Snail Mail Bills Cost Extra

from the not-everyone's-happy-about-this... dept

I pay my bills online via my bank. I get most of them in the mail, and just pay them through my bank’s online billpay system. However, according to this NY Times story, many companies are trying to get rid of the costs of printing and sending paper bills by charging people extra for getting a paper bill. This move is pissing off some people, who are afraid that their information isn’t safe, or that it just makes it easier to screw up their bills. For me, the thing that seems most annoying is that each of these sites wants to do online billing via their own site. So, if you want to view your bills you need to separately log into each site, view the bill, and then pay the bill. This makes the process really annoying. This seems like (of all things) something that should be standardized, a la web services, so that anyone can easily aggregate all their bills in a single interface.

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Comments on “Snail Mail Bills Cost Extra”

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2lazy2register says:

No Subject Given

Right now product/service producers send a bill to the consumer for products/services rendered. If the producers want to stop sending paper bills, they should send their bill in an email rather than have the consumer be responsibe for interrogating their WEB site in order to find out how much to pay. This would keep the current system of producers sending and consumers receiving bills for products and services rendered.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: No Subject Given

and I would NEVER accept any bill paying scheme that arrives through email. Consider things like the recent Cogent shutdown in Chicago; my main email has been messed up for 5 days now, I would not be real happy if a bill got lost due to a backbone’s mess up and suddenly I had to pay late charges, or end up getting my service cut off.

No thanks, I will stick with paper.

Anonymous Coward says:

All upside... for the companies

True enough, postage, paper and envelopes cost money. By charging extra for this “service” the companies get some extra money. I doubt the companies took the time to factor the actual cost of sending the bill. Any company sending tens or thousands of bills per month is getting a nice discount on the paper and envelopes. I don’t knwo about the postage. How much you want to bet the bill includes full price for materials and some charge for “packaging” the bill?

By forcing you to pay online using their website and not some general pay service (bank or otherwise) you’ll have to give that company your checking accounts routing number or your ATM/Credit Card number. This means no more late payments. You’ve now authorized the company to take the money they say you owe automatically. I certainly hope nothing goes wrong with your electric meter or that someone doesn’t steal your credit card info. You’ll be out the money, bouncing checks everywhere, facing fees up the wazzu for it and you’ll have to get the company to realize there was a mistake and to return the money. The creditor gets paid and you have to prove your innocents in order to get your money back. Your payment will always be on time. There will no longer be a need for a grace period. It’s the closest thing the creditor has to guaranteed ontime payments. You on the other hand must always have money available. There is no more putting the bill off due to a tight financial situation or waiting an additional 3 days for that next paycheck.

Chris (user link) says:

No Subject Given

There were a few aggregator services a couple of years ago – and I think some bank web site did it too. You entered you account info and it logged in in the background, grabbed the data, and presented all your various accounts on one screen. I never used one because the security implications of having all your account data on one remote server really bothered me.

lorilie (profile) says:

Creditors are Automatically Moving You to Paperless

Just sign in to pay your bills, and all of sudden you get no more bills. Then they are late, when you find out that you agreed to paperless billing! This has happened so many times to me, I quit paying them altogether. I know some people who won’t even go to their credit card sites period! They know they will never say a bill in the mail again!

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