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Bell’s Touch-Tone Fee Named “Canada’s Dumbest Charge” By CBC Marketplace

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According to an investigation by CBC Marketplace, Bell customers with landlines continue to pay for using touch-tone phones, despite the charge not showing up on bills. Bell has been charging $2.80 to customers for using a touch-tone phone, but removed the fee, only to increase phone plans by the same amount.

A Canada-wide vote by CBC Marketplace had its viewers dub the Bell Touch-Tone fee “Canada’s dumbest charge.” The CBC estimates the fee generated over $80 million for Bell in 2013, based on 2.6 million landline customers nationwide.

Bell spokesperson Jason Laszlo told the CBC:

“After Bell privatized our Atlantic Canada affiliate Bell Aliant at the end of 2014, we applied to the CRTC to amalgamate our billing approaches to landline, including permission to finally remove the Touch-Tone fee item from customer bills.”

[…]

“Touch-Tone has long been included in the advertised price for home phone, so the price remains the same. The CRTC decision simply means we no longer have to show it as a separate item on customer bills. Of course rotary dial customers continue to pay a lower rate because they do not have Touch-Tone capability,”

So if you want to save $2.80 from Bell’s landline service, you’ll need to go use a rotary phone. I wonder how you’ll be able to navigate through Bell’s service menu though to make the change…

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