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A Guide for the Survival of Humankind and Helping the World, Society, and Yourself.

The Advantages and Disadvantages of eStatements

With the advent of the Internet, many companies have stopped mailing regular statements to their customers. Instead, companies now prefer to send electronic statements or eStatements. These eStatements are basically emails that state that the customer's regular statements are online and available for viewing at any time.

These eStatements have four major advantages over traditional statements that are mailed to customers. First, eStatements are available instantly. Second, eStatements are accessible from any computer in the world. Third, eStatements are better for the environment, because eStatements use no paper and use less energy to deliver than traditional statements. Fourth and finally, sending eStatements saves companies a lot of money. In theory, this saved money trickles down to the customers by reducing costs of the company for the customers.

Unfortunately, there are also four major disadvantages to eStatements that need to be considered. First, eStatements are not as private as regular mail. Second, email accounts are sometimes locked or lost. Third, eStatements will eventually expire thus become inaccessible. This is especially bad for historical purposes, such as if you are being audited and you need to access very old information. I recommend locally saving or printing out each of your eStatements just in case you need them in the future. Fourth and finally, the lack of not having physical records can be detrimental. For instance, if you suddenly pass away, your relatives might not receive any records to indicate that you had certain accounts. As a result, your relatives might not get all of their inheritance that belongs to them. To overcome this issue, you could itemize all of your accounts for your relatives as a pre-caution.

As a result and in my opinion, the disadvantages greatly outweigh the benefits of using eStatements, so I always select to receive the regular mailed statements when I have the option to do so. While it is obvious why most companies only advertise the advantages of eStatements, I think it is a disservice to not also list the disadvantages of eStatements for their customers too.

by Phil for Humanity
on 04/21/2009

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