The Independent Member for Denison, Andrew Wilkie, will introduce a Private Member’s Bill this morning that would prevent companies from charging a fee for providing bills in paper form, and prevent them from switching customers to electronic billing without the customer’s consent.
“There has been a worrying trend recently of more and more big companies switching their customers to electronic bills without asking the customer first,” Mr Wilkie said. “To add insult to injury, the customers are now being slugged a fee for getting their bills sent in paper. The fee is often more than what it actually costs the company to send the bill out.”
“Yes, electronic bills are convenient for many of us, but a lot of Australians don’t want to or can’t use the internet to manage their finances. There are a lot of older Australians who are unfamiliar with the technology, many on low incomes who can’t afford an internet connection at home, and people in rural areas without reliable coverage. A one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work.
“The push to move services online to the detriment of many members of the community has been raised with me on a number of occasions, and I’m pleased to be able to represent these concerns. I’m also grateful to the Keep Me Posted campaign for approaching me about this and congratulate them for their work on this issue.”