Keep Me Posted launches campaign to protect consumers’ right to choose paper or electronic communications

Keep Me Posted (KMP) North America, a global advocacy campaign working for the rights of consumers to choose, free of charge, how they receive important information from their service providers – on paper or electronically – has announced the launch of its campaign in North America. Overseen by Two Sides North America, the KMP North America campaign will focus on educating and challenging corporations that are removing consumer choices and charging fees for paper. The campaign will coordinate with KMP global campaigns already launched in several European countries as well as Australia. KMP has also partnered with the Coalition for Paper Options, Consumer Action, Haven Neighborhood Services, Montana Organizing Project, National Consumers League, and The National Grange, to form a coalition to protect the consumers’ rights to choose between paper and digital communications. The organization added that “millions of North American consumers are currently disenfranchised by increased digitization and need to receive bills and statements on paper – due to reasons such as a lack of Internet access, digital abilities, and growing security concerns with online fraud. Others prefer paper for convenience and practical reasons.”

The results of a 2017 Toluna consumer survey conducted in the U.S. indicated that 90% agree that they should have the right to choose how they receive communications (printed or electronic) from financial organizations and service providers. About 83% agreed that they should not be charged more for choosing a paper bill or statement. Also, according to a study by the Pew Research Center in 2018, 50% of American senior citizens, 76% of those who have not completed high school, and 55% of those living in households with an annual income under $30,000, didn’t have broadband Internet at home. These numbers have increased since 2013 because of the cost of Internet access. In Canada, approximately 18% of households don’t have access to fixed broadband Internet services at the CRTC’s recommended target speeds, and 64.4% of families in the lowest income category (the 20% lowest earners) used the Internet at home compared to a national average of 86.9% (CRTC, 2016 and 2017).

Phil Riebel.

“Keep Me Posted will be building a coalition of supporters (consumer groups, physical and mental health charities, trade unions and industry entities and organizations) to promote the adoption of the Keep Me Posted pledge from service providers,” said Phil Riebel, Director of Keep Me Posted North America. “By presenting the facts about consumer needs and preferences related to paper-based communications, our coalition will work with service providers to ensure that consumers are not forced to go digital.”

Linda Sherry.

“The majority of adult Americans prefer to receive at least some of their bills and statements in a paper format and believe that paper format should continue to be provided to those who want it, at no extra cost,” added Linda Sherry, Director of National Priorities for Consumer Action. “The Keep Me Posted campaign is a much-needed effort to educate consumers and generate support for giving consumers the right to choose the way they want to communicate with their service providers.”

About Keep Me Posted. Keep Me Posted North America (KMP) is an advocacy campaign run by Two Sides North America. KMP believes every consumer should be able to choose, free of charge and without penalty, how they receive important information – on paper or electronically – from their corporate service providers (such as banks, telecoms, insurance and utility companies). The campaign gathers support from a coalition of consumer groups, physical and mental health charities, trade unions and industry. KMP seeks to champion the cause of the millions who prefer paper-based communications, or are disenfranchised by increased digitization and a lack of choice, including many key sectors of society – such as seniors, people with disabilities, low-income families, and those without Internet access or computer skills. For more information please visit www.keepmepostedna.org.

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Tony Curcio is the editor of Graphic Arts Magazine.