Adventures in Adulting : Episode 3 AutoPay is tricky

Previously, we caught a glimpse into how roofs costs money. Today we’ll dive into the process of sending your money away to the people you owe your livelihood to.

Spoiler: AutoPay can’t be trusted.

It’s Not As Easy As It Looks Kids

There will be those who frown and say…

… “back in my day we had to mail in our checks to pay our bills, you kids have it sooooo easy.”…

That’s all well and good but aren’t you a little too old to be bragging about dumb stuff like how you did things the hard way?

Aren’t you supposed to be a #grownup?

Of course AutoPay is more convenient than the way our forefathers paid their bills. We don’t ever have to step into those sterile environments with the stone faced men and women in boxy dress clothes (talkin bout banks homie). We can now pay our bills while we lounge on our couch.

But don’t let the lounging fool you. Setting up automatic payments is complicated.

First you’ve got to make sure all your numbers from the bank are right (lotta numbers to type because they won’t let you copy and paste them). Then you’ve got to follow up and check to see if it actually works, otherwise you’ll be shelling out cash to pay those vexatious late fees.

DOS and AutoBill Don’t Mix

The first example of AutoFails comes from my time as a Studio Associate at Guitar Center.

During my time there, we tried to get people to sign up for AutoBill for lessons because it was presumably easier for both parties.

Guitar Center’s system still ran (runs?) on DOS. It wasn’t easy.

85% of the time after people signed up for AutoBill, there’d be a problem. At least once a shift there was a heated discussion between my manager and an incredulous parent about how Guitar Center was stealing money from them. The culprit? AutoBill.

Beware: AutoFailure Leads to Automated Debt Collection

Most recently my frustrations with AutoPay come from my mortgage company.

You’d think at closing you could just give the loan company your bank info and they’d have it set up no problem.

Nope, it’s not that easy.

Apparently loan companies sell off mortgages (who knew?) and so you’ve got to jump through yet another hoop. So, I followed the directions, sending a check to the original loan company, then tried to pay online with the new company. Well, the new company never got the money I sent to the old company and so I missed a payment.

After several phone calls later and a good bit of cursing later, I thought everything was sorted out. But of course it wasn’t.

I got an automated phone call midway through July telling me to pay my overdue bill. Turns out the lady that had gotten everything in supposedly in order set the autodraft to go into effect in August, not July. The month was July. -_-

Seriously, y tho?

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Why is something that should take 2 minutes such a pain in the neck?

No one told me specifics about why paying the bills was so terrible. Now I know.

The Ruse of Convenience

Perhaps the most frustrating part of all this is the unnecessary inconvenience of convenience. It’s almost like big companies make paying bills as inconvenient as possible.

And that’s where I take issue. It’s not that I have to pay bills, I get that, but it’s when businesses set the system up to be so dadgum inefficient.

Why do they torture us with old and outdated ways of paying them?

Shelling out your hard earned cash to big companies that basically own your life is depressing enough.

2 Replies to “Adventures in Adulting : Episode 3 AutoPay is tricky”

  1. I once had a mortgage company that sent a notification that essentially said, “If you send us a payment that isn’t exactly the amount you owe or higher, we will reject your payment.” No problem…until they readjusted my escrow due to a shortage. This caused my payments to increase 26 whole cents a month, and I forgot to adjust my automatic payment accordingly. Later in the month, I saw we had more money in our account than I expected, and it showed that all of my payments were made. What it didn’t show me is that my mortgage payment had been rejected by the mortgage company because of the 26 cent shortage. So, manual payment, including late fees, plus a nice phone call from me later, I got it squared away.

    Be careful out there.

    Like

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