be paid a wage. Postage is expensive in bulk. And machines need to be bought and serviced, which also require staff that also require a wage/salary. I’ve seen the numbers for operating a mailroom in a half dozen different companies. Be happy if your carrier, utility company, or municipality only charges $2.

    • Who Needs Facts

      As i mentioned in closing another thread on this, while the incumbents charge $2, Wind charges twice that amount at $4 which, with how Wind does business, is probably closer to the real cost.

    • It’s Me

      You might be right. Since wind never included paper billing as a part of their service fees, $4 might be close to the cost. Since Rogers always included this in the service fees in the past, we were already paying for it. Since there was no reduction in fees when you switched to online billing, you’re still paying for it.

    • Who Needs Facts

      It was included in the cost but it does not mean you were paying what it cost them to provide the service.

      And wait, am I correct here?

      Incumbents charging $2. You dispute my numbers, say that I have problems with math, “prove” it does not cost $2 and that this is nothing but a cash grab.

      Wind charging $4 but you agree it might be the cost of doing business?

      Double standard much?

    • It’s Me

      No double standard. Wind charges. I don’t like but they’ve never included it. With others is was included. Now it’s not. That’s a drop in service for the same money or an increase in price.

      That includes, in both cases, whatever markup they added.

      I disputed your numbers because you made them up. You inflated the rates and then added whatever was convenient to hit the $2. I was a math major. I don’t like your fuzzy math. If you make up your numbers of course they always add up. In accounting that’s called cooking the books. It’s dishonest or it’s stupidity.

    • Who Needs Facts

      As neither of us know the actual cost, my numbers are as good as yours.

      And whether your numbers or mine, the $.75 or $1.15 is sort of moot. The additional costs in producing the bill, also moot. I said I’d guess it does cost $.85 cents in additional costs. As Wind charges $4.00 maybe I am low in my guess.

      I was trying to make the point, that the $2 is not a cash grab and not going to their bottom line as you stated. There are actual real costs involved in providing a paper bill.

    • It’s Me

      Not even Rogers tried to defend the charge by claiming it was to cover increased costs associated with mailing bills. They even donated the charge to a tree planting org for the first while to make that exact point, that it was only intended to wean customers away from paper for the environment. It was meant as an extra charge to dissuade you from using paper, a stick instead of a carrot. They were pretty darn clear on that matter, which makes all the apologetics and mathematical gymnastic from you guys all the more puzzling.

      And it that to which I take exception with. If they want to be green, that’s awesome, but reward those that would like to instead of penalizing those that do not. Most customers, most people, respond better to a carrot than a stick.

      But let’s pretend you are right and it is to cover costs. Then once you move to online billing shouldn’t you have seen a corresponding drop of $5 or whatever inflated numbers we’ve see bandied about? If the extra charge isn’t a cash grab then the continued inclusion of the mailing fees within the service charges is certainly a cash grab.

    • Who Needs Facts

      When you say ” they should discount those that are willing to move to online” and don’t realize that is exactly what they have done, it sort of make me wonder a bit.

      Over the last year or so, your posts have painted a picture. You are sitting in your parents basement, posting to openmedia FB to get likes and feel good, and then when bored there, coming here to throw out half truths and your thoughts as if they are facts.

      The fact is – you don’t have even a basic understanding of business.

    • It’s Me

      Wow. So charging extra to some is the same as a discount for others? Basic business? buddy you seem to fail basic, fundamental math.

      Send me cheque for $1K. Naw, don’t. Damn. I just saved you $1000. Logic fail buddy.

      You make up facts. Have serious need of remedial math course and appear to reason like a baboon. Before shilling, was it burger flipping? Sweater folding? Which pays better?

      If they are going to hire shills to post on these boards, can’t they at least find some that aren’t drunk monkeys? At least you guys are predictable. Not too bright but always predictable.

    • Who Needs Facts

      Someone who cannot read, lecturing on math. Brilliant.

