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Old 05-02-2009, 01:31 PM
 
Location: Knoxville, TN
2,172 posts, read 6,745,491 times
Reputation: 1522

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My utility company was charging for online or phone payments when they were using a third-party payment system. But now they've got a new website and can process payments themselves and there's no charge.
I pay everything online direct with the companies and none of them charge for it. Cable, insurance, utilities, credit cards, auto loan, mortgage, etc. I write one check a month for a condo fee. All my banking is done online, too.
Add up what you pay for stamps and checks and you save a considerable amount.
Several places give rebates or credits for online payments and online billing. Less things to shred every month.
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Old 05-02-2009, 01:34 PM
 
Location: Texas
2,329 posts, read 6,139,846 times
Reputation: 1579
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lindsey_Mcfarren View Post
With Progress Energy my electric company, if I pay online or over the phone with a credit card or checking account, they charge me almost 6 bucks for the priviledge. You can pay your bill with many companies at Wal-mart and Amscott for a much smaller fee but how fast is shows up on your account varies. With Progress Energy, you can pay the bill in cash at Amscott for like .88 cents and it shows up by the end of the day.

My gas company if I pay over the phone or online, it costs me 3 bucks for the priviledge but luckily the gas company is just down the road and I can walk in to pay the bill in cash and not pay a fee.

The phone company has no place to walk into so you pay a fee like $1.50.

If you counted up these fees if your using the convenient online resources, your paying alot of money for that convenience. They even charge a fee if your bank sends them a check.

With my electric bill alone, I would pay an extra $60 a year if I always paid it online.

What these companies really want you to do is to give them direct and monthly access to your checking account. Do you know what it takes to reverse this should you change your mind? According to my bank, you have to change your account number or they will continue to withdraw money. I got stung and would never give that kind of access again. I can't tell you the number of times I have found errors on my bills which would mean they would already have my money by the time I sorted it all out.

Money is tight and there are times when I don't have enough to pay them all when they are due, when I have to make a decision that the gas bill, the electric bill and water bill are more important then the phone bill as I have a cell phone.

What do you guys think of this?
I pay my bills the old fashioned way.. and will do so until they put me six feet under.. with a check to them every month. I will pay the 40something cents in postage every month and keep the Post office people employed.. I aint paying six bucks for my convenience
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Old 05-02-2009, 01:37 PM
 
Location: Texas
2,329 posts, read 6,139,846 times
Reputation: 1579
Quote:
Originally Posted by Donn2390 View Post
I have never heard of anyone charging a fee when you pay your bill... I have done it many times, there is no such thing as a fee.
With online banking, you don't give anyone your account numbers, and it takes no longer to get a check credited with on line banking, probably less, since when they get a check from a bank, they know the check is good. As of a few years ago, all checks are required to clear overnight, no three day stuff any more..
No one charges for that stuff, someone is pulling your leg.... Companies are happy to have your money, they aren't going to charge to get it...!
So let me ask you this question, if you dont give "anyone" your account numbers.. how do they know what account to pull from?? The "I know what account number to pull from fairy?" Give me a break.. somewhere along the way.. in order to start electronic billing .. you had to give up an account number...
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Old 05-02-2009, 02:13 PM
 
Location: Central Texas
19,891 posts, read 36,428,452 times
Reputation: 21336
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Man in SATX View Post
So let me ask you this question, if you dont give "anyone" your account numbers.. how do they know what account to pull from?? The "I know what account number to pull from fairy?" Give me a break.. somewhere along the way.. in order to start electronic billing .. you had to give up an account number...
If they're talking about online banking originated by their bank, then, just as always, no one but them and the bank the account is with knows their account number.

Of course, anyone sending a paper check is "giving up" their account number, and that's been the case for at least my lifetime (and I'll be 60 this year).
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Old 05-02-2009, 02:14 PM
 
Location: San Jose, CA
7,677 posts, read 25,000,807 times
Reputation: 3527
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Man in SATX View Post
So let me ask you this question, if you dont give "anyone" your account numbers.. how do they know what account to pull from?? The "I know what account number to pull from fairy?" Give me a break.. somewhere along the way.. in order to start electronic billing .. you had to give up an account number...
It doesn't get sent to the payee. When you do an online bill pay, they take the money from you, basically put it in escrow, and they cut a check from their own account to send it to the payee. They make money on these transactions by holding the funds until the payee processes the payment.
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Old 05-02-2009, 02:41 PM
 
16,301 posts, read 24,254,280 times
Reputation: 8261
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.

