Joining the LRA
Joining the LRA (Luddite Resistance Army) as soon as I can find a pencil and a stamp - they don't have e-mail (duh).
This has happened to me not once, but THREE times.
1) Florida Power & Light had just introduced "pay automatically by direct debit" and they were trumpeting it as the best thing since beer in cans.
I was getting electric bills in the range of $50 a month, FPL sent me a bill for $400. When I called, they said it was a mistake, we'll send someone out to re-read your meter.
I asked what would have happened if I had signed fro autodebit, would you have taken the $400? Answer; "Yes. But we'd give it back after we investigated it." (And how long does THAT take?)
2) Had this nasty slum property, financed through Washington Mutual Bank (California). Mortgage was $383/mo.
Mortgage payment notice arrives - $5,000,000.83 (note the 83 cents!) Holy bupkas, batman! Called so called "customer service" at WaMu, was told they were having computer problems, pay the usual amount. "Oh, and would you like to sign up for autodebit sir?" And if I did, would you have taken the $5,000,000.83 out of my account? Yes. If I didn't have $5,000,000.83, would you charge me a bounced check fee? Yes. OK, go **** yourselves then.
3) The very next month, Washington Mutual sent a mortgage payment notice for the first payment, the next payment, and the late fee . . . wait for it . . . $43,000,000 plus some change - no Sh*T!!!! I saved the notice. Still waiting to hear from the collection agencies on this one. Slum is sold, property is paid off. Good riddance to it and them (and the dirtball tenants).
Still want autodebit? Paper checks and stamps are cheap insurance against this kind of problem.