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Mon Feb 22, 2021, 07:17 PM

One more good reason to not allow anyone to withdraw funds from the bank

All the utilities, now also Comcast, want to “automatically” withdraw amounts due.

No way! I get the statement online and when I hit “pay now” the funds are withdrawn.

Yes it is about the poor Texans with the $10,000 (or so) electric bills withdrawn from their accounts helplessly finding out too late.

51 replies, 3992 views

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Reply One more good reason to not allow anyone to withdraw funds from the bank (Original post)
question everything Feb 22 OP
msongs Feb 22 #1
question everything Feb 22 #8
Blue_true Feb 22 #17
brush Feb 22 #2
CurtEastPoint Feb 22 #6
sarcasmo Feb 22 #32
sprinkleeninow Feb 22 #34
XanaDUer2 Feb 22 #3
samnsara Feb 22 #4
BannonsLiver Feb 22 #47
barbtries Feb 22 #5
Shermann Feb 22 #7
Blue_true Feb 22 #18
wishstar Feb 22 #19
Captain Zero Feb 22 #9
2naSalit Feb 22 #10
PoindexterOglethorpe Feb 22 #11
question everything Feb 22 #14
PoindexterOglethorpe Feb 23 #49
jimfields33 Feb 22 #12
luvtheGWN Feb 22 #39
Blue_true Feb 22 #13
Auggie Feb 22 #15
msongs Feb 22 #20
Auggie Feb 22 #24
msongs Feb 22 #27
Hassin Bin Sober Feb 22 #29
Tanuki Feb 22 #16
brooklynite Feb 22 #21
Baked Potato Feb 22 #22
northoftheborder Feb 22 #23
Baked Potato Feb 22 #25
question everything Feb 22 #35
yonder Feb 22 #42
Joinfortmill Feb 22 #26
jcgoldie Feb 22 #28
question everything Feb 22 #37
Patterson Feb 22 #30
Skittles Feb 22 #31
roamer65 Feb 22 #33
A HERETIC I AM Feb 22 #41
patphil Feb 22 #36
Mopar151 Feb 22 #45
BobTheSubgenius Feb 22 #38
question everything Feb 22 #40
SunSeeker Feb 22 #46
Ziggysmom Feb 22 #43
ecstatic Feb 22 #44
Talitha Feb 22 #48
Greybnk48 Feb 23 #50
Klaralven Feb 23 #51

Response to question everything (Original post)

Mon Feb 22, 2021, 07:21 PM

1. how does one get this function you describe...

"I get the statement online and when I hit “pay now” the funds are withdrawn"

ez to know it appears on statement after withdrawal but how do u get it on the statement as a request that has to be approved.

Im thinking about doing various utilities as auto-pay, bills that are different each month instead of a fixed expense

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Response to msongs (Reply #1)

Mon Feb 22, 2021, 07:31 PM

8. All the utilities company offered to put the statements online.

I get emails from them when they are ready to view, have all the information of usage and the dates due. Really the image of the regular bills.

They already have the checking account information: name, routing, acct number, though for AT&T (our landline) recently I have to re-enter. And as long as these are EZ Check, no fees. Credit card would be.

We also use CenturyLink for landline and they were going to charge one dollar, or so, unless they could “automatically” withdraw, so decided to stay with snail mail for now.

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Response to msongs (Reply #1)

Mon Feb 22, 2021, 07:40 PM

17. My business banking is set up that way for all bills.

My cable bill is setup that way. All other personal bills are pure auto-debits that I have to pre-approve.

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Response to question everything (Original post)

Mon Feb 22, 2021, 07:22 PM

2. I never allow automatic withdrawals, no matter what bill it is. You have to maintain...

control over the vultures trying everything they can to get your money.

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Response to brush (Reply #2)

Mon Feb 22, 2021, 07:24 PM

6. I use autopay but ONLY to pay via Amex. I'm protected. NO ONE needs to know my bank shit.

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Response to brush (Reply #2)

Mon Feb 22, 2021, 08:32 PM

32. Agreed, I never do autopay.

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Response to brush (Reply #2)

Mon Feb 22, 2021, 08:47 PM

34. I'm only on autopay for some bills that stay the same amount each month. Not for the ones

like utilities and such.

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Response to question everything (Original post)

Mon Feb 22, 2021, 07:23 PM

3. I refuse autopay

my rental agency is pressuring us to use it. I still write a check

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Response to question everything (Original post)

Mon Feb 22, 2021, 07:23 PM

4. omg we have all our bills on auto pay.....but I have a generator..

...and Im not in Texas.






whew

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Response to samnsara (Reply #4)

Mon Feb 22, 2021, 10:35 PM

47. Millions of people use auto pay without problems.

The reason these people got screwed is because they chose to buy power at wholesale rates. I’m sure it worked in their favor most of the time until it did not. Either way, they took the free market capitalism ride and had a bad trip.

