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Thousands tell CRTC to oppose new hidden fee on cell phone and Internet bills

Today’s the last day to add your voice to the public record against Telus’s new credit card processing fee.

Telus wants to charge YOU to pay THEM.

On August 8, telecom giant Telus asked the CRTC to allow them to add an extra credit card processing fee to customers’ monthly bills. It’s a sneaky and unfair way to charge us even more for connectivity — even though people in Canada already pay some of the highest cell phone and Internet rates in the world.

If Telus gets its way, both new and existing users who pay by credit card will be subject to a 1.5% processing fee on every bill. Customers would either need to go through the hassle of switching to an alternate payment method, or put up with this sneaky money grab.

This may be a move from Telus, but it actually affects us all, regardless of our provider; if the CRTC approves this request, it could open the floodgates for other telecom monopoly powers like Bell and Rogers to ding us with similar shady surcharges in the future; it’s only a matter of time. This proposal has only surfaced now because Mastercard and Visa recently changed their rules to let merchants pass on processing surcharges to the customer — and of course, Big Telecom never misses an opportunity to squeeze more money out of everyday people. 

Why should I care?

  • It’s about affordability. Letting Telus tack on these fees will hurt everyday people by making our telecom bills more expensive at a time of painfully high inflation, when so many of us are struggling to make ends meet.
  • It’s about truth and transparency. Hiding more fees in the fine print makes it harder for customers to make informed decisions about the costs of the services they’re buying. Furthermore, it’ll let Big Telecom get away with a price hike that flies under the radar of cell phone and Internet affordability tracking in Canada. Because the fee would be added to monthly bills after GST, the increase likely won’t be reflected in pricing data because it didn’t impact your plan’s advertised price.
  • It’s about protecting people from further Big Telecom abuses. This won’t stop with Telus. If their request is approved, the door is wide open for the other telecom monopoly powers — like Bell and Rogers — to follow suit. We CANNOT let that happen.

Telus' revenue for year ending June 30, 2022 was $13.698B, a 8.67% increase from last year. They don't need the profits; they're once again getting greedy, and trying to pass on the regular cost of doing business to average Canadians. These companies think they're entitled to nickel and dime us — even charities haven't been allowed to charge extra for credit cards. Don't let the government give these billion dollar conglomerates special treatment, again.

What can I do?

It’s now up to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) — Canada’s national telecom regulator — to decide if they’ll approve Telus’ request. Before they make their decision, however, they have to weigh the objections of those who speak out on the official record. That means we have a special opportunity to have our voices heard before it’s too late.. Until September 7th, you can join close to 3,000 members of the OpenMedia community in adding your voice to the public record by clicking here!

But this is all a part of a wider problem that people in Canada are all too familiar with. For too long, our government has treated Rogers, Bell, and Telus like they are too big to hold accountable. There’s a fix for that: cutting them down to size.

Whether it’s Telus’s shady proposed fees or the devastating July 8th nationwide Rogers service outage, one thing is clear: Canada can no longer tolerate these monopolized and deeply entrenched giants that function without public accountability or oversight.

The game is rigged to favour monopolies over ordinary people. That’s why it is so profitable for Rogers to build risky systems where the whole house of cards — cell phone networks, home Internet, and everything else — falls when something goes wrong. That’s why Bell can crush smaller providers, jack up prices, and leave regular people holding the bag. It’s why Big Telecom gets to snatch millions in public COVID-relief dollars, then turn around and pay it out to their shareholders, lay off employees, and suffer ZERO consequences. And it’s why Big Telecom seems to make the rules at the CRTC, holding hundreds of private lobbying meetings with officials while forcing us to pay some of the highest prices for basic connectivity in the world.

It’s time for change, and the buck stops with Innovation Minister François-Phillippe Champagne. As an elected official who serves Canadians first and foremost, it’s his responsibility to do everything he can to protect us from the monopolies that hurt us. Sign the petition NOW to demand that he pull out all the stops to start smashing Big Telecom’s monopoly powers!

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