TV to charge for paper bills as part of ‘green’ plans

| 02/06/2011

(CNS): WestStar TV the islands' television service provider is encouraging customers to sign up for its e-billing service in order to cut down on paper – and of course posting costs. Taking a carrot and stick approach the firm said customers who sign up now are being offered the chance to win prizes but by September people who are still asking for paper bills will be charged a fee. The e-billing, is the firm said, part of the company’s goal to reduce its carbon footprint. This month, customers who sign up for e-billing will be entered to win one of three 64 GB Apple iPads.

“We are encouraging customers to sign up now for e-billing as we prepare to add a service charge for printed bills as of September 1st,” Director of Operations Traci Bradley said.

Internally, WestStar officials eliminated the use of disposable cups for water and coffee, giving each employee a canteen and travel coffee mug encouraging staff to avoid unnecessary waste. The company’s headquarters at Television Centre are being outfitted with motion sensors so lights will only come on when someone is actually using the space. This is in addition to the energy-efficient lighting which was installed last year.
And most recently, an internal “Green” committee was formed to continue to find and implement new ways to reduce, re-use, and recycle.

WestStar is the third telecommunications provider in the industry to introduce a fee for printed bills with Digicel leading the market in 2010 and Logic announcing last month they will be charging for printed bills.

“We’ve seen the supermarkets successfully implement ‘green’ shopping bags,” Bradley, added. “The community has responded well and we must also do our part.”
WestStar officials hope the community will support this initiative and sign up for e-billing by emailing a request to support@weststartv.ky or by calling 745-5555. The draws for the Apple iPads will be done on Daybreak June 30th, August 2nd and August 31st.

The firm said customers can also save gas by signing up for direct debit, or paying their WestStar bills at any of the Islands’ District Post Offices.

 

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Comments (23)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Westar this is ridiculous! I never ever asked for you to send me a bill – I pay my fees on time each month by a proven method. Issuing a bill is your decision!

    What I would like you to address is the numerous blank screens I encounter when I'm doing my insomniac channel surfing in the early morning hours. Every other channel is displaying a blank Dish Network screen, indicating that you haven't paid your subscription to them, while I am consistently paying you to have access to 93 video channels 24 hours a day.

    Westar, clean up your act before you stick it to your customers anymore than we're enduring now.  

  2. Walter Disney says:

    I love getting the feed that looks like a bad transmission from a lap top (NFL non-HD "coverage" on Fox).  I love switching to a channel which has a picture of a Dish feed saying that the channel is not available.  I loved getting the soccer until it was switched after the start of season (presumably after a few people signed up) to an additional pay channel (women's college volleyball is not the Premier League).

    I love my WestStar.  It is certainly different.  I would love to see their rights agreements for the channels they offer. 

     

    • Loopy Lou says:

      I always assumed that by "rights agreements" it might be the other way around – the channels drop off WestStar once a channel asks them nicely to stop showing a channel which they have no rights to show.

  3. noname says:

    Weststar should reimburse its customers for the loss of Showtime. I signed up for that channel – I don’t want another movie channel. I want Showtime. When are we going to get that back?
    Now is time for Government to step-in and say that billing customers for paper bills is wrong and it does discriminate against the elderly and those families without internet service. Oh perhaps this is another sneaky way for them to help boost sister company Logic internet sign ups.
    I have no real complaint with the service – I turn on the tv and it comes on – the volume is all over the place on different channels, they do a good job with the news and their various talkshows.
    But WestStar you go too far by trying to charge customers for paper bills and please when will you get Showtime back? So customers let stand up. Sign a petition
     
     

  4. Anonymous says:

    Another scam to make money with late fees, hoping that people will not open their email or "Junk Mail "! Where is the Fair Trading Commission for this country ?

  5. Anonymous says:

    Charging their customers for paper invoices? How ridiculous! If they want to cut down their costs and be more "green' at the same time, stop using the thick paper the bills are currently printed on and use some thinner and less expensive paper. I pay my WestStar bill by direct debit and would not need an elaborate bill every month as I currently receive: a simple statement on inexpensive paper would be just fine. So, WestStar, please rethink this latest assault on your loyal customers.

    • Proud to be Caymanian 6 Gen.. says:

      GOING   G R E E N >> WHAT A JOKE.

      XXXX

      They advertise a programme, You plan to watch it,

      and it do not come on, you call to ask why, get a recording telling you

      when they open and close or it's not their fault. I guess the flickering

      will stop now when there are no paper flying around. 

  6. Anonymous says:

    XXXX I cancelled my account on Tuesday the 31st. The lady asked me why I was canceling and told her I was unhappy with the bad service. She was shocked and asked to explain. I told here to call up Weststar and complain about the quality, and told her not to give her name, and then see what you will get!

    I now use Dish Network, which is what Weststar use anyway. I installed it for a few hundred dollars and have the pirate one. I would highly recommend it and you then have no monthly fees. It might not be as strong signal as the 'CRAPSTAR', but at least when I call my technician he is there on my time, not Crapstars time, which you are called a half hour before and if you miss it, you screwed.

    So what are old people to do? Some don't use computers!!! People on low income?

