It happened again. I received my monthly bill and listed right there was a $1.99 charge for a paper bill. $23.88 a year for the courtesy of a paper bill! As the primary bill payer in my household, I prefer paper statements because my email inboxes are out of control. Yes, multiple inboxes and only one physical mailbox. Unfortunately, this is part of a more significant trend of companies aggressively trying to cut costs or hide under the guise of “going green” and pushing people to paperless billing. And I’m here to tell you that I’m not having it.
Why Do Paper Bills Matter?
Frankly, many people prefer paper or need paper documents. Over 75% of Americans see printed documents as safer, more secure and trusted. I’m on “Team Prefer Paper” for a multitude of reasons. First, it’s easier for me to read and review a paper bill. Second, I like the tactile nature of having a physical paper bill that is more of a concrete reminder of “Hey, I need to pay this bill.” Third, I get so much email to several email inboxes. If I received all of my bills digitally than I believe that I would run a higher risk of missing a statement.
Personal preferences aside, the real crime of paperless billing is there are currently 65 million Americans in urban areas and 16 million in rural locations that have no access to broadband internet. For this group, choosing paper or electronic versions of their bills is not even an option.
The Choice Is Yours or Is it?
A 2017 study commissioned by Two Sides revealed that 89% of consumers believe they should have a right to choose how they receive communications (printed or electronically), at no extra charge, from financial organizations and service providers. And the team at Two Sides would know because they have made it their mission to provide consumers with provable information on why print and paper are sustainable communication mediums. According to Phil Reibel, President of Two Sides North America, many companies seem to simply be unaware that consumers prefer paper statements and bills. The key issue is that consumers should have the option of whether they prefer paper statements or digital statements and not be forced into paperless billing against their wishes.
What is the truth behind “Go Paperless, Go Green” claims?
Tactics typically employed by companies is the reduced environmental impact of paperless billing. The reality is that most companies have not been able to back up their claims with research. Two Sides has succeeded in convincing 105 North American corporations and over 275 globally, to remove misleading claims related to print and paper from their communications. The reality is paper is made from wood, a natural resource that is renewable, recyclable and can be managed sustainably. Plus, more than 65% of paper is recycled in the US, making paper the nation’s most recyclable commodity.
Fortunately, we’ve got two organizations that are fighting for your right to paper. Keep Me Posted will be expanding to North America this year and will be operated by Two Sides North America. Read more about these two organizations and how they are “Protecting Your Right to Paper” in the latest issue of Blueline Magazine.
Which do you prefer? Paper Statement or Digital Statement?
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