2009-09-18 / Top Stories

Pheffer Applauds T- Mobile's Decision

Assembly Consumer Affairs and Protection Committee Chair Audrey I. Pheffer commended T-Mobile for its decision to not go forward with a planned policy change that would have required customers who receive a paper bill to pay a fee of $1.50 per month. The "Paper Bill Charge," announced last month, generated numerous complaints and inquiries from customers.

Upon learning of the new fee from a constituent, Pheffer immediately contacted T-Mobile to express her concerns with the policy. Pheffer noted that paper billing charges unfairly impact consumers that do not have Internet access in their homes, as well as those that are uncomfortable using the Internet, including many senior citizens and those concerned about personal privacy. Pheffer further noted that paper billing charges disproportionately affect low-income consumers, who are less likely to have access to the Internet.

"Many consumers, including many senior citizens and those concerned about privacy, are uncomfortable using the Internet," said Pheffer. "These consumers should not be forced to bear the burden of an additional monthly charge in order to receive a paper bill. Businesses need to look at other ways to achieve the environmental goal of reduced paper use, such as incentive-based programs, that do not penalize consumers."

Pheffer noted that other wireless telephone service providers, including Verizon and Sprint, have encouraged their customers to choose paperless billing by providing incentives to those who sign up for this eco-friendly option, and she encourages T-Mobile and other businesses to consider implementing similar policies.

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