Consumer Affairs Victoria is reminding Victorians who need paper bills that they could be eligible for a fee exemption from their service provider.
An average customer receiving paper bills for their electricity, gas, banking, credit card and phone services could be paying $120 a year just on paper billing fees. However, there are ways to avoid these fees.
Many providers have exemptions from paper billing fees and will not charge the fee if customers:
- are older Victorians
- are registered for a concession
- receive income support
- are on a hardship program, or
- do not have access to the internet.
Director of Consumer Affairs Victoria Sam Jenkin said it was important consumers were aware of exemptions they may be entitled to.
“Contact your providers and ask if you are eligible for an exemption from paper bill fees, and how to apply,” Mr Jenkin said.
“It may be only a couple of dollars for each bill, but it can quickly add up - especially for people on a low income.”
There may also be an added incentive for businesses to exempt consumers. The Australian Government has asked businesses to increase their uptake of fee exemptions by late 2019 or face a possible ban on paper billing fees.
Consumers receiving and being charged for a paper bill that they do not want or need, are encouraged to contact their service provider to ask if they can be billed via email or the company’s app.