Seniors now owed paper bills from communications service providers

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Canada’s Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission recently decided that communications service providers, including phone and cable companies, must provide paper bills upon request to seniors.

This is a win for many older people who rely on paper bills to manage their personal finances and payments, and grants them fair freedom of choice in how they interact with service providers.

Press Release

The Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) and the National Pensioners Federation (NPF) today hailed today’s Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) decision that requires all communications service providers (Internet, wireless, home phone and TV companies) to provide seniors, persons with disabilities and certain customers without home Internet to get free paper bills from their CSPs. 

“This is the best result we could get after an unnecessary five year battle with telecom and TV providers in Canada to do the right thing and provide Canadians who said they rely on paper bills to continue to receive them, free,” said John Lawford, Executive Director and General Counsel of PIAC. “We are pleased the CRTC ordered, effective today, that many customers will get free paper bills, but disappointed that all customers will not get this choice and may have to adapt to electronic bills.” 

Trish McAuliffe, President of NPF, claimed the decision as a clear victory for seniors rights to important services: “Seniors told us they need paper bills to make sure they understand and pay their bill on time. They rightly said they should not have to pay more for a paper copy of a bill that they then must pay. They are responsible people and now can demand their TV and Internet providers treat them responsibly too.” 

PIAC and NPF originally fought for a requirement to provide paper bills in 2018. The CRTC denied this initial application. “We will continue to argue for consumer rights in telecommunications and broadcasting services for as long as it takes to convince the regulator of the need to vindicate the public interest. We are pleased the CRTC finally put consumers first today,” added Lawford. 

The Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) is a national not-for-profit corporation and a federally registered charity that protects consumer interest in regulated industries such as telecommunications, energy, financial services, privacy and transportation. The National Pensioners Federation (NPF) is a national, not for profit, non partisan, non sectarian organization of 350 seniors chapters, clubs, groups, organizations and individual supporters across Canada with a collective membership of 1,000,000 seniors and retirees devoted entirely to the welfare and best interests of ageing Canadians. Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC)


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Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work
University of Toronto

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