I would not opt for the wholesale route simply because of the exposure risk. Let the utility companies deal with that.

I find the reaction here to the autopay to be both irrational and silly.

Cable bills are fixed so the OPs example is not apples to apples anyway.

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Response to question everything (Original post)

Mon Feb 22, 2021, 07:23 PM

5. i agree.

with subscriptions it's very hard not to, but all of my bills including the mortgage i pay on a monthly basis myself.

one other exception is my cell bell, which i allowed because it saves me money every month.

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Response to question everything (Original post)

Mon Feb 22, 2021, 07:27 PM

7. I've never had a problem with automatic bank drafting

Obviously there are risks there showcased by this debacle.

I always get statements in the mail with the draft amount prior to the draft date. So you can scan them for anything amiss. I wonder if that occurred in the Texas situation?

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Response to Shermann (Reply #7)

Mon Feb 22, 2021, 07:48 PM

18. I have never had an issue with it.

There are two formats, business banking and personal banking. In business banking that I am familiar with, the bill doesn’t get paid until I or someone else with authority approve the payment. Personal banking can be auto-debits set up for a specific amount and nothing over a pre-determined level will be paid unless I intervene to approve it, less can be withdrawn, but only once. The other form of personal online banking is I get notification that a bill has been posted and I go to a website and authorize the payment - bills like electric and gas bills would fall under that category.

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Response to Shermann (Reply #7)

Mon Feb 22, 2021, 07:50 PM

19. Same here- the actual withdrawal always occurs a couple of weeks after notification

I have auto draft for both electric and cable bills but they always notify me (both by email and paper statements) so I have time to make sure the funds are available and that bill is correct.

Sounds like the auto bill withdrawals in Texas are not being made until notification so customers do have ability to cancel the automatic drafts. News reports are warning customers to take action before any auto drafts occur.

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Response to question everything (Original post)

Mon Feb 22, 2021, 07:32 PM

9. Yep. Why I get the bill and then logon & pay from my bank's website.

I'm the final finger to click 'pay'.

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Response to question everything (Original post)

Mon Feb 22, 2021, 07:33 PM

10. They shouldn't get another damned cent from anyone.

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Response to question everything (Original post)

Mon Feb 22, 2021, 07:33 PM

11. I have a handful of bills that are auto pay.

But they are not ones that will vary wildly from month to month.

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Response to PoindexterOglethorpe (Reply #11)

Mon Feb 22, 2021, 07:37 PM

14. This is what the Texans thought until the "once in 500 years" event happened, again

And, I suppose, no one thought that after what happened they would be legally robbed.

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Response to question everything (Reply #14)

Tue Feb 23, 2021, 11:22 AM

49. Very specifically, my auto-pay accounts

are for fixed sums, like my internet/landline and my cell phone. All I ever do on the cell phone is text or make phone calls, so I'm never going to have extra charges there.

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Response to question everything (Original post)

Mon Feb 22, 2021, 07:37 PM

12. I think Comcast gives me a 5 dollar discount to autopay

I think a few others do as well. Saves money to autopay. The whole thing with Texas is weird. First how do you run up a bill when you have no power. And if you do have power, they don’t just take the money out until the date due. The date due is after the cycle closes out.

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Response to jimfields33 (Reply #12)

Mon Feb 22, 2021, 09:36 PM

39. Yes, that's my question too.

The power failed just last week. Why are some people getting a bill already for thousands of dollars, especially since they were without power?

I understand the wholesale prices etc. (a travesty IMHO) but I just don't understand getting those gigantic bills in such a very, very short time.

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Response to question everything (Original post)

Mon Feb 22, 2021, 07:37 PM

13. My bank will only pay pure auto-debits of the amount that I designate,

+|- 20%. I would never put something like a utility bill or other bills that can float over a big range on pure auto-debit, I would have to approve payment after seeing the bill.

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Response to question everything (Original post)

Mon Feb 22, 2021, 07:38 PM

15. Some pensions plans and social security will withdraw auto deposited funds in the event of death

Happened to my mother when my father died. I called the pension company and social security to report his death. Within hours the original deposits had been withdrawn and re-deposited at the lower amounts that surviving spouses receive.

Lesson learned: drain the bank accounts BEFORE you call the pension company and social security to report someone's death.

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Response to Auggie (Reply #15)

Mon Feb 22, 2021, 08:02 PM

20. you will have to pay back the amt just the same nt

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Response to msongs (Reply #20)

Mon Feb 22, 2021, 08:10 PM

24. How will they get it if someone is deceased and broke?

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Response to Auggie (Reply #24)

Mon Feb 22, 2021, 08:19 PM

27. file claims against the estate. ss is feds and they have their ways nt

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Response to Auggie (Reply #15)

Mon Feb 22, 2021, 08:29 PM

29. Better to dummy up.

I told my brother this when my dad died. But he didn’t listen. Chase locked the accounts (that we were on) and Discover put a claim on the estate that we had to pay extra attorney fees to clear.

