Cell phone provider charging for paper bills

Posted by Debra Worley - email

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - A Wilmington woman is upset about an added fee on her cell phone bill and wants others to take notice.

Judi Baker is a homebound senior citizen who lives off social security.

She became alarmed when she noticed a little box at the top of her T-Mobile cell phone bill.  It said she will have to pay $1.50 to receive a paper bill summary in the mail, beginning next month.

T-Mobile is going paperless and sending people to the internet for their bills in order to save money on ink and paper.

Baker said it isn't fair to pass the burden on to people who don't have internet access.

T-Mobile gave a statement encouraging customers to pay online or get their billing information by phone.

Baker said she plans to switch to a provider that doesn't charge for a paper bill.

Below is the statement provided by T-Mobile:

In response to your questions about T-Mobile's Paper Bill Charge, please note that after considering a number of factors including rising costs for paper, printing, and postage, as well as environmental impacts associated with printing paper bills, T-Mobile has started to charge customers who would like to receive a paper bill.

This charge was implemented with these costs and other factors in mind.  The company has provided alternative options for our customers to receive the information on their bills and continues to promote paperless billing as a "free" option (www.my.t-mobile.com or www.t-mobile.com/billingupdate).

There are a number of simple ways for T-Mobile customers to get basic account information, including minutes used and current balance, without a paper bill. For example, typing #MIN# (#646#) and hitting the send (call) button will display how many minutes have been used in the current billing cycle, as well as when the current bill closes. Typing #BAL# (#225) and hitting the send (call) button will display how much was paid for the last bill and when it was received by T-Mobile, as well as the current balance and due date.

In addition to these options T-Mobile customers can always call T-Mobile Customer Care by dialing 611 on any T-Mobile phone -- Customer Care can provide calling details and assist with payments.

Finally, customers may go to a T-Mobile store to view their bills, make payments and may even ask a T-Mobile Retail Representative to demonstrate how to use the web browser on any T-Mobile handset to access MyT-Mobile.com, where customers can view calling details and even pay a bill right from their phone (if Paperless Billing is enabled).

Please refer to the below overview of T-Mobile's Paper Bill Charges and let me know if you have any additional questions.

Paperless Bill - Paperless billing requires a customer to "opt in" and receive access to electronic bills each month. Customers can do this through www.my.t-mobile.com or at www.t-mobile.com/mobilize. Paperless bills provide all of the same detail associated with "summary" as well as "detailed" bills (see below).

Summary Bill - Printed summary bills suppress call details that do not result in overage or airtime charges (e.g., rate plans minutes, T-mobile-to-T-mobile, myFaves calls). Only call details that include overage or airtime charges (e.g., long distance, roaming, 411, etc.) appear on summary bills. Cost: $1.50 / month (Paper Bill Fee)

Detailed Bill - Detailed bills provide an itemized list of calls and data charges, including local, long distance and roaming calls, regardless of whether the usage results in overage or not. Cost: $1.50 / month (Paper Bill Fee) + $1.99 / month (Detail Bill Fee) = $3.49 / month

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