Avoid paper billing charges

Elise Archer,Minister for Building and Construction

If you receive paper bills in the mail you should check to see if it is costing you extra – and if it is, there is a way to look into how to avoid the extra charge.

Consumer, Building and Occupational Services (CBOS) is advising consumers that they may not realise how many bills they receive in the post could be costing them an extra fee.

The fee could be a couple of dollars for some service providers, which can add up for people receiving multiple paper bills over the course of a year.

People who want to avoid the fee can switch to online billing or, if they want or need to continue to receive paper bills, find out if 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 fees.

Any consumers who are eligible for an exemption but are having trouble getting their exemption request processed should contact CBOS for help.

In 2018, the Commonwealth Government undertook a regulatory assessment of fees for paper billing. As a result, businesses have been asked to increase the uptake of exemption programs and promote them more widely.

The industry needs to have at least 30 per cent of consumers who receive paper bills covered by an exemption program. If this target is not met by late 2019, Consumer Affairs Ministers will consider implementing a ban on paper billing fees.

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