People who receive paper bills in the mail should check to see if it is costing them extra – and if it is, look into how to avoid the extra charge.
Commissioner for Consumer Affairs Dini Soulio said consumers may not realise that many bills they receive in the post could cost them an extra fee.
“The fee could be a couple of dollars for some service providers, and for those receiving multiple paper bills over the course of a year it’s an added cost people don’t need – particularly those who are on a low income,” Mr Soulio said.
“For those who want to avoid the fee, they can switch to online billing or, if they want or need to continue to receive paper bills, they can find out whether they are eligible for an exemption.
“Many companies offer fee exemptions for people who meet certain criteria, such as if they are seniors, registered for a concession, on low incomes or if they have limited access to the internet. Ask if you qualify and what you need to do to avoid the paper bill fee.”
The paper bill fees are designed to cover the cost of printing and mailing bills to consumers.
“But many service providers have exemptions from fees available for people who receive paper bills because they have no real alternative,” Mr Soulio said.
Mr Soulio said any consumers who were eligible for an exemption but were having trouble getting their exemption request processed should contact Consumer and Business Services for help.
For more information and advice on paper billing, visit http://consumerlaw.gov.au/paperbilling/ or call Consumer and Business Services on 131-882.