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.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Twinrova, Jan 9th, 2009 @ 4:03am

    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.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Chronno S. Trigger, Jan 9th, 2009 @ 5:12am

    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?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Frosty840, Jan 9th, 2009 @ 5:13am

    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.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Lonnie E. Holder, Jan 9th, 2009 @ 5:17am

    Re:

    In the state of Indiana, you are required to bring a paper copy of a bill with your name on it to prove residency in order to get a driver's license.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    jon, Jan 9th, 2009 @ 5:32am

    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.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 9th, 2009 @ 5:57am

    Re: response and intangibles

    Also: Reduction in entertainment costs (movies, music. I am even considering getting rid of comcast cable). Working from home.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 9th, 2009 @ 5:59am

    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.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Sean, Jan 9th, 2009 @ 6:09am

    Awesome...just wait until the ISPs get a hold of this. I can already see it in their rationale for jacking connection prices higher.

    Sorry, definitely agree with the premise here...just cynical about ISPs, especially comcast.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 9th, 2009 @ 6:30am

    Re: Re:

    I used to live in England about a year ago, and when trying to get a cell (mobile) phone, they required that I bring in my electric and water bills to prove residence. They (Phones4U) told me that computer printed bills are not sufficient, and they have to be the official, original posted bills.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    Mike, Jan 9th, 2009 @ 6:32am

    Re: Can't sign up for services without paper bill

    Most online services have a printable version of the bill online. And even if they don't, if you can view itin your Web browser you can print it off.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    icon
    chris (profile), Jan 9th, 2009 @ 6:43am

    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.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 9th, 2009 @ 8:12am

    I wonder how they come up with $100 a month? Most normal people don't do all there shopping online or have everything on bill pay.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    Dan, Jan 9th, 2009 @ 10:26am

    I have everything I do on bill pay... I don't know why you would ever do it differently... as a matter of fact as a twenty-three year old man I don't find it weird to say I have written less then 6 checks in my lifetime... SO I don't think it is unreasonable to think that everything will be online eventually.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 9th, 2009 @ 6:09pm

    start er up

    Ok, so a lot of you have stated that being online is very important and can save $$$.

    So - what happens now that you can be kicked offline without due process or warning ?

    Yer screwed !

    Let the lawsuits commence

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This