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Thread: Paperless!

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    Great Pumpkin NutmegCT's Avatar
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    Paperless!

    I wondered if there's anyone else who's "underwhelmed" by paperless billing.

    All my utilities, store accounts, etc. now use paperless billing. Option to keep paper billing is now gone. Get an email that says "You're payment is due. Click here to see your statement".

    So you go to the website, log on with username and password (if you can remember them ...). Go to Accounts tab, choose Statements and Messages. Choose Statements. Choose Current Statement. Choose View Statement. Then try to read the tiny print ... and end up printing the statement so you can read it. If you don't read the statement, you don't know about upcoming changes, fee increases, channel changes (for TV), etc. Heaven help you if you can't remember the username or password; even more email fun ensues.

    Remember the olden days? Open envelope, read statement.

    I use autopay, so I don't have to worry about missing a payment.

    Companies save lots of bucks by not using paper billing. But customers ... probably now overwhelmed with the steps to see the statement - probably don't read the statement any more.

    Any thoughts?
    Thanks.
    Tom M.
    grumble grumble
    PS - I asked three guys where I work. None of them worry about it, as their wives handle the finances. Yikes.
    Mac & Phyllis Take a Trip: http://nutmegflyer.com/trip-details-daily-updates/
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    Moderator Mickey Richaud's Avatar
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    Re: Paperless!

    Don't like it.

    But resistance is futile.

    Is it 5:00 yet?
    "There are three kinds of men. One who learns by readin'. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on that electric fence for themselves." Will Rogers
    Mickey Richaud - '73 MGB, '69 MGB GT/V6 (both SOLD! ); Victor TF 1800; '03 Jaguar XK8
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    Yoda Gliderman8's Avatar
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    Re: Paperless!

    Just last night we got a statement in the mail from my wife's new insurance plan. Included on the statement was a charge to send the statement with a note saying we could signup for paperless billing to avoid future charges.... Grrrrr
    Elliot
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    Great Pumpkin JPSmit's Avatar
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    Re: Paperless!

    Geez Tom who whizzed in your wheaties these days? Throw us a bone, give us something that is better now than it was then. Among other things I recently shredded bags and bags of old bills - which are in a landfill right now. surely that is worth a step or two?

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    Great Pumpkin NutmegCT's Avatar
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    Re: Paperless!

    Quote Originally Posted by JPSmit View Post
    Geez Tom who whizzed in your wheaties these days? Throw us a bone, give us something that is better now than it was then. Among other things I recently shredded bags and bags of old bills - which are in a landfill right now. surely that is worth a step or two?

    back.jpeg
    A Pollyanna I'm not. But definitely feeling less welcome than before.
    Open discussion among people is good; doesn't have to be happy all the time.
    Back to my cave.
    Mac & Phyllis Take a Trip: http://nutmegflyer.com/trip-details-daily-updates/
    History: 1976 MGB, 1959 Triumph TR3A, 1960 Mercedes-Benz 190b, 1958 Rambler American.
    Current: 1953 MG TD27318.

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    Great Pumpkin TR3driver's Avatar
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    Re: Paperless!

    I'm actually moving the other way; getting tired of dealing with all the paper. The bank I use sends me paper statements each month for each of about 6 different accounts (checking, savings, IRA, etc) and they keep piling up.

    BTW, at least with Firefox on windoze, you can hold down the Ctrl key and tap the plus sign on the keypad to enlarge the display. I think it works with Chrome too. With Chrome, I believe you can also print the page to a PDF file, which you can then zoom as large as you like. I like to use PDF format for anything I want to save as well, since I know it doesn't depend on the web (and pages that might change). (Installing Acrobat adds that function to Firefox, but I think Chrome comes with it.)

    That also comes in handy when a seller on Amazon tries to change the ad after I've placed an order. I've actually gotten my money back, armed with nothing more than a screenshot of the ad (which clearly stated "pack of 10").

