The war between carriers and the government on the issue of charging customers a fee for paper bills is heating up.
Yesterday, after a meeting with the CRTC and several telecom and broadcasting organizations, agreements were made that exempted a limited number of Canadians from being charged a fee to receive paper bills. The shortlist included those that don’t have personal or home broadband connection, persons with disabilities who need a paper bill, seniors aged 65 and over and veterans of the Canadian Armed Forces.
In retaliation, the CRTC boldly stated, “it does not go far enough to meet the concerns of all Canadians.” Piggybacking on this news is Industry Minister James Moore, who says the government “will introduce legislation to end pay-to-pay billing practices in the telecommunications sector,” which is something that was communicated in the 2013 Speech from the Throne, and then again in Budget 2014.
Moore said that the government is committed to ending this “unfair practice” and putting the interests of Canadian consumers first. This is not the first time Moore has forged ahead against the carriers. We’ve seen him fight against roaming rates and the “More Choices” initiative that “cut through the noise” of the big three carriers.
“More and more Canadians are finding a new charge appearing on their monthly bills, including their wireless bill. This fee is charged to those who receive their bill in the mail. Increasingly, many Canadians are being charged this new fee by companies from whom they have been receiving service for decades. We do not believe that Canadians should pay more to receive a paper copy of their telephone or wireless bill,” said Moore.
A recent report by the Public Interest Advocacy Centre estimated that Canadians are paying between $495 and $734 million a year in paper bills fees.
Source: Industry Canada