CRTC to meet with telecom/cable industry over paper bill fees

Fact-finding study finds “wide variance” on how such fees are approached

The CRTC plans to host a meeting with telecom and cable companies to discuss the practice of charging additional fees to customers wishing to receive paper bills, saying it wants them to come up with a “clear and predictable approach” that addresses consumer issues related to such fees.

The federal regulator said Thursday that it is “concerned” that the approach taken by the telecom and cable industries in the transition from paper to e-bills may not have taken into account the “specific circumstances” of some customers.

The federal regulator said that a fact-finding exercise on the practice of charging for paper bills found a “wide variance” on how Canadian telecom and cable companies approach these fees.

As of November 2013, 36 companies indicated that they did not charge for paper bills, while 27 companies said they charge monthly fees ranging from 99 cents to $5.95.

While certain companies do provide exemptions, such as for customers who have no internet connection, the fact-finding mission found “no consistent practice” across the industry.

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