Consumer campaign group Keep Me Posted has hailed a decision by a US court to force a waste management company to stop charging customers for receiving paper statements as a landmark victory.
A federal judge in New York ruled that a prominent service provider must refund millions of dollars and stop charging consumers fees to receive paper bills in what campaigners have described as a ‘monumental’ win.
The UK-based Keep Me Posted campaign calls on organisations, including banks, councils, utility companies and telecoms providers to give their customers a choice in how they receive communications.
The US Keep Me Posted campaign, based in Chicago, described the settlement as “a major boost to Keep Me Posted’s advocacy for the right of every consumer in North America to choose, free of charge, how they receive important information from their service providers.”
Judith Donovan CBE, Chair of the Keep Me Posted campaign, also welcomed the decision, that will force the company to halt its practice of charging customers a $6.50 fee to receive paper bills and statements. Consumers who were unfairly charged over four years will be entitled to a portion of a $2.7m settlement.
She said: “This is an historic win for consumers and a wake-up call to organisations that charge their customers simply for receiving important communications on paper. The judge was very clear that no person or organisation should charge a consumer for choosing a paper billing statement.
“As a coalition of consumer groups, charities and businesses who are committed to protecting consumer access to paper bills and statements at no extra charge, Keep Me Posted applauds this tremendous victory for consumers.”