Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Bring Back Paper Billing!

I realized today how much I hate electronic payments. Sure, paper bills "waste" paper, but then I not only get a reminder, but then I have a physical representation of what I actually paid. Recently my student loan switched from paper trails to electronic debiting. They refused to send me anything via U.S. Mail. Dumbfounded but not deterred, I set up the recurring payments last month. When I checked on April 3, the money had still not been deducted. Grrr. I got worried that maybe the first recurring payment notice got to them a little late, so maybe the first official month would be next month. I set up an immediate payment so that I wouldn't be late on April 7.

In a fit of curiosity and generally keeping tabs on things, I checked my bank account today. Not only did the April 6 payment get debited, but the recurring payment debited on April 7 as well! At least I wasn't late, right? Hopefully I can push the second payment to next month or apply it to the principal. It doesn't hurt my loan to pay extra, but I'd really like to have that money back in my pocket.

Comcast sucks the money from my bank account every month too. I hate it (and them!). Pacific Power has the right idea: they send me an e-mail informing me to pay my bill. I then go to their website, log in, and tell them it's okay to take my money. While I'd still prefer a paper bill, an e-mail works pretty well. Can we bring back paper billing, please?


Strayer said...

I'm with you. Living hand to mouth, with budgeting, I HAVE to know how much I pay where and exactly when, to the penny. I never know when or if an electronic payment will be deducted. I became disillusioned and switched back to getting US mail bills.

My computer crashed last week, creating havoc with any online business I do. Since my computer crashes fairly often, I can't rely on online access to do anything. I had watched a very satisfying video the week before, of people in various places, from offices to homes, becoming angry with their PC's nonfunctioning and took various large weighty objects to those unfortunate PC's, smashing them. One person took his hard drive into the road and smashed it with his four wheeler then threw a chain around it and drug it around. Most used axes or hammers, one a gun. One frustrated office worker caught on security cam, threw his computer against the wall, jumped on it, slammed it with his fist, all while other office workers in their cubicles tried to pretend nothing was happening.

Anyhow, paying by mail is clumsy, with checks that cost a bundle, and the mailman still sometimes puts mail in the wrong box. Guess there's no perfect way.

Congrats on reducing your food bill so drastically.

That corgi :) said...

hi; I just found your blog; I have enjoyed reading some of your entries; I admire you for cutting down your expenses so much and meal planning and using coupons; every little bit helps these days, doesn't it?

I have a love-hate relationship with electronic billing. I love the convenience of it but I realize the more we do through computers, online like this, we are taking away jobs from people; not mailing bills, we are taking away post office jobs, not sending the payments in, no one is sitting at a desk processing them, etc. But it is sooo convenient. the only bill that gets electronically deducted (without my permission, i.e. me manually going in to the account online and paying it) is our water bill. The water company set it up that if you didn't do electronic billing, automatic deduction, you had to pay a deposit, regardless of good your credit might be. It just made sense to have them electronically deduct it (they do send a notice out in plenty of time with how much is coming out and what date).

going to follow your blog; looking forward to reading more about you and Your Man and getting to know you more

good luck getting back into the swing of things after your 3-day weekend :)