05/15/2013 09:21 EDT | Updated 07/15/2013 05:12 EDT

Rogers Starts Charging For Paper Bills

Rogers customers are being asked to pay an extra $2 per month for paper billing, amid claims of discrimination by a seniors' advocate.

Many wireless and cellphone companies already charge a similar amount for a paper bill, including Bell, Telus, Fido, Virgin, Koodo Mobile and Wind Mobile.

Banks are also pushing clients away from paper billing. TD Canada Trust, RBC and BMO have added $2 per month, while CIBC's monthly fee is now $3.

Many customers find electronic statements more convenient, but some campaigners say charging for paper billing is unfair to elderly customers, who do not own computers or smartphones.

Martha Jane Lewis, Executive Director of the B.C. Centre for Elder Advocacy Support, said seniors should be exempt from the charges.

"Technology is moving ahead and that's fine for people who are able to cope with that. But for people who, through no fault of their own, are not into the technology age… they shouldn't be penalized for this," she said.

Lewis wants the government to step in and determine if the paper fee is fair.

A Rogers representative told the CBC the company aims to save 1.6 million tonnes of paper and that customers were given ample notice of the fee.

Rogers provides 24-7 access to billing services online and customers also have the option of viewing and paying their bill in any Rogers store.

Update from Rogers

After CBC published this story on Wednesday, Rogers spokesperson Jennifer Kitt contacted us to say the company does make exceptions for some customers.

"We make exceptions for customers who have extenuating circumstances, such as those who do not have access to Internet, on a case-by-case basis," said Kitt.

"Also, customers who currently have services for special/accessibility needs will continue to receive those services at no cost."

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