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Would you make a big deal about $3, on principle?

Posted by on Jun. 9, 2009 at 4:37 PM
  • 16 Replies

My electricity bill is usually due on the 26-29th of each month. I paid the bill on the 21st of April, and then I all of a sudden had a bill due on the 11th of May. I got the bill on the 8th of May, so I called the company and told the lady that I had just received th bill, it usually comes later in the month, and that I had the money to pay it, but there wasnt enough time for me to send it through the mail, or my banks bill pay, which is free (I need about 5 days). If I were to pay it over the phone right then, it would cost me $3 and Ididnt feel like I should have to pay an extra $3 when my due date suddenly became 2 weeks earlier than usual. She said she understood, and that she would give me an extension and as long as I had it in by the 18th, there would be no disruption of service. They recieved it on the 16th.

Fast-forward to last week... I get my new bill, and added to it is a LATE FEE of $3.12!!!! WTF? Would it have not been common sense for the chick I talked to last month to have TOLD me that extending the due date would still result in a late fee, since the ONLY reason I didnt want to pay over the phone was to avoid a fee??

I did call and the woman said that it's in my TERMS of Service, and that they do not HAVE to tell me.. but wouldnt common sense tell you to say "oh well you're going to end up paying a fee anyways  because it will be considered late" I want to call back and talk to a manager, or call the complaint hotline... but Im not sure it's worth the effort.. I mean it's $3.. but There is also the principle of CUSTOMER SERVICE.. which they obviously suck at.

(ironically they answer the phone "thank you for calling first choice power where the customer comes first!" psh!)

by on Jun. 9, 2009 at 4:37 PM
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Replies (1-10):
jessi437
by on Jun. 9, 2009 at 4:39 PM

I would be very irritated if they did that to me.

Little_bug
by on Jun. 9, 2009 at 4:41 PM

HELL YES I WOULD MAKE A BIG DEAL!

JasonsMom2007
by Platinum Member on Jun. 9, 2009 at 4:46 PM

I would call back and calmly explain that you had talked to them and that you would like a refund.  Talk to a supervisor if the first person cannot help you.  IMO calm and nice does a lot more than mean and yelling!  Also, make sure this will not happen in the future.

But yes, I would call about that.  Sure it´s only $3 but if they get away with it this time what is to stop them from doing it again?

I used to have a credit card that would send out the bill so late I would get it 1 week before it was due.  It was not even time to mail a check to them!  It technically is not my card (I only use it for church purchases) so I did not want to pay out of my bank account electronically.  They dropped the late charge when I told them I mailed it the day after I received it but they said they could not send the bill earlier so I dropped that card :)


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iluvmommyhood58
by on Jun. 9, 2009 at 4:47 PM
Yes, I would make a big deal about it.

How can a company send you a bill without enough time to pay it on time? Is that in the TERMS OF SERVICE? Sounds to me like the company was setting you and maybe other people up to purposely charge late fees. That cannot be legal. I've heard of credit card companies holding on to payments and applying them to an account late on purpose so they can charge fees. That's illegal. I would totally raise hell, $3 or not.
TiredMommy6906
by on Jun. 9, 2009 at 4:49 PM

I actually had something similar happen to me, however it was a daycare. I was really upset, but decided to let it go, since the lady does watch my daughter. In the case of the power company however, I would definitely call and complain to the manager. That was completely disrespectful of the lady answering the phone not to say that there would be a late fee, since she gave you an extension. She did not say she was giving you an extension but there'd be a late fee because of it.  

AMsMommy212
by on Jun. 9, 2009 at 4:52 PM


Quoting JasonsMom2007:

I would call back and calmly explain that you had talked to them and that you would like a refund.  Talk to a supervisor if the first person cannot help you.  IMO calm and nice does a lot more than mean and yelling!  Also, make sure this will not happen in the future.

But yes, I would call about that.  Sure it´s only $3 but if they get away with it this time what is to stop them from doing it again?

I used to have a credit card that would send out the bill so late I would get it 1 week before it was due.  It was not even time to mail a check to them!  It technically is not my card (I only use it for church purchases) so I did not want to pay out of my bank account electronically.  They dropped the late charge when I told them I mailed it the day after I received it but they said they could not send the bill earlier so I dropped that card :)


That is where I'll have an issue...I had to just end the conversation with the last lady because she was one of those bitter call service people that has been doing it too long to treat me like a person.. instead she just kept saying "well ma'am we don't HAVE to tell you that, it's in your terms" After three times trying to get her to understand what common sense is I was like "you know what.. forget it, *click*"

ShadowRaven
by on Jun. 9, 2009 at 4:54 PM

I would talk to them about it. With our company, as long as you make payment arrangements before the due date, they won't charge you a late fee. The payment is due on the 15th of every month (and we get the bill on the 11-12th pfft), but even if you're late, if you pay it before the last day of the month they'll usually waive it.

But they're bitches about everything else because they're the only utility company in town and you MUST go through them for everything except gas.

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shoegirl01
by on Jun. 9, 2009 at 4:54 PM

Go to any cell store, they charge $5 to pay a bill

Over draft your account its 36.

Cable companies charge 3 to pay over the phone

the list goes on.

bottom line is you OWE the money.  The pay over the phone option is a courtesy to you.  They can charge due to cost of operation.  It costs companies on average 13 for each call coming in.  If your late, you get a fee.   From a business prospective, they have to charge these fees to stay afloat.

Just pay it.  And mail it in next time or set up auto pay from your account. 

 

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Loved4Sure
by on Jun. 9, 2009 at 4:56 PM

I wouldn't have paid thr fee either.

If I was charged a late fee of $3.12 I would make a note of my call and write an email/letter to the company explaining what happened and ask for an explanation.

If that did not resolve it and remove the late fee I would contact BBB and make a huge stink to anyone who would listen. Chances are it was thousands of people, that's a lot of 'late fee' payments to cushion them.

It is only $3, but that's not right. 

 



Angelicembrace
by Bronze Member on Jun. 9, 2009 at 4:57 PM


Quoting Little_bug:

HELL YES I WOULD MAKE A BIG DEAL!


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