    I don't know if they have "99 cent" stores where you live; but around here they sell cheaters (reading glasses) for $.99/pair. I keep several of them scattered around, in various strengths; and find that I have to reach for one far more often than I used to.

    Randall
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    71 Stag LE1473L waiting engine rebuild
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    Great Pumpkin NutmegCT's Avatar
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    Re: Paperless!

    Great cartoon! Like Mrs. Wiggins always polishing her nails.

    I like the PDF statement feature too, and I've recently done PDF screenshots of ebay and craigslist ads ... just in case.

    Anyway, I wish we could keep the paper billing feature if we want.
    Thanks.
    Tom M.
    Mac & Phyllis Take a Trip: http://nutmegflyer.com/trip-details-daily-updates/
    History: 1976 MGB, 1959 Triumph TR3A, 1960 Mercedes-Benz 190b, 1958 Rambler American.
    Current: 1953 MG TD27318.

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    Yoda Boink's Avatar
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    Re: Paperless!

    My wife is fanatical about it... and keeps nudging me to go paperless. I am moving that way. However, even with on-line/email reminders of bills, I don't like losing paper-reminders for credit cards (where I can more easily skim the record). We have taken to saving tax records/documents as PDF files (both on our on computers and in the cloud).
    - Mark

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    Jedi Knight
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    Re: Paperless!

    I haven't moved paperless/autopay yet, but I recognize that like payment apps on phones, I'm eventually on the losing side of that argument. Main thing I don't like about it is that some "collect" when the statement is generated, not when I want to pay. My home bills I generally send in a few days before due, even though they may have generated the bill as much as two weeks earlier allowing for it to reach me in the mail. If they get paid really early, they make a few more interest cents and I make a few less. So its kind of like the bill is just a touch higher. But, as I said, eventually I'll be on the losing side of progress.

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    Jedi Hopeful
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    Re: Paperless!

    Quote Originally Posted by NutmegCT View Post
    I wondered if there's anyone else who's "underwhelmed" by paperless billing.

    All my utilities, store accounts, etc. now use paperless billing. Option to keep paper billing is now gone. Get an email that says "You're payment is due. Click here to see your statement".

    So you go to the website, log on with username and password (if you can remember them ...). Go to Accounts tab, choose Statements and Messages. Choose Statements. Choose Current Statement. Choose View Statement. Then try to read the tiny print ... and end up printing the statement so you can read it. If you don't read the statement, you don't know about upcoming changes, fee increases, channel changes (for TV), etc. Heaven help you if you can't remember the username or password; even more email fun ensues.

    Remember the olden days? Open envelope, read statement.

    I use autopay, so I don't have to worry about missing a payment.

    Companies save lots of bucks by not using paper billing. But customers ... probably now overwhelmed with the steps to see the statement - probably don't read the statement any more.

    Any thoughts?
    Thanks.
    Tom M.
    grumble grumble
    PS - I asked three guys where I work. None of them worry about it, as their wives handle the finances. Yikes.
    I'm not a big fan of it - fortunately I havn't been forced into it. The big assumption with it is that everyone owns the internet - what about people who don't? Or if your computer breaks - now its on YOU to maintain a working computer/internet rig at your own expense in order to save THEM money.

    I see it as just another example of forcing people to buy and use the internet - someone benefits greatly from that but the end consumer usually isn't that someone.

    (full disclosure - I don't have anyone to do my bills for me, nor do I have internets at home so I do feel somewhat vulnerable when the stock answer to everything becomes "just do it online")

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    Yoda waltesefalcon's Avatar
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    Re: Paperless!

    I still have the option to go with paper statements or paperless for my electric and gas, water is only paper. I guess sometimes living in a place many consider a backwater has its perks.
    Cheers,
    Walter
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    Great Pumpkin TR3driver's Avatar
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    Re: Paperless!

    Oddly enough, even living here in the suburbs of Lost Angeles, I have the option of paper bills for everything except on-line purchases.

