CRTC challenges communications industry to address paper bill fees

OTTAWA, July 23, 2014 /CNW/ - The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) today announced that it will host a meeting with telecommunications and broadcasting distribution companies to discuss the practice of charging additional fees to customers who wish to receive paper bills. The CRTC also released the results of its fact-finding exercise on these practices.

Based on information obtained by the CRTC, there is a wide variation in how companies approach paper bill fees. As of November 2013, 36 companies indicated that they do not charge any fees. However, 27 companies acknowledged that their fees range from $0.99 to $5.95 per month for paper bills. Certain companies provide exemptions to these fees, such as for customers who do not have Internet access, but there is no consistent practice across the industry.

The CRTC is concerned that the approach taken by the industry in the transition from paper to electronic bills may not have taken into account the specific circumstances of some Canadians. The CRTC is inviting representatives from communications companies to a meeting that will be held on August 28, 2014, at its central office.

The meeting will be lead by the CRTC's Vice-Chairs of Broadcasting and Telecommunications. Participants will be expected to come up with a clear and predictable approach to paper bill fees, if any, as well as exemptions for any such fees. This will ensure that Canadians are able to make informed decisions.

Quick Facts

  • The CRTC has challenged the communications industry to come up with a clear and predictable approach that addresses consumer issues related to paper bill fees.
  • The CRTC will be hosting a meeting with telecommunications and broadcasting distribution companies to facilitate discussion on the practices related to paper bill fees.
  • The CRTC has released the results of its fact-finding exercise on paper bill fees.

Quote:

"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."

Jean-Pierre Blais, Chairman, Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission

Associated Links

Results of the fact-finding exercise on fees for paper bills

 

SOURCE Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission

For further information: Contacts: Follow us on Twitter: @CRTCeng; Media Relations: Tel: 819-997-9403, Fax: 819-997-4245; General Inquiries: Tel: 819-997-0313, TDD: 819-994-0423, Fax: 819-994-0218, Toll-free # 1-877-249-CRTC (2782), TDD - Toll-free # 1-877-909-CRTC (2782). Ask a question or make a complaint. This document is available in alternative format upon request.