EnergyAustralia scraps paper bill fees

Electricity and gas provider EnergyAustralia is scrapping paper bill fees and over-the-counter payment at Australia Post fees for all their customers, following pressures from consumers and the Keep Me Posted campaign.

The Keep Me Posted campaign is backed by a coalition of representatives from the print, paper and mail industry, charity, trade unions and community groups advocating for a ban on paper fees, urging companies to not wait for the legislation to change.

Kellie Northwood, executive director, Keep Me Posted, says, “In NSW a ban on paper bills from energy providers was legislated by the State.

“However this is the first time a company has willingly decided to scrap the fees nationally for all of its customers.

“We have contacted all the main telecommunications providers, and have not been lucky so far. We hope that will change with pressure from consumers.

“We have also contacted AGL and are waiting for an answer.

“We hope that the competition will work among energy providers, with EnergyAustralia leading by example. With the banks, when one scrapped ATM fees, all of them did it. We have our fingers crossed other energy companies will follow suit.

“For the last 20 months, we have encouraged our supporters to write to their service providers to let them know how the fees impact them. EnergyAustralia has listened to its customers and is showing leadership in tackling a growing issue for Australian consumers.”

Kim Clarke, chief customer officer, EnergyAustralia, says “We have had a lot of feedback from customers and the message is clear – people do not like these fees. They were introduced to avoid passing on the cost of services many customers don’t use, but circumstances have changed. Over the past year retail energy prices have increased up to 20 per cent in some states and today, more than ever, every dollar matters for families. So, we have listened and are getting rid of charges for paper bills and over-the-counter fees.”

Northwood says, “EnergyAustralia sets a very positive precedent and proves that consumer voices matter. The discontent is growing, the pressure from the community and consumer groups ramping up, we strongly urge other companies to put their customers first and axe paper fees in the days and weeks to come.”

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