On Paperless Billing

I don't know about you, but I am really getting tired of my banks and credit card companies requesting that I switch to paperless billing. I get, on average, 4 emails a month from five separate entities, each saying I should switch to the marvels of paperless billing. I also get a notice in each of their mailings that I could switch to paperless billing and help the environment.

Fess up companies. You do NOT give a shit about the environment. You don't care about the trees you'll save from being cut down. You don't care about the chemicals being saved from the production of ink. You don't even care about the glue used on the stamps. What you do care about, is the money you save.

My average bill contains, at most, $1.50 in consumables, including the cost of postage. I get 12 of those a year, per company. That's a whopping $6 a year they save by not having to send me a paper statement. Conservatively say each company has 10-20 million customers who receive these bills. That is anywhere from $60-$120 million a year they save. That, my friends, is a not insignificant number.

However, and this is important here, what is the benefit to the consumer? They push pro-environmentalism. I say, give me incentive. You are saving $1.50. Split the difference. Give me $.75 off whatever bill I'm paying. You still make $30-$60 million a year and I get a little something-something too.

This is the way to induce change. T-Mobile (Story Here: http://mobile.slashdot.org/story/09/09/16/181231/T-Mobile-Backs-Off-Plan-To-Charge-150-For-Paper-Bills ) had it completely backwards. Charging people MORE money (when it is already in the cost of their bill) is going to piss people off.

Time for common sense people. If you want to save your company money, try and find ways to do it that do not annoy the consumer. The last thing you want is a pissed off consumer.

-M, out


4 Responses to On Paperless Billing

  1. Jillian Frye Says:
    A lot of companies do offer customers a discount for turning off their paper bill. Not surprisingly, people are not all that motivated to sign up for something so they can save a buck a month... ask them to shell out a buck extra and people riot. The fact is, it's actually easier to pay electronically and if you're already paying online why not have your bill handy online too?
  2. Mike Santangelo Says:
    I like to have a paper bill on hand for record keeping purposes. Online records can disappear in an instant, but paper records in my drawer never go anywhere.
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