Initiative

YDCR Initiative

Y

o Decido Cómo Recibo is an initiative to help consumers to exercise their right to choose the format in which they receive bills and bank statements and to defend the rights of a category of society at risk of exclusion.
Because you have the right
to check your accounts and bills.

¿Why form YDCR?

In recent years, utility companies, banks and government departments have been on a mission to replace paper bills and notices with electronic communication, sometimes imposing a unilateral change of format without taking consumers’ habits, preferences and customs into consideration.
Consumer organisations and other bodies and social actors are concerned about this state of affairs and believe that across-the-board imposition of digital communication is an infringement of consumers’ rights.
The Yo Decido Cómo Recibo is the result of open dialogue between civil society organisations and the private sectors which are willing to join forces to uphold consumers’ rights to choose the way they receive bills and statements that best suits their individual needs and circumstances.

Why?

Spanish Act 3/2014, of 27 March 2014, modifying the Consolidated Text of the General Act for the Protection of Consumers and Users and other complementary regulations gave consumers the right to receive paper bills at no additional cost, making electronic billing conditional on obtaining the consumer’s consent (Section 63).
Given the current widespread ignorance of this situation, Yo Decido Cómo Recibo intends to publicise these rights and to offer advice to both consumers and companies and organisations interested in fostering transparency and upholding consumers’ right to transparent communication.

What are we upholding?

PROTECTION for excluded social categories

Not everyone knows how to use the internet
Not everyone has the same opportunities to access the internet

How are we doing it?

  • INFORMING consumers of their right to choose how service providers send them bills and notices
  • SUPPORTING consumers who want to exercise their rights
  • RAISING AWARENESS of the importance of a problem which has a direct impact on consumers' ability to check their accounts and therefore their financial well being
  • ENSURING that companies and banks comply with the law applicable to them

What's the problem?

Excluded social categories

• Homes: A total of 32% Spanish homes do not have internet access (Eurostat 2014)
An estimated 13 million people do not have internet access at home
• The older generation: in Spain, a total of 60% of people aged from 55 to 64, 75% from 65 to 74 and 93% aged 75 and over have never used the internet (Eurostat 2013)
An estimated 10 million older people in Spain have never used the internet
• The countryside: According to the INE, in 2010 only 47.3% of homes in towns with fewer than 10,000 inhabitants had internet access. Almost 1.5 million homes are excluded from the digital world
An estimated 2 million people living in towns with fewer than 10,000 inhabitants (INE + Eurostat 2014) have never used the internet

Charges for paper bills

• Several companies make charges (€1) for sending paper bills

• This was labelled an “abusive” practice by the Instituto Nacional de Consumo (currently AECOSAN) in a decision published in 2013.

• The new consumer law, makes charging for paper bills illegal

Greenwashing

• Companies and banks are encouraging consumers to switch to digital billing arrangements on environmental grounds when, in most cases, the benefits are not justified by scientific studies.

• Many consumers disagree with these billing practices, which they see as an underhand way of saving and cost-cutting, given that the consumer often ends up having to print the bill at home.

Direct debits

• According to the Bank of Spain, direct debit is the most common method payment used ahead of credit cards, bank transfers and personal cheques.

• The ability to check accounts and bills is particularly crucial in a country where most bills are paid automatically.