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Closely Watch That Your Bank Online Bill Payments, Are Actually, Being Paid To Your Designated Payees
Does Anyone Take Responsibility Regarding Online Billing
Heed and take warning! Online Bill Payment is not as safe, as Banks lead you to believe. Not, even, Banks, take direct responsibility, if a payment, or payments, do not go to the correct receiver, that you designated ONLINE! I learned this the hard way; where it hit my pocket (financially), and, boy, does it hurt! And, around the holidays, at that!
I pay my bills online because, as most consumers, I believed that this was a convenient, and safe way, to pay my bills; electronically, through my banks, from my Bank Account. I was always under the belief that my banks would take responsibility if anything went awry, or wrong, from their end. Well, recently, to my dismay, I learned, a hard way, that they do not.
I attempted to pay Comcast, a Cable Company (for those not familiar with it), $104.51, for my bill that was due, at the beginning of November. I made sure that it was Comcast, that I was paying. Unbeknownst to my Banks, I, always, electronically, copy, then paste, and email, a copy, to myself, once I submit a bill, or bills, for payment. My verification, for my records, of what I submitted, or actually, paid.
Anyway, a couple of days, after I believed that Comcast received their payment, I called Comcast, and was informed, that my payment is overdue. After trying to tell Comcast that I made my payment, and that they should have received it; I checked my Bank Account, and discovered that the payment had been sent to ComEd (short for Common Wealth Edison), instead. I, immediately, checked my Bank's Bill Pay Account, and it had ComEd, as the receiver. I, then, checked my copy of the Bills that I had made, and sent myself, that I paid that day; and, it showed ComCast, as the payee. I, then, telephoned the Bank, and the Bank Representative went to check something, came back to the phone, and stated that "Comcast and ComEd are similar,' trying to laugh it off. A man, who stated that he was one of the Supervisors, for the Bank; eventually, became involved, and stated that he had tried to call ComEd; however, that they were closed. He promised that he was going to call them, first thing, the next morning, and request them to refund the money. He stated that the Bank will make sure that the money is sent to ComCast; therefore, I thought that was the end of it. Not once, did anyone, there, ever state that the bank was at fault, directly. It was just implied indirectly, by the way that they kept responding to my questions; and by what they were stating that they are willing to do, to correct the mistake.
It was not resolved, the next morning, as promised. Instead, the next day, I received an email stating that I had a message; and needed to sign into my Bank Account, to view it. It was from the Bank; where they had the audacity to inform me, through a message, that ComEd would not refund the money, to them, and that I need to call ComEd, myself. ComEd told me that the money had been sent to them, error or not; and that it is not their policy to refund money, for any reason. After a heated discussion with them; I hung up and called my State's Commerce Commission, and filed a complaint. They attempted to help; however, to no avail. When the Commerce Commission attempted to call the second Bank, AND I WAS ON THE LINE, they refused to, even, speak with them, nor take responsibility, citing that they do not discuss anyone's private bank account, with an outside party. No exceptions made.
A few weeks, later; I attempted to pay Comcast, again, with my other Bank. Well, now, I know what it means when it is said that 'lightening can strike twice in the same place.' Yes, you guessed it; the same situation happened with my other Bank; and, I had made sure, like the other Bank, that I made a copy of the Bills that I had submitted, for payment; therefore, I knew, for a fact, that I had chosen the correct payee, Comcast. In my opinion, as well as others, these Big Banks are crooks, to begin with; and, now, they are careless when it comes to upholding their end, and taking care with people's accounts. Well, trying to get things straight; I, only, suffered the same experience, as I had with the first Bank. The following are a summation of my thoughts, that I had written down, regarding my recent experiences, as a note to myself:
A similar problem has just happened to me, twice; and, from TWO different Big Banks! I am positive that the online bill payments that I submitted was to Comcast, a cable company, in the amount of $104.51 cents, both times. I made sure; especially, the second time. I do not know who, actually, is in charge of Banks online processing; however, I believe that the errors are, and were, on both Banks end! However, I am in total agreement, with another party that had the same incident happen to them, that ComEd is NOT consumer friendly at all; and, can care less that the money received by them, was NOT meant for them. Both banks made attempts to reclaim (where they asked for it to be refunded to them, from ComEd) the money from ComEd; and both Banks called me, to tell me to call ComEd, instead; because ComEd refuses, and stated that they will just apply it to my ComEd Account. They did not care about the circumstances, that I owed Comcast, or how it affected me; and that the payment to them, were Bank errors! I tried calling up the chain, at ComEd; however, to no avail. I, then, called Illinois Commerce Commission, to file a complaint; and, they could not even get ComEd, or the Banks, to refund the money. The Commerce Commission stated that ComEd informed them, in both circumstances, when they kept attempting, that they just issued my new bill, and will just apply one to that; and the other, to the next bill. Meanwhile, because they had my money, Comcast's Bill was 2 month's behind! Lucky for me, The Illinois Commerce explained to someone high up on the chain, at Comcast; and Comcast promised that they would not turn off my Cable, nor Internet connection. Everyone involved had some choice words, to say, about ComEd, also. ComEd's monopoly, regarding electricity, needs to be broken up; because, obviously, they believe that they are some kind of higher power, and can do as they please. Something does need to be done about the way they run their practice, and business.
P.S. After this experience, I rejoined a Credit Union, that I left years, ago! And, I recommend others to do the same; do not wait until you experience a similar, or worse, problem. After all of my Direct Deposits are switched over to my Credit Union Accounts; Big Banks are HISTORY, in my life! In fact, I hope that they do go under; and I will not shed a tear! Besides 'nickeling and diming' all of their customers; they should stand behind their Bank, be fair, and take RESPONSIBILITY for the Bank's actions.