How to Stop Paying Extra for Bills You Receive in the Mail
Are you paying extra for bills you receive in the mail? Service providers may be charging you a fee to cover the costs of printing and posting your bill – but there may be a way you can avoid the charge.
The easiest way is to switch to online billing and receive your bills by email or via the company’s app or website. HOWEVER, we all receive lots of emails and not all of us check our email daily, so it’s possible you will overlook the bill or not see it early enough before the due date. Worse still, you could be opening your email up to scammers who often copy logos and emails from official sites and send dodgy emails that look official, but aren’t and have links to “Pay Here”.
To protect yourself from these email scams, there is another way.
Some companies have exceptions from the paper billing fees and some companies will not charge the fee if customers:
- are seniors
- are registered for a concession
- receive income support
- are on a hardship program
- don’t have internet access.
So, contact each of your providers and ask if you’re eligible for an exemption from paper bill fees, and how to apply. If you have friends or family who may be eligible for an exemption, let them know about this too.
There may be an added incentive for businesses to exempt you. The Australia Government has asked businesses to increase their uptake of fee exemptions by late 2019 or face a possible ban on paper billing fees.
If you checked with a provider that you are eligible for an exemption, but are having trouble getting your exemption processed, please contact your local Fair Trading or Consumer Affairs agency for help.
For more information about paper billing:
- visit www.consumerlaw.gov.au/paperbilling – information is available in English, Italian, Greek and Chinese, or
- contact your State or Territory’s consumer protection agency, listed below:
ACT: Access Canberra, phone 13 2281, website act.gov.au/accessCBR
NSW: NSW Fair Trading, phone 133220, website fairtrading.nsw.gov.au
NT: Northern Territory Consumer Affairs, phone 1800 019 319, website consumeraffairs.nt.gov.au
Qld: Office of Fair Trading, phone 13 7468, website qld.gov.au/fairtrading
SA: South Australia Consumer and Business Services, phone 13 1882, website cbs.sa.gov.au
Tas: Tasmania Consumer, Building and Occupational Services, phone 1300 654 499, website cbos.tas.gov.au
Vic: Consumer Affairs Victoria, phone 1300 558 181, website consumer.vic.gov.au
WA: Western Australia Consumer Protection (Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety), hone 1300 304 054, website consumerprotection.wa.gov.au
Article provided courtesy of South Australia’s Attorney-General’s Department