Monday, August 10, 2009
Know what you're paying for . . . .
First of all, I want to report that my son made it back home safe and sound after his trip to Westernport, Maryland. He had a terrific time and I'm sure it was a memorable trip for him. I want to thank of you for your prayers and best wishes for him and my husband and myself while Geoff was away.
Today, I opened my recent credit card statement and was concerned to see an unauthorized charge for $192.00. It was from an online education program that my children were previously enrolled in. When I called them to question this charge, they told me that since I didn't inform them in writing that my children would not be re-enrolled for the upcoming year (my son was a senior last year - Hello!!) and my credit card information was still listed, they just went ahead and helped themselves! Well, in quick time they were informed of their gross error and immediately removed the charge - but it made me think - how many people actually check their bills and statements for accuracy?
I happen to be a bank teller and am shocked at the number of customers that regularly inform me that they don't even open their statements. They just assume that they are correct. Well, it's people that are imputing information into computers and credit card machines, and people sometimes make mistakes. We have direct-deposit in our account for my husband's payroll, and a couple of months ago, he was overpaid by $8,000!! I was hoping beyond hope that it was a miraculous bonus, but a quick phone call to my husband at work confirmed that it was an error by the payroll company. Also, both my husband and myself recently had our debit cards compromised and it was discovered quickly due to my vigilant monitoring of our account.
And what about insurance policies? Do you ever open yours when the renewal comes in the mail to see what coverages you have and if those coverages are adequate or maybe unnecessary? A woman I work with recently had this experience: her husband has a 199X-something truck that was brought to a service station for a mandatory state inspection. It was discovered that the entire chassis was rotted away and the truck was unfit for driving. Meanwhile, they were paying for full collision and comprehensive coverage on this vehicle. And my co-workers response? "The girl at the insurance agency didn't call me and tell me that we shouldn't have been carrying physical damage coverage on a truck that was so old." Huh?
No, No. It is our responsibility as consumers to know what we're paying for.
How many bills and invoices do we open and just look at the 'Amount Due' and nothing else? Mistakes can happen, and they can happen to your:
Natural Gas Bill
Cell phone Bill
Land line phone Bill
Cable and internet Bill
Credit Card Statements
Lately I've been taking note of the variety of car insurance advertisements on TV. So, since I've been with my present company, Progressive, for a number of years, I decided that it couldn't hurt to shop around. I did. And what I found is that I currently pay a darn good premium on my car insurance. Other companies couldn't come anywhere near what we pay for a premium. So, while I didn't save any additional money, I gained the security of knowing that I'm paying the lowest possible rate right now.
So, tell me, do you know what your paying for? Do you scan your statements and invoices to check for accuracy. . or do you stick them in a pile and assume that they're correct?