Following the issue on paperless billing, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is coordinating with other government agencies and the private sector to ensure that consumers need not pay additional fees when opted to receive a paper billing statement via mail.

In order to avoid delays in delivery of paper billing statement to the consumers, as well as to advocate environmental sustainability, various companies such as telecommunication companies, insurance, banks and credit card companies, among others, have adopted the practice of sending a customer’s billing statement via electronic mail (e-mail) also called as “paperless billing”.

“The Department of Trade and Industry recognizes the initiative of companies to protect the environment through their move towards e-billing or paperless billing. However, the DTI also recognizes the right of consumers to still receive paper billing without cost,” DTI-Consumer Protection Group (CPG) Undersecretary Atty. Ruth B. Castelo underscores.

The DTI encourages every consumer to assert their rights. Two of the eight (8) basic rights of consumers are their rights to information and to choose. Hence, consumers must be informed of the said sudden move to paperless transaction, as well as, must be able to decide which they prefer between receiving billing statement via electronic mail (e-mail) and mail. Telecommunication companies, insurance, banks and credit card companies, among others, shall ensure that consumers are well-informed of their options such as choosing between the above-mentioned options as failure to do so can lead to violation of Article 52 “Unfair or Unconscionable Sales Act or Practices” under Republic Act 7394 or Consumer Act of the Philippines.

The inter-agency committee on telecommunication composed of the DTI, Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) and National Privacy Commission (NPC) shall come up with a policy to address consumer complaints such as paperless billing, among others.

The DTI reiterates that in case the consumer decided to shift from getting paperless billing to receiving paper billing statement via mail, her/she should get copy at no cost.

Also, the DTI advises the consumers to choose well according to their needs.♦

Date of release: 28 March 2018