May Day

2nd May 2014

Can some of the old traditions to bring luck help us reach Keep Me Posted's goals?

Yesterday was May Day. And even though it’s the traditional celebration for the coming of summer, from where I was sitting it looked a bit dreary out.

I didn’t go to wash my face in the dew, watch a Morris dance or grasp a ribbon and taken a turn round the maypole.

What I was actually thinking about was what a difference a year makes. By May Day of 2013 the idea of Keep Me Posted was just that; there was no campaign to speak of.

Though we had anecdotal evidence that people were taken unawares by suddenly finding they had no access to the paper communications they had known all their lives, and infuriated that they had to pay to continue to receive them, we couldn’t found a campaign on word alone. So soundings were being taken by a research group to find proper statistics, meetings were held, a logo was drawn.

What I didn’t know at the time was how far behind the UK is compared to other parts of Europe. I’ve mentioned France and Spain’s initiatives before, but this week I received some research from Ireland, where 68 per cent of consumers say they would prefer to receive their communications in paper form. Ireland’s Commission for Communications Regulation already gives customers the right to choose paper billing free of charge, while its Commission for Energy Regulation adopts the position that ebilling should only be provided if customers opt in to such an arrangement. Consumers also have a right to switch back to paper at no cost.

It seems that on May 1 last year, the people of Ireland did all the right things to bring good luck such as decorating the May bush and spreading flowers on the threshold – whatever it was, it’s a good result for consumers. Let’s hope some of our UK supporters did a few of those things in the hope that some of the luck may rub off and that by May Day next year customers in the UK may finally have won the right to choose how they are communicated with.