Telus defends credit card fee application as interventions surpass 4,000

Telus wants to charge customers who pay their bills with credit cards a 1.5 percent surcharge

Telus says the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has no reason to reject its application to introduce a credit card processing fee.

Responding to thousands of interventions, Telus says it should be able to recover costs it incurs from customers utilizing Mastercard or Visa to pay their bills.

Come October 6th, as a result of a settlement with the credit card companies, merchants will be able to pass on the costs to customers who incur them, an action that was previously not possible.

Telus says customers can pay with an alternate method to avoid the proposed 1.5 percent surcharge of the customer’s bill, which only applies to non-forborne, or regulated, services. Approval isn’t necessary to charge for forborne services, those that are exempted from regulation, Telus states in its response.

“The rate pertains to an optional service, is avoidable for all customers, and does not seek to generate more revenue than the underlying costs.”

Telus also says its “proposed rate is almost certain to undercompensate,” citing restraints brought on by credit card companies and the result of the settlement.

Telus states it will decrease the rate if the interchange fees a brand charges go down over time. However, in the event it increases, Telus won’t be able to change it without commission approval.

“There would be no opportunity for Telus to profit from a rate that no longer reflected the underlying costs.”

Telus says it will still have costs associated with credit card payments even if their rate is implemented because of the various administrative, labour, and other costs associated with such payments.

Source: CRTC