    The point about no Internet is a good one too. Where I'm building a shop, there is no Internet, and no cell phone (unless I pay a ridiculous amount to have them installed, which I won't). I'm not sure about POTS, but there would probably be a fee to install it as well.
    Randall
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    Yoda AngliaGT's Avatar
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    Re: Paperless!

    I pick up my check & cash it at work every week.I like doing that
    so I can separate funds for gas,etc.
    I recently got a notice from the company that they'll either download money
    to a pre-paid credit card,or do direct deposit.
    Since I don't do online banking,how would I know how much my check was?
    I prefer to pay cash whenever I can.


    I got a renewel postcard from VA DMV.No mention of the cost,or even
    which vehicle it was for,& there's a $5 fee for paying in person,which I do.Our mail
    goes to Greensboro,NC,even if you're sending it across the street.I sent my VISA
    payment in three days before it was due,to Charlotte,NC,which is about a three hour
    drive from here.It took it nine days to get there,& I incurred a $25 late fee due to that,
    so I don't really trust mailing bills anymore.
    Just Remember.......
    NOBODY ever says "COOL PRIUS!"

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    Re: Paperless!

    Quote Originally Posted by AngliaGT View Post
    I pick up my check & cash it at work every week.I like doing that
    so I can separate funds for gas,etc.
    I recently got a notice from the company that they'll either download money
    to a pre-paid credit card,or do direct deposit.
    Since I don't do online banking,how would I know how much my check was?
    I prefer to pay cash whenever I can.


    I got a renewel postcard from VA DMV.No mention of the cost,or even
    which vehicle it was for,& there's a $5 fee for paying in person,which I do.Our mail
    goes to Greensboro,NC,even if you're sending it across the street.I sent my VISA
    payment in three days before it was due,to Charlotte,NC,which is about a three hour
    drive from here.It took it nine days to get there,& I incurred a $25 late fee due to that,
    so I don't really trust mailing bills anymore.
    Mailing payments is always a risk - I have particular issues with my water company (not a city or county-owned entity, a for-profit private utility). Their paperwork clearly states "must be RECEIVED by the due date" - not postmarked. And then they conveniently wait until after the due date to open the mail, and thus you get a late fee. They HAVE a local office but will not accept payments there anymore, I'm in Texas and the mailing address for the bills is somewhere near Philidelphia PA. I used to pay in person and they wouldn't post the payment until after the due date, then try to late fee me. I'd take the receipt showing when I paid and they'd reverse the late fee. Did that 5 months in a row and then they solved the problem by no longer accepting payments at the local office.

    Fortunately my monthly bills (water/phone) can be paid at the business desk of the local supermarket - so I just take the payments there (an extra $2.00 fee is charged). They say 2-3 days processing time so I pay and get a receipt at least 5 days in advance. My electric is a local co-op which I go past their office every day, so paying that in person is no-brainer. I do have to mail my insurance payments and such, and they have at time gotten lost in transit. I had to call the insurance company and my bank to authorize a single-time electronic fund transfer payment which was a pain.

    Here in Texas vehicle registrations are done through the county tax office (no seperate DMV) and they too have arrangements with local stores to handle the basic renewal transactions at the stores (also with the extra fee). Its worth it to me to pay the extra 2 bucks and avoid the hassle of finding an open post office, finding stamps, ect.... If you have to get new plates or if the renewal is late (or any other unusual transaction) you have to actually goto the county tax office which makes any other state's DMV look like a model of speed and efficiency by comparison.

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    Re: Paperless!

    Paperless. Carefully now, so we don't incense those north of me....

    When I ran a business, got my quarterly tax forms, one for them, another "duplicate" for me.

    Suddenly, the duplicates disappeared. Call 'em up. Oh, we've decided to save the environment.
    Really?
    I still have to scan and print a copy for my records, so how is that saving anything?

    Six months later, have to do it fully paperless on-line...they got my license returned in the MAIL.

    Order something? Phone call, either read them a card number or mail them a check.

