Save a stamp! Pay your bill online!



  • [img]http://i84.photobucket.com/albums/k19/Carnildo/Forums/Saveastamp.jpg[/img]







    Saving a stamp by paying online. Sounds like a good deal, doesn't it?







    [img]http://i84.photobucket.com/albums/k19/Carnildo/Forums/payonline_website.png[/img]







    Needless to say, I'm still sending in checks every month.



  •  I never understand these people who want to punish their customers for paying bills in a manner that's more efficient for everyone involved, saving both parties money. Thankfully it's a rare occurrence where I am.

    Anyway, bills are the whole reason for having direct debits. Manually paying bills, through the post, online, or in person, is sooo 20th century.



  • Is there not an option to pay online via ACH?  Paying by Visa/MC costs them 2.3% that they have to pay to Visa/MC. Not so with a check.



  • @RayS said:

     I never understand these people who want to punish their customers for paying bills in a manner that's more efficient for everyone involved, saving both parties money. Thankfully it's a rare occurrence where I am.

    Anyway, bills are the whole reason for having direct debits. Manually paying bills, through the post, online, or in person, is sooo 20th century.

    I pay all my bills manually

    1) it does not take a lot of time to do

    2) i can delay payements depending on the bills if needed...

    3) having bills payed automatically by bank is a problem when the seller has made a mistake on the bill. In Belgium it's considered from the moment you payed the bill that you accepted the amount of the bill. It's quite a problem when a wrongly calculated bill is taken automatically from your account. (Needless to say, when you get a bill of 2000€ where it shoud be 200€ you are happy to be able to not find your bank account empty in the morning :)



  • @RayS said:

     I never understand these people who want to punish their customers for paying bills in a manner that's more efficient for everyone involved, saving both parties money. Thankfully it's a rare occurrence where I am.

    Anyway, bills are the whole reason for having direct debits. Manually paying bills, through the post, online, or in person, is sooo 20th century.

    It does not save the company money for you to pay with a credit card.  It actually costs them money.
     



  • @tster said:

    @RayS said:

     I never understand these people who want to punish their customers for paying bills in a manner that's more efficient for everyone involved, saving both parties money. Thankfully it's a rare occurrence where I am.

    Anyway, bills are the whole reason for having direct debits. Manually paying bills, through the post, online, or in person, is sooo 20th century.

    It does not save the company money for you to pay with a credit card.  It actually costs them money.
     


    It costs them money to process the check by hand with actual People entering data. Any decent-sized company should be able to find a credit card processing service to put online that costs them less than the manpower to handle checks, no?



  • @fennec said:

    It costs them money to process the check by hand with actual People entering data. Any decent-sized company should be able to find a
    credit card processing service to put online that costs them less than the manpower to handle checks, no?


    I find it hard to believe that one or two people in accounts receivable handling checks are going to cost more than 2.3% of a large utility's revenues.



  • @Pap said:

    @fennec said:
    It costs them money to process the check by hand with actual People entering data. Any decent-sized company should be able to find a
    credit card processing service to put online that costs them less than the manpower to handle checks, no?


    I find it hard to believe that one or two people in accounts receivable handling checks are going to cost more than 2.3% of a large utility's revenues.

    You need to think outside the box! think of all the jobs that will be lost if everything goes to online payment processing! I have at least 2 friends that would be out of work if everyone stopped using checks, and neither of them work for a bank. (hint, one works for IBM). Not to mention paper mills, postal employees (less mail means less employees needed to carry it), stamp printers, the people who work at our mints, bank employees, ink manufacturers, lumberjacks, truck and trailer owner/operators, heavy machinery operators, clerks, technical support teams, etc etc etc.

     Not many people think of how many people are affected by just one decision to 'make things a little easier for everyone'.

     

    Just a thought... i'm a highly macro thinker, so i might post a lot of this garbage on here from time to time.



  • @GeneWitch said:

    Not many people think of how many people are affected by just one decision to 'make things a little easier for everyone'.


    We may lose many jobs.  But then again, it may have side benefits.



