Most U.S. Consumers Want the Option to Receive Paper Bills and Statements
July 31, 2013 – When it comes to billing, a majority of U.S. consumers want to keep the option to receive paper bills and statements, according to a survey commissioned by advocacy group, Two Sides.
More than six in 10 consumers say they would not choose a provider that does not offer paper bills and statements, and 88% want to be able to switch between electronic and paper bills without difficulty or cost.
The survey of 2,000 U.S. consumers was conducted for Two Sides in June by research firm Toluna.
- 64% of consumers say they would not choose a company that did not offer a paper bill option.
- 72% agree that print and paper can be an environmentally sustainable way to communicate if responsibly produced, used and recycled.
- 50% of consumers either do not believe, feel misled by or question the validity of claims like “Save Trees, Go Paperless” and “Go Green, Go Digital.”
- Over 84% of people agree that e-billing and e-statements are being promoted to save costs.
- 91% of consumers say they are unwilling to pay for paper bills.
- 44% prefer to receive bills by postal mail only.
- 59% of consumers would refuse to switch to electronic bills and statements or would not take action when asked to do so.
- 50% of consumers read their bills and statements received both electronically and by postal mail; only 15% read bills which they receive by email only.
- 34% of consumers are ‘home printers’ with 20% printing up to 20% of their bills and 8% printing between 80% and 100% of their bills. Two-thirds (66%) don’t print out any bills at home.
“While e-billing can be very convenient and internet delivery is now commonplace, it’s clear that U.S. consumers like paper bills and statements and don’t want to be pushed into electronic-only communications,” says Two Sides President Phil Riebel. “More than eight in 10 believe that cost savings are the driving force behind the ‘go paperless’ marketing hype, and many are suspicious of marketing claims that going paperless will ‘save trees’ or ‘protect the environment.’ In fact, 50% of those surveyed said they either did not believe such claims, felt misled by them or questioned their validity."
Beyond the fact that most consumers want the option of paper bills, as many as 30% of Americans are not online including 65% of seniors who don’t own computers (U.S. Department of Commerce, 2011). Forcing people to go paperless or pay added fees for paper bills and statements disenfranchises a significant part of the population.
Source: Two Sides, Most U.S. Consumers Want the Option to Receive Paper Bills and Statements, July 31, 2013.