Listen Carefully, Our Menu Options Have Changed!


Listen Carefully, Our Menu Options Have Changed!


If there is one thing I absolutely hate it is paying bills. Over the past few years I have streamlined the entire process into one yucky day every two weeks. I put everything I possibly can online and decline every super fantastic absolutely last chance interest free offer. Even with electronic technology and banking online, there is still something that I hate about sitting down and paying my bills.

Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful that we have the money to pay what we owe. And when I was a business owner, I wanted folks to pay me for the services I rendered. BUT still and all, bill paying has changed.

Perhaps it is the on-line-ness of everything. We no longer know the people at the bank or recognize the voice on the other end of the line. It is difficult to recognize a recorded voice that changes tone with every other word isn’t it? Maybe it is the fact that if I have a question on my loan or my account, I absolutely can’t get any help – in spite of all the advertising about online help and support.

Paying online school loans are the ultimate in frustration. I feel that we are often being bamboozled because we can’t figure out our account. They can’t figure out our account either, so they just add extra interest each month to make sure we are being gouged enough. Before on-line-ness, I sent a check each month along with the little remittance slip that had the account number. I sent a separate check for each school loan stapled to the remittance slip. They applied all the monies to ONE loan and told us that the others were in arrears and turned us in for collection.

In all my wisdom, I moved the accounts to online payments so I could track them better and put the money where I knew it needed to go. I have never missed a month and have the confirmation papers to prove it. Still, about every three months or so they add extra interest or an extra payment or whatever appeals to them. I try to call and I get four or five recordings but no person. Isn’t it amazing how often menu options change? We have to listen carefully because, if possible, they want us to hang up in frustration and just pay the extra.

Insurance companies are the same as the government loan folks. They want a premium payment ON TIME each and every month through bank drafts. That way it is not up to you to log into the account and approve of the money going out. However, if you file a claim you can bet that it will take over a year to even hear back from them and most of the time they will deny your claim IF you can work your way through the automated menu options.

Only the good Lord can understand medical insurance claims. They are not even worth calling about. I just decided that I will send $25 for life and hope they don’t bill my children double when I die.

Some online companies flat out rob you. We signed our daughter up for a school trip to Europe. It was nine months away. They were bank drafters. As a precaution, I bought the trip cancellation insurance. About five months into the program, we found out that she would not be able to go on the trip. I called and cancelled and asked for my refund because it was before the cancellation deadline. I was told she didn’t qualify.

“What about the cancellation insurance?” I asked. I was told that the trip insurance was for specific reasons only and we did not meet the criteria. So $200 down the drain for the insurance. I could get some of my money back if I called a certain number and filed a claim. There would be a $500 fee.

I called and filed. They said, “You should receive your money within six weeks.”

Whaaattt? The drafted my bank EVERY month. They had already robbed me of $700 and now I had to wait!

I did wait the six weeks. Then I called every day for 27 days until I got part of my money back.

However, I learned a second language from talking to their operators, so maybe it was worth the $700.

I still hate bill paying day!

About Fawn Musick

Writings to make you Smile and Think. Fawn is an award winning newspaper columnist. She is an avid writer, blogger, and mom. Her advice comes from her years of mothering her eight children.
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