mission accomplished: at&t mending its tree-killing ways

not even a day has gone by since i published some calculations about how much paper was being wasted courtesy of unnecessarily lengthy, itemized bills at&t was sending its customers using iphones. this is an email i received in response to that post:

Hey, I just saw your post about AT&T’s paper bills being enormous today through a link on Digg.

I actually work for an AT&T call center, and while I’m not defending AT&T, I thought the following should be known:

1. AT&T is aware they are killing a lot of trees and is just starting to prevent it by going to “summary billing”–meaning no more call/data details for every phone on the account, just basic charges. This happens by default for every new customer as of August 10th.

2. We are told to encourage customers to use ATT.com to view their detailed bill online rather than looking at all the specifics on their physical bill. We’re also told to encourage paperless billing altogether; an option offered to customers when they sign up their phone number online. All of this is offered free on their website and is available to them 24 hours a day. There are a few exceptions where they wouldn’t be able to view their latest bill for a while, but I am still new there, so I don’t know all the specific factors that will cause this.

3. Also, any customer that changes their rate plan (which, trust me, is about half the calls I get every day) as of August 10th will automatically be put on the summary billing. They have to actually pay an extra $1.99 per month per line to view their call details now. This is where we are trying to push for the customer to view their bill online in hopes that they eventually just sign up for paperless billing. While this method of charging can be taken as two ways, A) ATT just wants to make an extra buck, or B) ATT really does care about trees and is just trying to sway customers away from viewing their bill on paper, I like to think that they are doing the latter. Though, it’s probably the former. ATT doesn’t have the greatest scruples in the world.

[last part of the email has been omitted]

mission accomplished.