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Billing Late Fees

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posted on Mar, 27 2014 @ 08:43 AM
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I just made a post in a thread about this, but it was off-topic so I deleted it. Instead, I figured I'd bring this topic up so it can be seen a little better. One of my biggest rants of all time is Late Fees on billing payments, such as: Water, Electricity, Internet, Credit Cards.

Some people may defend late fees for these services, but I can't agree with you, because I feel that adding on invisible costs to people is wrong, and down right deceitful. So I will give you an example of what I mean.


Just recently my internet bill fell behind because my work had slowed down, so whenever that happens I kind of stretch my bills beyond 2 months overdue. Ok, so I'm a little late with the payment, but I make the payment. Come to find out, they had tacked on two late fees totaling up to 40$, and two reconnect fees worth another 40$. So, I was going to end up paying around 80$ in made up fees just because the company said so. I mean what the hell man, how can you get away with creating false fees that sometimes end up costing more than the actual service? It's no worse than the Federal Reserve printing money out of thin air, it's the same concept, except you're the one providing them with money out of thin air.

I have had this same incident occur with a credit card (this is why I don't use credit cards anyway). If I didn't keep a close eye on that thing, the next thing I knew is that there would be a late fee of 30$ added to my balance. So, maybe I shouldn't let my payments fall behind? True. But, sometimes life throws unexpected problems your way, and sometimes you just can't help falling behind.

The problem is that these companies in my area have cornered the market, it's not like I have a choice of using a different ISP, or get a new power company, because they practically own the entire market, and there is nothing we can do about it unless enough people complain like I do when I'm slapped with a fictional late fee.

So ATS, how many of you are sick of late fees that aren't even really justified. Hell, I'd like to see somebody legitimately explain to me what late fees are a good thing, and how it's not just a way to nickel and dime you to death. If it's such a good and inspiring reason, perhaps I will start charging my own client base late fees...




posted on Mar, 27 2014 @ 08:51 AM
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reply to post by eXia7
 


You can thank the lobbyists for that.
They work 24/7/365 to screw you out of
Every Dime.

We need to beef the Consumer Protection Act up some more.

Don't be afraid to file a complaint :

www.usa.gov...


S&F



posted on Mar, 27 2014 @ 08:53 AM
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reply to post by eXia7
 


Just make sure that you have paid off the local authorities with sufficient bribes to force your competitors out of business first or, better yet, have a bill passed that gives you a legal monopoly and prevents any competition.

Then you can do whatever you want and the really great part is, if you really screw up you will get rewarded since no one else can provide your service!




posted on Mar, 27 2014 @ 08:56 AM
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reply to post by Wildmanimal
 


Thanks for the resource, I'm sure others will appreciate it also, we just need enough people to tell these fools to stop ripping us off. I don't see how adding a late fee is helpful to the customer, oh wait.. it isn't.

My ISP's little slogan is "Your friend in the digital age" Well, I don't need friends, they can't be trusted.. what I need is a company to provide me a service, not try and rip me off like a "friend"



posted on Mar, 27 2014 @ 08:57 AM
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reply to post by greencmp
 


Exactly, good input


It's sad that if you are a small business, you must suffer.. but if you're too big to fail, you can do whatever you want and get rewarded for ripping people off.



posted on Mar, 27 2014 @ 09:08 AM
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reply to post by eXia7
 


I understand your situation. Last month, with a change of lady friends, I forgot that my long-winded conversations with a new gal should have been kept to weekend and after nine weekdays. At any rate, I had a phone ill for $216 versus my usual $48.08 bill.

I got no break from the provider for my forgetfulness and my seven years with them. So, I paid the bill and will get a better deal with anotherr provider by the 6th of April. In situations such as yours and mine, there is nobody to blame but ourselves. We made an official contract.

The brutal lesson here is two-fold, take care of your own personal life or government and/or business will do it for you with few exceptions. I learned that long ago even if I can't adhere to it with every complication of life these days.



posted on Mar, 27 2014 @ 09:11 AM
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I'm going to play the part of devil's advocate here.

I think that for SOME bills, late fees are okay. Internet and credit cards? Absolutely. These are things that I think would be placed at the bottom of an individual's priority list, and as such if you can't afford to pay them, you either don't have them, or you deal with the consequences of late payments. Most of us are brought up to understand that responsibly paying our bills is a part of adulthood.

For water and electricity bills, I disagree with late fees, because these items are a necessity for basic life. I grew up in a very poor town in the Appalachian mountains, and it was not unusual to hear about people who couldn't pay these bills on time. Fortunately in my town (maybe because it was so small?) the utility companies would work with you if you just gave them a call and told them what was going on before you were late or disconnected. For example, call them up and say, I can't afford to pay the full bill this month, but I can pay $50, can we work out a payment plan to get me caught up. MOST of the time, they were willing to work with you (again, maybe just because this was a small town in a poor region).

