Submitted: The Two Sides Team June 29, 2014
The Spanish Government makes paper bills the default choice: charging for paper bills is illegal and consumers must give consent to go digital.
The latest provisions of the General Spanish Law for the Defense of Consumers and Users have come into force, especially protecting the rights of more than 13 million people in Spain who do not have easy access to the internet.
Under the Act, the paper should be the default option for all consumers' bills. To make the change to digital, consumers must give their express consent. Any consumer who has consented to electronic billing and later wants to revoke and re-receive it on paper, has the right to do so.
Charging the consumer for sending paper bills is illegal.
Several consumer associations have recently created the initiative 'Yo Decido Cómo Recibo' (I decide how I receive) in order to to claim the right choice to all consumers and advocate for groups at risk of exclusion (those without internet at home or unable to use it).
The proper review of bills and bank transfers is an important right particularly in a country like Spain where most payments are made through direct debits.
'Yo Decido Como Recibo' is an initiative driven by consumer associations which defends the consumers'`right to choose
Over the last years, service providers, financial institutions and governments have been campaigning to replace paper communication by electronic communication, sometimes imposing a change to eletronic billing regardless of the consumers` habits, preferences and individual circumstances.
In this gap of knowledge of the right to choose Yo Decido Como Recibo was born with the aim of becoming a voice for the new rights and a reference when advising consumers and to work with those companies and organizations interested in promoting transparency and respect for human rights in the communication with the consumer.
The main points of action of « Yo Decido Como Recibo » are :
– INFORM consumers about the rights they have in relation to the communications they receive from their service providers
– SUPPORT the consumer at the time of claim restitution of violated rights
– RAISE AWARENESS for the importance of this problem, directly affecting the review of consumer accounts
– VERIFY compliance with regulations of all utilities and financial institutions