Setting up auto pay is the most effective way to ensure your bills get paid on time each month.
In some instances however, you may want to review the monthly charges in detail before blindly allowing the company to help itself to funds from your checking account. Credit card bills are a good example – fraudulent charges in small amounts are easy to miss in a large balance if the bill is not reviewed line by line.
Late Fees And Interest Charges
The downside of this practice however is the possibility of forgetting to pay your bill on time, thus incurring not only a late fee but possibly interest charges as well. Even if you remember to make the payment the very next day after the due date, you are still looking at a late fee in the range of $25 to $35. The finance charge will depend on your balance. In any case, this little slip of the memory could cost you $50 in just a day – a pretty pricey mistake!
Now if this happens to you more often than not, you definitely want to consider taking advantage of auto pay. Another option would be to find a credit card that does not charge late fees. Yes, nowadays amongst the plethora of credit cards offering all sort of benefits and rewards, there are options tailored to the forgetful ones of us.
Calling Customer Service Regarding A Late Fee
If you do pay on time however and just happen to have a memory lapse one month, do not fret! Your past accountability and a quick phone call to your credit card company’s customer service line can resolve this unpleasant situation and put some money back in your pocket.
Just dial the number listed on the back of your card and explain the situation to the customer service agent. Make sure to mention that you have been a customer for a while (of course if you have) and have been paying on time month after month. Tell the agent how much you enjoy using their credit card and would love to continue doing business with their company.
Explain the situation that prevented you from paying on time, even if it is just simple forgetfulness. A little kindness and honesty still go a long way in the business world. Then ask nicely if they would consider waiving the late fee and accrued finance charges as a one time favor. Chances are you won’t have to ask twice.
Why Credit Card Companies Waive Late Fees
Credit card companies love long term customers and the possibility to make money off you in the future justifies waiving the late fee and interest charge today. Keep in mind however that the refunded charges will most likely appear as credit on your next month’s bill.
Late Fees on Other Bills
Even though we have only tested this technique with a credit card, it would be worth the phone call to the customer service of any other company that may have added a late fee to your monthly bill. In today’s day and age of empowered consumer (think social media), most companies recognize the importance of keeping the customer happy and are willing to bend the rules in favor of the consumer.