|Trojans, Trust Not the Horse - thursday 2005-01-27 0558||last modified 2005-01-27 0558|
|Categories: Daily Grind|
|TrackBacks Sent: None|
I first tried to sign up online for direct payment, thinking to save myself a little bit for envelopes and stamps and help out the environment in consuming less paper. As I watched, I noticed this direct billing never occurred, so I turned instead to paper enrollment.
I sent in a voided check to the insitution. I had quite a bit less trust that they would succeed, so I watched the account carefully after setting it up. I even sent in one more payment by check to give them a grace period. Last month should have seen a direct withdrawal from my bank account. It didn't. Nonetheless, my bill was paid.
After some head scratching, I called them up and discovered to my dismay that they were using the wrong account number. Their account handlers missed one digit. Somebody else had paid my bill.
"Whatever it be, I fear the Greeks, even when bringing gifts." - Laocoon.
The worst thing is that they aren't going to chase down this mis-charge. After correcting my account, they're simply going to sit and see if anybody notices they've made a mistake. Apparently my bank is basically willing to do the same ("I'm sure they'll notice the charge").
I've also found it's tremendously easy to extract someone else's bank account or change their billing information on them; you simply need their billing identification number. That's all it took for the customer service rep to start handing out all the bank information associated with that ID.