Canadians Pay More Than $500M in Fees a Year for Paper Bills, Statements

TORONTO—Canadians are probably paying more than half a billion dollars a year to receive printed bills and bank statements by mail, according to the Public Interest Advocacy Centre.

The consumer research organization polled more than 2,000 Canadians and found about three quarters of the respondents objected to being charged fees for paper copies of their bills.

One in three said they were uncomfortable with making the switch to e-billing or online banking.

While there are no official numbers disclosed by the banking and telecommunications industries stating how much money is being paid annually for paper bills, the non-profit group estimates in a report that the total is between $495 million and $734 million, plus taxes.

And it estimates as much as $102 million in fees are being paid by low-income Canadians and seniors who don’t have Internet access at home or don’t use computers.

The report calls on the federal government to follow through with its pledge to ban the practice of charging for paper bills.

The telephone survey of 2,005 Canadians was conducted in August and September of last year and is considered accurate within 2.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.