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Old 04-02-2016, 05:17 PM   #21
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I use a Discover Card for most of my payments, but every once in a while a company will only take Visa or MC, so that's why I have more than one.
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Old 04-02-2016, 05:29 PM   #22
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MB............you might have better luck correcting the immediate problem talking to the bank although in the long run to prevent future incidents, the utility may need to be involved in canceling the recurring payments.

I have autopay for my Rx drug plan. One month instead of a $15 charge (or perhaps in addition) there was a several hundred dollar charge which the drug company wasn't in any hurry to investigate. The bank, after I filled out some forms, took back the funds quite quickly. Another time a mutual fund which had a link to deposit monthly dividends in the bank instead took out a big chunk for auto-investing which I had never authorized. I had to contact the bank because the withdrawal had caused the balance to go to zero and bounced a few checks. Somehow the bank and fund company settled the whole thing.
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Old 04-02-2016, 05:40 PM   #23
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I refused direct debit (automatic incasso it's sometimes called) in Belgium, in the Netherlands I welcome it because consumer protection here is ridiculous.

If I don't agree with any charge I can reverse it online via my bank up to 90 days after the payment was done. No questions asked. I also can see a neat list of who is authorized and withdraw authorization at any time.
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Old 04-02-2016, 05:40 PM   #24
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Sorry, but I have to use auto-pay from checking for some bills. I auto pay with credit cards whenever the vendor will let me, but our local electric and water utilities don't do credit cards. Prior to auto-pay we had our water shut off once. In the space of a two week vacation, they had billed us and determined that we were delinquent, then shut our water off. Shortly after, they instituted an auto pay system and I signed up first chance. No problems since and that had to be over 15 years ago. We moved in that period and there was never a problem from that either.
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Old 04-02-2016, 06:22 PM   #25
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I keep a similar file and have a CC dedicated to auto payments only. I don't use it for anything else so when it comes to changing it's an all or nothing exercise.
Same. Dedicated CC for auto-pay and in turn, I have the CC on auto-pay from the checking account. Makes it easy to review charges.
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Old 04-02-2016, 07:07 PM   #26
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I had one bad experience years ago with direct debit so all my auto-pays are set up on credit cards except for our two Medicare Supplement bills. BC/BS wouldn't accept auto CC payment, only direct debit, so I reluctantly agreed.
BCBSTX allows bill pay from banks. That worked well for me. I used my member ID as my account number, I think.
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Old 04-03-2016, 07:11 AM   #27
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Yeah, I dislike giving anyone direct access to my bank but I went along with it for the few that won't accept credit cards. I used to simply go online when the monthly bills came in and fire off a check. It was not difficult but it got screwed up a few times when I was traveling, so I switched everything I could to auto pay using credit cards where possible. Of course, the credit cards need to ding the bank. I still get paper bills because I will look at them and find it easier to skim through physical papers when looking for a specific charge.
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Old 04-03-2016, 08:17 AM   #28
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I'm in the other camp. I think auto pay is the best thing since sliced bread and use it for all of our and DM bills. Fortunately, we have had few changes in residence so I have not had to deal with any transition issues... but for me and DM it has worked flawlessly.
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Old 04-03-2016, 08:21 AM   #29
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All of auto-pays are credit card payments except one. Our water bill is ach. However, it is a small district, under 400 accounts, and I was Vice President of the board.
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Old 04-03-2016, 08:30 AM   #30
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I use auto-pay from my checking account for my 3 routine, small monthly bills (cable TV, phone/internet, and electric), as well as online auto-pay checking for my co-op maintenance. With the co-op payment, I get email notices at the various stages of bill preparation and payment, something which was useful when I the amount changed midyear a few years ago and I forgot to update it right away. I was able to change the amount before the check got sent out.


I won't use this feature for a larger payment to a business I am more likely to change at some point. For example, I use the ACH/checking account to pay my health insurance (they don't take CC) premium but I initiate it every month. I have changed health insurers several times in the last few years.


The auto-pay was very useful last July when I was in the hospital for 2 weeks and those 3 utilities had bills which came due and got paid automatically.
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Old 04-03-2016, 08:41 AM   #31
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We have one autopay that was set up for the landline 21 years ago. No problems. In the early years they over-billed LD calls but that always got sorted out the next month.

