I’m starting to feel like I am being secretly videotaped on that old MTV show, Boiling Points.  And let me give you a hint; my boiling point is currently T-minus zero seconds when it comes to billing errors.  I have had so many billing errors in the past few years that I sometimes wonder if I am being punished for something I may have done in a former lifetime.  Do companies just hate me?  Can they really all be that bad at basic math?  Is good customer service just a thing of the past?

I received four bills in the mail while I was away last week, and two of them had crazy mistakes on them.  And not just small mistakes, glaring errors.  The kind that make my head spin like the exorcist as I try not to yell expletives at innocent customer service reps.  The kind that make me question the competency of the companies that I choose to do business with.  The kind that make me bat shit crazy.  Let me explain.

Billing Error #1

I recently wrote about my home refinance with Amerisave Mortgage.  They kinda sucked but ultimately got the job done.  Anyway, I paid my first bill to them by personal check on March 1st.  For my second payment, I daringly chose to pay them through my bank’s online bill pay and sent them a check for $3,800 on April 1st.  When it didn’t cash by April 20th, I called them to see what was taking so long.  Amerisave informed me that they never received my check.  No biggie.  I called my bank to issue a stop payment on the first check and proceeded to pay my mortgage through the mortgage company’s website, amerisavepayments.com.  Problem solved.

Unfortunately, the story didn’t end there.  Amerisave did in fact have the first check that I sent them, and they went ahead and cashed it.  Since I had issued a stop payment on the check, they were unsuccessful in their attempt to do so.  That didn’t bother me.  What makes me crazy is that they wanted me to pay a $35 fee for their inconvenience.  The chances of that happening were less than zero, and they immediately removed the fee when I told them as much.  Still, I lost 30 minutes of my life sorting through the details with Zorah in Las Vegas.  I think the issue is resolved for now, and I will continue to make payments through their website from now on.

Billing Error #2

We have rental properties with small mortgages on them, and both of the mortgages are due on the first of the month.  Since I use a zero-sum budget and am a month ahead on all of my finances, I pay the mortgages for my rentals and primary residence a month ahead of time.  This means that I pay the mortgage that is due May 1st on April 1st and the bank gets it around the 5th of the month.  Unfortunately, one of the mortgage companies I deal with gets really confused by my early payment.  In fact, they have improperly credited my account 5 times in the last 12 months.  5 times!!!!  Each time is dumber and more unbelievable than the last.

So, I got home from vacation and opened the bill to find that I was past due on April’s months mortgage payment.  This was super weird since they had happily cashed my $900 check.  Upon further investigation, I found that they had credited the $900 straight to the principal of the loan and not counted it as my monthly payment.  I called and they fixed it, but they couldn’t promise that it wouldn’t happen again.  “Our system gets confused because you pay your bill so early,” is what they always tell me.  They get it on the 5th, about 25 days early.  I cannot be the only person who pays their bills a few weeks early, can I?  They also made these suggestions in order to prevent them from making the same mistake every month:

  • I could wait until after the 15th of the month to make my payment that is due on the 1st.  No.
  • I could make the payment early then call every month to make sure that my account is properly credited.  No.
  • I could make my early payment by snail mail and include a personal note detailing my instructions each month.  No.

All of those options sound completely absurd to me, and I don’t think I should have to jump through hoops to pay my bill early.  It really shouldn’t be that complicated, should it?

Regardless, I think I got these issues resolved for now.  Still, I doubt that these are the last billing errors I will have the misfortune of dealing with.  How about you guys?  Have you been on the receiving end of any crazy billing errors lately?  Please complain about your recent experience with Comcast corporate incompetence by commenting below.