I’m having problems with my bank – primarily with the bill pay system. I’m not sure what’s going on, but since we moved a year-and-a-half ago, we’ve had at least six issues with on-line banking.
The first two issues were with the sewer department in our podunk little town. The sewer department isn’t automated so the bill pay system has to mail the checks. Unfortunately, one time the sewer department never received the check and the next time they got it late. They refused to waive the penalties (the bank reimbursed us) and then marked us late.
The next two incidents were with the water department in our podunk little town, also not automated (one currently in process). Both times they received the payment one day late even though I set it up to be delivered a day before the due date. They also refused to waive the penalty (again reimbursed by the bank – at least the first time) and marked us late.
The fourth incident was totally unbelievable. I scheduled a payment for the bank that holds our home equity loan. According to on-line banking, the payment was made. Then I got an email from our home equity banker saying they hadn’t received our payment and were going to withdraw the payment from another account we had there so we wouldn’t be charged a late fee. I was confused since my on-line banking statement showed it had been paid 15 days ago! Then I noticed a new entry on my on-line banking statement – the payment couldn’t be delivered and had been returned to my account. What???? What do you mean it couldn’t be delivered???? I checked all the information on the account to be sure it was correct and it was. The banker for our home equity line had no clue why the payment wouldn’t have been delivered. And we weren’t notified! It just showed up in the account.
This morning we had another incident – this time it was with one of our business accounts – a paint account. I scheduled the payment for March 20th and received an email from the company today notifying us that they hadn’t received our March payment. Our account shows the payment has been made but they didn’t get it. I sent the company documentation to show that I made the payment, when it cleared my account and a copy of the claim I filed with the bank. I’m waiting to hear from the paint company and the bank.
So something obviously has to change. The bank’s inability to do what it’s supposed to do is beginning to affect our credit rating and that’s not okay. Of course, our initial reaction is to
But that’s easier said than done for several reasons.
- We have our business accounts and personal accounts linked so it’s easy to transfer money from one account to another. All the banks I talked to before opening the business account couldn’t do this. That meant that transferring money would require a paper check and a trip to the bank. I don’t have time for that.
- Our bank is a large bank and has locations EVERYWHERE which is extremely convenient.
- We have pre-authorized withdrawals set up that will be a pain to change.
- We have a long history with this bank and multiple accounts.
- This bank allows us to make deposits using our iPhones. Most of our customers pay with checks and it’s a pain to go to the bank to deposit them. Being able to deposit them using our iPhones is a huge benefit.
After thinking this through, we decided to stay with the bank for now and pay bills a bit differently. Here’s the plan:
- With bills that aren’t automated, we will mail payments the old-fashioned way using the United States Post Office.
- With bills that have their own payment systems, we’ll pay there instead of through our bank.
- For the water and sewer bills, we might just drop them off in person since they’re close by.
Making these changes is a little more work, but the peace of mind will be worth every extra minute that it takes.
- Don’t act on a knee jerk reaction that comes as a result of a problem. Wait until you have time to think it through.
- Analyze the data. In this case, changing banks seemed like the logical solution but we would be giving up more than we wanted to.
- Consider alternatives that will solve your problem without having to make big changes.
- Try to figure out what the problem is. I’ll be contacting the bank to see if they can figure out what’s going on. Perhaps there’s an easy solution or something small that needs changed.
- Don’t assume that switching companies will solve your problems. The truth is, no company is perfect and sometimes you’re just trading one problem for another. We discovered that recently when we switched from one internet provider to another. We were hoping our internet would be better but it isn’t. Switching doesn’t automatically mean better.
Have you had a problem like this before? What did you do?