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Discussion Starter #1
So got my Telus Mobility bill today & low and behold they are going to start charging $2 a month for my paper bill. These phone, cable & satellite companies are ripoff artists.

I am thinking of calling them and telling them that if they charge me $2, I will stop paying my bill on the first bill that it appears. Let em put it into collection for all I care as I am tired of being ripped off.

Alt
 

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OTOH, they could offer a $2 discount for using electronic billing. Last I heard, it costs over $4 to generate and process paper billing. Maybe it would be more appropriate to offer a $4 discount. Instead, most large companies look on this as a way to make more money, not pass on savings.
 

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This is nothing specific to Telus; Bell, Rogers, Teksavvy, and Primus all have a similar policy to name a few. All kinds of industries are doing this. Telecoms are one, but banks have been doing it too. The idea isn't supposed to be a cash grab, what they want is for you to switch to paperless e-billing, both to make life easier for Telus and to save the paper.

The goal is too pick a number that won't sound exorbitant but will still be high enough to actually convince users to switch. Some organizations commit any revenue collected from these paper billing charges to environmental causes, I don't know what Telus does with it. They will enter you into a contest if you subscribe to e-billing. When Bell Mobility made the switch rather than add a fee they discounted the system access fee by $2 for anyone using e-billing, and yet it still caused outrage...
 

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Have to laugh at these kinds of protest. Honestly, I thought Telus had had such a policy in place for years, its' been so long since I've seen a paper invoice. It's just so much more convenient receiving bank statements and invoices electronically and arguments like "I need a paper invoice for tax records" don't cut it. Saving a PDF copy (and offsite) is an even safer alternative.

$2 does covers only a small fraction of the cost. Why should customers on e-billing subsidize the paper-trailers?

This debate has been taken to absurd level on another forum where outraged Wind customers complain about a surcharge for paying their bills/buying airtime in person at a dealer when it's free to do so online. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
First off the cost of sending you a bill is in the price you pay for the service, they should be giving you a discount to not get a paperbill not charge you more. Also FYI I got off the phone a bit ago and while they are going to chg me $2 a month for the paper bill, they are crediting my phone pkg $5 a month so I actually save $3 a month :):):) I was just really firm to the point I said that if I chged $2 a month, I would just stop paying the bill altogether and it could go to collection for all I cared.

Alt
 

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Consumer groups are advocating that such corporate policies must allow people without Internet access to opt-out at no cost. These days it seems odd that someone might not have Internet access, but I know plenty of seniors who don't have it.
 

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I agree with you Altaman. The price of printing and mailing the monthly bill is included with the final price. Although I would speculate the majority of people use paperless billing (saving companies thousands of dollars a month), there are some people that like to have a paper bill in their hand either because they don't' have internet access, or don't know how to use a computer.

The monthly paper bill should absolutely not be billable at all and as Altaman stated, anyone signing up for paperless billing should really be receiving a discount as it is saving these companies TONS of money every month.
 

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Bell Mobility says the fee aims to encourage customers to go paperless.

Customers save $2 if they pay online. but what if you don't use the internet? That's what Kearney asked the Bell customer service representative she reached on her phone.

"What he was saying to me is: go out and get a computer and we won't charge you the $2 we use to send you the bill. I was mad, I am mad," said Kearney.

Bell Mobility explains it like this: Customers used to pay a $8.95 system access fee each month per cellphone. The company reduced that fee to $6.95 for customers who pay over the internet. Other customers pay the old $8.95, and the additional $2 is now called a paper invoice fee.
Doesn't seem like it saved Bell any hassle, though I think they did it the right way. It would be nice if Telus came out and said they would donate the $2 charges to help plant trees or something.

Should mailing you a bill be included in your service? AFAIK Wind doesn't mail you bills by default, I don't even know if you can request them. Scotiabank stopped mailing me bills months ago unless I wanted to pay $1.50/month for them. UofT no longer sends anything in the mail, not even tuition bills. While I understand that people are upset over being charged for something they always got for free before, I don't know that we're entitled to being mailed a bill anymore.
 

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Two buck Telus

For those of us who are able to claim their cellular bills as a reimbursable expense from their employers or write off the expense for tax purposes, it is still necessary to have a paper bill as backup for the claim. So there's no environmental benefit -- Telus has just moved the labour of downloading the bill and printing it to the customer.
I wonder if adding a charge like this is outside of the 3 year contract I signed. If so, either my contract is now terminated or I shouldn't have to pay. Anyone know?
 

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When I first heard about this new charge I was flabbergasted. There is a belief out there that everyone has internet but its just a myth. I know many who don't. Some of them are quite young (20-25). They just aren't computer types.

One thing I wonder about whether a paperless bill has any legal standing in a court? Would it be accepted it as a bill if it is not printed? How could it even be presented as evidence? How could it be proved that it had/had not been tampered with if there was a dispute over its contents? A PDF can be altered if you know how for example.
 

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Yes, I can submit a pdf. But that's not the point. Telus is asking me to substitute my labour, equipment, and paper to replace what they used to do (when I signed the contract) or penalize me $2. To be a bit silly about it, will they next ask me to climb a cellular tower to maintain their equipment?
I expect that when I sign a contract that nothing will change unless I've agreed to it. Otherwise, what's the meaning of a contract. Can I tell them that my new policy is to charge them a $2 processing charge to pay their bill?
 

