Saturday, July 25, 2009

Billing Laws

Seriously, it's about time we made some rules for the people who send us monthly bills.

It seems that the goal of the billing statement is to trick you in to paying incorrectly - or on the wrong day - and charging you ridiculous interest rates.

At the very least, I expect the "payment" stub of the bill to list:
a) The amount I must pay to avoid any late fees
b) The date by which I must pay it, in long hand (none of this deceptive 07/08/09 nonsense)

Bell is polite enough to do that, although they mislead you at the top of the bill with a column of pre-tax calculations with a bolded total alongside the post-tax calculation with a bolded total.

The credit cards aren't so kind. Some list the real total (a) and the due date (b), while others only list the minimum payment and leave you to search among "Old balance", "Credit", "New Charges" and "New Balance" while leaving the date in a indecipherable numeric format.

We really ought to have laws, forcing these people - especially the credit cards - to spell things out deliberately.

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1 comment:

Catelli said...

Also, we need to get rid of the "Even if you don't receive the bill, you are still responsible for the payment" term. I think it is highly unfair that you get stuck with lay payment charges if the bill gets lost in the mail.

And, the minimum payment days from receipt of bill has to be greater than 30 days. Nothing like a billing date that arrives in between paychecks with 4 days to pay.

I swear the billing period is designed to increase likelihood of late payment fees and other charges.