      In 2010 if you received a paper bill you started incurring a charge of $2. If you opted out of paper billing, you were discounted the $2. If you stayed with paper you were charged the $2.

      Paper – full price. No paper – not full price.

      Is it really that hard?

      You think you should pay less why? What has changed to your bill regarding billing that it should go down?

      And really – the shill thing? Do you actually think that the telcos give one rats a*s what I say or what you say? Are you that disillusioned and paranoid that you think they pay company spies to deal with ankies like you? You are the exact type of consumer that they can only hope chooses a competitor because no matter what service level you get, at what price point, you will always be whining.

      Again – get a job, move out from mom’s and learn how the world works. Even if not for the money and experience, to learn how to discuss and relate to people.

      And another word of advice. Take your $2 savings a month and invest it something other than a bong or the playstation network and watch what happens to it.

    • It’s Me

      Umm, sorry you are still failing at your attempts with math. That’s really sad. I used to tutor guys like you in my youth. Few seemed as challenged in as many areas as you. Special needs? Seems possible.

      You asked what changed? Nothing changed but the price. If you pay $2 more for the same, that’s an increase. Duh. Even rogers isn’t daft enough to deny it’s an extra fee. Your shill goes above and beyond what even the corporate mouthpieces say. You really love your job.

      As for the shilling. Rogers admits to having staff troll forums and sites like this. That’s not paranoia, that’s social media.

      I’m not certain if your behaviour is because you are being paid or just from some misplaced fealty you feel toward the carriers. Either way, you willingness to just make up that most bizarrely stupid things is notable. You try hard at your job, even if you aren’t very good at it. I’m not sure which would be more pathetic.

    • Who Needs Facts

      “If you pay $2 more for the same, that’s an increase”

      One bill is on paper. One bill is not on paper. Not the same.

      Paper – full price. No paper – not full price.

      No paper pays less. Less is not an increase.

      Simple. Even for you.

    • ScooterinAB

      *Posted here for conversation flow, not as a direct reply.*

      If we position the matter differently, as suggested by others, telecoms would simply increase the base price by, say, $2, and offer an equal discount for those who switch to ebilling. This is exactly what everyone is doing, only with fewer steps. Sure, offering a discount is better for PR than charging a fee, but one model is necessarily more complicated than the other and accomplishes the same thing.

      Again, the key here shouldn’t be that a fee is being charged, because this has been the standard practice with every company or municipality that bills anyone for anything. The key here should be that there isn’t a standardized price for that fee.

      Looking for something else to complain about, It’s Me, isn’t going to accomplish anything. And attacking people on a forum for voicing their opinions isn’t going to accomplish anything either. Even if someone works for a telecom, it doesn’t mean that they are automatically being paid to come here and cause you grief. Maybe it just means they are equally passionate about wireless. And maybe it just means that they have a deep knowledge about how things are actually working and want to dispel the various myths and problems that spread like wildfire online.

    • Who Needs Facts

      Maybe I get it now. His comments perhaps indicate he thinks this is a new charge or something.

      I don’t know. Hope you have better luck discussing it than I did.

    • It’s Me

      When did I say it was a new charge? It was new when it was introduced. It’s not new now. The fact that it’s been around for a few years doesn’t make it any more palatable or justified.

      You guys need to ask your employers to put out some new material. The lines you’ve been using are getting old and your lies are getting more transparent.

    • It’s Me

      Why would they have to increase the price first? The price increase was never intended to cover costs. Ever. They never even tried to suggest that. They were at least honest enough to claim it was to try to encourage people to be more green. They even donated the money, originally, to a tree planting fund.

      So, no, a price increase for all would simply be a cash cash grab. A price increase for some is a cash grab. If they want to reward people for being green, then reward people for being green. Exempting them from an unjustified rate increase, is not a reward, anymore than your dad not kidding your teeth in is a reward for being good.