As far as lack of competitors and cornering the markets, I think that is another topic all together.
edit on 27-3-2014 by MojaveBurning because: spelling error



posted on Mar, 27 2014 @ 09:16 AM
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reply to post by Aliensun
 


Lol, sounds like you had Sprint before.. sorry I had them for about as long as your own provider, and they sounded about like you just said.


It's true, I should keep track of my own life, keep up with my payments etc, but like I said before, sometimes S*** happens, and you are stuck to fend for yourself against a pack of money hungry wolves. My ISP is a no contract provider, other necessity services such as Water and Power are something you must agree to have. My point is, they shouldn't create late fees and use deceitful ways of implementing them into contracts or terms of service, or any other BS agreement they like to call it.



posted on Mar, 27 2014 @ 09:20 AM
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Let me see if I get this right..

You are mad because you paid a bill late so a company charged you a late fee and you dont think that is fair.



posted on Mar, 27 2014 @ 09:20 AM
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Same here man, we have two major ISPs here, Rogers and Bell. Bell is known to gouge its customers,
I think late fees are a joke, i look at it and am like "So.. i'm being charged.. to be broke? What?"
Same with the power company, only the one so they can charge exactly whatever they want. What choice do we have?

Its the same with NSF Fees, if i dont have enough money in my account and something comes out then i get dinged 45 dollars on my bank side plus another 30 - 50 depending on what came out. Trying to get a grasp on it but its hard when you're broke and behind. I don't even pay any of my overdue bills anymore, i cant afford to. I have enough money to live and thats it.

Pity thats what i spent 40 grand in college for eh.
edit on 27/3/14 by AzureSky because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 27 2014 @ 09:22 AM
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What burns me is bank fees..I guess the bank we bank with has changed policy or something because I got a 45$ USF fee for a student loan payment on auto withdrawal. Before if I didn't have the money to cover the bank would just decline the auto withdrawal and that would be that..but starting this year they not only decline the withdrawal but now add on the 45$ fee for doing so. I think this is downright criminal. Why can't they just decline the charge and be done with it? I may add that I am a good little consumer and NEVER late on payment..all of my bills are auto withdrawal from account..it just happened that when my student loan company switched over to new bank (for like the millionth time) they started to withdrawal on different date and that really screwed it up..I only leave enough money in to cover the bills and take out the rest.



posted on Mar, 27 2014 @ 09:23 AM
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reply to post by MojaveBurning
 


I appreciate your view from both sides, as I do see the other sides argument in some cases, but most times not really.. Lol.

Internet is really important for me, it's not just something I have because it's trendy and cool, I actually use internet for my business and pretty much everything else in my daily life, so it has kind of become a necessity, and these companies know it, so that's how they can get away with it. I can't justify paying them 20$ for the late fee, then another 20$ for a reconnect fee when nobody is actually physically doing the job. It's all automated, payments are automated, reconnects are automated etc. The only things they pay real overhead cost on is technicians to fix old outdated equipment and materials, and customer service reps that answer angry phone calls, besides that it's just data being transferred on light passed through micro glass tubing. The infrastructure and technology is old, and has been around for at least 8 - 10 years in this area, so it has most likely been bought and paid for twice over.

Our Power is privately owned, and sometimes flexible on payments, but vicious on cut offs at bad times, like a Friday night or something stupid that you must wait until Monday to get fixed. As for the water company, it's ran by the county, and they are pretty vicious about cut offs as well.



posted on Mar, 27 2014 @ 09:23 AM
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reply to post by eXia7
 


I couldn't agree more!



posted on Mar, 27 2014 @ 09:25 AM
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Neopan100
What burns me is bank fees..I guess the bank we bank with has changed policy or something because I got a 45$ USF fee for a student loan payment on auto withdrawal. Before if I didn't have the money to cover the bank would just decline the auto withdrawal and that would be that..but starting this year they not only decline the withdrawal but now add on the 45$ fee for doing so. I think this is downright criminal. Why can't they just decline the charge and be done with it? I may add that I am a good little consumer and NEVER late on payment..all of my bills are auto withdrawal from account..it just happened that when my student loan company switched over to new bank (for like the millionth time) they started to withdrawal on different date and that really screwed it up..I only leave enough money in to cover the bills and take out the rest.


I missed one 70 dollar payment on one of my student loans, and it ended up costing me about three hundred dollars for that mistake. Auto withdrawals are easy to forget about sometimes.



posted on Mar, 27 2014 @ 09:28 AM
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opethPA
Let me see if I get this right..

