Know your rights

You should always insist on receiving paper invoices. After all, the law is on your side.

You always have the right to receive invoices in the mail, even if you have previously received an e-invoice. This is required by law. Also, the Supreme Court has ruled that e-invoices have to be free of charge and that this is the issuer's contractual duty. If issuers still charge for these invoices, you have the right to a refund.

Use your legal rights and don't forget that by sending electronic invoices, businesses are just passing a lot of extra work to you.

E-invoices are convenient for senders only.

Once the invoice has been sent, you have to deal with all the rest, which can be a problem. And you might not even have noticed that you received an invoice. Electronic invoices are easy to overlook, they might not be seen in the avalanche of newsletters and offers or even accidentally get deleted. Also, you find yourself having to download the invoice yourself, check it, print it, and file it. This costs time, money, ink, and is bad for your nerves.

Requesting paper invoices is always a legitimate thing to do

Before you get upset: there is still the good old paper invoice. You can always request to have it sent to you. Ultimately, you should always insist on receiving paper invoices in the mail. Your nerves will certainly thank you.


Telecommunication providers (Section 100 of the Austrian Telecommunications Act): "[…] Free invoices in paper format […] may not be excluded in the agreement. If the invoice is provided electronically, the client must have the option of receiving free invoices in paper format upon request."
Banks (Section 34 of the Austrian Banking Act): "(3) Banks shall inform consumers about their account balance at least once per quarter by sending them an account statement."
Insurances (Section 3 of the Austrian Insurance Act): "(1) Insurers shall provide […] the insurance agreement […] on paper or, upon agreement, […] electronically. […] Life, disability and pension insurance […] shall […] additionally be provided on paper despite any existing agreement for electronic communication. If the insurance policy is in the name of the bearer (Section 4 (1)), it may only be sent on paper."
Energy and gas provider (Section 81 of the Austrian Electricity Industry and Organisation Act, Section 126 of the Austrian Gas Industry Act): "[…] electronic invoice transmission is admissible if requested by clients, but the clients' right to receive paper invoices may not be excluded in the agreement. For […] the paper format, […] no additional charges shall apply."
Payment Services Provider Act (Section 31 (5)): Users of payment services may ask the payment services provider to receive information once per month at an appropriate fee.
Property management companies (Section 24 of the Austrian Act on the Ownership of Apartments): "(5) Decisions by the owner association shall be shared with apartment owners […] in writing. […] Every apartment owner has the right to ask for this information to be provided […] electronically."
Social security institutions (Section 81 of the Austrian General Social Security Act, Section 43 of the Austrian Social Security Act for the Self-Employed, Section 41 of the Social Security Act for Public Servants):  "[…] healthcare service providers shall inform insured persons once per calendar year about the expenses associated with the services used by the insured and their family members."
The government bill about the Consumer Payment Act was adopted by Parliament on 28 April 2016 by a broad majority. Regarding payment providers' information duties, the bill requires payment providers to make all required information available to consumers free of charge (Section 5 of the bill). Fee information shall be provided to the consumer in paper format or, provided that the consumer agrees, on another permanent data carrier as well as in combination with required precontraction information (Section 6 (2) (1) of the bill).