Is there such a thing as going too green? Can the benefit to the environment come at too high a cost to freedom and justice at times? I think so.
Several companies including T-Mobile and Lane Bryant enacted policies in their credit card bills warning customers that they would be charged an extra $1 per bill if they wanted to continue to receive bills by snail mail, rather than switching over to online bills and payment.
Many customers were upset with the decision and law suits were filed. Some customers even tried to get out of their contracts with phone companies since they argued that the change qualified as a change in their plan. Upon a friend calling the Better Business Bureau and reporting back to me, I discovered that it is in fact being contested right now in court whether they have a right to do it or not, but that they are definitely required to notify customers in advance, in written form. I was also advised that people who qualify as exceptions because of disabilities or other extenuating circumstances (such as not having a computer or internet access!?) should call the companies and explain the situation.
The companies say they are doing it to cut costs and help the environment, but is that enough of a justification? Although I admit one day all transactions will take place online, I do not think that day has arrived yet, and certainly not for my grandmother (who lacks both a computer and the knowledge of how to use one).
Read more at: http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/courts/articles/?storyId=29180
2 responses to “When Going Green Becomes a Bad Thing”
Elly, I agree. People cannot be forced to use a computer, to pay bills online. There are elderly people, people with disabilities, poor people who do not have computers or cannot easily use them. Furthermore, if someone signs a contract for a service and years later, the policies of that service provider change, the consumer has a right to be a part of the discussion, not be billed for non compliance. The choice should be the consumer’s.
I support paperless billing.
most consumers have a computer. furthermore, checking bills and statements digitally means that one less document you have to worry about keeping/shredding. Also, online sources are search-able, and can be accessed anywhere you have a secure internet connection. furthermore, if you need a hard copy, you can print