Art Blanchet and his co-host Bill Quigley talk about the things that matter
second-most in your life,
Home and Your Money. Art brings a real estate and financing career
spanning two decades into play with his research, experience, and own
perspective on what is going on out there in Home-Ownership Land. Together with
Bill they provide solid information and colorful interviews into your life--pick
and choose what you need and just enjoy the rest.
"Accidentally" late indeed! I had the same issue
arise recently (that you talked about in
Day Late, Yeah Right)--was running short on time (my card gives me essentially a
weekend to get the payoff--we don't keep a balance) to get my check in the mail.
No way can the bill just sit here a few days--we gotta move on it!
Anyway, this one sat a few days, and I needed to
send it--destination was about 200 miles away--major city to major city--but I
still USPSed it registered mail requiring a signature confirmation of delivery.
Next statement--Voila!--a late payment fee of $39.00.
I contacted the
company and asked them why and was informed the payment had arrived late. I
countered with the tracking information--emailed it to them--that showed the
payment had arrived the day before the due date and had the signature of one of
their employees. Slam-dunk right?
of apologizing for the clerical error (I really don't believe it was an accident
on their part), I was chastised that I need to mail the payment in a week early.
I told them it was none of their concern when the payment was mailed--I could
FedEx it if I wanted, but rather the date they received it was their interest.
Of course that fell on empty ears.
They removed the charge (glad I had the proof).
Now I will find another primary card for my use--at my convenience. I don't
shoot myself in the foot trying to out-draw the other guy. I'm looking for the
right card carefully as I am an adherent to the adage "better the enemy you know
than the one you don't know." It's all kind of sad...
I have seen exposes of collection agencies
deliberately losing payments internally to up the late payment and over-limit
antes, but not of credit card companies doing this. However, had I not had the
proof, I'd be a $39 victim of what I can generously call a "mistake."
Do you think "they" record mailing dates and
automatically add late fees to a sampling based on that alone?
Great website, great advice, great column. Keep
it coming Scott!