    NO on-line banking (says so in our files), no way for anybody to hack my account....if they do, not my problem, since it says "no on-line banking" in my files.

    THEY are saving the polar bears with no paper, but WE still have to make copies.

    Add your own politicalization to anything I've said. I'm not gonna do that.

    I can't wait for the complaints.

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    Great Pumpkin TR3driver's Avatar
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    Re: Paperless!

    FWIW, my bank (through Fidelity.com) offers free on-line bill payment services if you have an eligible account with Fidelity. They make the payment electronically when they can, but will mail a paper check if necessary. And they guarantee that the check/payment will arrive by the stated date; or they pay the late fees. I've only had that happen once, and in that case I think the mortgage holder actually waived the fee (presumably after the bank had words with them). At any rate, I didn't pay the late fee. For bills that are the same each month, you can schedule a whole series of payments. I have all my utilities on "level pay" plans, so the bill is the same each month for a year at a time.

    They will also reimburse ATM fees for any ATM machine in the country. Your account gets automatically debited at first, but they do a credit the next day.

    You do lose a couple of days of "float", as they debit your account as soon as they generate the check, but the lost interest normally only amounts to pennies per check if that. And if the check is not cashed within the window (120 days IIRC, might be 180), they refund the money to your account, still free.

    Oh yeah, they also will take checks for deposit through their smart phone app. You just take a photo of both sides of the endorsed check, and they process it from the image. Usually, they credit your account the next business day (a lot like a paper check), but they may pull it back if there is a problem.

    Probably not for the computer-phobic (my wife refuses to use it), but I've been using them for many years and they've always done right by me. Paper checks to a rural area are often a day or two late, but there's no late fee involved so no big deal.

    NFI, just a very satisfied customer. Oh yeah, another perk, customer service is available by phone (or over the Internet) 24/7.
    Randall
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    Great Pumpkin NutmegCT's Avatar
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    Re: Paperless!

    Randall - I've got Fidelity too. Best financial decision I ever made - and that was 30 years ago.

    One reason I've been pushing the "paperless" issue: I work with dozens of people in their 70s and 80s at the air museum. I see every day how the "online experience" is crushing them.

    Thanks.
    Tom m.
    Mac & Phyllis Take a Trip: http://nutmegflyer.com/trip-details-daily-updates/
    History: 1976 MGB, 1959 Triumph TR3A, 1960 Mercedes-Benz 190b, 1958 Rambler American.
    Current: 1953 MG TD27318.

  19. #18
    Yoda AngliaGT's Avatar
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    Re: Paperless!

    Our local credit union in CA sent us a flyer,inviting us to
    "go paperless" which also said "We suggest you to make a paper copy".
    Just Remember.......
    NOBODY ever says "COOL PRIUS!"

  20. #19
    Great Pumpkin NutmegCT's Avatar
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    Re: Paperless!

    Quote Originally Posted by AngliaGT View Post
    Our local credit union in CA sent us a flyer,inviting us to
    "go paperless" which also said "We suggest you to make a paper copy".
    Brilliant! They save, but you pay. Give that company a banana!
    Mac & Phyllis Take a Trip: http://nutmegflyer.com/trip-details-daily-updates/
    History: 1976 MGB, 1959 Triumph TR3A, 1960 Mercedes-Benz 190b, 1958 Rambler American.
    Current: 1953 MG TD27318.

  21. #20
    Obi Wan
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    Re: Paperless!

    My malpractice carrier sends me a bill each month online. I have to print it out, cut off the bottom portion and mail it in using MY envelope. Only advantage? I get my bill well ahead of time. OTOH, my credit union Mastercards - two of them - will not forward the monthly statements to my Florida address, so - I get them late each month and have to pay a $25 late fee on each card. I would love to get an online statement ahead of time. I don't like automatic bill pay for obvious reasons. I do have another credit card with a national bank and so I paid this month's payment at a local bank branch down here. You win some, you lose some.

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