Online bill payment (as recommended by DKVA) does NOT allow anyone access to your checking account, except YOU. I pay 99% of all my bills using my credit unions "Billpay" service, and it costs me absolutely nothing, saves me a good bit of time, plus postage, checks, etc. Many banks and credit unions will actually download your bill from the utility, and send you a reminder email that you have a bill due.

When you get a bill, you go online to your bank, you tell the bank who to pay, when to pay them, and how much to pay them, you and only you have control. This is great because there is no 'forgetting', 'misplacing', or just overlooking the bill.

Most banks and credit unions offer this service totally free, most have relationships with utilities where payments are sent electronically, but will mail checks if they don't. If you bank doesn't offer such a service, I suggest you change to one that does, even the smallest of banks offer the service.

And if you schedule a payment, and for some reason that payment is not received (assuming you actually have the money in the bank), then you call the bank, they take pride in the quality of this service, and will resolve the issue on your behalf. This happened to me once, and due to the banks investigation they learned that there had been a extended power outage at a mail sorting facility in Texas, and that delayed the check. The late fees were removed from my account, the payment was posted, and all is well.
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Old 05-02-2009, 05:15 PM
 
48,519 posts, read 81,113,623 times
Reputation: 17979
Because tehy are chargig you for thier cost as charged by your credit card company.Basically your going to pay for what ever it cost to operate the bill center and computers.I frankly don't pay for naytihng but a stamp and of course i apy tehm right away. the ones that don't charge I pay thru creit card but realise that they factor this in on their cost anyway.The government is the one that has it made;they just require others to collect their taxes ;fees that comprise a large part of many bills.The others of course charge us for handling it for the government.No free lunch. Want convenience then you pay extra.
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Old 05-02-2009, 08:46 PM
 
16,301 posts, read 24,254,280 times
Reputation: 8261
Quote:
Originally Posted by texdav View Post
No free lunch. Want convenience then you pay extra.
Paying my bills (99% online) is as convenient as paying bills could every be without getting someone else to pay them for me.

It costs me zero, zip, nadda, zilch, not a penny of postage, not a single fee of any kind, to anybody, so yea I guess there is a free lunch, if you know how to get it.
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Old 05-02-2009, 10:34 PM
 
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
10,716 posts, read 31,058,988 times
Reputation: 6659
Quote:
Originally Posted by Asheville Native View Post
Online bill payment (as recommended by DKVA) does NOT allow anyone access to your checking account, except YOU. I pay 99% of all my bills using my credit unions "Billpay" service, and it costs me absolutely nothing, saves me a good bit of time, plus postage, checks, etc. Many banks and credit unions will actually download your bill from the utility, and send you a reminder email that you have a bill due.

When you get a bill, you go online to your bank, you tell the bank who to pay, when to pay them, and how much to pay them, you and only you have control. This is great because there is no 'forgetting', 'misplacing', or just overlooking the bill.

Most banks and credit unions offer this service totally free, most have relationships with utilities where payments are sent electronically, but will mail checks if they don't. If you bank doesn't offer such a service, I suggest you change to one that does, even the smallest of banks offer the service.

And if you schedule a payment, and for some reason that payment is not received (assuming you actually have the money in the bank), then you call the bank, they take pride in the quality of this service, and will resolve the issue on your behalf. This happened to me once, and due to the banks investigation they learned that there had been a extended power outage at a mail sorting facility in Texas, and that delayed the check. The late fees were removed from my account, the payment was posted, and all is well.
Maybe I'm not using the right terminology, my companies want me to give them the right to withdraw whatever amount they need to cover my bills each month with a one time authorization. I have to give them my banking information including my account number. I just won't do this. I got stung one time with a health club and found out how hard it is to stop a company once you have given them this kind of access to your funds.
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Old 05-03-2009, 06:05 AM
 
26,589 posts, read 53,001,371 times
Reputation: 12963
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lindsey_Mcfarren View Post
Maybe I'm not using the right terminology, my companies want me to give them the right to withdraw whatever amount they need to cover my bills each month with a one time authorization. I have to give them my banking information including my account number. I just won't do this. I got stung one time with a health club and found out how hard it is to stop a company once you have given them this kind of access to your funds.
I agree with you on this--I won't allow a company to initiate the transaction. But If you use online checking through your account, YOU initiate all payments from your account to them, and they don't have any more infomration or access than if you actually wrote a check. It's free at most banks, and incredibly convenient.
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