Consumer Groups: Paper Billing Needs to Be “Fixed Now”, Canadians “Cannot Afford to Wait”

The Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) and the Consumers’ Association of Canada (CAC) issued a response today to the recent decision by the Federal government to introduce legislation to stop telecoms from charging for paper billing.

The PIAC and CAC said the agreement the CRTC reached with telecoms to make some exceptions for paper billing “was unacceptable” for the majority of Canadian customers.

“Consumers are clearly opposed to paying for paper bills and the federal government has clearly committed to ‘eliminating’ these charges,” said John Lawford, Executive Director and General Counsel for PIAC, “it is telling that the telecommunications and broadcasting industries could not be persuaded, even by the CRTC, to respond to the wants and needs of their customers when this much money was at stake.”

A recent report released by the PIAC prior to the CRTC’s private meeting with telecoms estimated paper billing charges across wireline, phone, wireless, cable TV and internet subscribers at over $500 million annually.

“Consumers need this issue to be fixed now and cannot afford to wait.” said Bruce Cran, President of the Consumers’ Association of Canada, “They don’t care if the CRTC or the Minister solves it, they just want this unfair billing to stop.”

Both consumer groups want telecoms to stop charging for paper billing, as the practice, according to their report nets companies half a billion dollars every year.