Bell can’t charge everyone a connection fee

June 4 2007 by Ellen Roseman

The CRTC has blocked efforts by Canada’s big phone companies to pass on the costs of connection or reconnection too all customers, instead of just those who were moving.

Here’s what I wrote in the Star (Sept. 22, 2006) about this proposal:

Bell Canada charges $55 to connect a home phone line if you’re a new customer or if you move. But last month, Bell asked the CRTC for permission to eliminate the $55 hookup fee and raise the rates for all residential customers by 80 cents a month.

“This will bring us into line with other local phone service providers who do not apply one-time charges for such activities,” says Bell spokeswoman Jacqueline Michelis. Another benefit is keep local phone service affordable for those with lower incomes – students, young people, the elderly, the socially disadvantaged – who tend to move more often. Since subscribers move every 5.5 years on average, “the proposal will benefit a significant part of our customer base,” she said.

However, Bell was going to exclude people whose phones were disconnected for nonpayment. They would still pay a $55 fee for reconnection.

The Public Interest Advocacy Centre, which opposed the change, said polls showed most Canadians supported the user-pay formula for telephone pricing. Seven in 10 felt that installation charges for home phone service should be billed as a separate charge for those requiring the service.

“This change would have helped Bell, Telus and the rest have all their local customers pay for their efforts to win back customers that have switched elsewhere,” says PIAC counsel John Lawford after the CRTC announcement on June 1.

1 comment

  1. Thomas Quigg

    Jun 12 2007

    I purchased a new Dell computer along with a printer. The USB cord connects the computer to the printer. I did not get one of these cords.I called the company and they told me that they DO NOT SUPPLY USB cords with a new computer.

    I then contacted Ellen Roseman and she contacted Dell computers on my behalf. I got a call from one of the managers, but no USB cord was supplied to me.

    I have since noticed that Dell prints the following statement in their advertising: A USB CORD IS SUPPLIED WITH THE SALE OF THIS COMPUTER. Thank you to Ellen Roseman and all the staff at the Star.