Wednesday, March 7, 2018

A Repeat Performance Of Non-Performance

Well, well, we are, a week into a new month, and guess who didn't pay last month's electric bill? That's right.


I told you before...if I don't receive a bill, I don't pay that bill. How could I? I'd be paying something that didn't exist. On my radar, anyway.

This morning I was kicked back in the La-Z-Boy, writing down the money Farmer H frivolously spent on an MRI yesterday for his Poparm. You know. The arm where he tore his biceps muscle while wiping his butt. Anyhoo...I was scoping out the month's finances to see how I might budget, and I didn't see a record of paying last month's electric bill. BILLS, actually. We get two. But in the same envelope. One for the Mansion, and one for the BARn. So there I was, jotting down the phone bills and the DISH bill and the only payment we have, which is for A-Cad...and I didn't see the electric bills.

I went to the kitchen, to the bill-and-letter holder on the counter, and dug out the old electric bill. Sure enough, it was for January. I called the number on the statement, and punched through about 15 menus to get my balance and due date. WHEW! Due on March 12. I still had time. Oh, that automated line offered to let me pay the bill over the phone...FOR THE BARn. That wouldn't do me any good. I needed to pay both. So I kept punching numbers until I got a person.

Amy was polite, and spoke without an accent, but seemed to be hardened from her line of work. She got all my vitals, and then said that they're not set up to take payments over the phone. That it's done through Western Union, and would cost me two dollars and change. Which makes me no nevermind, but I'd just been offered that option before talking to her, but only for ONE of our two accounts. So Amy said that our Mansion account was linked to a different phone number. Huh. I don't know how that came about. She didn't tell me the number. Anyhoo...she got both accounts linked, and said that I should be able to deal with both of them now on the automated line. Or that I could pay online for free.

That's all well and good, but I'm not in the habit of setting up online accounts, because I don't want the money coming out of my checking each month without me having a hand in it. But I DID go down to my dark basement lair and set up an account, and user name, and password, and then play around trying to link the other account. Which I did. After 60 minutes of my valuable time that I was not on my way to town for a 44 oz Diet Coke.

Here's the thing. Amy told me that the bill was mailed on February 19th. I assured her I was not accusing her company of not SENDING a bill. Only saying that I didn't RECEIVE that bill(s), which had happened before, and that I was sure the problem was on my end.

You know what happened the week of February 19th, right? Oklahoma Casino MiniPalooza. When HOS (H's Oldest Son) was taking care of our animals on February 21, 22, 23...and picking up our mail! I'm not accusing HOS of being careless or vindictive. Although in the past, he's forgotten to pick up the mail the whole time. And this time, Farmer H had told him to put it on the seat of his Trailblazer, but it wasn't there when we got back, and HOS said he had it in his truck. Which was a company truck that he had use of for his job. And when Farmer H brought me that mail, I said, "This is ALL we got in three days?" No. I'm not accusing. We are known to have terrible mail delivery. I'm just looking at ways this lack of a bill(s) might have happened.

Anyhoo...both are paid now. On time. I'm not going to be disconnected. This month, anyway. Let the record show that Amy said the next bill is going out on March 20. You can bet I'm going to be watching for it.


River said...

You can have an online account without the direct debit option, so no money goes out unless you do it yourself via the online account.
I have an online bank account with the Bpay numbers for the bills I get all listed and when I want to pay a bill, I go to my online account, select the 'pay a bill or transfer money" option, I think it is just called pay or transfer, but at that pay or transfer page I click the selection and a drop down menu appears and I click on the one that I want to pay money to, then on the same page, in the amount window, I type in the amount I want to pay, check it carefully for decimal points, because I don't want to accidentally pay $500 instead of $50, then click on the pay now option which is usually in a red box, then it asks you to confirm the amount before the money goes anywhere.
Once I click on confirm, the money goes to the account I've selected.

I don't know if you have Bpay options over there, if you look at the back of your bills for a section on "how to pay" it should have several options and Bpay might be one of them and for each bill, electric, phone, gas etc, the Bpay number will be different, so there's no mistake when you come to pay online, you match the number with the correct account.
For me it means I don't have to go punning to the post office in searing heat or icy wind driven rain just to pay a bill.
And I can do it any time I choose, like 3am if I'm awake enough.

Hillbilly Mom said...

I have the online account set up now. The biggest problem was getting both the Mansion and the BARn accounts on the same one. So now, I can go in and pay directly from my checking account if I don't get the bill. If I REMEMBER that I didn't get the bill!

I had to do that with my DISH account, too. Not that I wanted to! It's easier for me to mail a check, and call the automated line for info, rather than get on a computer and try to remember logins and passwords. Besides, our power sometimes goes out for days. Or the internet quits working because of our DISH.

We don't call it Bpay, but with the boys' college accounts, I do eChecks. I don't know what they call what I'm doing now, but I have the option of paying directly from my bank account when I log in.

River said...

Paying directly from your bank account sounds like our Bpay system. That's what I do. And I keep track in an exercise book, money in, money out and what it went out for. Mark your bills on your calendar so you know when one is due and can look out for it. Ours have the next due date on the back of the bill in the upper right hand corner.

Hillbilly Mom said...

Yes, I used to have a note card with those dates on it. I need to start that again. Especially with our mail delivery.