Should We Go Paperless - Part I
Updated: Nov 25, 2019
But before answering, let me explain what that means for those who might not know:
It's something that creditors, like credit card companies, want us to do. So, they regularly bombard us with seductive sales pitches to get us to do it.
Here’s what it boils down to: If we say ok, they stop sending us monthly statements by US Mail. Instead, they send them by email. They’re the billings that tell us how much we owe, including interest, and what we need to pay by a certain date.
So, if we agree, we become "paperless" accounts. In other words, to collect from us, these companies don't have to use paper and postage. They do everything electronically.
So, is this a good deal?
Well, it sure is for credit card companies, because:
1 . They save tons in postage.
2. They save in paper costs.
3. They save in printing costs.
4. They get more late fees.
5. They get more interest.
So, it's pretty obvious why these creditors want us to go "paperless."
And as you've likely concluded by now, it's ABSOLUTELY NOT a good deal for us, the ones who owe the money.
And here are more specifics as to why not:
To handle our business affairs, most of us need printed copies of statements of the money we owe.
We need them:
1. For tax purposes.
2. To remind us to pay on time.
3. As evidence, in case of any later questions or disputes.
But let's say, we get snookered and hit the "Go paperless,"OK" link. In that case, we should not depend on our computers to always be capable of furnishing us copies when you need them. As we all know, hard drives can crash.
So, to protect ourselves, we should immediately print out copies of the email statements.
This, of course, uses paper. So, the process is not "paperless." That's the farce, the hoodwink. Yes, paper is needed, but instead of the credit card company paying for it, we are.
Plus, we're paying for printer ink and wear and tear on our printers.
Yep, we're saving creditors all that.
Then there's this: Some of us won't print out copies. We'll just read the email-statements and make notes of due dates. But occasionally we'll misplace these notes.
Hence, we’ll have nothing to remind us to timely pay. And we won't. So, we’ll get clobbered with late fees, which sometimes can be outrageous.
Also, we’ll get charged interest, usually at a high rate.
Moreover, when tax time rolls around, we need records. And if we can't dig up the email statements, we won't have what we need. Ugh.
Bottom line: to "go paperless," is almost always a BAD DEAL for us consumers.
So, don't hit that "Ok" link and get sucked in.
But for those of you who are already in "paperless" modes, I say, get out. And usually, it’s easy to do. Just go to your creditors' billing preferences sites and opt of out of “paperless” monthly statements.
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