We have heating oil delivered on a regular basis (about twice a year) to heat our home, using the same company for the last half-decade. I use a credit card to pay for this because it is more convenient for me. The last time they came to provide oil, I happened to look at my receipt for a change and noticed a $10 fee to use a credit card. When I called up to question this charge, they said they started charging for credit cards about 3 years ago. So each time they came to provide service, I was being charged an additional $10 just to pay for it with my credit card. And they never bothered to inform their customers of this change. Because I wasn’t paying attention, I ended up paying $60 extra just for using my credit card 🙁
– Submitted by Susanne
Automatic payments can be a good thing for some people, but only if you are diligent about checking over your regular bills and invoices for any changes that may affect your automatic billing. Companies are not always open about changes in their policy, and you could suffer for it.
Personally I am against automatic billing because I like to feel in full control of my bills and transactions. It is entirely habitual for me to go through my Microsoft Money file daily, weekly, and especially on paydays so I am constantly alert to my account status. This prevents me from any sort of overdraft or hidden fees that are somehow weaseled into my bills. Plus a lot of companies make it entirely difficult to cancel “service”, and having your credit card on file during that could be detrimental to your finances and a huge headache.
Amount Flushed Down the Money Drain: $60