As my wife told me later, I’m old school when it comes to paying bills. I know there are options for online payments everywhere or even putting everything on a credit card so you just have one bill to pay. I still use physical checks. Just don’t like the idea of all these places having hooks into my bank accounts. I mean I can’t tell you how many times there is some data breech on a site I’ve used and they tell me to change passwords since my information may have been compromised.
The other part of this story is that our mailbox sits about 100 feet or so from the front door and it is downhill and hidden from the house by many trees. Plus, our mailman never arrives until after dark. I’ve always been a little paranoid about this and for some of the more important bills, I’ve gone directly to the post office.
It is also funny in a way because I was talking to my neighbor the other night and we got on the subject of late mail delivery and the issue of going down at night because you don’t want to leave stuff overnight.
Anyway, I’m sitting down to pay some bills and I link to my accounts to see what’s cleared and there’s a check that doesn’t match what I’ve recorded. Went to the wrong place and for a different amount. Likely someone took the bill out of the box before the mailman arrived and used the information on the check to pay for something electronically.
So, instead of what I thought I was going to do, I had to get on the phone to the bank and explain my situation. Then, I had to go to a local branch to close the account and open a new one. Had to record the outstanding checks so none of them would bounce. Plus, I went online to the place where the check was originally supposed to go and managed to pay the bill before it was past due which would have added a late charge. Then, since I have direct deposit set up for some things and other links into the account, I got to change all of that.
It wasn’t a lot of work. It is just the hassle of having to deal with the consequences of someone else’s actions. I guess I should be lucky that they didn’t write a larger amount. Its going to be refunded to me but the process will take time. Maybe I’m also lucky that there was only one bill in the mailbox because they only had one check they could have used. Although with the routing and account number, they could have tried again which is why the account needed to be closed.
I have no idea what they bought. I just have information about the store. I’m sure they justified it in their mind somehow. For me, it is just disappointing. I know there are those who do these things but if they actually invested their energy into something productive, then maybe they wouldn’t need to be scoping out mailboxes looking for an easy way to get some stuff for free.
And now, I will no longer leave bills to be mailed in the mailbox. It would be nice to live in a world where we didn’t have to worry about this type of stuff but that is clearly not the case.