The Cost Of Not Being Online

from the and-it's-probably-rising dept

Most of the time when we see studies about the “cost” related to being online, it’s about how much it costs in various places to get connected. However, a study over in the UK is looking at the cost of not being online, noting that not having access to the internet can cost a family an average of £70 per month (about $100) in lost savings on household goods and services. So, while some families may complain about the cost of an internet connection, they may not realize how that cost can quickly be made up elsewhere in savings from being online — especially during an economic downturn like we’re experiencing now.

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Comments on “The Cost Of Not Being Online”

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14 Comments
Twinrova says:

Isn't this just common sense?

It took businesses quite some time to adapt to the internet. I find it insulting if a company can’t supply my bill via online, where it’s never lost and always on time.

What I used to pay in stamps covers 20% of my broadband fee. 20%. Online shopping saves on gas consumption.

I find it funny a study like this is just now being done.

Chronno S. Trigger says:

Re: Isn't this just common sense?

“I find it insulting if a company can’t supply my bill via online, where it’s never lost and always on time.”

I want to know why it costs me an extra dollar to pay my electricity bill online vs. by paper check. With the paper check someone has to physically open the envelope, confirm all the information, and manually type all that in. With an electronic check, I type in all that info directly into the computer.

It’s an extra $5 for debit cards. WTF?

Frosty840 says:

One thing to watch out for is the UK’s bizarre notion that a bill charged to your home address is a valid form of ID; sometimes a *required* form of ID.
A friend of mine has all of his bills and banking done online, and now cannot sign up for a number of services which require a paper bill to his home address as prrof of ID.

This is insane, I know.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

With all due respect your friend isn’t too bright.

I too live in the UK and have most of my bills delivered online, this includes all my credit and debit card bills and most of my utilities. They ALL provide the ability to neatly print out a copy of the bill that will look IDENTICAL to the one they used to post.

I have yet to have one of my home printed bills rejected as proof of residence, and this includes recently using one to acquire a mortgage.

jon says:

response and intangibles

“I want to know why it costs me an extra dollar to pay my electricity bill online vs. by paper check”

Is that at the power companies site? Mine has the same deal, but I just go to my banks site and use their billpay for free and no charge from the power company.

“In the state of Indiana, you are required to bring a paper copy of a bill with your name on it to prove residency”

We do that too. I printed my power and phone bill from the company web site and the DMV took it with no problem.

Now, lets talk about the less tangible savings of being online (or costs of not being online). Access to research materials for school aged children and college students still living at home. A current example is a job search/application without having to drive around all over the place. Look up medical issues to determine if a doctor visit is required or not (this one applies to both people and pets). The list goes on and on.

chris (profile) says:

postively gibsonian

in william gibson’s spawl trilogy, offline transactions weren’t illegal, they were just not possible. cash was legal, but no one accepted it because no one but criminals had it.

i find myself having to pause to remember how to do things that are offline, like write a check or address an envelope. i wonder if some day it will be legal but impossible to be offline.

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