On Your Side Alert: Automatic Electronic Debits

Thursday, December 6th, 2012

By Gray Hall, NBC 12

In this age of technology, it’s likely you have a bill or two that’s taken out of our account electronically. For some it’s quick and convenient, but consumer advocates warn it’s not for everyone.

Paying bills is just a fact of life. Some like the old fashion way, by mail, others use the electronic route or ACH debit. Jay Speer, with the Virginia Poverty Law Center says customers beware.

“There are a lot of shady people out there and lot of people that don’t get things right,” he explained.

His office has dealt with consumers complaints when it comes ACH debits. They range from mistakes, to companies continuing to debit accounts even after they were requested to stop. Speer says it’s even happened to him.

“I was having my mortgage automatically deducted. They took two payments one month and it took me about 8 months to get that money back,” Speer said.

Speer advises consumers not to use the system but instead use an electronic bill pay method. The difference, *you* control when the payment and not the company you owe.

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Published: December 5, 2012

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