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What are your autopay bad experiences?

BarkingGhostar

Diamond Member
Nov 20, 2009
9,755
2,397
136
Recently I have taken over the home economics. I'm doing the job but I would like to make the process more efficient by streamlining it a bit. I am thinking of setting up autopay using a specific credit card to handle things like the electric, water, and natural gas bills, streaming services and auto insurances, etc. that allow for a credit card use. But while these entities will be setup to use one of my credit cards for autopay and can then monitor the activity on that one card instead of the individual service provider sites.

Also, haven just refinanced my home I am thinking of using one of my specific-use checking accounts to setup the mortgage autopay on. I would put just enough fund into it every month to pay the mortgage. But while I have been doing online (electronic) bill pay for years now I have always had trust issues in the autopay department. So, what bad experiences have you had?
 

Red Squirrel

No Lifer
May 24, 2003
61,114
9,185
126
www.uovalor.com
I always use autopay, I don't want to have to worry about manually doing anything or forgetting a bill etc. My dedicated server provider for whatever reason does not offer it and it's freaking annoying. Would suck to forget and have all my websites and everything get wiped off the face of the internet. I set myself a reminder each month to pay, and it does let me pay as much as I want in advance so I usually just pay a few months at a time, but still it would be nice if they could just do credit card or preauthorized payment.

Can't think of any bad experience myself. I suppose it's possible that some weird glitch happens and they take out some huge amount but guess I'll cross that bridge if it happens. Hopefully they could just credit the account or something.
 

SKORPI0

Lifer
Jan 18, 2000
17,328
1,378
126
I read the title of the thread as "What are your autopsy bad experiences?" and I was "Wooo! This is going to be a hell of a thread"!

Slightly disappointed now.
Same. :p :D

I autopay most of my bills scheduled for a specific amount and day of the month. Also noted on a calendar and get emails reminding me that a payment is scheduled.
 

WelshBloke

Lifer
Jan 12, 2005
28,300
5,363
126
I've never heard it called autopay over here.
We have standing orders where you can set it so your bank pays a certain amount at a certain repeating time to a specific recipient, or a direct debit where a payee takes an amount from you.

 

sdifox

No Lifer
Sep 30, 2005
86,050
9,925
126
I've never heard it called autopay over here.
We have standing orders where you can set it so your bank pays a certain amount at a certain repeating time to a specific recipient, or a direct debit where a payee takes an amount from you.

It's direct debit. I have cellphones on CC and property tax on bank account. Rest I pay monthly. No issues.
 
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Spacehead

Lifer
Jun 2, 2002
11,956
6,752
136
I've never had any problems with autopay. I have them taken directly from my checking account, not a CC.

I have heard it's possible to have a harder time disputing charges since it might be hard to get things straightened out between when you get the email reminder & the actual withdrawal date.
 

WelshBloke

Lifer
Jan 12, 2005
28,300
5,363
126
It's direct debit. I have cellphones on CC and property tax on bank account. Rest I pay monthly. No issues.
I have a ton of DDs. All my bills go like that. I have a few standing orders as well.
I like all my stuff automatic, life's too short.
 

lxskllr

No Lifer
Nov 30, 2004
55,074
5,052
126
I don't trust it. Just something else to go wrong and piss me off. I don't have many bills. I prepay my electric in $500 increments, and the rest I pay as needed.
 

lxskllr

No Lifer
Nov 30, 2004
55,074
5,052
126
Err why prepay?
One reason is they charge a fee to use a credit card, so I pay one fee over 6-7 months instead of a fee every month. Secondly, it gives me the convenience of autopay with no one touching my accounts. I'm not leaving any time soon, and if I die or something, it isn't my problem. Someone else can fight over ≤$500 if they care to.
 

sdifox

No Lifer
Sep 30, 2005
86,050
9,925
126
One reason is they charge a fee to use a credit card, so I pay one fee over 6-7 months instead of a fee every month. Secondly, it gives me the convenience of autopay with no one touching my accounts. I'm not leaving any time soon, and if I die or something, it isn't my problem. Someone else can fight over ≤$500 if they care to.
I thought you meant 500 per month.
Pretty sure my powerbill is north of 300 per month. I am not even sure I can pay utilities on credit card.
 
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lxskllr

No Lifer
Nov 30, 2004
55,074
5,052
126
Just looked it up. I made a $500 payment 2020-12-18, and my next payment was 2021-08-16
 

brianmanahan

Lifer
Sep 2, 2006
21,894
3,503
126
never had a problem in 20 years

i know that if i didn't autopay, i would certainly forget payments

for the one thing i can't autopay, i need to have several google calendar reminders so that i don't forget
 

Captante

Lifer
Oct 20, 2003
20,165
3,239
126
I only use auto-pay if required to avoid a significant fee... I prefer an email reminder. I understand the reason business's like auto-pay but I prefer to be in control of my money not "them".

Having said that, the only company that's ever really caused me a problem with a "surprise" auto-pay was Comcast/Xfinity right AFTER I had just manually paid the bill in full resulting in a double-payment.
 
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manly

Diamond Member
Jan 25, 2000
9,233
677
126
OP is referring to two different use cases, the first being autopay of bills. I don't use it, but there's nothing particularly "bad" about autopay. The risk is in the database hacks that occur, not in the service provider goofing up a payment.

The second use case is often called "bill pay" by U.S. banks, i.e. OP wants to pay his mortgage automatically. Note that in this scenario, there are two different mechanisms. Your service provider can do an ACH pull, or your bank can do an ACH push. All else being equal, you should use your bank's online bill payment interface to setup ACH push. That way, you don't have to expose your account and routing numbers to the servicer.

