CRTC mandating paper billing for some Canadian consumers
February 10, 2022 – Ottawa-Gatineau – Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC)
Today, the CRTC took another step to strengthen consumer protection as certain Canadians will be able to obtain paper bills from their communications service provider. The following segments of customers will now be able to receive paper bills, at no charge, upon request:
- customers who self-identify as persons with disabilities
- customers without home Internet access or mobile data services, and
- seniors aged 65 or older.
To ensure customers are aware that they can obtain a paper bill, service providers should make this information readily available on their websites. They are also required to update their systems and train their customer service representatives on these new rules.
The new rules apply to telecommunications service providers immediately. The CRTC also expects television service providers to follow the same rules as it intends to impose similar provisions at the next opportunity. However, as many Canadians bundle their services and bundles are typically displayed in a single bill, those from the identified groups who need a paper bill will be able to receive one at no charge.
“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.”
- Ian Scott, Chairperson and CEO, CRTC
The new paper billing rules come into force and apply to all telecommunications service providers immediately.
Major providers will have to report to the Commission within 90 days on how they have provided their customers information about paper bills, including scripts and training for customer service representatives, and information on their websites.
The CRTC launched a public process in March 2020 to determine whether Canadians should have the option to receive a paper bill and if so, how.
In December 2014, the Telecommunications Act and the Broadcasting Act were amended to prohibit service providers from charging fees for the issuance of paper bills.
The CRTC currently requires that bills be provided in alternative accessible formats, such as in braille or large print, for customers with certain accessibility needs.
- Call for comments – Provision of paper bills by communications service providers
- Decision - Public Interest Advocacy Centre and National Pensioners Federation – Application regarding paper billing by Koodo Mobile
- Report on Misleading or Aggressive Communications Retail Sales Practices
- When and how communications service providers must provide paper bills
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