      It’s hilarious that you guys need to try to excuse and justify the hike as covering costs, when not even the corporate mouth pieces tried to do that.

      You guys aren’t trying to dispel anything. You are simply making things up. That’s why shills bother people. They aren’t honest or objective.

    • ScooterinAB

      And that’s why trolls bother me. You call everyone who disagrees with you a shill. You think that anyone who supports anything any company is doing is only saying so because they are being paid to do so.

      News flash. I’m not a shill. I’m not being paid to come here. I’m not being paid to say anything. I’m not being paid to support $2 billing charges (THAT EVERYONE CHARGES). I come here because I want to know what is going on in wireless. And I post here so that stupid comments like yours do not get passed off as the truth or as popular opinion.

      So go back under your bridge.

    • It’s Me

      With paper, increase. Online, same price.

      Simple. Or should be. Not for all, I guess.

    • Brian Perron

      Worked for Rogers. There’s an option to waive Paper Bill fees for certain types of customers, including irate and internet-less individuals. Everyone else gets the charge

    • Chris Yung

      I agree it is easier but it just another fee that they charge. They are cutting their expenses and jacking up their revenue. Online billing should be transparent. Rogers bury all their notices in a series of menus. :/

  • Tarzyx Blacks

    Who is paying CRTC employees? Our Tax?
    CRTC should have regulated essential matters like this in the Wireless Code.

  • duwenbasden

    Solution:
    Theory: Elimination of paper bill $.
    Practice: Elimination of paper bill $. You bill increase by {$ of paper bill}.
    The “you are wasting your time” solution: Elimination of paper bill $. You bill increase by {$ of paper bill}. {$ of paper bill} discount if you opt out of paper bill.

    If it’s not worth addressing, don’t, because it seems that everytime the CRTC touches something, that thing increase in price.

  • Columbo

    I’ve never actually minded this cost. People need an incentive to switch from paper billing. Doesn’t the CRTC have better things they could be going after? Like the outrageous domestic roaming rates?

    • 5Gs

      Why should they. They are the one receiving money indirectly.

    • John

      Why can’t the incentive be a discount rather then extorting people?

  • deltatux

    I think they should investigate those added on “911 fees” and those “Government Regulatory Recovery Fees” that should be considered to be cost of business and not added fees

    • Anon

      Uhh, they removed those 3 years ago. Older plans were not affected as per standard CRTC rules. Also, Obama won a 2nd term (just helping, you seem to be behind in the news)

    • Peter

      LOL, 911 fees are added on by the province and municipalities, the telcos don’t get a cent of that.

    • deltatux

      Like I said, cost of business. You don’t see competitors charge them on top…

    • ScooterinAB

      Those 911 fees are actually government mandated fees, but I’d be happy to know why different carriers charge different amounts. Everything else, like System Access and Recovery are things of the past.

  • MaX Damage

    They should raise the paper bill fee across the board and find a common price for all services (like 5$). This will encourage people to check their bills online and for them to stop wasting paper. If you are too broke to have an internet service at home to check your bills, there are multiple free WiFi hotspots available at every Mcdonald’s/Timmies across the country.

    I’m sure they can implement a waive for clients that are 65+ if requested.

    • asian don draper

      you are assuming that each of the telco’s intranet is easy to access and has no security issues.

      And checking/payment your bills at a public wifi hotspot? you feel secure sending your credit card data over a public free wifi at mcdonalds?

      Paper bills serves a purpose.

      BTW, margins on wireless services are near 80+%, thats why they can afford to send you paper bills

      (i wont argue environmental waste, because there is more waste with paper)

    • MaX Damage

      I am not arguing about whether or not the companies can afford it, of course they can, but paper waste is a terrible thing specially if it can be avoided.

      Not to mention, you don’t have to pay over the public WiFi, it’s just to access the bill to check for any discrepancies on it. The most efficient way would be to have a pre-authorized payment through your bank or credit card anyways. There’s no “real” reason to check the bill unless the amount does not match what you agreed to pay and you need to contest said bill.

