CRTC rejects Telus bid to charge credit card fee to some customers


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The decision only applies to services regulated by the CRTC, which are generally home telephone services in some smaller communities in Alberta and British Columbia. Telus can still apply a credit card surcharge on the majority of its users, including new and existing mobile and home services customers in most provinces.

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“We don’t think it’s in the public interest that consumers would have to pay a one-and-a-half-per-cent surcharge to use a credit card,” CRTC chairman and chief executive Ian Scott said in an interview. “We’re telling all of the industry we don’t like that idea.”

The Vancouver-based telecom company first filed an application with the regulator in August to introduce the charge for regulated services. Last month, a CRTC spokesperson told the Financial Post that Telus doesn’t need the commission’s approval to surcharge the majority of customers — where it seems there’s enough competition — and was only required to request doing so in regulated areas, where there’s little competition.

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While the CRTC can only block such tariff applications for areas it regulates, Scott said the watchdog is still keeping an eye on extra charges other telecommunications service providers may impose.

“I can’t say what we’ll do in the future. We’re hopeful that carriers generally will read our decision carefully and act accordingly and if not, then we have a number of things in our toolkit and we’re prepared to use them because we don’t think this is in the public interest,” he said.

Telus’ tariff applications garnered more than 4,300 interventions from individuals and consumer groups.

On Oct. 17, Telus implemented a 1.5 per cent charge on those paying by credit card in areas where services are not regulated by the CRTC, which includes its wireless and internet customers outside of Quebec. This came after new rules on credit-card surcharging went into effect in Canada on Oct. 6.


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