  • In the grand scheme of things, electronic payments are cheaper (see GeneWitch's post for just a few of the costs involved in paper transactions), and not all electronic transactions are the comparatively expensive (read: lucrative for the banks) credit card payments. Cheques should die. In the last 7-8 years I've probably written all of 2 cheques, and that was only because of a lack of other payment options for something I really needed.

    Even if I had to pay these extortionate "convenience fees", I probably still would have scheduled payments. Five minutes each month are worth more to me than the time and hassle involved in dealing with dozens of bills each month. Let's not forget the even more extortionate fees you get heading your way if you forget even one of them!

    As for the lost jobs? Good! They can do someone more useful to society than moving bits of paper about and handling transactions that are just as easily (and cheaper) done by a computer.
     



  • @GeneWitch said:

    You need to think outside the box! think of all the jobs that will be lost if everything goes to online payment processing! I have at least 2 friends that would be out of work if everyone stopped using checks, and neither of them work for a bank. (hint, one works for IBM). Not to mention paper mills, postal employees (less mail means less employees needed to carry it), stamp printers, the people who work at our mints, bank employees, ink manufacturers, lumberjacks, truck and trailer owner/operators, heavy machinery operators, clerks, technical support teams, etc etc etc.

     Not many people think of how many people are affected by just one decision to 'make things a little easier for everyone'.

     

    Just a thought... i'm a highly macro thinker, so i might post a lot of this garbage on here from time to time.

    *coughcough* Broken window fallacy WTF FTW.


  • @fennec said:

    @GeneWitch said:

    You need to think outside the box! think of all the jobs that will be lost if everything goes to online payment processing! I have at least 2 friends that would be out of work if everyone stopped using checks, and neither of them work for a bank. (hint, one works for IBM). Not to mention paper mills, postal employees (less mail means less employees needed to carry it), stamp printers, the people who work at our mints, bank employees, ink manufacturers, lumberjacks, truck and trailer owner/operators, heavy machinery operators, clerks, technical support teams, etc etc etc.

     Not many people think of how many people are affected by just one decision to 'make things a little easier for everyone'.

     

    Just a thought... i'm a highly macro thinker, so i might post a lot of this garbage on here from time to time.

    *coughcough* Broken window fallacy WTF FTW.

     

    Not only that.  But paper mills would not shut down if people stopped using checks.  Hardly any postal employees would loose their job.  The mail carriers themselves would not be phased at all since they have to visit every mailbox every day anyways.  All the other ones wouldn't be shut down either.  Also, saying that 2 of your friends would be out of work is kind of stupid.  That's like saying we would all be out of work if their were no computers.  We wouldn't have our current jobs, we would do something different though! 



  • @tster said:

    Also, saying that 2 of your friends would be out of work is kind of stupid.  That's like saying we would all be out of work if their were no computers.  We wouldn't have our current jobs, we would do something different though! 

    Funnything is, if you go back a few decades these are the computers that were supposed to put everyone out of work, just like machines in factories, and automated/animal-powered farm equipment before them.

    Franky I'm surprised that anyone anywhere in the world is still employeed given all this fancy technology that keeps taking our jobs! </sarcasm>



  • Thinking that technology puts people out of work is a common sign of the highly undereducated.



  • @tster said:

    Thinking that technology puts people out of work is a common sign of the highly undereducated.

    Technology certainly puts some people out of work. Think of all those office secretaries, with rows upon rows of typewriters, who were replaced by photocopiers. They lost their jobs. Thing is, I'm sure they found something better to do, when all was said and done.

    The fallacies include thinking that Work is some end in and of itself, and that people are entitled to work. Rather, work is only useful if it's actually producing something valuable (to society, and specifically to the person willing to pay for it). Would you be willing to pay someone to just sit around and do nothing all day long? That, most agree, would be stupid. Would you be willing to pay someone to sit around and do Nothing that a machine couldn't do for less money than they do? (Why is this less clear?) Would you insist that someone else do the same? (Some would, and do).

