Globe Telecom has defended the 50-peso fee it charges postpaid subscribers for paper bills after a Philippine senator called for an investigation into the fee.
Following recent local news reports about the fee, Senator Nancy Binay stated that “it would be better [for telcos] if they entice their subscribers to agree to paperless billing system through incentives and promos.” Binay filed a senate resolution calling for an investigation into the additional 50-peso paper bill charge.
In a statement, Globe Telecom said that the fee is intended to encourage customers to switch to e-billing. Yoly Crisanto, Globe’s senior corporate comms VP, explained that Globe began charging a 50-peso fee in October 2015 to new postpaid customers who opt for the paper bill to cover the cost of printing and courier services. Crisanto said that the customers who opt for paper bills represent 2.4% of Globe’s total postpaid mobile customer base.
Crisanto added that senior citizens and Globe Platinum customers who opt for paper bills are exempt from the fee.
“We recognize that the level of adoption in using digital technology is not the same across all customer segments. This is the reason why certain customers, especially senior citizens, are exempted from the paper billing fee.”
Crisanto also said that any customer may also call a hotline to request for an exemption from the fee.
Crisanto said that about 80% of Globe’s postpaid mobile customers are already on e-billing or paperless delivery mode – mainly because it means getting the bill faster.
Crisanto said the push for e-billing was prompted by numerous customer concerns about delays in delivery of monthly billing statements, which were mostly due to incomplete or changes in customer address, absence of a person to receive the bill, inclement weather, or difficulty of courier service delivery in remote areas.
Other advantage of e-billing include better security, SMS notifications, the convenience of online payment and the ability to view previous statements online rather than keeping a stack of paper bills at home, she said.
Following the company’s drive for e-billing, customer complaints on delayed billing statements have significantly gone down, Crisanto said. “Understanding that we are now in the digital age, most of our customers prefer to do their regular transactions online. We are encouraged that majority of our customers have decided to choose e-billing.”