Friday, September 18, 2009

Electronic bill paying -- are you guilty?

In September cellular provider T-Mobile began charging $1.50 a month for a basic printed bill.

To me, that stinks. Mail is cheap, quick, convenient and trustworthy.

Javelin Strategy and Research, a research and consulting company for the financial services industry, says that 70 percent of households that have computers pay bills online each month, up from 64 percent last year.
Shawn Love over at the Facebook Group "Save USPS" has named October as National Pay Your Bills by Mail month.

What do you think about electronic bill-paying. Do you do it?
And what do you think about companies who charge for their bills?
Click here and tell Benny all about it.





Sign posted on a Reno, NV, P&DC bulletin board

30 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yes, I pay bills on line. The convenience and reliability just cannot be beat. I do plenty of on line shopping and always request USPS as the shipper, and I also ship many packages each year, more than enough to cover the cost of a few stamps! I also subscribe to 3 newspapers and 5 magazines. Not taking advantage of all options is akin to telling the farmers from years ago to keep using horses to farm when tractors became available.

Jarett said...

I pay my bills by mail and I print the words..."by a stamp,save a job", below the postage on the envelope.

gerardf1957 said...

Most of these companies are trying to force you to auto pay from your bank each month. That way they get their monies each month. Resist resist resist, pay per USPS, a fast and cheap choice. Sorry anonymous stick with your tractor until you lose your job and cannot afford the petro for it.

Anonymous said...

T-mobile has reversed itself on this new policy. It seems they were told they would not be able to add a new charge unless they gave all their customers the option to opt out of their contracts. But we can be sure that when our contracts expire that charge will be added.

Anonymous said...

I do not pay any of my bills online. If they charge for a hard copy bill they should charge for all of them. They have to have someone recording payment and sending out those bills no matter how you pay them, so everyone should have to pay the surcharge.

Anonymous said...

I pay my bills with stamps. I think it is wrong for those companies to charge people who CHOOSE not to pay online- I also don't own a computer- I CHOOSE not own one- The bottom line it should be our CHOICE.

Regeana said...

T-Mobile is one of our "Employee deals" cell phone companies. I hope all Postal employees that have service with this company complain about this charge & change companies when their contract expires.
Regeana
Atalissa IA 52720

Anonymous said...

yes, I pay some of my bills online. however, I have requested to be added to almost every catalog mailing list and I do most of my shopping from these catalogs.

Anonymous said...

I do electronic bill paying, but the bank mails a hard copy check to the payee.

Merk said...

I have paid bills online in the past but after I received a late charge from one company I quit. I did the online billpay a week before it was due but it didn't get credited until a day after the due date. I called (and got the charge removed) and told them if I'd mailed the payment it would have been their in 2-3 days. So now I pay everything by mail. I also do as much shopping online as possible and request USPS shipping. If my cell phone company started charging for hard copy bills I would call and tell them I was going to drop my account. I like hardcopy bills so I can mark when I paid them and keep them on file. Many companies want to use e-billing but then you have to print it yourself and that's not as convenient for me.

Anonymous said...

I support my job by paying with stamps only. I too order on line and if the company won't ship USPS I cancel the order.

Anonymous said...

As a postal employee, I can't justify paying any monthly bills online!!

These companies who are trying to charge for hard-copy bills say they are trying to save the environment...that's bull, plain and simple. They are just trying to save money. If they can get the customers to do something that they used to have employees do, they no longer need that employee!

Pay by mail...keep people employed!!!

Anonymous said...

It stinks period! I mail everything and I sign up for every mailing I can. My bank had a certificate for $5 if you signed up for estatements. This is ludacrious! Pretty soon we won't even have the choice and we will all be out of a job!

Grannybunny said...

T-Mobile has discontinued the $1.50 charge for paper statements, probably a result of the pending lawsuit claiming an earlier charge for "detailed statements," constituted a unilateral modification of its customer contracts.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous - the farmer who switched to tractors instead of using horses kept the production in his/her own business - just made the adjustment to become more productive and keep the farm. Now if he/she would have used some other service that had their eye on pushing the farmer out - so they would have a monopoly and then charge higher prices and shopped out of town, that is similar to paying bills online. Look at rural America and the declining services/higher prices and see if you would like to have your lifestyle taken away when you loose your job to some outsiders. Me - I'll stay loyal to my employer/my local postoffice and the friends who are employed there.

Anonymous said...

Yes, we pay about 1/2 of our bills online, I also receive my paycheck direct deposit each payday. My paycheck is always in the bank, never has failed me, while hundreds of USPS employees each payday are saying where is my check??? The USPS likes to save money, and so do I. Go figure.

Anonymous said...

Myself, I order alot on line. If the company ships other than USPS, I "Submit a Lead". Taht way we have the opportunity to get all of their business.

Anonymous said...