I thought you meant 500 per month.
Pretty sure my powerbill is north of 300 per month. I am not even sure I can pay utilities on credit card.
Many utilities can be paid by CC in the U.S. Personally, I wouldn't eat a 2% surcharge for the "privilege."
 
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MtnMan

Diamond Member
Jul 27, 2004
6,741
4,978
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Frankly, I don't trust all the different utilities, etc. enough to give them access to my bank account. That is probably another dozen possible systems that could be hacked, and my banking access compromised, plus the fact they have screwed up and over billed or double billed, which I don't have to deal with.

I do however have a bit more faith in my credit union, and at least it is only one threat point instead of a dozen or so. I have reoccurring bills setup to autopay from my checking account, not every one reaching into my checking account.

As for bills that vary month to month, I have set up EPP plans where I pay a set amount each month.

The only exception to this is my cell phone bill, as I get a $5 per line discount for allowing them to draft from my checking, so $25 a month is an incentive there.
 

MtnMan

Diamond Member
Jul 27, 2004
6,741
4,978
136
The second use case is often called "bill pay" by U.S. banks, i.e. OP wants to pay his mortgage automatically. Note that in this scenario, there are two different mechanisms. Your service provider can do an ACH pull, or your bank can do an ACH push. All else being equal, you should use your bank's online bill payment interface to setup ACH push. That way, you don't have to expose your account and routing numbers to the servicer.
^^^ this

TNO (trust NO one)... well that's not practical or convenient. There are always those trying to compromise everyone's financial accounts. Be it stealing snail mail out of your mailbox, or hacking accounts.

I haven't mail a check via USPS in years, I receive virtually no financial mail as I've gone paperless for virtually everything, eliminating the threat of mailbox thieves. Relying on my credit union bill pay service, vs a dozen or so other companies also reduces exposure.

I also have my credit card and checking setup that I receive an SMS text when ever there is a transaction. It is quick enough that if I use my debit card at the grocery store, I hear my phone ding with the message before the checker even hands me my receipt.

My wife's CC was recently compromised, and with this she was able to call the CU within minutes of realizing she didn't buy a plane ticket in Taiwan.
 

MrSquished

Lifer
Jan 14, 2013
12,675
9,496
136
I have autopay just for my cell phone and FIOS internet. I get a slight discount with FIOS if I keep it on autopay. Everything else I pay manually. Neither of those are ACH either, they are to a debit card so they don't have direct access to an account.
 

Meghan54

Lifer
Oct 18, 2009
10,380
3,374
136
Frankly, I don't trust all the different utilities, etc. enough to give them access to my bank account. That is probably another dozen possible systems that could be hacked, and my banking access compromised, plus the fact they have screwed up and over billed or double billed, which I don't have to deal with.

I do however have a bit more faith in my credit union, and at least it is only one threat point instead of a dozen or so. I have reoccurring bills setup to autopay from my checking account, not every one reaching into my checking account.

As for bills that vary month to month, I have set up EPP plans where I pay a set amount each month.

The only exception to this is my cell phone bill, as I get a $5 per line discount for allowing them to draft from my checking, so $25 a month is an incentive there.
Just got done with my cell phone co. double billing their autopsy…for the second time in a year. No longer using it for them and disputing it with the cell co. was next to useless. Cell csr’s were nothing but a bunch of “No we didn’t.” Bank reversed the dupe charge that day (yes, I check behind), it was just a pain in ass to jump thru that hoop that I shouldn’t have had to.

Only thing we’ve got on autopay is our Medicare supplement ins. Absolutely cannot miss that…although haven’t missed paying a bill yet without using autopay, electronic nags/reminders, etc. I keep a written list in my desk, pay as they come. Since I was already checking to ensure X bill was paid appropriately, figured I’d just do the job myself and kill two birds with one stone.
 

Exterous

Super Moderator
Jun 20, 2006
19,522
2,361
126
We had one particular issue. Long story short somehow Disney+ got tied to my wife's email account but was a subscription on my Gmail account that didn't show up in 'subscriptions'. Disney CS was an effing joke. The first time they said they'd take care of it but didn't. The second call there was 'nothing they could do' to help us cancel despite being the actual vendor. Eventually got it resolved but a giant PITA for sure

We only have a couple subscriptions that autopay and always to a CC. The idea being be can more easily dispute a charge/cancel a card/etc to deal with any issues. Everything else we manually pay.

That said my mom's CC number got stolen and several of her autopay configurations kept working even with a brand new CC number. That seems.... very strange to me
 

Red Squirrel

No Lifer
May 24, 2003
61,114
9,185
126
www.uovalor.com
Actually I just remembered of one recently. Not the typical bad experience you'd figure, but long story short my ISP changed their billing system and I had to "Re-enroll". I kept putting it off, then forgot about it.

Then I got slapped with a bill for like $300+ then realized it had not come out of my account for a few months. I quickly logged into set the account again and was having issues and had to call support. Ended up getting it sorted but was still kind of annoying. I don't get why they could not transfer that info over to the new system. Don't make the customers do all the work for you.
 
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Dec 10, 2005
21,362
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I only use autopay for Comcast since I get a discount, and for Fi, just because. Both autopay with a credit card for payment, so some extra protection if something goes haywire.

I never got into opening lots of credit cards, and I have all that I can enrolled with my bank for online bill pay, so I get routine notifications about the handful of monthly bills.
 

skyking

Lifer
Nov 21, 2001
19,838
1,574
136
I have avoided using since the bad old days of the 90s when I heard stories of double house payments coming out of your checking, and too bad if you then ovedrdrew your account. The rental furniture outfits were also famous for double taps. Good luck in getting your money back in a timely manner.
I figure as it is our money and representative of our hard work, the least I can do is take an active part in how it is spent. If you just can't be arsed enough to give a shit then that is your thing, not mine.
I use bill pay, but it is all at my command.
 

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