Hey numbnuts(es)! Stop setting up automatic deduction from your bank accounts

Seriously, if I read one more pit thread in which someone complains because X company automatically deducted money from their bank account without their consent after service was cancelled, I think I’ll go into fits of laughter.

Set up automated payments FROM your bank account TO the provider, but never give them the ability to auto-deduct. They should not have authorization, EVER to deduct stuff directly from your bank account.

Yes, I learned this lesson the hard way a coulpe years ago. Yes I was a numbnut at the time. I am now a reformed numbnut, who sets up bills to either hit a charge/credit card, or uses bill pay from the bank to send payments. Never the other way around.

If the only way a company will deal with you is by giving them access to your checking account, that is not a company you need to be dealing with.

This educational message provided to you by crazyjoe.

And how about this bit - when your utility or credit card company screams at you every month GO PAPERLESS GO PAPERLESS IT’S THE WAY OF THE FUTURE ONLY FAGGOTS AND SAILORS STILL GET PAPER STATEMENTS - AND I DON’T SEE ANY JAUNTY CAP ON YOU, SUNSHINE, for the love of God do not let them send you paperless. All it takes is one spam filter set too high or changed, one hiccup in e-mail, one whatever, and you could miss your statement and end up with late fees. Or you could be like a friend of mine, who was fired from her job and had to try to contact 20 different billing agencies that her e-mail was no longer valid before she started being charged outrageous late fees - much hilarity ensued and the process took MONTHS, as several of the companies were locked in a circle-jerk clusterfuck loop of “to change your e-mail on record, please e-mail us from the old account…” :rolleyes:

And if you get sent paperless on accident, call them up and sit on the phone with Sanjay or Pratihba or whoever and demand that they re-enable the paper statements.

What the fuck was your friend doing using a work email address as the contact point for personal accounts? That is just one of the dumbest fucking things I have heard today. Plus, in regards to spam filters, that is pretty much bullshit. After the first billing, add the address the statement comes from to your contacts and tell your spam filter what it is AND keep track of your monthly bills. If I pay my bills and don’t send money to gas company, I don’t think that will I just don’t owe them anything this month. If you don’t know what bills you should be getting each month, then the format in which they come makes little difference.

Otherwise, I agree with the OP. Why would you allow a company to pull money out of an asset account? Even if for no other reason than to be prepared for the month when everything goes to hell and you need to skip a payment.


I do not see that in Una’s post.

I read it that, having been fired, the person could not afford to maintain her e-mail account, (even free e-mail requires an ISP–and those have not been free for anything reliable for five years, or so–and libraries are not really good places to maintain one’s financial on-line activities).

I think that’s probably an overly generous reading. I know lots of people who use work email addresses for that sort of thing. Just because it’s stupid doesn’t mean that lots of people don’t do it.

Gosh, is that how e-mail works? And here I’ve been, using e-mail since Ronald Wilson Motherfucking Reagan was in office, and I never knew.

And you’re pretty much speaking bullshit, because it happens all the time to me. Every day I have to fish legitimate e-mails out of my spam folder when something changes that the system doesn’t like.

No shit? I mean really, no shit? If people know what bills are supposed to be coming when then obviously there’s no problem. The average American (and from what I’ve seen, more than a few Dopers) is a financial dumbass of breathtaking proportions. They need reminders for bills. Hellfire and damnation, some of them need reminders to fucking breathe.

As regards the e-mail thing, she had e-mail through her cable company and when she dropped cable TV to save money, she lost her e-mail account (so she was lazy, my Mom still uses her Time Warner e-mail, because they make it “convenient”, etc.) She swears that she had in writing that the account would still be active even without the cable account, but apparently she was mistaken or they were. And so fucking what if she had a totally free account? I’ve also had a Hotmail account “vanish” on me once that I was never able to get back into, even sitting on the phone with technical support from Hotmail. The point is don’t fucking rely on electronic mail exclusively over snail mail when finances are involved.

Ronald Reagan was President?

Incorrect. Tom was right on the mark.

Exactly. So the solution is…either rely on another electronic mail provider, or refuse to go paperless (ideally, do both).

Subsequent to him being an astronaut and prior to him being a carpenter. He was also exactly 6 feet tall, the only man on Earth since roughly 30 A.D.

Nitpick: You can get dial-up service for as little as five bucks a month. (Admittedly, they’re very bare bones, and you’d better be prepared to do any troubleshooting yourself.) Anyone who can’t afford a cheap dial-up account probably can’t afford checking accounts and credit card accounts either.

You could have been using email since Jesus Christ was in diapers, but you seem unable to use a spam filter correctly or perhaps you should get a new spam filter or service. Your long experience as using email does not apparently making you fucking expert. On a rare occasion I have to remove something from my spam folder and mark it as not spam. At which point my service has never sent email from that address to the spam folder again. Plus, I see that the little spam folder is all boldy and highlighty and I can see there is an email in it, I go look and see if it is relevant.

Yup, I get reminders for my bills. Which I ignore. I have spreadsheet separate from an email account and from financial software. As I pay a bill each month, a little check mark goes next to that entry in the sheet. My point is that if the only way you know to pay somebody is through an email reminder, you need some help with money.

As to your friend, I partially withdraw my statement in her case. Although I will contend that using the email address provided by your internet provider to be almost as stupid, mostly because of the trouble she had. This is not such an obvious problem for most people and they will find out the error of their ways when it is too late. Don’t rely on email or paper mail when it comes to finances.

I don’t have that option because I’m an adult dying slowly at a paying job, where many IT matters such as spam filter settings are locked-down, handled by nameless, faceless individuals in a far-off land, where palm trees sway gently in tropical breezes and tigers prowl the city streets searching for tasty monkeys to snack upon.

Perhaps your short experience has not served you in the capacity that you might believe it has.

I concur, but there’s the difference between ideal and reality.

I think that was my point, excepting that I trust paper much more than e-mail.

I’ve avoided going paperless because the utility companies won’t deal with me because I’m a woman, but you’ve given me another good reason. :slight_smile:

[bolding mine] Say what? Is anyone beyond the lowest rung of sleazeball used-car salesmen still pulling that kind of sexist crap in this day and age?

The actor?

Your IT department is in Thailand? :smiley:

[Please print this page out for your records]. Um no. Printer ink is expensive and I’m cheap, they can print out the paper trail on their dime. :cool:

Either that or Bendigo.

Bendigo is in Victoria and there are neither palm trees, tigers, or monkeys there. Sorry to disappoint you. :wink:

Sorry, I mis-spoke myself; utility companies won’t deal with me because I’m a wife.