Environmentalists and people who advocate mobile phone recycling may be pleased to hear that paper-based bills are now coming at a cost.
According to uSwitch.com, mobile phone users who hold a contract with T-Mobile are set to be charged £1 a month for receiving paper forms of their monthly bill.
This change has come into effect today (March 1st 2011) and could go some way to encouraging more people to access their bills online.
Research has suggested that 75 per cent of mobile users receive details of their outgoings electronically and network providers are keen to become even more economical by enticing the remaining 25 per cent away from their paper bills.
In fact, T-Mobile could make a huge profit on the initiative, as it currently has 627,000 customers still receiving bills in paper format – meaning the company could pocket £7.5 million annually.
Technology expert at uSwitch Ernest Doku believes that people should now consider making the transition from paper to online.
"Paper bills are fast becoming a luxury that many consumers can no longer afford. £1 a month may not seem like much, but for many this is simply money down the drain," he observed.
However, one major problem with the online system is that many customers fail to check their bills each month and as a result do not know how much is being taken from their bank accounts.
Indeed, uSwitch revealed that nearly half of those receiving online bills do not monitor them.
"There are benefits to receiving bills online, both financially and environmentally, but it's important that customers continue to check their bill rigorously every month when the text alert comes through," Mr Doku added.
Many firms have already adopted the charging system for issuing paper bills, with Orange currently the most expensive at £1.54 a month.
Recently, uSwitch announced that more people are opting to buy new mobile phones online, as they feel the service they receive is better than at a high street shop.