    • Matt Welke

      Yes I’d feel quite comfortable paying a bill over free wifi at McDonald’s. For quite some years now, online banking sites, e commerce, etc have been required to use encrypted connections. You’re completely safe from having that intercepted by a malicious user connected to the same hotspot.

    • Hungrier

      “I’ve got a bulletproof vest, there’s no reason for me to stay out of this war zone.”

    • Matt Welke

      I think you’re confusing a bullet proof vest with a tinfoil hat. ;)

    • Jimmy Jazz

      Do you mind people looking over your shoulder while you log in and then letting them have a peek at your account balances?

    • Stephen_81

      Right now the vast majority of people aren’t using free wifi to access banking/bill sites. but the beauty of free wifi for someone who is nefarious is they can spoof the login pages of the sites and obtain your login credentials from you then pass you right through to your banking site for them to later access. It is a very very easy thing to do especially on these cheaply created site specific Free wifi set ups.

      If a continuing trend of bill paying via wifi was to happen the starbucks and McDonalds type locations would be the ideal spots to set up such spoofing and mining tools.

    • Matt Welke

      Well considering that banks and telcos have apps you can use to perform online banking functions, with which it would be impossible to redirect users to spoofed login pages, I guess that risk is debunked as well. And in cases where you’re not using apps and are using a web portal, logins from different IP addresses trigger security questions.

      My point is that the technology is really maturing to the point that security breaches are a rarity and not a common concern. The worst one would have to worry about is someone peering over their shoulder to get a glimpse of their account balance or some other trivial thing. Oh lordy someone knows my cell phone plan. My identity is compromised!

    • Stephen_81

      An App can for the most part solve the spoofing issue. I’ve not dug into the idea of interception much since it has been 4 yrs since my identity was compromised and I’ve just moved to a more cautious life with online accounts and anything connected to money.

    • Jimmy Jazz

      If you’re too broke to afford internet service, then you’re probably too broke to have a laptop or tablet to haul with you down to the McDonald’s as well. Or, as has been stated, you don’t know how to view and pay bills over the internet

      I can just see Grandma trying to open her PDF email attachment at McDonald’s only to have it not work because Adobe Reader isn’t installed, or have trouble logging onto her bank and asking random McDonald’s customers for assistance. What could possibly go wrong?

    • Stephen_81

      Yes log into your accounts on Public Wifi, that is a brilliant thing to do /s

  • StevieY

    This is one of the few charges that actually makes sense. Encouraging online billing should be $2 off your bill instead of charging $2 more for paper, though.

  • Peter

    I agree, there should be a standardized approach to exempt certain peoples who are say elderly or don’t have access to the internet. In any case, paying $2 for a paper bill makes no sense these day because all you are really getting is the dollar amount of what you owe, nobody really sends detailed billing.

  • beyond

    how about this – no change if you want paper billing, but give people a $2 discount for choosing electronic bill.

    • Digital_Troll

      Telcos will compensate by introducing a new Leprechaun’s Pot of Gold Search recovery fee.

    • It’s Me

      Followed by the “you breathed oxygen $5 fee” and the “Guy needs a new yacht $6.98 fee”

  • Jakob

    Stop whining about this stupid issue -it’s 2014! Do people even realize the incredibly massive amount of paper that is used to print people’s bills that they discard minutes later? There should be no reason (with a few exceptions) that you’d shouldn’t be on electronic billing. There is also no excuse for a business to require the paper copy instead of a digital one. The real issue the CRTC should be addressing here is whether or not that $2 goes to a charitable organization or not. I know Rogers gives it to the Youth Fund and I believe Telus donates it as well if I’m not mistaken.

    When it comes to slight convenience changes in order to curb behaviour in favour of the environment, people always show up with pitchforks screaming bloody murder. “I deserve this, I deserve that.” News flash, you deserve clean water and clean air not a shiny new cell phone every year and a 9-page bill.

