30 Years of the Digest ... founded August 21, 1981
The Telecom Digest for May 18, 2012
====== 30 years of TELECOM Digest -- Founded August 21, 1981 ======
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Date: Thu, 17 May 2012 02:49:30 -0500 From: Frank Stearns <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Re: BillPay Down, Online Banking Customers Crippled, Held Hostage Message-ID: <jI2dnfdJD5UXMCnSnZ2dnUVZ_jadnZ2d@posted.palinacquisition> John David Galt <email@example.com> writes: >> Bill Horne wrote: >>> I don't know if "Billpay" is a Paypal service, or something else. >On 2012-05-16 17:38, John Levine wrote: >> It has nothing to do with Paypal, it's a kind of service many banks >> offer in which you can tell them to pay a list of bills and they will >> do an electronic transfer if they know the recipient's account info, >> or mail a check otherwise. There are a couple of large providers like >> Checkfree who do this for a lot of banks. >Most of the places I spend money will take debit cards or (in the case >of utilities) generate an auto-ACH each month. So these services by >banks are redundant (and they tend to cost money while the >alternatives don't). The only check I still write each month is the >rent. Many bill-pay programs are free, but you might have to shop the banks or credit unions a little. The problem with a payee-initiated auto-ACH is that the payee can "pull" money from your account. That's fine, until there's a computer glitch on their end, or they don't want to let go (or have a back-office "oversight") when you switch to a different vendor and they wind up STILL pulling money from your account. Sure, you'll get it fixed eventually, but those messes can take a lot of time and trouble to straighten out, and in the meantime you might have hit overdraft situations. Ugly, no matter how you cut it. It's usually far, far better if YOU "push" money out of YOUR account; that way you're in control. And this is true even when you set up a bill pay to do a periodic "push". You still have the ultimate control and can stop a payment whenever it's appropriate. Frank -- .
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