In April 2020 the CRTC asked whether subscribers to telecommunications or broadcasting services should be entitled to receive their bills in the format of their choice – paper or electronic billing. The Forum’s 3 July 2020 submission focussed in particular on billing in broadcasting, by cable and satellite distribution companies. In brief, the Forum said yes: many individuals and specific groups of subscribers either want or need paper bills. The Forum argued that meaningful choice means that subscribers should always be able to receive companies’ invoices in print (and free of charge) upon request – and, importantly, without having to justify their request to the companies for whose services subscribers pay.
The Forum subsequently responded to the arguments made by other parties in the 2020-81 proceeding. We pointed out, for instance, that requiring households that do not now have Internet service would – in the case of the 35% of people in Quebec who are 65 years of age or older and who have an annual income of less than $20,000 – mean paying almost 5% of their annual income to obtain bills that they now receive free of charge by mail.