U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Economics > Frugal Living
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 05-01-2009, 06:43 PM
 
26,589 posts, read 52,939,688 times
Reputation: 12963

Advertisements

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lindsey_Mcfarren View Post
I won't allow anyone to have my bank account number and access to withdraw funds when they want.

I also had the water department tell me it takes alot longer to get the checks credited that come through online bill pay because they have one envelope FULL of checks.

Ask your utilities if they are charging you, you might be surprised.
I have a friend here in Florida but with different companies and she was being charged for doing bill pay month by month online through her bank.
Processing checks is so mechanized these days that it takes about ten minutes to process 100 checks. By law any checks that arrive by a certain time on any given day must be posted to that day's business.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 05-01-2009, 07:32 PM
 
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
10,716 posts, read 31,026,539 times
Reputation: 6654
Quote:
Originally Posted by annerk View Post
Processing checks is so mechanized these days that it takes about ten minutes to process 100 checks. By law any checks that arrive by a certain time on any given day must be posted to that day's business.
Thats not the story that my local water dept. told me. She came right out and told me that I should write a personal check or come by and pay with cash. What was happening is I would send a check through the bank and because it took so long to process them, the next bill would get cut before they had gotten to processing my bank check. She did say however we do backdate the receipt of the check to the date it arrived.

That didn't help me when I would get a bill and have to call everytime to find out what I actually owed them.

I prefer to pay in cash now when I can.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-01-2009, 07:44 PM
 
Location: Apple Valley Calif
7,475 posts, read 19,561,668 times
Reputation: 5575
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lindsey_Mcfarren View Post
Thats not the story that my local water dept. told me. She came right out and told me that I should write a personal check or come by and pay with cash. What was happening is I would send a check through the bank and because it took so long to process them, the next bill would get cut before they had gotten to processing my bank check. She did say however we do backdate the receipt of the check to the date it arrived.

That didn't help me when I would get a bill and have to call everytime to find out what I actually owed them.

I prefer to pay in cash now when I can.
You're taking financial advice from a minimum wage person at the water company who's job it is to open mail..!
You and she both need to come into this century....
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-01-2009, 07:58 PM
 
20,304 posts, read 37,784,136 times
Reputation: 18081
Your utility company sounds like a real amateur hour.

I pay most of my bills via my Wells Fargo account, for free. I'm not going to pay any joker $6 to pay by electronic means, I'd mail them a check and spend the 42-cents on postage. My electric utility allows me to pay them on-line, but they charge $2.50 (via Western Union) for the convenience, so I use Wells Fargo instead and pay zero for e-payments. Wells provides a written guarantee that if my account ever gets hijacked that they will eat any losses, not me.

It costs banks lots of money to process checks and it costs utilities money to have people sit around opening envelopes all day, whether at the utility or at a check processing center. They all want e-payments if they can get them, as there are almost no labor costs.

It doesn't matter who the company is, I just enter the payment address into Wells' system, my account number with that firm, etc, and Wells does the rest. I don't know how Wells gets the money to all these firms, but it works, even for things I only pay once per year, like Bally Fitness, Long Term Care Insurance, AAA annual renewal, etc. I pay all my bills this way: utility, credit cards, health plan, hospital, AAA, Bally, city taxes, cable, cell phones, land-line phone, etc, all with Wells.... just set up payment info for ANY company in the Wells website and Wells get the payment to their hands within 5 days. Wells already has most of the firms in their data base, often all I have to do is put in a 9-digit zip code and the full mailing address pops up.

Obviously, I'm pleased with Wells Fargo and recommend them to anyone. I'm sure similar deals can be had at other banks.
__________________
- Please follow our TOS.
- Any Questions about City-Data? See the FAQ list.
- Want some detailed instructions on using the site? See The Guide for plain english explanation.
- Realtors are welcome here but do see our Realtor Advice to avoid infractions.
- Thank you and enjoy City-Data.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-01-2009, 07:59 PM
 
13,710 posts, read 22,821,151 times
Reputation: 18521
Most utilities will be happy to do an auto withdrawal from your checking account - and it is very easy. I was a little skeptical about it when it started ten years ago but it is a relief not to pay a utility bill.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-02-2009, 07:02 AM
 
26,589 posts, read 52,939,688 times
Reputation: 12963
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lindsey_Mcfarren View Post
Thats not the story that my local water dept. told me. She came right out and told me that I should write a personal check or come by and pay with cash. What was happening is I would send a check through the bank and because it took so long to process them, the next bill would get cut before they had gotten to processing my bank check. She did say however we do backdate the receipt of the check to the date it arrived.

