CRTC Orders Telcos to Offer Free Paper Billing for Some Canadian Consumers

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has announced it has taken “another step to strengthen consumer protection,” as it has mandated telcos to offer free paper billing for certain segments of Canadian consumers.

The following Canadians can now get paper billing at no extra cost, starting immediately, says the CRTC:

  • customers who self-identify as persons with disabilities
  • customers without home Internet access or mobile data services
  • seniors aged 65 or older

“There are still many Canadians who have legitimate needs to receive their bills in paper format. This decision strikes a good balance between allowing providers to encourage their customers to switch to digital billing and ensuring Canadians are treated in an inclusive and accommodating manner. We expect all providers subject to these new rules to swiftly make the necessary changes,” said Ian Scott, Chairperson and CEO, CRTC, in a statement.

The CRTC says service providers will need to update their websites with this information, plus also train employees and systems to accommodate for the new measure.

Wireless carriers in the past few years have turned to paperless billing only, which affected those without access to the internet to obtain their bills.

In 2014, a fact-finding mission by the CRTC noted wireless carriers and banks at the time were charging anywhere from $2-3 for paper bills. Eventually, all wireless carriers moved to paperless billing only and customers had to reach out to obtain paper bills.