Wednesday, April 07, 2010

The change in EFT
EFT - Electronic Funds Transfer. I started paying my bills by EFT many years ago after an experience I had with a credit card company. Back then I paid everything via check and postal mail like most people, but the credit card company kept insisting that my payments sent by snail mail were late which allowed them to increase my interest rate and charge me some ridiculous late fee every month. The postal service had it's issues, but I seriously doubt it was taking more than two weeks every month to get my payment to a location that was only two states away. Once I started using EFT, I loved it and started using it for any bill that I could - no stamps, no checks, no driving to the post office and best of all, no waiting weeks for a check to clear. If a bill was due on the 3rd of the month, the money came out of my account on the 3rd of the month. Nice and simple. Until recently. These days I can no longer go by the due date on my bills. For example, I have a cell phone bill that is due on the 3rd of the month, but the money will come out of my bank account about a week before on a date that varies from month to month. It might be the 28th. Or it might be the 29th. Or maybe even the 25th. I find this highly annoying and would like to know who the hell is getting the use of my money for 5 or more days of "processing time". One of the involved parties, either the bank or the billing company is getting interest on that money for those extra 5 days or so. It's irritating even though it's not costing me, personally, a lot of money - after all, it's not like I'm earning very much interest in 5 days on $100. But back in the days of paper checks, the "processing time" was on the billing company side. The more efficient they were at "processing" payments, the faster they got their money. Under this new way of handling EFT, I'm the one paying for their processing time. I don't like it. I think I may go back to paying my bills in person. With cash. Except some places won't accept cash anymore. And that's another thing that really annoys me, but I'll have to save that rant for another day - time to go to work so I can make my electronic bank balance bigger next week with my electronically transferred paycheck.

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