    • It’s Me

      They should incentivize those people that want to use online billing. Reward them with a discount. Don’t penalize the rest.

    • Nexzen

      The reward is no $2 fee…

    • It’s Me

      Funny idea of a reward…being rewarded by not being penalized.

      Online billing saved the companies millions and millions of dollars. Your reward is not paying them even more for the privilege of helping them save money?

    • John

      I agree thats not a reward, but rather extortion, which is why this practice should be illegal.

    • Stephen_81

      I agree they should, and really that is what they think they are doing.

      They want to advertise the lower price which means they want to advertise the price without a paper bill. If anything is mandated that they can’t charge more for paperbilling, they’ll just advertise increased prices and then at the counter/phone/webportal offer no activation fees if you opt for paperless billing, and things like that. we’ll end up paying a bit more.

      They’ll stick us, without a doubt

    • Stephen_81

      The Carriers are still sending you paper at least monthly with advertisements, additionally for my taxes I actually have to print and store my paper bills since many organizations only keep 12 months of your digital bills accessible printing and filing is still the easiest way to manage 7yrs of taxes.

      I am all for paperless billing if it came with paperless advertising, and a simplified method of paying and knowing what you owe. Right now it is a pain in the rear to log into umpteen different sites to see your monthly expenditures.

    • Jakob

      The junk mail and mail ads are a whole other beast in itself which the carriers do participate in.Junk mail should be banned outright as it is a non-essential service and rapidly becoming outdated.

    • Stephen_81

      I think we are still a decade away from any sort of ban on junk mail. So called junk mail is a major part of what keeps the Canadian Post office afloat. Unless we want to see the real represented costs of mailing a single letter when the system loses approximately half of its income generating to dilute the costs.

      We need a government digital mail/communications system or something in place before we could really put the gears in motion to financially destroy the post office. A mailbox that is associated with a person’s SIN, that is identifiable and can have the password reset in Government buildings by people providing the proper ID. It would take years to have a population who would start to accept and use a system like this, even if they just have it auto forward to their personalized web based emails.

      Our address is still used too much to identify who we are. THAT needs to fundamentally change then we can stop propping up the postal system by disallowing unsolicited junkmail

    • Jakob

      So sad but so true :(

    • ABCONMan

      It’s not shiny, it’s on plain paper.

      The come back to Shaw mailer? That’s glossy!

  • realtycoon

    What about all the junk mail that Rogers sends me? I hate how they want to charge for the bill while in the past month, I’ve received 12 pieces of addressed mail from Rogers with various marketing offers.

    • ABCONMan

      Exactly! I don’t know why these fools here think the practice of paper billing is putting these robbers in the poor house when they have an endless supply of glossy promotional trash to mail out.

  • HeyYoWL

    What a complete waste of time. I hope our tax dollars aren’t being used to pay these guys. Seriously, you need to have meetings for this stuff? Wow. What is there to discuss really? Include this in a Wireless Code and have everyone abide by a system. Why not address the real issue of ridiculous fees from the Big 3 instead?

    That’s like a doctor needing to sit down with you to talk about your papercut when you have a broken leg that is bleeding profusely.

  • Brad Hermann

    Since opting for online billing they have started sending noticeably more junk mail. I really annoying to have even more waste when I made an effort to do the opposite

  • wes

    They should charge for paper bills. Be green. Also if they make it “free” for those who want to have paper bills, then everyone’s plans are going to increase once more. The cellphone companies aren’t stupid. Just like decreasing contract lengths have done nothing but increased prices.

    • Omis

      No they arent stupid. They saved a ton of money having people go paperless and not once did they ever pass those savings on to you.

    • wes

      Like you perspective! You are right but the companies will still find a way to offload the cost to the users even though they have saved so much over the these last years.

    • John

      Precisely right Omis. This nickel and dining is pathetic. I hope they deem this practise illegal. I would then definitely switch back to paper billing unless they offered an incentive not to, which is what they should have done to begin with.

