Getting your communication bills and other information in paper and accessible formats
Paper versus electronic bills
If you are like many Canadians, you receive your monthly bills in electronic format (e.g., “e-bills”) by either email or text, or through your service provider’s online system. However, these electronic options may not meet your needs and you may need to receive your bills in paper or some other accessible format.
All phone and Internet service providers must provide you with a paper bill, at no charge. You just need to request it and meet one or more of the following requirements:
- be 65 years or older
- self-identify as a person with a disability
- are not subscribed to home Internet
- are not subscribed to mobile data services, and you don’t have free access to your service provider’s online billing portal
If you bundle your phone and Internet with your television services into a single bill, you should also be able to get this bill in paper format, at no charge, if you are eligible and you request it.
You have a right to receive a paper bill if you request it
If you are eligible to receive a paper bill, you can make a request when you subscribe to a new service provider or contact your existing service provider at any time.
You can file a complaint with the CRTC if your service provider does not honour your request for paper bills or charges you a fee.
Service providers are also free to offer paper bills to wider groups of customers. If you do not fall within one of the eligible groups listed above, contact your service provider to learn about their options for receiving bills.
In May 2022, the following service providers in Canada had to report on their paper billing practices to the CRTC for all of the brands they operate. They all confirmed their ability to provide eligible customers with paper bills upon request and at no charge.
- Bell Canada
- Bragg Communications Incorporated, carrying on business as Eastlink
- Cogeco Communications inc. (Cogeco)
- Quebecor Media Inc., on behalf of Videotron Ltd. (Videotron Ltd.)
- Rogers Communications Canada Inc.
- Saskatchewan Telecommunications (SaskTel)
- Shaw Communications Inc. (Shaw)
- TELUS Communications Inc.
- TekSavvy Solutions Inc. (TekSavvy)
- Xplornet Communications Inc. (Xplornet)
As of that date, some of those companies, also offered paper billing options to all customers:
Find out more about when and how communications service providers must provide paper bills (Telecom and Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2022-28).
Getting your contracts and related documents in paper format
You can ask for permanent copies of contracts and related documents in the format you need. You can choose between paper and electronic format. Service providers must give you these documents at no charge.
- postpaid wireless service
- Internet service
- television service
Getting your contracts and related documents in another accessible format
If you are a person with a disability, you may find that documents in paper format are more accessible than documents in electronic formats. However, if you are a person with a visual disability, documents in standard paper formats might not be accessible.
You can ask for the following documents, in an accessible format, at no charge, at any time during the commitment period:
- a copy of the service agreement
- contract and related documents
- the accompanying Critical Information Summary of your agreement.
Bills, documents and information available in accessible formats for persons with visual disabilities
The CRTC has rules about providing billing statements and other documents in accessible formats for persons with visual disabilities.
You should agree with your service provider (phone, Internet and television) on which accessible format is best for you. Accessible formats include, but are not limited to:
- large print
- online formats such as HTML
If you are a phone, wireless or Internet customer with a visual disability, you can request to receive accessible formats for:
- billing inserts that inform you of changes to service rates and provide information that is required by the CRTC
- information on the rates, terms and conditions of services; this includes potential customers before they decide whether or not to sign up for a service
- information on the limitations of enhanced 911 for customers with Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telephone service
These requirements apply to all phone services, including cellular and VoIP services.
Television service providers: accessible formats
If you are a cable or satellite television customer with a visual disability, you can ask to receive accessible formats for:
- cable or satellite service bills
- customer information on rates and services
- channel and programming information
Other information that phone companies must provide in accessible formats
If you have a visual disability, you can also request the following information in an accessible format:
- information on the National Do Not Call List
- information on bill management tools
- notification of the removal of the last payphone in a community
- information on dialing plan changes
- quality of service information
If you are a person with visual disability, you can contact the service providers to find out about products and services designed to meet your needs.
- CRTC mandating paper billing for some Canadian consumers
- When and how communications service providers must provide paper bills (Telecom and Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2022-28)
- The Wireless Code, simplified
- The Internet Code, simplified
- The Television Service Provider Code, simplified
- Requirements for telecommunications service providers to communicate certain information in alternative formats (Telecom Regulatory Policy CRTC 2010-132)
- Accessibility of telecommunications and broadcasting services (Broadcasting and Telecom Regulatory Policy CRTC 2009-430)
- Extending the availability of alternative formats to consumers who are blind (Telecom Decision CRTC 2002-13)
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