Mail advocacy group Keep Me Posted has received 1,000 reply paid postcards in response to a flyer campaign placed in Post Offices across the country in support of its current campaign to stop utilities, banks and telcos charging for paper bills.
Keep Me Posted says the response is unanimous, Australians want to be kept posted.
The flyers provided information on paper billing and statement fees, and gave consumers tips about what they can do to challenge them. It also aimed to garner support for the campaign with a Reply Paid postcard that supporters can return to the campaign’s office.
Kellie Northwood, executive director at Keep Me Posted says, “The response to the pamphlet is overwhelming. Thanks to the partnership with the Post Offices we are reaching out to those Australians who are on the wrong side of the digital divide, and rely on postal communications in their daily lives. They are the most vulnerable Australians who deserve their voice to be heard, and they should not be penalised for preferring paper communications over digital ones.”
[Related: TSA fights mail fees]
She says 88 per cent of reply paid post cards support the campaign on a social justice level, “Analysis of the first wave of responses shows that Australians are largely concerned about internet fraud (75 per cent), and that they want to keep paper records (89 per cent).”
While some businesses like Optus, Foxtel, AGL and NAB, among others, are increasing the pressure on their customers to switch them to digital communications only, Parliament is making progress towards more consumer protection.
Northwood says, “With Choice revealing in its internet service provider satisfaction survey 2017 that 62 per cent of Australians have experienced internet issues in the last six months, guaranteeing free access to paper communications for all Australian consumers is critical.
“In the lead up to the Governance and Legislative Forum on Consumer Affairs which will review the Australian Consumer Law, the support we are seeing from federal Members of Parliament is encouraging, however we need Australians to send their message loud and clear to both Government and their service providers.”
In the last few weeks, a motion asking the Government to bring consumer protection against fees of paper communications was moved in the lower House by Tim Hammond MP, Shadow Minister for Consumer Affairs and the motion then passed the Senate with a clear majority. On June 19, Andrew Wilkie MP tabled a Private Member’s Bill to amend the Australian Consumer Law. Also, the Minister for Consumer Affairs, Michael McCormack, has asked the Treasury to look into the issue.
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