Weekend Open Forum: Do you pay your bills online?

By on October 26, 2012, 6:30 PM

It dawned on me a few days ago as I was making out a check for my water bill that I pay almost all of my bills online. With the exception of one lame utility that sees it fit to charge a $7 “convenience fee” to pay online, all of my monthly expenses are handled on the web.

Sure it seems like second nature now but just a decade ago, the idea of paying a utility bill on the Internet instead of mailing in a check or paying in person was a foreign concept. Now customers can even set up bills to be auto-drafted from a bank account, effectively rendering late payments a thing of the past.

With this week’s open forum, we want to know if you pay your bills online. If not, what keeps you from it? Security concerns, lack of a bank account, helping keep the struggling postal service alive or perhaps something else?




User Comments: 27

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Macgyver56 said:

I pay everything possible online or with a bank draft. I was a little bit of a holdout for a lot of years, sticking to that check-writing rallying cry of, "I want control over when it gets paid, and the opportunity to review my bill for mistakes!!!!"

Then one day I was looking at a natural gas bill, and thought, "I've been paying this company for almost 20 years. In that time, how many mistakes have I found? Erm ... that would be zero." That was the day I began to change over to automatic and/or online payments. I love it. I never have to worry about missing a payment or how to deal with a bill that's due when I'm on vacation. In the years since I've switched over (about 5-6 years ago), I've never had a problem (other than one of my own making) or an error.

Handling accounts online is especially nice. No waiting on hold, no cranky service reps, I can tweak what I want without listening to a sales pitch ... the list goes on. I take two precautions, however. I never go into those accounts using unsecured or public networks, and I use complex passwords.

Sean Mann Sean Mann said:

Haven't been in a bank in a good year or so except for a notary. I use all online banking and even deposit my checks wight my phone. Bye bye tellers

BlueDrake said:

I pay mine online but I only have a few. Just even then I keep the physical mail coming, because you never know when the net won't work. Or simply you don't have enough in your bank account, and rather pay from your wallet instead. I prefer paying my ISP via online banking, problem is for me? It takes an extra day to go through, add weekends and holidays.. then I have a serious problem.

It tends to lead me into issues, but the general issue is my bill come up mid-month. So there's a lot of problems, with balance leftover adding up. Still meh on that really, there's always bound to be some issues. Sure I can always do automatic withdrawls, but I prefer doing it manually. Even if it does take a few extra days, so if they call I simply tell them it's been sent. So if they keep persisting, I'm not going to take their calls.

There's been no real issues, since I had automatic withdrawls before. ISP would pull out what's left, get an NSF and hit with like $45 fees so I'm not bothered. Stick with what I need really, otherwise I get stuck with more problems. I don't feel the need really, to deal with someone on the phone. I do banking in person for general things, but not for paying bills since that's taken care of at home.

Also if there's an issue I have come up, I can check my payments and prove it's there. Since I was the one who paid it, and not some automated system which isn't always reliable.

Win7Dev said:

I pay all bills online that I can except for my phone bill because they also want a fee for paying it online. Obviously I'm not going to pay more when I can just as easily mail a check.

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Except for rent, every bill I pay is online.

Guest said:

Yep, all done online for many years with no problems at all. I also hardly use cash so everything is a click or a beep, with everything automated to pay on time, top up accounts etc.

One downside - I'm not so careful about how much I'm spending.

Dawn1113 said:

As a general rule, I do not pay my bills at all. Kidding, of course.

Yes, I pay my bills and handle just about all my financial transactions online. I hate standing in queues.

madboyv1, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I too pay most of my bills electronically, though some bills are to individual people so I write a check or transfer money to them via services like paypal.

Guest said:

Except for rent, every bill I pay is online.

spydercanopus spydercanopus said:

I don't do business with those who commit the sin of usury by charging interest for the use of money. My bank is paypal.

hahahanoobs hahahanoobs said:

I pay my rent and bills online.

Tekkaraiden Tekkaraiden said:

I've been paying all my bills online for almost 10 years. My paycheck is the only reason I have to visit the bank.

1 person liked this | mevans336 mevans336 said:

I don't do business with those who commit the sin of usury by charging interest for the use of money. My bank is paypal.

Huh? I pay my bank nothing, they pay ME interest. Paypal, on the other hand, takes a fairly large percentage of any incoming money.

hahahanoobs hahahanoobs said:

I've been paying all my bills online for almost 10 years. My paycheck is the only reason I have to visit the bank.

You don't have direct deposit options? Where do you live?

Huh? I pay my bank nothing, they pay ME interest. Paypal, on the other hand, takes a fairly large percentage of any incoming money.

PayPal took money from me when I transferred money to my bank account.

TJGeezer said:

Pay all U.S. bills online, have done so for years. Our credit union does not suck money from us for making online bill payments. However, here in Mexico our accounts with utilities and local merchants need to be paid in cash.

Tekkaraiden Tekkaraiden said:

I've been paying all my bills online for almost 10 years. My paycheck is the only reason I have to visit the bank.

You don't have direct deposit options? Where do you live?

My boss pays me by manual check, she's too thrifty to pay to have it direct deposited.

avoidz avoidz said:

Rent and medical, yes. Power, phone, no. I don't mind dropping in to the post office to pay a couple of bills while I'm out.

veLa veLa said:

Usually they try to charge me some sort of service fee for paying them online, as if being paid at all isn't good enough! So no, I always write a check.

Guest said:

I auto-charge all bills to credit cards to maximize credit card rewards. I auto-debit my mortgage payment and full credit card balance each month from my checking. So everything is automatic. I keep a little extra "padding" in my checking account so I don't have to worry about an overdraft. Zero hassle and I've never paid a fee of any kind.

Trusya said:

I've started paying my bills online when I realised that the banks were taking enourmous fees for the operations. I understand that they also need to earn some money but it was a way too much in the end of the month.

Meanwhile, I do all the payments online. I even shop online and I play online games, for which I also have vouchers like paysafecard, so everything happens online for me.

Some of the companies in my city only accept online payments. Like the gas company - there's no other choice, you have to do everything online.

I don't complain, it's quite convenient.

QuaZulu QuaZulu said:

Here in Malawi, Africa there's no "plastic" and no one takes checks. Cash everywhere, baby!

Guest said:

I guess I'm the only one who doesn't pay bills online. I hope all of you who are doing financial transactions online are using a Live Boot Linux CD for them.

LNCPapa LNCPapa said:

Every one of my bills is automatically debited from my account except my water bill (they won't do it automatically), but I do pay that bill online manually.

Schwalbe said:

It's funny, my water bill is the only one that charges a fee for anything except a check and they don't even have the ability for me to pay it online!

9Nails, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I've switched insurance carriers just because I can't pay a bill online for that specific benefit.

I pay all my bills online.

Stamp? Envelope? I know those words, but give me a few hours, I might be able to find these.

Guest said:

You are not the only one. I don't trust the internet and corporations enough to be paying bills online. And my life has been completely fine without doing so.

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