Rogers customers foot the bill

Louis Power
Send to a friend

Send this article to a friend.

Company to receive no profit from new charge; customer urges others to complain to the CRTC

Rogers Cable customers have received notice of a new charge to be added to their monthly bills come September - a fee that isn't sitting well with at least one St. John's resident.

The additional 1.5 per cent increase, labelled CRTC LPIF on the bill, will pay Rogers' dues to the CRTC's (Canadian Radio-Television and Telecom-munications Commission) new Local Program-ming Improvement Fund.

Rogers Cable customers have received notice of a new charge to be added to their monthly bills come September - a fee that isn't sitting well with at least one St. John's resident.

The additional 1.5 per cent increase, labelled CRTC LPIF on the bill, will pay Rogers' dues to the CRTC's (Canadian Radio-Television and Telecom-munications Commission) new Local Program-ming Improvement Fund.

Satellite and cable companies' payments for local broadcasting signals will now help subsidize programming in service areas with less than one million people.

"Everybody has to support this fund," said Jan Innes, vice-president of communications for Rogers - including competing cable and satellite companies.

Beginning in September, Rogers customers across the country will foot the bill for this charge. Letters have been sent out to explain why it is being added to monthly bills, Innes said.

"We wanted our customers to be aware that this was a CRTC-mandated fee, and we wanted to be transparent," she said. "No one likes increases, so we explain as best as we can the rationale behind it."

But the transparent approach isn't enough to please every customer. St. John's resident Catherine Klassen, who has been a Rogers Cable customer for seven years, said she feels the customers shouldn't have to take responsibility for Rogers' contribution to the fund.

"We have been paying all these years with your cable fees for a signal that they have been receiving for free, and this is the CRTC's way of making them pay for the signal that they've been charging us for for years," she said.

"The cable companies are planning to go their own merry way and charge us the fee that they were supposed to pay.

"In other words, they're going to double charge us for a signal that we've been paying for all along."

Innes said Rogers hasn't heard much feedback yet, as people are only now getting word of the bill change.

Something for customers to keep in mind, she said, is that Rogers doesn't make any profit from the fee.

But Klassen said Rogers should drop the fee altogether. In the meantime, she said customers should speak up.

"It's going to affect every last person who has a cable account," she said.

"People should put in a complaint to the CRTC. They are supposed to be the regulator of these companies and the protector of Canadian citizens' interests."

Klassen received a reply Tuesday after sending her own complaint to the CRTC.

Andrea Mullin of the CRTC wrote, "Given their reported profits, the CRTC is of the view that there is no justification to pass the cost on to consumers."

But Klassen said this isn't good enough, and wants the CRTC to take action.

"If enough people put in complaints, they will be forced to do something about it," she said.

lpower@thetelegram.com

Organizations: CRTC, Rogers Cable, Radio-Television and Telecom Improvement Fund

Geographic location: St. John's

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Thanks for voting!

Top of page

Comments

Comments