September 16, 2009
T-Mobile's attempt to charge users $1.50 for their monthly paper bills has been nipped in the bud after subscribers and regulators complained.
T-Mobile backed off the $1.50 charge stating it will "be taking more time to determine the fairest way possible to encourage people to go paperless." The change had been planned to go into effect last Saturday, but the protests made an impact on T-Mobile management. The firm is the fourth largest mobile phone service provider in the U.S. Many online retailers and service providers have been urging their customers to use online billing systems, but consumers without computers have found it nearly impossible to pay online. In addition to the inconvenience, some consumers have raised security and privacy issues, because they don't want to give out the details of their banking and other financial accounts in order to pay their monthly bills. Most retailers and service providers still don't charge for providing paper bills, but increasingly they are tacking on additional and new charges for paper bills. Waste Management, for instance, now adds at least $2 to consumer bills when they aren't paid online. State regulatory agencies were flooded with complaints over the proposed T-Mobile charges. In New York State, Attorney General Andrew Cuomo said his office would "not sit back and let a company change its prices under the guise of 'going green.'" None of the other major mobile phone service providers -- AT&T, Sprint Nextel, and Verizon Wireless -- charge extra for paper bills, although they do charge extra for a paper copies of an itemized bill.
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