Support the environment and your hip pocket by going paperless

Shane Rattenbury, MLA

Did you know that the paper bill in your mailbox could be costing you in addition to the bill itself? Minister for Consumer Affairs Shane Rattenbury said it was important that Canberrans were aware that there could be fees for choosing paper bills over email invoices.

Many businesses these days are charging consumers for paper bills which can add up over the course of a year, especially for people on a low income,” Mr Rattenbury said.

“These fees are designed to cover the cost of printing and mailing your bill to you but sometimes these fees are not outlined as explicitly as they could be.

“It is important to check with your billing provider if you are getting charged and what the fee is so you can decide if you want to continue to receive the bills in this way.”

Minister Rattenbury said consumers can often choose to receive their bills electronically, which is not only a convenient option but good for the hip pocket but also for the environment.

“When you think of the number of bills, invoices or letters you may receive a year – from banks, credit card companies, utilities, health funds and government – often quarterly – by opting to receive bills via email, you could save a considerable amount each year.”

For consumers without access to the internet they should contact their providers, as many companies offer exemptions from those fees and charges.

“Many service providers have exemptions from fees available for people who receive paper bills because they have no real alternative,” Mr Rattenbury added.

“Exemptions may be available to consumers who are seniors, registered for a concession, receive income support, or have no access to the internet. “If you think you may be eligible, I encourage you to contact your service provider in the first instance.”

Minister Rattenbury said any consumers who were eligible for an exemption but were having trouble getting their exemption application processed should contact Access Canberra for assistance.

For more information and advice on paper billing, visit www.consumerlaw.gov.au/paperbilling or call contact Access Canberra on 13 22 81.