Tbaytel calls for $2 paper bill charge for mobile users

TBaytel cell phone customers who want to receive their bills through the mail will soon have to pay for that service.

Some Thunder Bay wireless customers don't think charging for paper billing is fair

TBaytel cell phone customers who want to receive their bills through the mail will soon have to pay for that service.

This summer, the company will charge $2 for each paper bill it sends out, in an effort to be more environmentally-friendly.

Customers Sirkaa Sjoholm and Gail Marshall say they will pay their bills online, but they don't think the company is being fair.

This summer, Tbaytel in Thunder Bay will start charging cell phone customers who want to receive paper bills $2 for the service. (Nicole Ireland/CBC )

"Some seniors don't have a computer and then they end up paying that $2," Sjoholm said, with Marshall adding "I think Tbaytel makes enough money, they don't have to charge us $2 for a bill."

A Tbaytel spokesperson said other major cell phone companies — including Bell and Telus Mobility — already charge $2 for paper bills. Tbaytel is "one of the last wireless carriers in Canada to implement the fee."

Katie Crowe added it costs a significant amount to print and mail a bill and "we recognize that we produce a lot of paper and ... therefore ... [we’re] looking at ways to be more eco-friendly."

Website to become more user-friendly

Crowe noted the fee has been applied to wireless customers because they tend to use the Internet more, but said there aren’t any current plans to charge other Tbaytel customers. Tbaytel has plans to upgrade its website by the end of June to make it more user-friendly, she said.

Tbaytel cellphone customer Cody Antcliffe said he has mixed feelings about the fee.

"I don't really mind, I go online a lot," he said.

"But there's some older people I know who don't go online ... my ... grandparents both have Tbaytel accounts, but I know for sure they don't have e-mail accounts, so it's kind of ridiculous that they'll each have to pay $2."

Nevertheless, Marshall said the fee will prompt her to switch from paper to online billing, even though she doesn't think the change is right.

"You sign a contract, they don't mention that extra $2 charge," she said. "I think it's rather unfair."