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T-Mobile to penalize tech-inept with BS paper billing fee

Zach Epstein
August 8th, 2009 at 5:00 PM

As fully immersed in technology as younger generations in the US are these days, we sometimes forget that there are still generations and demographics in this country who simply haven’t latched on to tech the way we have. The spunky bunch above who have gathered around a laptop to check out BGR simply aren’t representative of older generations and let us not forget the countless people in this country who cannot afford computers. The simple truth is that there are a magnitude of reasons why someone might not own, use or even know how to use a computer. Apparently however, T-Mobile thinks its poor and elderly postpaid subscribers should be penalized for being unwilling or unable to embrace a digital lifestyle.

According to Tmonews, starting September 12th T-Mobile will begin charging a mandatory fee to customers who have not opted into paperless billing. Notices to that effect will go out with this month’s bills. The fee will reportedly be $1.50 per line, so if you have a family plan with five lines you’re looking at an additional $7.50 each month. For nothing.

Forget the fact that T-Mobile’s online billing system is weak and confusing at best — the simple fact is that paperless billing isn’t for everyone. Carriers charge enough fees without piling on with garbage like this. Now, we’d love it if T-Mobile was doing something like this in an effort to be more environmentally conscious but it is blatantly obvious that this is not the case. If a carrier wanted to encourage subscribers to go paperless for “green” reasons, it would reward those who oblige by giving them a nominal discount, not penalize those who cannot or do not oblige for whatever reason.

If this new paper billing fee becomes a reality and you or someone you know is affected by it, we strongly urge you to contact T-Mobile and the FCC to voice your objections.

UPDATE: The author of the original post emailed us to let us know about a correction to his report. The $1.50 charge is apparently going to be per account, not per line. We still think this stinks — it’s just not quite as pungent now…

Zach Epstein

Zach Epstein has worked in and around ICT for more than 15 years, first in marketing and business development with two private telcos, then as a writer and editor covering business news, consumer electronics and telecommunications. Zach’s work has been quoted by countless top news publications in the US and around the world. He was also recently named one of the world's top-10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes, as well as one of Inc. Magazine's top-30 Internet of Things experts.

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