Paying by Visa

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I expected to be $84 poorer tonight after calling up AMI and taking up our contents insurance policy. I could technically have put the annual $307 on my Visa, but I’d rather pay quarterly and have the money for it. The guy on the phone said they prefer to direct debit quarterly payments, either from a bank account or credit card. Nuh uh.

Not going there. Hate direct debits, don’t trust them. With a passion. I once had a direct debit arrangement with a power company. They billed me an extra bill even after the date I told them I was moving out and to transfer the bill into the name of a flatmate who was remaining in the house. Never got that money back from the person. It was only $50 or 60, but enough to be annoyed about.

I also had to have a direct debit for paying off my bed – which since the 1st of Feb, is officially paid off!!! One less payment going out of my account every week. I’m glad that went smoothly; I was afraid they’d continue to bill me and I’d have to call them up irately. I also don’t like the fact that student loan payments are now being deducted straight from my pay. AFTER TAX. Not even any benefits there. I am pretty close to a zero balance now, so again I hope they’re onto it and stop deductions once it’s paid. I am worried, knowing how govt. bureaucracy goes, that they’ll continue to take money because I owed for the 2008 year. Given that the amount I owed basically equalled the remaining balance, it’s kind of a moot point. But deductions coming out of my pay would be deducted against the 2009 year, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they insisted I still owed $673 for 2008…and continued to take money from me, and then send me a letter saying “you have overpaid, send us your account number to get your refund”.

Sigh.

I do not like the idea of giving someone else access, no matter how limited, to my bank account LET ALONE my Visa. Especially when that company does not send out reminders before the debit occurs. Not saying that’s necessary, or even that they’re obligated to. I just think it’s a courtesy – my old power company informed me every month a week in advance, so I don’t see why another company can’t do it quarterly?

Anyway, as BF’s car insurance is with them, they’re sending me the paperwork and an invoice in the mail. Hopefully I can pay it by Visa at a branch and push my rewards balance over $12. then I’ll decide what to do with that money. I won’t be surprised if that incurs like a 3% charge, though – or if it’s not allowed at all. It always bugs me that I can’t pay my utilities at the post office by Visa. That’s around $300 I’m missing out on every month = valuable reward points! I could always direct debit my bills, but I like to be in control of my money, and I don’t care if I’m being paranoid – would you give a stranger the key to your back door?

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