O2’s shift to online billing criticised

10 Aug 2010

The move by mobile-phone operator O2 not to automatically send customers bills out in the post has been criticised by Labour communications spokesperson Liz McManus.

O2 is advising customers that their bills will no longer be automatically sent out in the post, but that they can opt to have the bill sent by post if they wish.

McManus has said she intends to follow up the change to how the company bills customers with the Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg) “out of my concern at this unacceptable departure from the norm”.

“This is a significant change for customers as the onus is now on the customer to ‘opt in’ to get their bills in the normal way,” McManus said.

“If you don’t have access to a PC or the internet then you cannot see your bill. ‘Opting in’ can be done via the company’s website (again presuming you have the tools to do this) or by dialling their customer-care number.”

According to McManus, this change to O2’s billing system will be a major inconvenience for thousands of customers, such as the aged, the disabled and those without a PC or internet access.

It is an unfair burden on customers trying to access information which they should be provided with,” she said.

“This change to the billing system will make it more difficult for customers to track the various charges. There are a large number of tariff options that can change when one switches phones. In the interest of clarity and transparency, the billing model should not be changed in this way.

“The decision on how a bill is received should be one that the customer makes voluntarily, not one that is foisted upon them and puts large numbers of the buying public at a disadvantage. While the company will save money from this billing change, it appears that the savings will not be passed onto the customers,” she added.

Courtesy of Businessandleadership.com