Canada's broadcast regulator probes telcos that charge for paper bills

Submitted by: Vince Collins 19/09/2014

Canada's broadcast regulator is going to look into why some telecom and cable companies charge customers who want to receive paper bills instead of electronic ones.


The CRTC (Canada's broadcast regulator) wants to know why some telecom companies charge customers extra fees for paper bills.

The CRTC said that 36 of the companies in a preliminary examination didn't charge any sort of extra fee for a paper bill. But 27 do charge fees ranging from 99 cents to almost $6 for the privilege of receiving a paper bill — as opposed to online.

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission said some companies waive the fees for certain customers, such as for those who don't have internet access, but there's no consistent practice across the country.

The regulator said it's concerned that the approach taken by the industry may not take into account the specific circumstances of some customers.

The CRTC is having a meeting to discuss the issue with stakeholders.

CRTC chairman Jean-Pierre Blais said he's prepared to look into tougher regulatory options if the industry doesn't come up with a balanced approach that can be implemented across the country and the industry.

'We are concerned that not all Canadians have a reasonable choice when it comes to paper bill fees for communications services,' Blais said in statement.

'We are challenging telecommunications and broadcasting distribution companies to come up with a comprehensive approach that will enable Canadians to make informed decisions.'

Source: This article originally appeared on the Canada MSN tech and gadgets page.