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File away the public’s paperwork woe

Monday, 7 February 2011 | By Oliver Milman

PaperworkThe concept of living paperless lives turned out to be a myth. Filling out forms is as frustratingly tedious for the public as it has ever been.


In the US, a new type of service business is emerging that aims to take the pain away from consumers fed up with scrawling their details on forms.


Off Your Desk is a firm that handles the administrative headache of health insurance paperwork, while start-ups such as EUclaim and Miss Refund both help people claim travel refunds.


Off Your Desk has a three-tiered pricing model that charges customers $US295 a year to take away all of the paperwork burden, down to the drawing up of an ongoing support plan for $US65.


Thankfully, the Australian health system isn’t quite as convoluted as its US counterpart, but there are plenty of other areas where an Australian start-up could focus its paperwork-busting efforts.


Once you managed to get around privacy issues, there could be a real opportunity in dealing with the regular government and insurance paperwork that clutters up many peoples’ lives.