  • MrDPrize

    I like my paper bills and wish this nickle and diming would end.

  • HoodedDemon

    I want a paper bill. I don’t care if it saves paper.

  • Gabriel Blanc

    I think it’s justified in our era, you have internet access everywhere. I just wish my electricity bill company thought the same, I’ve been giving them hell for an e-bill but they don’t do that… Go figure

    • Omis

      Theres no reason to charge people for paper bills. Most people would go paperless regardless.

    • John

      Absolutely not justified. There are seniors who still rely on these services. It’s actually rather pathetic how much these companies nickel and dime us.

  • ScooterinAB

    To put this into context, nearly any company that bills you regularly for something is going to charge you for billing. Utilities, municipalities, and other services commonly charge about $2 for paper billing. I believe there are even invoicing companies who have started doing this, since it is such an unnecessary and costly practice. It’s not just the wireless boogeyman that’s out to get you. Everyone does it and they’ve been doing it for years. Let’s stop acting like this is a surprise.

    Now, I’m all for the CTRC looking to why there is such a discrepancy in how much paper billing costs, since so many companies only charge $2. I understand the fee, as long as it is a fair and standard fee.

    • ABCONMan

      Does the grocery store charge you $2 for a paper bill, you know, since we’re there regularly?

      Cash grab.

    • ScooterinAB

      No, because the grocery store doesn’t bill you. But I’m pretty sure your bank charges you for mailing you a statement, and your municipality charges you for taxes and other regular billing, and your gas, power, and water companies do for those bills. Every billing company charged for paper billing. This isn’t the wireless boogeyman. This isn’t a unique charge. Please stop trying to pretend that it is.

    • Omis

      They are only charging $2 because the cost of sending paper bills are ALREADY built into the price. So they either save $5 on you when you go paperless or make an extra $2 bucks on you if you stick to paper bills. Win-win.

    • ScooterinAB

      Is it already built into the price? Or did every single billing company just get tired of eating that cost and realize that they no longer had to. Again, this is a standard practice, not the wireless boogeyman.

    • Omis

      Ofcourse its built into the price. You seriously think that the companies were paying it from their own pocket out the kindness of their heart?

    • ScooterinAB

      So if paper billing is build into the price already, where does the paper billing fee come from? Why do banks charge for paper statements? Why do municipalities sometimes charge for paper bills? Why do utility companies charge extra for paper bills? Companies historically ate the cost for years because that is how business was done. Now that we have things like the internet, they realized that this is not longer a normal or necessary operating cost, and decided that if customers wanted paper bills, they would have to pay for them.

      This is very simple, and NOT ISOLATED TO WIRELESS. Charging for billing is so unbelievably common that I am without words at how upset people are getting over this. My landlord charges a $30+ monthly billing fee in addition to my water bill. To every single of the 250-some tenants in the property. I would happily not pay that garbage in favor of an electronic bill that doesn’t need to be mailed literally 10 feet away. And In light of that $30 monthly robbery, $2 for a cell phone bill for someone who insists on having it mailed doesn’t seem half bad.

      No conspiracy here.

    • Omis

      This is how businesses work. They figure out the cost of doing business and price their product so they can recoup the cost and make a profit. You’d have to be stupid to think otherwise.

      Your landlord story should be turning the light switch in your brain that its bs fee. Its not ok he’s charging you $30 a month. Its not ok that anyone is charging a fee that was already worked into the price. This had become standard practice because when Telus introduced it. No one complained. The rest jumped on the band wagon. It was the perfect fee that people didnt complain about because they thought they were helping the environment. I find it funny you think your landlord is robbing you but these other businesses are not. Whether its $2 or $30, they are still robbing you.

      The CRTC can’t do anything about your landlord or the other companies. But im glad they are doing something.

