Canada Eliminates Telecom Paper Billing Fees, Consumer Groups Applaud Move

The Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) today has applauded the Federal Government’s move to eliminate paper billing fees for telecommunications and broadcasting services consumers, once provisions come into force after the passing of Bill C-43, the Budget Implementation Act.

The PIAC previously estimated Canadians had been paying between $495 to $734 million annually in paper billing fees for their monthly bills and statements. John Lawford, the Executive Director and General Counsel for PIAC said in a statement “The government listened to consumers who want a monthly bill in the format of their choice without penalty.”

In late August the CRTC met with telecoms over paper billing fees and concessions were made for a small group of consumers such as seniors or those in the Armed Forces, for example. Despite these exemptions, the CRTC stated it was “very disappointed” at the time a broader consensus was not reached. Looks like that has changed today with the passing of Bill C-43.

According to the Leader Post, the new legislation also provides the CRTC with more authority to fine companies that break rules related to the Wireless Code, with possible penalties ranging up to $10 million for the first offence and $15 million thereafter.

The next issue of paper billing fees still remains as Canadian banking institutions still charge for paper copies of statements each month, which the PIAC aims to pursue on behalf of Canadian consumers.

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