Everything else is to the CC which I pay online on-time. The only problem is with fraud when I have to change the CC number. But the card issuer will honor the pre-approved charges for up to six months on the old number. Annual charges, e.g. house insurance often take special handling because I do not want to send the 3-digit code in the notification email so they need to respond before I provide it.
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Old 04-03-2016, 08:47 AM   #32
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We have one autopay that was set up for the landline 21 years ago. No problems. In the early years they over-billed LD calls but that always got sorted out the next month.

Everything else is to the CC which I pay online on-time. The only problem is with fraud when I have to change the CC number. But the card issuer will honor the pre-approved charges for up to six months on the old number. Annual charges, e.g. house insurance often take special handling because I do not want to send the 3-digit code in the notification email so they need to respond before I provide it.
What card is that? I've had payments start bouncing within days of getting a new number on my DiscoverCard. I like to use it for the cashback, and I guess I have to admit I like their hyper alert fraud prevention activities too, even though it's a PITA sometimes.
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Old 04-03-2016, 10:02 AM   #33
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For someone who constantly "shuffles" between homes, auto pay is just too convenient not to use. Really haven't had any issues. Systems are quite different in US vs Canada though. In Canada the post office runs an email service for all major billers. When I get these bills I manually pay them through the bank's bill pay system. Whereas in the US most utilities are on auto pay.
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Old 04-03-2016, 10:11 AM   #34
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Direct debit (from my bank or credit card) has saved me so much time over the years. We have moved twice - once across state lines - since I started using it for all our utilities, telephone, HOA, credit cards... absolutely anything that I can automate.

So far... touch wood ... no issues.
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Old 04-03-2016, 10:20 AM   #35
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We were just discussing this... MIL moved last year from her home in one state, to an assisted living/memory unit in another state. DH is in charge of all the bills. All the income and all the bills are paid out of an account in the old state. DH was considering opening an account in the new state... then realized what a PITA it would be to get everything switched over. Looks like the Kentucky account will live on.

This is a good reminder to watch for the utility bills (trash and electricity) when the house (hopefully) sells in a few months. (New floors and termite repairs happening now hopefully on the market in about 3 weeks.)

Like some of the others here - everything I can pay auto by cc is. Gotta get those rewards. I have 2 utility bills that are "pushed" (I initiate the transfer) from checking... and same with paying the CC... I initiate the transfer. The only auto debit from checking I've ever allowed is the mortgage payment, back when I had a mortgage. It was consistent in size so I could plan carefully for it.
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Old 04-03-2016, 10:20 AM   #36
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Like several others, when possible I put the auto pay to my credit card (love the cash back bonus). I have a few auto debited from my checking (electricity, cc bills).

My BCBS insurance premium allows for ACH through my bank, but I elect to pay each month (not autopay) with my cc instead. I don't trust their accuracy as seems ever since ACA, their errors have gone up and don't want them touching my bank account for that reason. Plus, come next year, I'm undecided if I'll stick with BCBS or not.
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Old 04-03-2016, 06:31 PM   #37
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I avoid direct debit as much as possible, but there are a few that I have accepted. It is a nightmare when the bank is hacked and you have to provide new info to each biller individually. I noticed many vendors want to push monthly debits and believe they want me to forget that I subscribed to whatever. It works too since it takes me an extra month or two to get around to canceling my monthly subscription to The Big Ten Network (or whatever) when basketball season ends.

I much prefer to push payments manually or via autopay from my BOA Billpay. I can see upcoming payments for 30 days and I have full control to edit the amount and timing. I use the ebill feature selectively. They use ACH or other payment system usually but it's surprising how many times they mail a check to the recipient. If they get hacked it does not affect Billpay


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Old 04-04-2016, 09:54 AM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rodi View Post
The only auto debit from checking I've ever allowed is the mortgage payment, back when I had a mortgage. It was consistent in size so I could plan carefully for it.
Yes I have to add that to the previous telco debit.

(The CC that honored the old card number for pre-authorized charges was Mastercard from BMO.)
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Old 04-04-2016, 01:53 PM   #39
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I don't allow automatic debit to my account because it's like giving one of my kids my credit card. Never again.


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Old 04-04-2016, 03:47 PM   #40
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As long as it's easy to turn off if I smell a dispute coming, I'm OK with it and I use it. And if it can be done with a credit card where I can dispute bogus charges so much the better. That said, if I have a bill that is a regular, recurring amount I'd rather use my CU's own bill pay feature than let the creditor/payee automatically draft from my account.
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