I asked my brother “what the fuck, are you the town crier? They’ll figure this out when we close the accounts now we have to jump through hoops”

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Response to question everything (Original post)

Mon Feb 22, 2021, 07:39 PM

16. And here's yet another good reason:

https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/a-winnipeggers-death-goes-unnoticed-for-two-years

"A Winnipegger's Death Goes Unnoticed for Two Years
.....

After a brief investigation in which Manitoba's chief medical examiner determined he'd died of natural causes, the bizarre confluence of coincidences that led to his delayed discovery began to emerge (and landed Sulkers' story on "wacky news of the world" websites from Houston to Cape Town). For one thing, he was a reclusive man. He was estranged from his family and had minimal contact with neighbours, most of whom assumed he'd taken an extended vacation. Also, he suffered from a medical condition that prevented his body from decomposing - and therefore expelling any telltale odours.

But the primary factor in the delay, it turns out, was technology - or more specifically, automated banking. Sulkers suffered from multiple sclerosis and received a monthly disability pension, which was deposited directly into his bank account. His condo fees, utilities and other expenses were then deducted automatically. As such, his bills were routinely being paid up well beyond his death. Why wouldn't his creditors assume he was alive?

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Response to question everything (Original post)

Mon Feb 22, 2021, 08:05 PM

21. We don't have to autopay for utilities...

We do for items that have consistent pricing.

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Response to question everything (Original post)

Mon Feb 22, 2021, 08:09 PM

22. Automatic bill pay--it's never a problem, until there's a problem.

We pay some utility bills online, but always as a one time debit. Learned our lesson with Compuserve LOL.

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Response to question everything (Original post)

Mon Feb 22, 2021, 08:09 PM

23. Old traditionalist here as far as banking is concerned....

... I pay all household bills by CHECK. Anyone else this antique? My online newspaper and monthly internet charges are charged to my credit card. Only my life insurance is automatically withdrawn from account.

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Response to northoftheborder (Reply #23)

Mon Feb 22, 2021, 08:13 PM

25. We pay our mortgage, car insurance, and a credit card by check.

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Response to Baked Potato (Reply #25)

Mon Feb 22, 2021, 09:17 PM

35. Except when last month the car insurance check never cleared the bank. The office never received it

so ended up paying online

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Response to northoftheborder (Reply #23)

Mon Feb 22, 2021, 09:52 PM

42. "Anyone else this antique?" Maybe...

Years ago, on payday I would routinely visit the bank to cash/deposit the paycheck and then pay each monthly bill in-person AND in cash. Usually it was just a few utility bills and a couple of other miscellaneous ones. After getting married, we decided it would be better if she handled that end of things.

Cash when I could and a cashiers check when I couldn't was my mantra. It all seemed so simple and normal.

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Response to question everything (Original post)

Mon Feb 22, 2021, 08:15 PM

26. No, no, and no.

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Response to question everything (Original post)

Mon Feb 22, 2021, 08:28 PM

28. Not sure if anything has changed but its damned hard to stop payment also

Fell into it with Nautilus Gym 20 years ago they gave some discount if you allowed them to withdraw automatically every month. Well then they have some BS in the contract about you can only cancel during the first few days of the month else you are locked in until next month. So after missing the cancel period two or three times busy or forgot whatever now they got a couple hundred bucks of mine for a membership I hadn't used or even intended to in months and they refused to cancel my membership. So I call the bank to stop payment. They told me if its auto withdrawal they could only stop it if I knew the exact day and amount that would be withdrawn and for a fee...wtf?!? Only other option bank said was close the entire account and open a new one. What a racket all premised on taking people's money for something they no longer want just like automatically renewing magazine subscriptions...

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Response to jcgoldie (Reply #28)

Mon Feb 22, 2021, 09:20 PM

37. Groan.. I think that all financial institution prefer to operate electronically and on the Cloud,

something

Save on papers and stamps.

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Response to question everything (Original post)

Mon Feb 22, 2021, 08:29 PM

30. Wait until one of these excessive auto pays overdraws your bank account

and you start getting NSF overdrafts.

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Response to question everything (Original post)


Response to question everything (Original post)

Mon Feb 22, 2021, 08:35 PM

33. Set up auto pay via a credit card.

That way you have fraud protection and can dispute charges.

Best thing it’s the bank’s money, not yours.

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Response to roamer65 (Reply #33)

Mon Feb 22, 2021, 09:41 PM

41. THIS! Excellent point

I do the same thing, where I can. Some firms won't allow paying by credit card, only via debit card number or giving them checking account info. My auto Insurance, TV Provider and Internet (among other bills) however, are all charged to a CC.

