Wednesday, January 2, 2008

On-Line Bill Pain

I am a semi-rational, responsible, mature adult. Like anyone over the age of 15, I have bills to pay. And like most people I have become selectively cheap. I will spend $30 on a tube of lipstick at Nordstrom's, but I won't spend 41 cents on a freaking stamp to pay my bills. So I use my bank's on-line bill pay because GAWD knows, I can use that 41 cents towards another tube of lipstick.

Three months ago I sat at my desk engaging in that All-American sadomasochistic ritual called the "paying of the monthly bills". Actually it's more like a big reality pimp slap I get from my check book. I pretend I have money and my check book has to have a "little" discussion with me about my denial issues. It's kind of like shock therapy only without the fun or electricity.

Here I was doing what I do every month and paying my bills through Bank of Asshat's on-line bill pay. I entered about four bills, selected the correct days to pay them and click submit. I usually chose to have the payment date one or two days before the bill is due because I like to see the BIG balance in my checkbook right up until the last possible minute. In a sick way it is like the death row inmate waiting for that last minute pardon he knows isn't coming but he keeps hoping the warden forgot to pay the electric bill anyway. When all is submitted, I write the confirmation numbers down, close my checkbook and forget about the whole horrible ordeal until next month's how-the-hell-am-I-going-to-pay-this-bill-pay-play-date.

The next month comes and...wait for it people.....One of my bills is overdue!!! Now I am not a total idiot. I've seen Sue Orman. I know my life hangs by the thread of my FICO score and I am soooooo not going to screw that puppy up by paying a bill late or not paying it at all. Hell you can be a Buggering Nazi and if your FICO score is high, you can buy the house next to Donald Trump and no one would say a word. But show up at the PTA meeting with a low score and you might as well have on a bright neon yellow T-shirt that says "I'm-a-buggering-nazi-who-has-a-low-FICO-Score"...and you know they will talk about how bad your credit is and not how you picked the wrong national-socialist party.

I call Bank of Asshat's 1-800-number and punch my way through recorded voice mail box system. (The buttons on my crackberry have to be replaced because I can't push "0" anymore without hearing a cry for mercy.) Now the world knows that nothing good has ever come of me calling a company customer service department, but this call was mildly OK. After ten minutes on the phone with what I thought was a very painless conversation, we discover there was a glitch in THEIR system that caused the bill payment not to schedule. They refund the late fee. I pay the new amount due in order to ensure the account is in good standing (AFTER verifying with the account rep THREE times). Annie's your aunt. Frannie's your Uncle and everyone sleeps well at night.......

Imagine my surprise last month when I open my bills to discover that the same bill is again overdue!!! WTF PEOPLE!?!? I paid this bill. I paid the amount YOU said was due. I thought we were cool. No harm. No foul. But NOOOOOOO.....
I call the bank again. Thirty minutes, three people latter, two xanax, another Ho-Ho and a ton of money I did NOT want to pay all at once, the account is taken care of and I am face first into my third Ho-Ho. (Special Thank you to the makers of those wonderful life saving pieces of heaven........Oh, you thought I was going to say Pfizer. :-) My thanks goes to Hostess: The fine makers of Ho-Ho's.)

Then I get an e-mail from the bank:

Dear Lisa-tastrophies:
Thank you for contacting....blah, blah, blah, yadda, yadda, "We recommend selecting a "Deliver By" date of or prior to the actual due date reflected on your statement or e-Bill." I don't remember what the rest said. I was screaming too loudly to read clearly and my neighbors were busy dialing 9-1-1 because they thought someone was playing CSI-The Home Game.

Holy crap get me a xanax and pass the Ho-Hos! REALLY!?? You're suggesting that I pay my bills on time? Suggesting that I pick a date of payment on or before the due date....WOW!! What responsible bill paying adult would have thought of that? Cause GAWD knows, my blond-headed-big-boobed-self would have NEVER put two and two together to come up with that bright least not without getting a serious migraine first. Are you planning on letting the rest of the world in on this or is it going to be our "little secret"? Thank you Bank of Asshat for patronizing me. I really appreciate it.

Which is what I wrote in my e-mail back to them. Along with the link to Merriam-Webster on-line and a suggestion that they look up the definitions of Patronize and Patronized.


Vanessa said...

Was this bank by chance Compass?

Vanessa said...

Because Karma is sooo much fun, I just got a late notice from my credit card provider of choice. I paid the bill online, they have proof that I paid it online. They can tell me it was paid the 22nd which was the due date. So why the fee? Because that was a Saturday and because of X-mas eve and X-mas they didn't process until the 26th. I think its because I complained about them here! Other online bill pay stories? Check my blog under Surprises a few pages back.

DiverJeff said...

After reading your posts, I must say you have a god given gift. The ability to f'n rant like no other. It is a beautiful thing.

Cora said...

I agree with diverjeff. You do have a gift to rant.
I found your blog via another blog. Are you a diver as well?

Abbie said...

I know you were in a place when you wrote this post- and it wasn't on stage. But that hasn't stopped me from cracking up so hard! Lawd I needed this right now-(it's a low day)

And leaving money in the bank until the very last minute just to look at the BIG balance?? That is So.Me.
I thought I was the only one!