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Yowch! Holy Banking Rip-offs, Batman! - Life is strange...

Mar. 12th, 2008

10:48 am - Yowch! Holy Banking Rip-offs, Batman!

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Hi!

I just called up Banana Republic credit card services, since I have one of their cards and have needed to make a payment for a while. I already owe them late fees on this account because I've been too distracted by work and home life to deal.

When I called up, the automated system said that they could accept direct transfer from my bank account, via a 1-time authorization for ACH debit. ACH is short for Automated Clearing House, you can click here to read about it at WikiPedia. I thought: "cool, I don't have to find my stamps and write a check, or figure out my bank's bill-pay service." I decided to try it out. But, Whoa! When I selected the option they said: "this transfer will incur a transaction fee of ten dollars, do you want to proceed?" No, I did not, what a rip-off!

I think I'll go find some stamps.

Yours for better consumer education, I am generalist

Tags:
Current Location: home office
Current Mood: amazed
Current Music: laptop disk whine

Comments:

[User Picture]
From:sfo2lhr
Date:March 13th, 2008 01:58 am (UTC)
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Er... it's 2008 and you don't do Internet banking!?

How do you pay normal bills, like PG&E, etc.?

::boggle::
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[User Picture]
From:r_wolfcastle
Date:March 16th, 2008 05:05 pm (UTC)
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Hear hear. Before the online banking matured enough to be useful, I used Checkfree for years. I think I'm about to enter my third decade of electronic bill payment.

Mortgage (formerly), PG&E, water bill, waste removal, cell phone, land line, DSL, auto insurance, credit cards, homeowner's insurance, gardener, dog poop removal service, and probably more I've forgotten are all paid automatically. A few odds and ends such as property taxes, earthquake insurance, doctor bills, etc. are still paid electronically, but I have to initiate the payment manually.

I can only remember writing physical checks for two things in the last N years: estimated taxes (I lost my EFTPS PIN number; have since fixed that so I can pay online), and golf tournament fees (have since changed to a different club that takes PayPal).

FWIW, the free BofA online banking is pretty sweet. And I'm pretty picky.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:generalist
Date:March 21st, 2008 01:36 am (UTC)
(Link)

Hi!

I pay with a check, made of paper. I know I'm a dinosaur in this particular. I had one very bad experience with electronic deposit (and withdrawal, as it happened) of my paycheck and have been (likely overly) wary ever since.

Cheers! generalist

(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:generalist
Date:May 16th, 2008 01:05 am (UTC)
(Link)

Hi!

With an apparently-obsolete instrument, made of paper (flattened dried wood pulp), called a 'check'.

I feel so prehistoric!

Cheers! generalist

(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:sierra_nevada
Date:March 13th, 2008 07:16 pm (UTC)
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I said it before, I shall repeat: the Wells Fargo billpay system turned me into a solid credit risk, and the key thing for me is that I didn't have to give any of my vendors any "drawing rights" on my bank accounts. I push money to them at my option and on my schedule (though I've used WF's system to automate a lot of it), rather than allowing them to pull money from me.

Big Win.

BofA, US Bank, and HSBC also offer (more or less) the same basic functionality, but not all of them have the same level of automation.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:generalist
Date:March 21st, 2008 01:39 am (UTC)

Something to look into

(Link)

Hi!

Yes, that the agreement in no way allows any person or institution ever to pull money from my account is the most important detail.

It sounds like they, or at least WF, writes the agreement that way now, I will check it out. WF has been OK, if impersonal, for me, BofA has been disastrous for me, multiple times.

Thanks! generalist

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