2013–14 Project Summaries: Public Interest Advocacy Centre

1 Nicholas Street, Suite 1204
Ottawa, ON K1N 7B7
Tel: (613) 562-4002

1. No Consumer Left Behind: A Canadian Affordability Framework for Communications Services in a Digital Age

With this study, the Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) will examine and propose an affordability framework for communications services in Canada, and seek to define the issue of affordability in the digital age from the consumer perspective. PIAC will collect and compare definitions of "affordability" for communications services used by advocacy groups and government stakeholders, with a view to evaluating whether these definitions remain useful in the age of digital communications technologies.

2. How to Pay the Piper: A Primer on Additional Charges to Consumers in Canada for Paper Billing

This PIAC study will examine the conduct of service providers in Canada who have begun to charge consumers for a paper bill and the impact of these practices on consumers. The study will also compare the billing practice of charging for a paper bill by Canadian corporations to the relevant International Organization for Standardization (ISO) billing standard.

3. All Along the Watch Tower: A Review of the Canadian Consumer Debt Collection Industry

This PIAC study will examine the conduct of debt collection agencies in Canada and the impact of these practices on consumers. The study will also attempt to provide an overview of the current size of the Canadian debt collection industry. The study will collect information from relevant stakeholders, including provincial consumer ministries and conduct focus groups seeking consumer views and experiences with respect to the conduct of debt collection agencies and their staff.