Many organisations, banks, utilities, telecoms and governments are now increasingly going online or making charges if consumers wish to receive paper based communication. Switching to digital is not always welcome by consumers.
84% of consumers do not like it when companies take away their right to choose how they are communicated with.
-Keep Me Posted UK, Opinium, 2013
In a recent US survey, 90.4% of respondents believe that companies that send bills, statements, and informational documents such as proxies or privacy statements should be required, if necessary, to allow customers to continue receiving these documents in paper format at no extra charge, no loss of discount, or other penalty.
Independent findings from UK Opinium Research reveal that often the most vulnerable members of society are those most dependent on traditional, postal, transactional mail. The move to an online-only society risks leaving the elderly, disabled, rural dwellers and those on low incomes disenfranchised.
87% of consumers agree that the main reasons companies want to shift to electronic delivery, is to save money not to be environmentally responsible.
-Two Sides and Toluna, 2013.
89% of consumers want to be able to switch between paper and online without difficulty and cost.
It is important for policy makers to acknowledge that information on paper is preferred by many consumers and often receives more attention. Consumers wish to retain the flexibility of postal and electronic communications.
In reality we live in an increasingly digital world where electronic and paper based communications coexist and are often complementary. Communication strategies must not only be cost effective but also recognise citizen choice. There are many tangible benefits that paper based documentation can bring and its preference as a means of communication by many consumers must be at the forefront of any digital planning.
71% of consumers understand that paper is a renewable and recyclable product that, if responsibly produced and consumed, can be the sustainable way to communicate.
-Two Sides and Toluna, 2011 and 2013.