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Online billing proves a tough call

Wednesday, 12 March 2008
By Print 21 Online Article

Telstra plans to direct its customers to the computer screen in a move towards online invoices.

The company unveiled a plan to convert 5 million households to paperless billing by June this year as part of a new environmental initiative. Telstra’s billing and credit executive director, Mark Leo told media that it was a way of decreasing paper use and costs.

"The new bill will see 285 million sheets of paper saved annually and that ties in with our commitment to the environment," he said.

Consumer advocacy group, NotGoodEnough, believes that overall, the initiative will be attractive, but is concerned for both the increased risk of errors and the validity of Telstra’s claims regarding paper reduction. 

"Our view is that this will transfer the use of paper as opposed to eliminate it," said spokesman, Baldeep Gill. "There are some groups, such as small businesses that probably still needs a piece of paper to keep on file for things such as tax and BAS."

Gill also said that some customers would not take the time to log onto the internet and view their bill, which meant that any errors would go unnoticed.

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