That didn't help me when I would get a bill and have to call everytime to find out what I actually owed them.

I prefer to pay in cash now when I can.
Why would you have to call to see what you owed them? Take the current bill and subtract the last bill, the amount left is what you owe. That's pretty basic.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-02-2009, 07:04 AM
 
26,589 posts, read 52,939,688 times
Reputation: 12963
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike from back east View Post
Your utility company sounds like a real amateur hour.

I pay most of my bills via my Wells Fargo account, for free. I'm not going to pay any joker $6 to pay by electronic means, I'd mail them a check and spend the 42-cents on postage. My electric utility allows me to pay them on-line, but they charge $2.50 (via Western Union) for the convenience, so I use Wells Fargo instead and pay zero for e-payments. Wells provides a written guarantee that if my account ever gets hijacked that they will eat any losses, not me.

It costs banks lots of money to process checks and it costs utilities money to have people sit around opening envelopes all day, whether at the utility or at a check processing center. They all want e-payments if they can get them, as there are almost no labor costs.

It doesn't matter who the company is, I just enter the payment address into Wells' system, my account number with that firm, etc, and Wells does the rest. I don't know how Wells gets the money to all these firms, but it works, even for things I only pay once per year, like Bally Fitness, Long Term Care Insurance, AAA annual renewal, etc. I pay all my bills this way: utility, credit cards, health plan, hospital, AAA, Bally, city taxes, cable, cell phones, land-line phone, etc, all with Wells.... just set up payment info for ANY company in the Wells website and Wells get the payment to their hands within 5 days. Wells already has most of the firms in their data base, often all I have to do is put in a 9-digit zip code and the full mailing address pops up.

Obviously, I'm pleased with Wells Fargo and recommend them to anyone. I'm sure similar deals can be had at other banks.
I've got the exact same service with B of A. I've been doing online checking since around 2001 and have never had a problem.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-02-2009, 08:52 AM
 
Location: Warwick, RI
2,546 posts, read 3,856,486 times
Reputation: 4038
My electric and gas company here in RI charges a fee for online payment that is only avoidable if you give them access to automatically debit your account every month, which I WILL NOT do. You can avoid the fees by paying the old fashioned way (thru the mail) or by walk in payment at one of their local offices or bill pay stores, of which there are quite a few. They charge the fee for online payment for one reason and one reason only - because they know they can get it from the majority of people. It's as simple as that. If everyone started bitching about it, or stopped online payment altogether, they would change their tune. But they know most people won't, and they make tons of money on it because of our laziness. As long as we continue to pay it, they will continue to charge us.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-02-2009, 11:38 AM
 
Location: The beautiful Rogue Valley, Oregon
6,810 posts, read 14,582,371 times
Reputation: 8816
Since, when I pay the electric and telephone companies on-line, I pay the exact same amount as the bill they sent through the mail, I am positive I am not paying any extra or hidden fee.

Some banks do charge a monthly fee (usually $5 or less, often including other packages and services, like free money orders or currency exchanges) to use their bill payer service, but if you pay about 11 bills per month, you've just saved yourself the postage of mailing them yourself.

I use a debit/Mastercard to pay most bills on-line and I don't really have any qualms about using the account number on a secure network site. Of course, the checking account I pay bills out of is not connected to any large balances, either.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-02-2009, 11:49 AM
 
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
10,716 posts, read 31,026,539 times
Reputation: 6654
Quote:
Originally Posted by annerk View Post
Why would you have to call to see what you owed them? Take the current bill and subtract the last bill, the amount left is what you owe. That's pretty basic.
I didn't understand why there were two months on my bill plus the charge for it being late because I knew I had told the bank to send a check. I was concerned the check didn't arrive so I called them to verify the amount I owed.
I continued to do this because I continued to be concerned that someone, was screwing something up.
AND it wasn't the person opening the mail who told me this, she knew of the problem because it was a HUGE problem for them.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Economics > Frugal Living
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2018, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top