    • ScooterinAB

      Look at your bills the next time you open them before pointing fingers. You’d be surprised what you find. Yes, a $30 billing fee is BS, but I still have to live somewhere and pay for water. And no, the CRTC can’t regulate that or banking fees or any other PAPER BILLING FEES THAT EVERYONE CHARGES. I am only raising the point that this is not a special case here, but rather a standardized billing practice that goes further that a few people on a forum becoming upset when the CRTC decided to try and vilify this. This isn’t new nor unique. This isn’t a problem. This is how business is done for many, MANY companies.

      If you don’t want to pay $2 (or $6, or whatever) for paper billing, the answer is very simple, and it is the same answer you will face when you go to the bank or anywhere else that bills you. This is not unique to telecoms and I wish to death that people would stop trying to make it so.

    • Omis

      Yes everyone charges that fee because no one put up a fight when TELUS started it. Your whole point is that everyone does it so its ok. Its not ok. No one is making it out as a telecom only thing but this is a site about the TELCOM industry, which is why you dont see storys about what the Hydro companies are doing. CRTC is doing something the companies it has a mandate over. I am glad some one is.

  • thas ★

    Just ask and they’ll waive that fee. Seriously, the CRTC needs to pick their battles better.

  • Stephen_81

    I would love to get my paper bills back, but not enough to pay for them.

    My Amex sends me weekly balance updates in plain text via email. I don’t need to log in to know how much I owe, I log in ONLY when I am ready to pay. They are the only company that seems to do this regularly, I don’t want to log in just to see how much I owe.

    I would use my Visa more if they offered the same emailing service as Amex, and I sure as heck wish my wireless providers emailed me my bill every month vs making me log in, really the only time I get notified of how much I owe is if I wait till after the due date. emails that require me to go to a site to log in are annoying and I don’t bother with them. THAT was one thing Paper billing was great for. plain text how much I owe in an easy to see space.

  • Dang Vo

    If you can’t control the sum of the bills, what good would it does to whine about one of the most insignificant, easily changeable item of the bill ?

  • ABCONMan

    Cash grab. Nothing else. I deal with many businesses, and not one charges me $2 when they provide me an invoice for services. Would any of you put up with paying $2 for a copy of a receipt, bill, or invoice from any store?

    Why do these companies think it’s fair?

  • ABCONMan

    A company charging $2 for a paper bill is the pleasure of doing business. However, leave that company for another, and you’ll get an endless supply of mailers, often larger than that paper bill that was breaking the back of that poor, poor company, begging you to come back.

    It’s a pathetic practice.

  • Andrew English

    Well I think companies shouldn’t be charging for paper billing at all as it doesn’t cost them a lot to print the bills and mail them.

  • EnasMalakas

    Paper bills are incredibly outdated! As a society, I don’t think that we can justify ‘laziness’ or a select few’s unwillingness to learn how to use basic computer applications in favor of paper billing. Its wasteful, and only creates a ton more garbage.

    Join the rest of us in the 21st century, online billing is the way to go!

    And for those old people; who complain they ‘cant’ use a computer – have a niece,nephew, or neighbor figure it out for you. Your old age is no excuse for being wasteful.

    • ScooterinAB

      There are two camps for seniors that I have seen. There are the ones who acknowledge that there are limits to their skills but are still capable of learning, and the ones who won’t change for one reason or another. I won’t place blame, but every needs to understand that things do change. The federal government is ceasing printed cheques for GST and income tax in favor of direct deposit. This is just something people need to adapt to. Perhaps paperless billing is something else that people just need to adapt to and move on.

  • Stephen B Morris

    Just make it so that the amount charged is either the same for all provinces or the price of planting a tree in that province and that 100% of the fee goes to Environment Canada so they can plant trees with it. Problem solved. Cue Peg+Cat.

    • Tim Hunt

      Great idea… and major props for the Peg + Cat reference.
      I’m totally freaking out!

  • Christopher R

    As convenient as technology has become. I still prefer a paper bill, yet I get charged $2 by Bell.