A Happy New Year to everyone. I do hope you enjoyed the festivities, as I did, but it’s back to the campaign for me - and we’re hoping to make even more of a difference this year.
Like you, I’ve been making a few New Year resolutions. And like you, they may fall by the wayside before January is out! But one resolution that I will definitely be keeping is to work towards consumer choice for everyone when it comes to the important information we receive from our service providers, be they energy companies, banks or media suppliers.
As you know, since Keep Me Posted was set up, I’ve been out and about meeting as many organisations as possible, and I’m pleased to say that we now have 40 pledging their support to the campaign. This year the focus is going to be on the suppliers themselves. I’ve had several fruitful meetings with a couple of energy companies, building societies, and water companies, which I’m hoping will result in them signing up to our six-point pledge.
My ambition is that the Keep Me Posted mark is something that consumers will begin to look for from a company, a kind of charter mark as a guarantee that they will have the choice of how they receive their communications.
Until that happens every day I hear yet another story from someone who has been disadvantaged by having to pay to keep the paperwork that they used to receive for free as part of normal service. And as the Government announced yesterday (Jan 9) its plans to be the “most digital government” in the G8 by 2015, I do fear that those who can’t or simply don’t want to go online will suffer. One proffered solution is “assisted digital” where people who are offline get help to input data or have someone put it in on their behalf – but so many people who have contacted us are wary of handing over such personal data, and want the independence of managing their own affairs, which they can do perfectly happily with paper.
It’s my New Year resolution that they will be able to keep their paper option without being penalised – check in with me every week to see how we’re doing!
- Judith Donovan