In the eBilling world the debate over the use of the stick or carrot is now the hottest topic.
Especially with the recent class action suite against T-Mobile.
The reason for the uproar is T-Mobile's decision to charge customers for their monthly bill summary. They had already stopped printing the detailed bill analysis in February 2008.
"Customers who want a paper summary will have to pay $1.50 a month and those who want the summary and detailed description will have to pay $3.49 monthly."
The argument is that online billing is free and customers are financially encouraged (the stick) to use this facility. But for customers without internet access this represents an extra cost they can't avoid. Hence the lawsuit.
For years mobile operators have been using the carrot to motivate customers to migrate to online billing. But the incentives have been mediocre and the heart-string "Green"
pleas of limited appeal.
In the UK, Virgin Mobile has offered specific tariffs and plans that include eBilling and charges £1.25 if you want the good
old-fashioned paper bill in the post.
eBilling adoption continues to be a conundrum for eBilling Managers tasked with making their online portals deliver value. Maximising
customer adoption means providing customers with options that go beyond the portal. Reaching out and servicing the customer - like we used to do in the good old-fashioned days.