Going Paperless?

Read this before making a decision 

It seems like every company that I receive bills from wants me to go paperless.  To entice me into doing this, they offer me a $50 credit on my bill.  I would think that if they are forfeiting this amount of money, it is not because they really want me to save money but in the long run it is for them to save money by no longer needing the paper and ink to print it and the postage to send it to me. Considering that I work for a managed print services company, if I were to go this route, I would be in essence, helping put the company I work for out of business. Maybe I am old-fashioned but I like getting the paper copy of bills, putting on my reading glasses as far down on my nose as possible and going through them and circling each one as I match the charge with the receipt (also printed). Every month when I get my credit card bill, I go through my receipts and mark every single purchase to make sure the amounts are correct and that I did indeed buy what my bill wants me to pay for.  At least three times in the past 15 years I have found a discrepancy in the form of a purchase I did not make. In the one case I can remember, when I called my credit card company, they were able to tell me the address of the business where the purchase was made and the business was for a smoke/cigar shop somewhere in the Bronx at an address that did not even exist.  I don’t even smoke.  The amount of this purchase was for just under $300 which is not a small amount. They cancel my card, credit me for the purchase and send me a new card.

If I took the $50 incentive for this particular credit card bill, it would have cost me much more in expenses that I did not make had I not caught it like I did. As I said, this has happened at least three times to me in the past. Even if I did go paperless, I can see my purchases online and I can either look at the screen or even print it out myself where I am now paying for the paper and the ink myself. I am sure many people do this. 

This seems to be the trend not only in the print industry but other areas as well. For example, tolls have gone up and yet there is no one there to take my payment so the salaries of the people that used to work in the tollbooths are now nonexistent. Where did that money go? Did it all go to technology? Everything that I buy at the supermarket costs more than it used to but yet I am scanning my own groceries, packing them myself and even purchasing the bags I use to package them.  This experience is the one that irks me the most.  I refuse to pay for a bag when for my entire life the bag was just given to me and now depending on how many things I purchase, leaving the store I look like a circus clown doing a juggling act. How the stores got their bags, whether paper or plastic, was just their cost of doing business. I know they are trying to save trees and save the environment which I am all for.  But I look at it like this. The store is saying, “We really need to save the environment so we are charging you for the plastic bags to discourage you from buying them and potentially polluting the environment, but we are more than willing to pollute the environment if you pay 10 cents for the bag." The 10 cents makes it OK? Not sure I follow the logic of “saving the environment.”

The bottom line is that I am in the technology field and progress is progress but in cases like this, I feel like we are progressing backwards. Since technology also leads to fewer people being able to get more done, what are those that are being displaced supposed to do?  

Written By: Vincent Rodriguez

Posted on: 10/4/21