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Haviland Telephone uses paperless billing to reduce expenses and work effort

In an effort to reduce postage expense and time spent manually processing payments, MACC gives clients the ability to offer paperless billing to their customers. One of our clients in Kansas, Haviland Telephone, successfully implemented a paperless-only billing policy to customers in communities served by the company’s high-speed wireless Internet.

Diane Thompson, Haviland Telephone’s Marketing Coordinator, said the paperless-only policy was implemented to reduce costs and promote the use of the company’s Internet services. She said the company started the paperless billing policy in 2009 prior to its conversion to MACC.

“At the time, we did our billing in-house,” Thompson said. “Cost savings in printing, time, and postage were significant. We saved over $1,300 a year in postage alone.”

She said customers have been supportive of the policy. For customers who want a paper bill, the company will mail a statement upon request for $3 per month, but this option is not publicized. Less than one percent of the wireless Internet customers opt to pay for a paper statement. In support of paperless billing, Haviland Telephone uses eBill, credit card payments and ACH.

While the paperless-only policy was successfully implemented in Internet only communities, Thompson said the company does not plan to use it in areas where it provides other services, such as telephone and cable television. She said the company doesn’t believe it is reasonable to require paperless billing from customers who may not use its Internet services.

For customers in communities where additional services are offered, Haviland Telephone instead offers a “carrot” to use paperless billing.

“We offer a $1 per month paperless billing discount in our ILEC communities,” Thompson said. “Nine percent of our ILEC customers currently take advantage of the offer.”

For other companies considering a paperless-only policy, or other measures to encourage the elimination of paper statements, she recommends getting as many customers as possible to take advantage of recurring ACH or credit card payments. Thompson said the main complaint from customers occurs when they want to pay their bill using a traditional paper check and they must print the bill out to get the stub. Sometimes customers skip this step and don’t include a stub which makes the company’s office staff spend time matching checks to payments. If customers are encouraged to configure automated payments, the problem of missing stubs is eliminated.

If you’d like more information on implementing paperless billing at your company, please contact your MACC Client Relations Manager or National Sales Representative. He or she can provide additional information and details on the MACC services available to help reduce your company’s expenses through paperless billing.

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