Consumer protection regulators are running a national campaign to help consumers avoid paying extra fees to receive bills in the post. People who prefer to receive paper bills are usually seniors, consumers on a low income, or people without internet access, which means that vulnerable consumers end up paying extra just to pay their bills.
State, Territory and Commonwealth agencies with responsibility for consumer affairs are encouraging consumers to switch to online billing if they can, or find out if they’re eligible for an exemption from fees for paper bills.
Some companies provide exemptions for customers who:
- are seniors
- are registered for a concession
- receive income support
- are on a hardship program
- do not have internet access
There may be an added incentive for businesses to provide exemptions. 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 can contact their providers to ask if they are eligible for an exemption from paper bill fees, and find out how to apply.
For more information about paper billing visit www.consumerlaw.gov.au/paperbilling – information is available in English, Italian, Greek and Chinese.