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When I first heard about this new charge I was flabbergasted. There is a belief out there that everyone has internet but its just a myth. I know many who don't. Some of them are quite young (20-25). They just aren't computer types.

One thing I wonder about whether a paperless bill has any legal standing in a court? Would it be accepted it as a bill if it is not printed? How could it even be presented as evidence? How could it be proved that it had/had not been tampered with if there was a dispute over its contents? A PDF can be altered if you know how for example.
Everyone who doesn't have Internet has access to Internet. Internet cafes, public libraries, if you need it you can get it. And if not you can just pay the two dollars.

Paper bills can be tampered with too. Things can easily be altered or forged, but fraud is fraud no matter how it's committed. All you have to do to submit a PDF as evidence is print it. If the two sides dispute the contents then it will be investigated.

Yes, I can submit a pdf. But that's not the point. Telus is asking me to substitute my labour, equipment, and paper to replace what they used to do (when I signed the contract) or penalize me $2. To be a bit silly about it, will they next ask me to climb a cellular tower to maintain their equipment?
I expect that when I sign a contract that nothing will change unless I've agreed to it. Otherwise, what's the meaning of a contract. Can I tell them that my new policy is to charge them a $2 processing charge to pay their bill?
But if you can submit a PDF then how is that more work than submitting a paper bill?

Has Telus not added any new features since you signed up? Maybe online customer support or new automated phone features? Have they never changed the online billing system, or changed the format of your bill? Has their website never changed?

As far as I can tell everyone seems upset because that's the way it's always been, there have always been paper bills and they've always been free. However the world is moving quickly towards paperless and I expect my telecom to be progressive when it comes to things like that. I understand why everyone is upset that Telus is adding a new charge rather than discounting the plans, and to Stampeder's point it would be nice if Telus would exempt anyone with senior citizen's status, but I think the backlash is mostly just the culture of bitterness toward our wireless providers which has become so pervasive in Canada (and for good reason) rather than actual inconvenience.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I disagree, paper bills are not free the cost is in the $100 bill I got yesterday. That is like saying the government provides free healthcare...when it is actually paid out of the thousands of $$ I pay in taxes. This is just another example of corporations sticking it to the consumer instead of them paying me to save them money.

Society is to accepting in allowing themselves to be chged whatever a company wants to chg them. I was not and am not prepared to accept a 2.5% increase on my bill (normal chgs are $80 a month).

Alt
 

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...and I, as an individual service provider customer, do not wish to subsidize those people who cost the provider more, so, to me, the $2 increase for customers who cost providers additional money is more than fair.

That'll keep my bill lower.
 

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Sending a bill in the mail is a part of doing business.
The company I work for does it.
There is "No Way" a company like Telus or anyone else should pass this on to the consumer.
Why should I use my paper, my ink and my time to save Telus or any other company money. If they offer a discount than maybe but other than that #[email protected]*% them.
Maybe in the future when "EVERYBODY" has the tech capabilities then yes but for now it is a big NO.
ps. Telus can do whatever they want- I switched to Shaw for phone and pay and talk for cell. I no longer get any Telus bills so I guess they can do what they want.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
If you honestly think that charging for a paper bill will keep you bill lower, you smoke better stuff than me ;-)

Tbis is a telus bottom line thing, Sending you a bill is in the chg's already...my question is if you are paperless why don't they cut your bill back say a buck a month? Because it is a pure and simple money grab and you accept it! I am getting a $3 savings and getting a paper bill.
 

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I was not and am not prepared to accept a 2.5% increase on my bill (normal chgs are $80 a month).
Then switch to Telus' new billing system and go with paperless billing. You get the same information just delivered a different way at no charge. Obviously you have Internet access.

Sending a bill in the mail is a part of doing business.
The company I work for does it.
There is "No Way" a company like Telus or anyone else should pass this on to the consumer.
Why should I use my paper, my ink and my time to save Telus or any other company money. If they offer a discount than maybe but other than that #[email protected]*% them.
Sending a bill in the mail was a cost of doing business in 1995, this is 2010. There was a time when the milkman brought fresh milk to your door every day, yet that changed too. Telus has found a new, more efficient, and direct way to bill it's customers. You don't have to print the bill so using ink and paper is unnecessary, and once you learn how to use their website the time difference should be negligible.

If it makes you feel any better think of it as an across the board price increase to cover increased operating expenses which will be waived for anyone who switches to e-billing.

All I've heard so far is "it should be free because it always was." Outside of Stampeder's comment about seniors I have yet to hear anyone give a good reason why they can't switch to e-billing, or even a good reason why they don't want to (and "because I shouldn't have to" is not a good reason).
 

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...I agree with the above. All these costs use to be simply, "the cost of doing business." When I buy a bag of milk, I'm paying for the milk, and to a lesser extent, the packaging. Now if my milk company adds a $1 surcharge to pay for the plastic, while saying it'd be easier to fill it up in bulk at their local refilling station, I have a reason to be peeved.

But having said that, I understand what they're doing. Simply tell the customer to carry part of the "cost of doing business". That way you can squeeze out ever increasing profit that the shareholders demand. People complain for a bit, then it gets accepted.Easy as pie.
 
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