Wednesday, September 05, 2007

A Dirty Secret

After cell phone companies, credit card companies are probably my least favorite corporate entities to deal with. I think they all need to be sent back to ethics school.

Almost all credit card companies allow you to post a payment on their website. It's fast and it's extremely convenient. Or at least it was--that is, until some greedy sonofabitch in accounting decided they could make a few extra bucks by tricking their customers. Allow me to explain. A lot of people are procrastinators, especially when it comes to money issues. If you don't believe me, go to the post office on the night of April 15th, and see how many people waited until the last minute to send in their tax returns. Recently, I've noticed the credit card companies are taking advantage of this behavior.

Here's how the scam works. Take the day that your payment is due and subtract a day. This will be the last day you can make an online payment without incurring a late fee. So if your payment is due on the 31st, you cannot log in on the 31st and make your online payment anymore. That day will now be blacked out, and the soonest you can make your payment will be the following day, or the 1st, at which point you payment is considered late and you will likely incur a late fee. To avoid the fee, you must now log in the day before your payment is actually due. Otherwise, your payment will not officially post in time. This is total bullshit, of course. It has not always been this way. Just a few months ago, I was able to log in on the day the payment was due and make a payment with no problems. But this way makes the credit card companies more money.

So if your credit card company is not doing it yet, keep an eye on them. They will eventually.

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