So for as many bills as I can, they go on a credit card that gives me hotel points or airline miles.

And as you say, it's THE CREDIT CARD COMPANY'S money, not mine, until I pay the credit card company.

I have also found some firms will give a discount if using a direct checking account debit, so one has to watch for that and weigh the risks.

Cheers.

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Response to question everything (Original post)

Mon Feb 22, 2021, 09:18 PM

36. It's always been my policy to initiate any and all payments of bills.

Sometimes sufficient funds aren't there until a certain date, and I sometimes have to transfer funds from one account to another.
I don't want any creditor taking payment on their terms...only on mine.

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Response to patphil (Reply #36)

Mon Feb 22, 2021, 10:07 PM

45. Give em A Check

Not the checkbook! Had this go around with a fiber optic company a while ago. They were gonna take the money for equipment their tech took away, A year before. No appeal, can't speak to s supervisor, too bad so sad. When my next e*mail mentioned mail and wire fraud, I got a phone call the next day,sorted all out......tho the person was not happy with how I found a way in!

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Response to question everything (Original post)

Mon Feb 22, 2021, 09:28 PM

38. That is a disgrace! How DARE they do what they're doing?

Now THIS is the kind of thing that raises insurrection. Completely cavalier, absolutely HORRIBLE actions on the part of the power companies. They deserve whatever they get, especially the ones calling shots.

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Response to BobTheSubgenius (Reply #38)

Mon Feb 22, 2021, 09:41 PM

40. His Lights Stayed on During Texas' Storm. Now He Owes $16,752.

SAN ANTONIO — As millions of Texans shivered in dark, cold homes over the past week while a winter storm devastated the state’s power grid and froze natural gas production, those who could still summon lights with the flick of a switch felt lucky.

Now, many of them are paying a severe price for it.

“My savings is gone,” said Scott Willoughby, a 63-year-old Army veteran who lives on Social Security payments in a Dallas suburb. He said he had nearly emptied his savings account so that he would be able to pay the $16,752 electric bill charged to his credit card — 70 times what he usually pays for all of his utilities combined. “There’s nothing I can do about it, but it’s broken me.”

(snip)

The steep electric bills in Texas are in part a result of the state’s uniquely unregulated energy market, which allows customers to pick their electricity providers among about 220 retailers in an entirely market-driven system. Under some of the plans, when demand increases, prices rise. The goal, architects of the system say, is to balance the market by encouraging consumers to reduce their usage and power suppliers to create more electricity.


More..

https://news.yahoo.com/lights-stayed-during-texas-storm-160028286.html

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Response to question everything (Reply #40)

Mon Feb 22, 2021, 10:18 PM

46. Sickening.

Particularly since his only other option was to freeze to death.

I hope he is made whole somehow.

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Response to question everything (Original post)

Mon Feb 22, 2021, 09:57 PM

43. Large amounts of money don't belong in personal checking accounts used to pay bills.

When I hit a certain amount I move the funds to savings or investment accounts. Have only one auto pay for my cell phone. The convenience is not worth the risk for me. Also never use a debit card for online or major purchases.
I feel sorry for the folks who lost all their money. They were likely the folks who didn’t have additional funds elsewhere or could afford the loss 😞

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Response to question everything (Original post)

Mon Feb 22, 2021, 10:02 PM

44. For sure! My electric bill is automatically drafted but

I need to make sure Georgia power doesn't have a crazy setup like what they have in Texas! My gas bill is at a fixed rate.

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Response to question everything (Original post)

Mon Feb 22, 2021, 10:52 PM

48. 2 auto-pays here, but they're charged to the credit card.

Satellite internet service, and satellite TV.

Found out the hard way that I need to call them when the credit card has been renewed.

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Response to question everything (Original post)

Tue Feb 23, 2021, 12:02 PM

50. Ten years ago, an officer at our Credit Union had me delete all direct pay

set-ups to utilities and companies that charge monthly. He had me change it all over to a bill payer page at the credit union. No one gets paid until I sign in with a password, fill in the amount I want paid, and then hit the pay now button or choose a date I want is sent. I am then prompted to review it and finalize the transaction.

I'm not clever about any of this, it was all him (the advisor I met with). He said NEVER give a power utility, or cable company, etc., access to your bank account or credit card. NEVER. Set up a direct payment via your Credit Union.

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Response to question everything (Original post)

Tue Feb 23, 2021, 12:17 PM

51. I always pay on the biller's web site each month using a cash-back credit card.

That way I see the amount being billed before making the payment, and I get the equivalent of a 1.5% discount.

Plus, using a credit card places the transaction under the Federal Reserve rules for dispute settlement.

The money doesn't come out of my checking account until I pay the credit card balance in full each month to avoid all fees and interest.

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