Has your bill been migrated online without your knowledge? It can happen to anyone...

20th February 2015

Two different telephone firms have been at it again – migrating people to online services without asking permission, then insisting the poor consumer coughs up cash for keeping what they were previously getting for free.

And the irony? One of them was me!

In my case I received a letter telling me my mobile phone bill was unpaid. When I queried that I hadn’t received the bill, I discovered I had been migrated online – with neither my knowledge nor consent. And I have to pay £2.50 per month if I want to retain the paper bill I was, until last month, receiving for free.

They had no way of knowing whether or not I could go online before doing this, and the cost of keeping my paper bill is around five times what Keep Me Posted has been told would be an average charge.

And I’m not alone. Mr RAE in Newport, who doesn’t have a computer, was told just before Christmas that his telephone firm was moving his account online because “we want to cut back on paper”.

With no online access, he was going to be forced to pay £1 to keep paper – not as high as my charge, but annoying when he has no other way to see his bill. However, far from “cutting back on paper” as they mentioned, Mr RAE tells me the paid-for bill has grown to three sheets of paper.

Mr RAE is understandably incensed. “Forcing people to either ‘go online or get stuffed’ is a deeply offensive corporate attitude” he says. And he’s right.

Judith Donovan