uSwitch demand Ofcom to bring back paper billing?!

{ Posted on Oct 29 2013 by Neil Watson }
Categories : Ofcom

According to The Daily Green, “It’s been estimated that the average household can save 24-square feet of forest — about two trees, left to grow for 10 years — in the first year of using paperless billing”.

neilwatson uSwitch demand Ofcom to bring back paper billing?!

Neil Watson, Head of Service Operations

As a forward thinking company, we are only too aware of the importance of being as “green” as we can be. We recycle; we encourage lift sharing where possible and even have our own intuitive partner portal, synergi where partners can bill their customers easily, efficiently and electronically.

Yet despite this, uSwitch, one of the biggest independent price comparison and switching services is calling on Ofcom to force ISPs to introduce annual paper statements.

uSwitch believes that many consumers are “struggling to pay their bills” and simply don’t know or don’t have the time to find out when their contract ends. Research conducted on 1,649 adults online with the uSwitch consumer opinion panel revealed that 87% of broadband customers want annual statements to show their contract end dates and 89% of broadband customers and 86% of mobile customers want to see a prediction of what they would pay next year if they didn’t switch. uSwitch believes that by making such a change, consumers would be more likely to shop around for better deals.

Seriously? So uSwitch thinks in an age of online portals, social media, mobile comms and email we should resort to paper; and holds up utility companies as the beacon for success? Get real! Any ISP worth its salt is already, like Entanet, presenting customers with all the information they need to track their usage, monitor and even control their spending and note when their contract is up for renewal. Furthermore, looking at this from a practical point of view, the majority of our contracts are only 30 days. So what then, should we issue a separate paper statement for each contract issued?

The survey suggests that compulsory annual paper bills could potentially save millions of Brits money each year and help us to keep on top of our spending. However, has uSwitch actually considered the possibility that certain ISPs may in fact raise their prices in order to safeguard against the likely higher costs of providing paper statements? It’s possible that those customers surveyed asked for such information because of the inevitable fear, uncertainty and doubt caused by the myriad of promotions run by large consumer broadband providers in an effort to win sizeable market share. We just can’t believe uSwitch want it provided on paper. In this day and age online billing is the way forward and is certainly becoming the ‘norm’. Many companies out there now actually charge you to receive paper copies of bills and it’s understandable when you consider the time, money and resources it takes to print them off and send them out. Not to mention protecting the rainforest!

Have your say!

What do you think about these latest demands? Do you think uSwitch are right to demand annual paper billing? Do you think paper billing would help consumers manage their bills better and prompt them to find better deals elsewhere? Let us know your thoughts by leaving us a comment below.

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One Response to “uSwitch demand Ofcom to bring back paper billing?!”

  1. Bear in mind Uswitch are a comparison site, it would benefit them if customers got an annual nudge as it would be a natural point for switching. As you say, whether the benefits for consumers would outweigh the costs to trees and ISPs is another matter…

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