An Open Letter To My Service Providers

Posted: 06/04/2012 in General

For the attention of my Service Providers. Those to whom I subscribe for various modern facilities. The financial institutions, the power company, the insurance company, the water authority, and those various govt agencies that fit into the same category, et al.

I am quite sick to death of receiving and accumulating paper-based accostments from you.
Statements. Newsletters. Notifications. Advertising.
Week on week, year on year, this paper conveyor belt arrives in my letter box, to be largely summarily disregarded and discarded.

We are well and truly into the 21st Century here, people. And since well before it started we have had the gift of electronic communication, which has now been refined to the point where it can be used to obviate the vast majority of this archaic influx of paper.

I completely understand that for legal and practical reasons that perhaps invoices, bills, and the like may need to be delivered in hard copy. Until society’s legal framework can have equal confidence in the efficacy of electronic communication perhaps this practice may need to continue. But bills are but a very small proportion of, and do not by association excuse, the bulk of the paper that I pull from my letterbox year on year.

Whist individually these communiques are annoying, superfluous, largely unread, and somewhat wasteful; cumulatively, when everything that gets mailed out to everyone in the country is considered collectively, they are massively costly, contributing in no small part to operating costs and therefore directly to the fees that I am compelled to pay you year on year, they are also massively, hideously wasteful of resources, from the production of the paper through to the energy required for delivery. In this day and age of taking reasonable steps to reduce waste of resources, this bad corporate habit is nothing short of culpable. If this accursed Carbon Tax is to become a reality, then I advocate that you be charged $1 per piece of paper you send to us. Including the envelope.

The electronic option is entirely practical and achievable, and would save you buckets of money on raw materials and postage. You already have the technology available within your walls to convert all of this guff to PDF and to send it to us electronically, so that we can, in the same manner we manage all other communication these days, access it wherever we go, read it, print it if we really need to, and file it in searchable repository which takes up no physical space at all. The convenience value to your increasingly tech-savvy, and, i assume, valuable, customer base should not be underestimated.

I currently and will continue to favour where possible organisations that follow this strategy.

For your consideration.

  1. Lucinda says:

    I feel your pain. Add to that misery the junk mail, promotions, threats of discontinuing service due to unpaid bills of the last two or three tennants BEFORE me in this apartment. I get double and triple offers for each of their lovely little mailings. And, I have online billing and paying except for one that still hasn’t upgraded to this century and insists on mailing the bill.

  2. solberg73 says:

    Sadly, many of my ‘providers have ‘re-met’ the enemy, and it is Them. I’ll explain:
    They ceremoniously go over to New! Paperless Billing, or other on-line communications. And then take *even longer* than the US Mail to post a deposit, or credit-card transaction, or receipt of an elec co payment.
    And the programming is all so sloppy, buggy, counter-intuitive, and maddening. Not that the paper bills weren’t equally incomprehensible.
    I frankly don’t know what will be the solution, but this ain’t it. I’ve probably wasted as much time as was conceivably saved by computers just sorting out the Truth from the gibberish.
    Your letter is well-written though. Just don’t raise your hopes too high.

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