Bell Mobility's paper fee raises hackles

A new $2 fee has at least one Newfoundland customer angry with Bell Mobility. Margaret Kearney of St. John's says she has never had a problem paying a monthly access fee, but she's shocked by the paper invoice fee.

A new $2 fee has at least one Newfoundland customer angry with Bell Mobility.

Margaret Kearney of St. John's says she's never had a problem paying a monthly access fee, but when she opened her last phone bill she was shocked by what she saw.

"When I looked at it, it said: Paper invoice fee $2," said Kearney, incredulously.

Bell Mobility says the fee aims to encourage customers to go paperless.

Customers save $2 if they pay online. but what if you don't use the internet? That's what Kearney asked the Bell customer service representative she reached on her phone.

"What he was saying to me is: go out and get a computer and we won't charge you the $2 we use to send you the bill. I was mad, I am mad," said Kearney.

Bell Mobility explains it like this: Customers used to pay a $8.95 system access fee each month per cellphone. The company reduced that fee to $6.95 for customers who pay over the internet. Other customers pay the old $8.95, and the additional $2 is now called a paper invoice fee.

But if this is all about the cost of the paper, Kearney wants to know why does Bell Mobility use so much paper for one bill.

"Now look at the ruddy bill.That's the only charge on the paper, OK? They could have added there, there or there, and they would only have to use one sheet," said Kearney pointing to several pages Bell Mobility sent her.

No one from Bell was available for an interview Thursday. But over the phone, Halifax Bell Mobility spokesperson  Isabelle Robinson told CBC that Bell won't remove the $2 fee for people who don't have a computer