How to avoid mistakes with online bill payments

How to avoid mistakes with online bill payments

Donny sat down at his desktop computer at the end of the month as usual and began the process of paying his bills. Time was not on his side this day as his favorite football team prepared to take the field in 20 minutes. Soon, his friends would arrive to watch the game with him on television, and he still had to prepare game time snacks. How to avoid mistakes with online bill payments

With his mind on the upcoming event, Donny quickly moved through the bill payment motions. He opened up a web browser and sent one payment after another, including electricity, gas, water, telephone, and then finally his Internet bill. Excitement for the upcoming game filled his mind as he prepared to make his last payment. He was almost there, nearly ready to jump into game mode and have a blast with his buddies. How to avoid mistakes with online bill payments

Donny rapidly typed in his password, made a mistake, retyped his password again, and zoomed straight to the payment section of his Internet account. He saw the amount due, hastily typed that amount into the appropriate box, and tapped send.

Without wasting another moment on mundane tasks, Donny shut down his browser and dashed off to the kitchen to prepare his snacks. He enjoyed the game with his friends that day, and it was all the more satisfying when their team won. Several days later, Donny received a text message from his bank informing him that he had overdrawn funds from his checking account. Donny knew he had more than enough money in the account to handle his bills, so he investigated the problem. That’s when he discovered he had accidentally sent $5,127 to his Internet service provider instead of the $51.27 amount due. How to avoid mistakes with online bill payments

In his haste, Donny forgot to add the decimal point to the amount he typed into the computer, and he ended up sending 100 times more than he owed to the company. Donny was now broke, and he had to wait two weeks to get his funds returned from the company.

Whenever you sit down to pay the bills, keep the following three things in mind:

  • Make sure you have the time you need to examine billing statements thoroughly before making a payment. If you have a pressing appointment and need to make a payment in a hurry to meet that time sensitive obligation, wait to make the payment until you’re no longer under that pressure.
  • Verify the amount you type into the computer before clicking send. Compare the figure you enter into the payment system with the amount owed. Do the numbers match? Is your decimal point in the correct location? Are you withdrawing funds from the correct account? Double or triple check your payment details before tapping the send button.
  • Consider setting up automatic payments. Electricity, water, gas, Internet and many other service providers generally invite their customers to set up automatic bill payments. It guarantees that customers will make their payments on time, and it prevents customers from making mistakes in the bill payment process. If you choose this option, be sure to check your billing statements regularly to confirm their accuracy.

Never let haste to “get it over with” cause you to overpay a bill. Take the time you need to verify all amounts thoroughly and review your bill regularly. It will help make sure that game day doesn’t turn into a financial fumble.  How to avoid mistakes with online bill payments

How to avoid mistakes with online bill payments 

How to avoid mistakes with online bill payments How to avoid mistakes with online bill payments How to avoid mistakes with online bill payments How to avoid mistakes with online bill payments How to avoid mistakes with online bill payments How to avoid mistakes with online bill payments

about the author

Rod Spurgeon

Rod Spurgeon is a professional writer, editor, and photographer. He writes a weekly column at ownyourdefense.net, is a content contributor at senior.com, and is the author of several science fiction novels and novellas.
 
He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Global Business from Arizona State University and a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Phoenix, and also received an Honorable Mention from PR News Daily’s 2015 Nonprofit PR Awards.
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