Many companies, including the government, have long provided many of their documents on paper. However, paper documents may soon be a thing of the past.
According to a press release from Consumers for Paper Options (CPO), “In a recent poll, 72% of consumers surveyed said they would like for the government to continue to provide paper copies of essential documents like Social Security checks, SS annual earnings statements and IRS tax forms.” The paper version of these documents are set to be eliminated in the near future.
“The poll* also revealed that even when the elimination of paper-based documents is presented as a cost-saving measure, 72% of respondents of all political affiliations believe that the government should continue to provide important paper-based documents and records.” (The poll was conducted on September 12-13, 2011. It questioned 1,000 registered voters and was sponsored by Consumers for Paper Options, www.paperoptions.org).
According to the release, people will begin to receive social security “debit cards” instead of paper checks. This concerns me. At least a check has to be signed by its rightful owner. Although this doesn’t prevent fraud, it does make it a little harder to steal. However, it seems like these debit cards would be easier to steal than a check. Most stores don’t ask for identification, especially if you have the debit pin number. These cards may not leave a “paper trail” so to speak that would be easily traceable. It could sort of be like a throw-away cell phone.
The release also stated the poll revealed that 83 percent of respondents believe private sector financial institutions should not charge for paper-based communication. I completely agree with this statement. I want the option to decide how I want to receive my statements. I shouldn’t be penalized if I choose the paper option. I understand that this is a tough economy and businesses are trying to cut costs as much as possible. However, they also have to consider their customers. I believe it is a small price to pay in order to keep their customers happy.
What are your thoughts?