Seniors, poor consumers hurt by fees charged to pay bills, say New Democrats

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OTTAWA - The federal Opposition is calling on the Harper government to stop utilities and other companies from charging fees for sending monthly bills through the mail.

A number of telephone, internet and other firms have recently begun charging customers fees if they want to keep getting their bills delivered to them.

New Democrat MP Andrew Cash says it's a cash cow that needs to be put down.

Cash says companies should not be allowed to charge a fee for doing what they used to do — send customers paper bills.

Bell, as an example, says it charges a $2 fee to offset the costs of producing and mailing a printed bill.

There is no charge for receiving your bill over the internet.

But Cash says the so-called "pay-to-pay" fees unfairly target Canadian seniors and families already struggling to pay their bills, as well as those who do not have regular access to the internet or don't like paying bills online.

And he says the companies are reaping huge savings already from customers who have voluntarily switched to online billing.

Geographic location: OTTAWA

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