You are mad because you paid a bill late so a company charged you a late fee and you dont think that is fair.



Sure, I'm glad you could deduce that. My point is, I don't do this to my customers, because I have a better quality of business ethics. I actually care about my customers, not their wallets. I also care about my customer service, and the quality of my service. I'm not running a business that is just out looking for the next way to make free money off of something that took 0 effort to do.


I'm sure that my late payment didn't hinder the huge digital communication giant known as Cox Cable to cease operations for 1 full day. Such as when my customer doesn't pay on time, I can still conduct business.. like nothing ever happened..



posted on Mar, 27 2014 @ 09:31 AM
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reply to post by Neopan100
 


This is another gripe that I am glad you brought up.

That's how a bank operates and functions on a daily basis.. by creating invisible fees for you to store your money in their bank so they can use it and lend it back to you for twice the interest they pay you for having it.


I'm pretty sure a poster in this thread may say something along the lines of. "So you're complaining because a bank is charging you to put money into their vault, even though it benefits them only?"

geez..



posted on Mar, 27 2014 @ 09:32 AM
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reply to post by eXia7
 


I'm with you on this one. I got tired of the cable companies. I took a drastic action and solved the problem. This is what I did :

www.abovetopsecret.com...

edit on 27-3-2014 by Trueman because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 27 2014 @ 09:37 AM
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reply to post by eXia7
 


Its a reall pain the damn late payment fees.
I feel it depends on the company. For instance in Malta one of the major ISP and Mobile telecoms provider doesnt charge you for not paying your account but after 3 missed bills they will cut off the service but still as long as you pay back what is owed then they will simply reactive the service and no extra charge
Yet the only other ISP and telecoms provider charges every bill missed and the charges seem to vary all the time. Some times accounting to 100%

Strangley enough got my own late payment fee to pay, For my case.....TAX!
I bought a flat back in 2012. Paid my taxes owed on the property and thought all was in order.
As part of the purchase for Tax purposes the Goverment sends an architect to value the property (Just to make sure you aren't lying about how much you paid for it)
Well as of this week I get a letter from good ol' Gov and they want my money! It turns out I had to pay a 'mere' 450EUR as the architect believed my flat was a couple grand more than I paid for it (Great News Really!
) but as I kept moving properties whil this flat was being finished I lost the letter asking for the 450 back in 2012 and now the Goverment wants that 450EUR PLUSS a late payment fee of 10% for every month its been outstanding! So all n all pretty screwed by it. Its worse with Tax as they tend to threaten jail if you dont coffer up.

Now this may shock a few people..... Im happy to Pay it with the added interest. Yes don't get me wrong its money I feel they are swindling out of me at an extortionate rate compared to what I was ment to pay before, but at the same time the actuall tax rates in Malta is incredably low for most things compared to the rest of the world. Top it off its my own stupid fault, I didnt read the letter properly and didnt keep it organised. For the extra money they get out of the stupid ones.... Like me for this case, it gives the Goverment a chance to keep most Taxes lower than normal. I know the 'Goverment' always tries to get every penny/cent out of people but I still should have paid before. Put it this way, if I get a chance to buy another property, I know more than I did last round and wont make the same mistake again



posted on Mar, 27 2014 @ 09:50 AM
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reply to post by Maltese5Rhino
 


sounds like your ISP and telecoms are a little more forgiving and flexible than mine.


It's a good point you bring up about making a mistake and not reading a contract, or at least getting a general idea of what it is, and means.. I'm guilty of this myself. These companies pray on people via their ignorance of the law or contract agreement, and it all stems back to poor business ethics I believe.



posted on Mar, 27 2014 @ 09:56 AM
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reply to post by eXia7
 


AGREED!!!!

Lets talk fees period. Our water bill is not through the city but a company on the other side of the damn state! We live in an apt complex and that is how they do the water here. WELL. We pay a $5 billing fee EVERY month on the bill and then there is a $3 processing fee every month and then you are charged $5 to pay it over the phone or online! YEA SO I am charged $13 extra dollars EVERY month for a bill that is required. A billing fee? Really?!! Processing fee? Really?! A FEE TO PAY MY BILL?! REALLY?! Oh I get so mad when the bill comes. It's about $60 a month and the actual water usage is like $25! Most of our bill is in fees and other services like sewer and trash!

Now I recently had to go to the Metro store because my phone stopped working and well there was a FEE for them to help you with your services! Yea a fee for them to do their job! FEE FEE FEE FEE! Everywhere are fees!


Sorry mini ranted within your rant. It's been a rough morning.

Agreed with you though, it's BS and down right criminal imo!




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