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CRTC’s Weak Attempt to Settle Paper Bill Fees with Telcos Disrespects Consumers

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

OTTAWA – The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission’s (CRTC) announcement that it will host a private meeting with telecommunications and broadcasting service providers to discuss the practice of charging fees to customers who wish to receive paper bills, rather than rendering a decision on an application filed by the Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) and the Consumers’ Association of Canada (CAC) asking to prohibit the fees, disrespects Canadian consumers and is an abdication of the CRTC’s regulatory authority, the two groups said.

PIAC and CAC filed an application to the CRTC last fall to request the elimination of all fees charged by telecommunications service providers for providing customers their bills in paper format. PIAC and CAC also sought refunds for “paper bill fees” charged to Primary Exchange Service customers and landline customers in regulated areas. Today, the CRTC closed PIAC and CAC’s formal complaint. [pdf file: 0.31mb]

“The CRTC’s private meeting with telcos and broadcasters will not result in a solution that protects customers,” said John Lawford, Executive Director and General Counsel for PIAC. “This approach risks embarrassing the Government of Canada which promised to Canadians in the Budget that these fees will be eliminated, not just managed.”

“CAC will continue to strongly advocate for the elimination of paper bill fees for all consumers,” said Bruce Cran, President of the Consumers’ Association of Canada. “The industry, not consumers, are being asked to develop a paper bills policy: that’s the fox guarding the henhouse.”

For more information:

John Lawford
Executive Director and General Counsel

Public Interest Advocacy Centre
ONE Nicholas Street, Suite 1204
Ottawa, Ontario
K1N 7B7

(613) 562-4002×25
lawford@piac.ca

 

Bruce Cran
President

Consumers’ Association of Canada
(604) 418-8359
bcranbiz@telus.net

 

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