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The price of honor 
2nd-Oct-2006 03:17 pm

I get a LOT of mail. Not as many as some, I'm sure, but a lot. I can pick up 20 items for me when I go to the post office. More may show up at the house. These range from bills to statements to begs (political, social, environmental... and no, I can't just throw them away; some of them have merit) to political information to catalogs (I keep the most recent one of these... and at a guess I'm on over 100 current mailing lists!) to just plain trash.

Anyhow, I try to triage it when I bring it home. The bills on top, the statements next, the cruft below.

Somehow before I left our 2 week trip to WorldCon etc., I didn't notice 2 credit card bills.

Somehow, after we got home, they didn't tumble to the top of the list.

I found them 1.5 days before they were due, and mailed them off, paying the cards off in full, one day before. Ooops. They arrived and were credited the day after they were due, and each of these cards hit me with a $39.00 charge for the late payment.

I have before called up banks and credit unions to say "Come on, I *always* pay as soon as I get the statement -- I never got it this time" -- but this time was my goof, and I just can't bring myself to do that. Shy, yes, but if I feel I have the moral high ground I'll stand up to "them". But not this time.
2nd-Oct-2006 07:56 pm (UTC)
Yikes! You can tell how long it's been since I had a credit card of any kind; $39 as a "late fee" is just obscene. Don't these cards provide any method for paying online? This is exactly the sort of situation when the ability to do that cam save your hide... and a bunch of money.
2nd-Oct-2006 08:12 pm (UTC)
Among my collection of credit cards, three take payments over the phone without penalty (American Express, Chase Mastercard, and Discover). Citi Bank, will take a credit card payment over the phone, but there's something like a $29 handling fee for the priviledge of having them do a direct withdrawal from your bank account.

Setting up phone payments can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days. There's no rhyme or reason for that as far as I can tell.
2nd-Oct-2006 10:44 pm (UTC)
I think there is an on-line possibility, but as of the last time I checked into it I didn't find it very "friendly". Granted, even a $30 charge would have beaten what I got hit with, but I'd been so disgusted with my options last time that I didn't even consider it this time. I really should have, and maybe next time I'll be better.

2nd-Oct-2006 08:07 pm (UTC)
Actually, there's a middle ground. You can call them up, admit to being at fault, and ask if they'll waive the fee anyway. $39*2 is a lot of money and it isn't as if the credit card companies aren't raking in the bucks by taking a percentage of each purchase from the merchant.
2nd-Oct-2006 08:48 pm (UTC)
Now *that* I'm willing to try. Thanks for the idea.
2nd-Oct-2006 10:47 pm (UTC)
M'lady -- I kiss your feet! She actually credited me both! I had to tuck my tail and control my ears as she lectured me about how they don't have any grace period, and I really need to make my payments on time, but ...

Wow. Many thanks.
2nd-Oct-2006 11:04 pm (UTC)
Woo-hoo! Congrats for trying, and congrats for having great friends with good advice! :)
3rd-Oct-2006 12:39 pm (UTC)
Feet kissing not required -- I'm happy to hear the charges were reversed.
2nd-Oct-2006 08:18 pm (UTC)
Argh. It's even more obnoxious these days, given how they hit your credit rating with a semi-permanent black mark, and then goose up your rates and payments because you're "not trustworthy". The one that steams me is the card I am determined to pay off first -- they want to charge me $100 of a $300 line increase, and they charge me $6.95 for an online payment.
2nd-Oct-2006 08:48 pm (UTC) - credit rating
I think my credit rating is still okay... one of these two cards is the one that (between when I mailed off the payment late and when I received the next bill) told me they'd increased my credit limit.

I hear you on paying that one off first! Good luck.
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