Consumer Action Law Centre (Consumer Action) is pleased to make this submission in response to the Paper Billing Consultation Paper (Consultation Paper).
Consumer Action supports Option 2 in the Consultation Paper, which would ban companies from charging consumers for paper bills.
As set out in the Consultation Paper, a significant number of Australians are digitally excluded and are unable to receive electronic bills. These Australians are often our most vulnerable and disadvantaged citizens, including low-income households, remote and regional communities, and elderly people. These groups are therefore disproportionately impacted by having additional fees and charges imposed on them for paper bills, and have no mitigating option. In effect, this means that often those least able to afford it are paying more for services (including essential services such as utilities and telecommunications), while wealthier and digitally-included households are paying less.171220-CALC-Submission-FINAL