Telus emails customers about incoming credit card fee before CRTC decision

Lorem ipsum, your Telus bill is going up!


Telus customers recently started receiving emails warning about the incoming credit card fees the carrier wants to add to customer bills. Except, the email included the common placeholder text “Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet” in the header. Whoops.

The mistake seems to have drawn further attention to Telus’ plan to start charging customers 1.5 percent of their payment amount (plus tax) as a credit card processing fee.

Unsurprisingly, people are mad and tweeting about the fee and the Lorem ipsum gaffe:

“As mentioned on your last bill, starting October 17, 2022, customers that choose to make a bill payment with a credit card will be charged a 1.5% credit card processing fee (plus tax). The credit card processing fee applies to one-time and pre-authorized credit card bill payments, and is not higher than the fee Telus pays to accept credit card payments,” the email reads.

The email goes on to list alternate payment methods for customers who want to avoid the fees, such as pre-authorized debit, visa debit, and paying through your bank.

Telus filed a request with the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) in August to add the fee to customer bills, although it’s worth noting that the application only applies to a small subset of Telus customers. However, the credit card processing fee applies to all Telus customers. In other words, the majority of Telus’ customers will need to contend with the fee starting October 17th, regardless of the CRTC’s decision regarding the application.

The application saw a significant number of interventions from the public, and the CRTC ultimately said it would issue a decision in 45 business days. Moreover, the Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) requested the CRTC suspend the application and issue a Notice of Consultation to consider the credit card surcharging issue.

This whole thing stems from a lawsuit against credit card companies like Visa and Mastercard that gave businesses the ability to pass on credit card fees to customers. Previously, credit card companies had rules preventing businesses from doing so. While good for businesses, it, unfortunately, means customers are likely to end up footing larger bills if they use credit cards.


Update 2022/09/18: Added clarification that Telus’ application to the CRTC would only impact the credit card processing fee for a small subset of customers. Most Telus customers will have to contend with the fee regardless of the CRTC’s response.