Bill Paying Online... Not Always a Way to Save

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Bill Paying Online... Not Always a Way to Save

I tried to pay another bill online yesterday because I'm getting more used to doing that now... but they charged $2 for paying it online. I thought paperless was supposed to cost LESS? :-(

Anyhow, I paid it since I was already there but when it's the cost of a stamp vs. $2 each month, I'll probably choose to pay by mail.

Yes the irony is that bill paying online actually costs more (OK not much but this adds up over the months and years) than paying the traditional way.

I have to say that it really surprised me. I remember talking about it here on the forum a few months ago, when someone tried to charge me a service charge for paying online. I really thought that was a fluke though, but more of them are starting to do it now. It makes no sense to me.

What could the reason be for a service charge when paying online and not a charge for paying through the mail? They'd have to hire people to open the mail, record the transaction, etc. Seems as if *that* would make more sense for a service charge, not the other way around. Maybe I'm just missing something obvious.

There are ways to get around those fees. For example, if you are paying a credit card directly online they may charge those fees. However, you can also often make online payments through your bank instead, which will generally bypass any additional fees. When I was with Farmers bank for example, I had automatic bill payment set up through them. If they couldn't electronically transfer the funds, they would automatically mail a check to the company instead. It saved me on stamps, and no online payment charges.

I hadn't thought of auto bill pay, OhioTom... thank you for the reminder.

So far I've found out that my water company charges a fee and so does my car insurance company. I'll be trying to switch to online payment for two more bills in a couple of days, so I'll have to wait and see how that goes and what the result is.

Well at least you are aware of it now. Next time you won't make the same mistake. I thought the same as you... wasn't happy after.

Yes... but I'm not sure I consider it a mistake, leahcim. I *hate* the fact that they charge fees for paying online and I detest wasting money... but bottom line is that my mail service is lousy and every few weeks, mail is missing.

That's why I ended up trying to pay the water bill online, I never received the paper copy and I realized it hadn't been paid and was already late. Same thing happened to my car insurance bill a few months ago.

Although I consider the $2 a waste, I suspect I'll still be choosing it over waiting to see if I receive a paper bill or not.

Bill Paying Online... Not Always a Way to Save | ConsumerFu


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