CRTC Takes Aim at Paper Bills

CRTC Wireless CodeAre you paying extra for a paper copy of your wireless bill each month? The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) wants to do something about that and is preparing to sit down with industry execs to gather more information on the practice.

A survey conducted last November found 36 percent of wireless companies do not charge a fee to customers who wish to have a paper bill mailed to them each billing cycle. Twenty-seven percent said they charged between 99 cents and $5.95 per month. Some offer exemptions to customers who do not have Internet access.

“The CRTC is concerned that the approach taken by the industry in transition from paper to electronic bills may not have taken into account the specific circumstances of some Canadians,” states a press release. “The CRTC is inviting representatives from communications companies to a meeting that will be held on Aug. 28 at its central office.”

The CRTC aims to develop a consistent approach to paper bills that can be applied by all wireless companies and has warned if there is disagreement it is prepared to escalate the matter.

“We are concerned that not all Canadians have a reasonable choice when it comes to paper bill fees for communications services,” said CRTC chair Jean-Pierre Blais, in a statement.

“We are challenging telecommunications and broadcasting distribution companies to come up with a comprehensive approach that will enable Canadians to make informed decisions. We are prepared to explore regulatory options if the industry fails to find an appropriate approach.”