There’s no question that online bill payments—the ability to pay your credit-card bills, mortgage, or car payment with the ease of a single click—are a great convenience. But now banks and financial institutions are abusing this system to inflate their profits and are destroying people’s credit ratings in the process.
From The Consumerist we hear about two instances where customers had their credit destroyed by predatory corporations who played games with their automated payment systems. In the first instance, Nissan Auto Finance reversed one woman’s car payments—made on time—in each of six consecutive months without notice and without explanation, then reported her as delinquent to the credit bureaus and refused to correct their error…as they are required to do by law.
In the second, AT&T simply stole $157.00 + from one of their customers by claiming that the customer’s payment via credit-card was declined (it wasn’t) and then auto-debiting the same amount (plus hefty fees) again the next month. Now, despite proof that AMEX didn’t decline the initial charge, AT&T refuses to do anything about the situation.
These criminals are banking on the fact that their customers don’t have the resources to sue the cr*p out of them, and for the most part they are correct. So…when dealing with corporations that are willing to resort to out-and-out theft to keep their balance sheets in the black, what’s a consumer to do? RETURN TO CASH, that’s what! It is, if fact, the only alternative. Buy your car in cash. Pay your bills with checks. Don’t give these bastards even a single opportunity to rip you off.