T-Mobile to gouge customers $1.50 per month for paper bills

Carrier gives going green a bad name by fining those who prefer paper

Oh, how I wish I hadn't switched my wireless service recently from T-Mobile, because I would dearly love to tell my former provider where to go over this one.

The gall, the unmitigated gall of charging customers $1.50 per month for the privilege of receiving a paper bill cannot be overstated. (That's on top of an existing $2 charge for detailed paper billing.) I was receiving a paper bill until the bitter end; I liked it that way.

(Update, Sept. 15: T-Mobile caves, abandons added fee.)

And please don't try to tell me that this action has anything to do with the environment. It's about the money. It's always about the money.

At least that's my opinion. However, a writer on this site -- TmoNews: The Unofficial T-Mobile Blog -- sees nothing be benevolent environmental consciousness in the decision of his favorite service provider. "T-mobile is citing the obvious for the reasons for the charge, costs involved with printing the paper billing as well as the cost of mailing it out," writes 'David.' "There is an obvious hope to reduce environmental impact associated with paper bills and T-mobile hopes to encourage its customer base to go paperless. Personally, I'm paperless for almost everything and I love it, less clutter = a happy David."

Happy David reminds me of Kevin Bacon's character in "Animal House."

Not quite so thankful for T-Mobile's action will be those like my 84-year-old father, who, despite endless cajoling from his children and pressure from society, refuses to own a computer. Call him a Luddite, but don't call him unreasonable for expecting a paper bill without having to pay extra.

The $1.50 fee kicks in Sept. 12 for those customers who don't quit first.

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