I pay some bills online and some by mail. We should not advocate on things that are more efficient and better quality just because it saves jobs to a particular sector.
Look at Auto Industry. Just because we are American does not mean people will buy American if a better cost-effective and better quality product is available next door. Besides paper copies means more trees cut. Although I disagree firms like T-mobile who charge customers for paper copy, if you consider the cost of printing and shipping when alternative means are available it makes sense for them. We need to work on items and categories that need to be used by mail and focus on it to generate revenue and start new avenues and business services that can replace the jobs lost by first class mail. There are still numerous options and things that can generate revenue by just using the largest shipping and logistics and supplier base we have. Listen to the Speeches said by postal management. I think they are right track.

Anonymous said...

I do not pay my bills online. I want to receive a hardcopy of the bill, without having to print it from my printer at my own expense and do not want any of my financial information online for a hacker to discover. I like to decide when I will pay my bills and also help the post office out. Whenever possible, I ask that my packages be sent through the USPS.

crankysophie said...

I pay all my bills with automatic electronic debit and also online. However, I am also a fanatical greeting card maker, and send tons of greeting cards through the mail (not just for Christmas and birthdays). I also buy tons of card-making supplies (cardstock, ink pads, ribbon, stamp sets, etc.) online, which gets sent through the mail.

Anonymous said...

i pay all my bills online through my bank. i don't know if they send paper checks, but i enjoy having a tighter e-paper trail that does not cost me anything other than maintenance fees (which i have waived). with the economy being what it is, i see no need to spend friviously when alternatives exist. perhaps the service should capitalize on this trend with a secure ACH clearinghouse and charge nominal fees as such.

Anonymous said...

I hate to rain on everyone's parade, but let's look at this realistically. My bank went to paperless statements over 20 years ago. They now charge $1.50 if I convert back to paper. The bank probably pays a reduced postage because they ship in bulk, so my statement would only generate about $0.39 in postal revenue each month. Paying $1.50 to make the USPS $0.39 does not make good economic sense. You would do better paying the $0.39 every month to your PM and have them put that into "Miscellaneous Nonpostal Revenue". Those saying they pay their bills by mail, how do you receive your paystub or check? Every two weeks 500,000+ paystubs (not counting retires) enter the mail stream. That’s 13 million pieces of mail, which makes the volume numbers look good, but those mail pieces generate ZERO revenue and increase operation costs. Are you pushing to have the stubs on line to reduce costs? How about you pay $0.44 each pay day to get your stub? That would generate revenue amounting to $220,000 every other week!

Anonymous said...

Shame on anyone who pays bills on line and works for the US Postal Service. How can we expect the general public to use our services if our own employees don't. Also, ever here of "Hackers"?

Anonymous said...

I guess if companies charge $1.50 customers to use paper copy , we should make our stamps minimum price for retail customers $1.50 or above so that revenue lost by these means are recovered. We should add the charges of operating cost on stamps for first class mail and other diminishing returns revenue that is used by public so that it is run as business and use high revenue generating future business to USPS.
If mail volume is reduced but we recover it by additional mail cost, we still have not to worry about losses.

Anonymous said...

I guess when coming up with price minimum stamp we need to account for internal expenses like $220,000 anonymous posted about mailing paystubs and similar details and add it to operating cost and add 20% of decling volume like you treat an asset that may reduce to zero and charge it to customers and find alternative revenue generation avenues not just cost cutting options to come up with alternatives. USPS is a great organization and we are Built to Last and sustainable organization.

Anonymous said...

Well, all I can say is that my "good" credit is all that I have. And if that means paying my bills through my bank, then so be it. I have had a car payment that was "never received". And yes, it was sent by mail. I guess if the Postal Service goes under, I won't have to worry about any credit at all - SO BE IT!!!!

Anonymous said...

I used to pay all bills online until this financial downturn and now I support my livelihood, the Post Office! I hear people saying their bills were not received, etc., and really, we all know that is rare! With the amount of mail I have sent in my life, I know the Post Office delivers very well. We all need to have good attitudes and good work ethics more than ever right now and simple appreciation for being blessed to have this job with the Postal Service!

crankysophie said...

For all of you who insist that everyone pay their bills by mail, do you use email?? Why not write paper letters and send them through the mail?? How exciting would that be for the recipient? That would generate TONS of revenue. Or better yet, you could adopt card-making as a hobby and send all your hand-made cards (by mail) to organizations like Operation Write Home (http://operationwritehome.org/) or Love Letters (http://www.loveletterscares.com/).

Anonymous said...

I use email in place of phone calls, not letters. I do agree that we should all send people cards and letters and care packages and never use the competition. And I still say we should not pay our bills online or electronically. We should be covering EVERY avenue to sustain our company during this economic downturn.

Jackie Q. said...

I get that we all have had a payment not get to its destination on time, but remember who WE work for. By paying all your bills on line you are financially impacting the very company that helps you pay for those bills in the first place.Wake up people, if you haven't noticed we need the revenue!!!