Fees for paper bills

Closes 22 Dec 2017

Opened 21 Nov 2017

Overview

Bills are common documents that state an amount of payment or set out a regular charge for supplying ongoing goods and services. Traditionally businesses have provided bills in a paper format to consumers, with the costs of producing and providing these documents absorbed by businesses and included in the final price paid by consumers.

In recent years, however, businesses have shifted to providing bills in an electrical/digital format as the preferred method of billing. Digital billing is often seen as a simpler, lower-cost and more environmentally friendly option for businesses and consumers. As a result of this shift to digital billing, many businesses have moved to a fee-for-service model for paper bills.

Digital billing is often offered to consumers as a cost free alternative to paper billing. Those who are capable, willing and able to access the internet can avoid paying fees to receive paper bills by choosing to receive them digitally. However, those who cannot access the internet have no choice but to pay to receive a paper bill. As preliminary analysis suggests many who cannot transition to digital bills come from disadvantaged groups, it appears these groups are being unfairly impacted.

On 31 August 2017, the Legislative and Governance Forum on Consumer Affairs noted that Treasury would undertake a regulatory impact assessment of fees for paper bills. This consultation paper examines the issue of fees for paper bills and presents four options to reduce consumer detriment.

Postal Responses

Address written submissions to:

Paper Billing Consultation Paper
Small Business and Consumer Division
The Treasury
Langton Crescent
Parkes ACT 2600

Audiences

  • Anyone from any background

Interests

  • All interests