    Like many things, the gains from technology are typically large, but diffuse (the winners are any sort of customer, and the shareholders of a business trying to save for retirement or such) while the losses are small, but concentrated (the specific people who have been replaced). In some cases, as a matter of social insurance, people may indeed become unhappy when jobs are lost suddenly and unexpectedly, and/or en masse (when they are the bulk of an area's jobs and it will be very difficult to find a new one). There are significant costs associated with the actual job loss (and subsequent job search, moves, et cetera) that unemployment insurance is supposed to help take care of; in these cases, it may be woefully inadequate.



  • @fennec said:

    @tster said:
    Thinking that technology puts people out of work is a common sign of the highly undereducated.

    Technology certainly puts some people out of work. Think of all those office secretaries, with rows upon rows of typewriters, who were replaced by photocopiers. They lost their jobs. Thing is, I'm sure they found something better to do, when all was said and done.

    Yes, they now sit in front of computers and complain that the internet isn't working. (Translation: I can't log in because I keep caps lock turned on all the time)

    People don't find better things to do, they just find new ways to be unproductive. 



  • @Pap said:

    Is there not an option to pay online via ACH?  Paying by Visa/MC costs them 2.3% that they have to pay to Visa/MC. Not so with a check.

    They've got two options: a one-time payment by credit card, or automatic monthly withdrawals from your bank account.  Ever since the time I got a gas bill for $5200.00, I don't trust automated transactions.  It's a lot easier to dispute a credit card payment than a withdrawal.



  • My mortgage provider is the same way. They charge $13 or so (it keeps changing, so I can never keep track of how much it is) to take the payment over the phone or online. I would mail the payment, but as I mentioned in another thread, the USPS service around here is extremely unreliable. So, I pay everything electronically. $13 is cheaper than the late charges that would result from a lost payment.

    I recently found a very large financing company that doesn't accept electronic payments except automatic withdrawal: GMAC. So, I either have to mail the $530 car payment and hope for the best, or set up automatic widthdrawal and hope something doesn't flake out.



  • @Carnildo said:

    They've got two options: a one-time payment by credit card, or automatic monthly withdrawals from your bank account.  Ever since the time I got a gas bill for $5200.00, I don't trust automated transactions.  It's a lot easier to dispute a credit card payment than a withdrawal.


    @AbbydonKrafts said:
    I recently found a very large financing company that doesn't accept electronic payments except automatic withdrawal: GMAC. So, I either have to mail the $530 car payment and hope for the best, or set up automatic widthdrawal and hope something doesn't flake out.


    What if you set up automatical monthly payments, with the first payment set to the next day, and then delete the automatic payment info after that?




  • @Pap said:

    @Carnildo said:
    They've got two options: a one-time payment by credit card, or automatic monthly withdrawals from your bank account. Ever since the time I got a gas bill for $5200.00, I don't trust automated transactions. It's a lot easier to dispute a credit card payment than a withdrawal.


    @AbbydonKrafts said:
    I recently found a very large financing company that doesn't accept electronic payments except automatic withdrawal: GMAC. So, I either have to mail the $530 car payment and hope for the best, or set up automatic widthdrawal and hope something doesn't flake out.


    What if you set up automatical monthly payments, with the first payment set to the next day, and then delete the automatic payment info after that?


    Automatic withdrawal means direct debit.  This means saying to your bank "this entity has my permission to withdraw arbitrary amounts from my bank account whenever they like as if it was their own bank account"

    Personally, I tell any company that demands Direct Debit as a payment method to go **** themselves. 



  • @Kyanar said:

    Automatic withdrawal means direct debit.  This means saying to your bank "this entity has my permission to withdraw arbitrary amounts from my bank account whenever they like as if it was their own bank account"

    Personally, I tell any company that demands Direct Debit as a payment method to go **** themselves. 

    You do have the right to cancel that at any time you realise?

    Personally I see it the other way around. I tell any company that wants me to waste my precious time, money, and effort for every trivial little payment to go **** themselves.



  • @RayS said:

    You do have the right to cancel that at any time you realise?

    Not in my bank, I was told that if I cancel a direct debit and the company keeps making requests under it, I get hit with penalty fees. So effectively, only they can cancel it any time. I love banks.
     


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