    Think about it people? It's another way for them to get people to sign up for their internet service……….. and get a free email address. Wippeeeeeeeeeee

    Having to turn my tv way up to near full to hear MY local channel, then switch to another channel and its too loud, I hate that. And then they have the nerve to say its my tv thats the problem. REALLY? So why doesn't it happen on my perfectly runnning free pirate Dish Network box then? Riddle me that(Hangover line). I used to be sick of watching a program and next minute it goes out and screen says 'press select'. This is 10pm at night and you think they got someone answering phones at that time? HELL NO!!! Let them come on and answer these points brought up and by others.

    XXXX

    They lost me as a customer and hopefully a lot more in the near future.

     

    • Anonymous says:

      Hi could you please some how let me get in touch with your satelite provider I would love to switch, thanks

  7. Anonymous says:

    This is crazy! Comparing a cable company billing to a supermarket and plastic bags.  Just about everyone can get their hands on a "green" resuable bag.  Not everyone has access to email.  And, for sure Weststar already has the cost of paper, postage etc. included in their fees.  The should give those who sign up a discount!!

  8. Anonymous says:

    I've been paying by direct debit for years.

    Seems it would be more fair to offer a "discount" for those signing up for e-billing rather than an "additional fee" to those who don't.

     

    • Anonymous says:

      I wouldn't give those XXXX my last name much less any personal banking info.

  9. Anonymous says:

    But when you pay your bill on line at weststar, they dont pick up the payment even when the bank sends them out. They then bill you for late payment and say you did not pay and cut off your service. So they always have one payment in the back not accounted for. From December they have been sending me disconnection notice every month and even when i show them my bank statement they are telling me to go and find my receipt. If i cant find it at once they say I have nt proven that i pay. Theu need to do something about paper and greenness.

    • Anonymous says:

      I have had my service disconnected twice for "non payment" after having paid it on line.  I have to go to their offices and prove to them that I have paid it.  They could check with the bank, particularly when a customer has a record of paying online for months.  Further, I signed for email billings at least three months ago and I still await my first email bill.  I contacted them becaue of course I got a late charge (which I don't intend to pay).  Now, I just pay the monthly amount online, as I figure I will never get an email bill.  Can somebody give West Star some competition – another television with good service and good reception would capture the business.

  10. Anonymous says:

    It seems this will be a tax on the elderly who are not techically adept.
     

  11. Thankful Again says:

    I think this is illegal or certainly not right.  Consumers are to receive a bill showing the services the are billed for.  They should not be charge to receive a BIL!!!  The cost to produce a bill should be accounted for in their pricing for the service; it certainly should not be set-up as a fee.  This is ridiculous!!  Where is consumer protection?

  12. Green my.....!!! says:

    They don't even consider their existing 'green' customers for the drawing, only the people who sign up now, but yet we have been saving them loads of money by signing up from the very beginning.  Stop penalizing your existing 'green' customers and include us in the raffle, or I am going to get me a satelite dish on a payment plan which works out to a much bigger savings than cable, which I might add a third of the channels are fuzzy, or don't work and they always call you when you are at work to come fix it, you can't meet them so you get pushed back down the list again, and again, and again.  Weststar really need some serious customer service PR and remember who is keeping them in business, it ain't them doing it alone, it's ALL the customers out here that's paying their bills!!!

    ICTA why unnah don't get off the hot seat and start looking into how many times we have to pay the full bill and only receive some of the channels we are paying for?? Isn't that a breach of your laws XXXX?

    • Anonymous says:

      The problem is what many businesses in cayman don't know is that the 1980s and 70s are gone for ever. These were the times in Cayman when many companies had a monopolies on certain services. The economy was strong and people had money they would just pay since the service or product was either difficult or impossible to get, so customers just paid up and forget it. Fast forward to the 21st century, people have an addittional telephone company, dish and satellite tv is within the the reach of the average joes and janes. Jobs are scarce but some service and goods providers are asleep with their proverbial heads "buried in the sand". So they are still "dont care" thinking consumers will always come to them. No more friends!! Times have changed . If you tell a customer, "so what?, that no bother me. There are lot more customers, you dont have to come back here if you don't wants to". And if you tell the tourist, who complains about the quality of the service and the price;"you no have to come back here you can always go to some other Island ", they will go. Weststar needs to buckle up. people are getting fed up with their services. From the frontline supervisor to the person collecting the money to the accounts department. If you sit back on your laurels you company will be history in a few years and the "letargic" customer service persons won't have a job also their equally "letargic" ,but higher paid frontline supervisor.

  13. Anonymous says:

    big deal…. posted paper bills is a huge waste of money, time energy, resources….

  14. Anonymous says:

    Going Green is what they want to call it. They are just saving on ink and paper.  The supermarkets did it with the plastic bags. Lets see who will follow suit.

    Green is also the colour of $$$$.

     

  15. I. N. Competent says:

    I have been trying for about two years to sign up for their advertised email billing. I am yet to receive a response to any of my email requests for this service.

    • Anonymous says:

      Why would they signyou up if they can now make a profit from sending paper bills?