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Bars should add “Telecom Recovery Fee” to customers’ tabs

Establishments are facing big price increases on sports channels from Bell and Rogers.

sports bar, telecom recovery fee

Telecom Recovery Fee:

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If there’s one thing telecom companies love to do, besides raise prices, it’s blame those increases on someone or something else.

Usually it’s new regulations; sometimes it’s because they’re being forced to compete (ironically); other times they’re simply pegging their own ongoing expenses as the culprit.

A few examples:

  • Here’s Rogers arguing against paying local broadcasters for their television signals. “If the CRTC says there’s a tax, we pass it on,” vice-chairman Phil Lind said in 2010. “If there’s a tax, consumers are going to be very, very angry because there’s no reason for it. I guarantee we will pass it on, just like I guarantee that Shaw will pass it on, Bell will pass it on.”
  • Here’s Rogers’ Regulatory Recovery Fee, which covers costs “related to federal, provincial and/or municipal mandates, programs and requirements such as provincial 9-1-1 fees, spectrum acquisition, licensing charges, and contribution charges to help subsidize telephone service in rural and remote areas.”
  • The Regulatory Recovery Fee is, of course, a descendent of the hated System Access Fee that every Canadian wireless subscriber had to pay until new competition killed it off. Closely related is the Local Programming Improvement Fee, another surcharge on TV subscribers that regulators killed off a few years ago.
  • Most recently, here’s Bell raising TV and internet prices because it has bills to pay, as if we all don’t.

And so we come to Bell and Rogers forcing big price increases on bars and restaurants that subscribe to TSN and Sportsnet, the companies’ respective sports channels.

As the National Post reports, establishments will have to pay a minimum of $120 more per month on top of their existing television subscriptions, with the price going up further depending on seating capacity.

It’s a substantial increase that will force many bars and restaurants to re-evaluate whether they really want to show sports or not. As Awful Announcing notes, consumers are likely to feel the pinch – “do the bars that opt to pay pass along the costs to customers, through charging cover for big games or otherwise increasing food and/or beverage prices?”

Passing the increases along to consumers would be poetic. But, just as the telecom companies try to deflect blame for their price increases, bars and restaurants should similarly consider redirecting customers outrage, if only for the ensuing giggles. How about adding a “Telecom Recovery Fee” to the bottom of customers’ bills?

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1 Comment on Bars should add “Telecom Recovery Fee” to customers’ tabs

  1. Ha ha nice one Peter. But you forgot paper bill fees (since killed by s. 27.2 of the Telecom Act). That was also customers’ fault for not being more eco-conscious/e-savvy, etc. JL

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