Saturday, June 30, 2007

Banks love automatic drafts

Banks and companies are in love with automatic drafts. Some even go so far as to require them. I firmly stay away. Why do banks love them so much?

  • It guarantees them payment. They control when you pay your bills, not you. Usually when you get your bill you have at least a week to pay it; with automatic payments they have the control.
  • It increases the odds of an overdraft. Your bank wants you to overdraft $20. It costs them very little but they get to hit you with a $10-30 fee.
  • If the charge is denied for insufficient funds, the company gets to hit you with a fee.
  • They have access to your bank account. Do you have a dispute over a bill? A changing bill, like a cellphone can always have errors or mistakes. Whether or not you really owe what they claim, they'll snag it from your account and you'll have to fight to get it back (either with a credit or refund check, which can take months).

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