Sunday, December 21, 2008

These are difficult financial times.

One the techniques that mankind has successfully used throughout the ages to battle adversity is the pooling of collective knowledge. If we all share our most successful financial strategies and cost-saving tips, we'll be stronger, wiser, and better able to face whatever may come. So, in the interest of sharing what I know, here's my current favorite trick for saving a few bucks.

When paying bills online, be sure to type the decimal point when entering the dollar amount! I know it sounds simple, but this little trick can save you big bucks.

Say, for example, you're paying a $47.57 phone bill. If you forget to type that tiny little dot in the middle of that number (jargon alert! that's a decimal point!), you'll accidentally pay the phone company $4,757! Zing! That's gonna hurt.

So, tomorrow morning, I get to call AT&T and find the one person in that godforsaken bureaucratic monstrosity of a haystack who is capable of both understanding my issue and refunding me my accidentally overpaid 99 months of future charges. That'll be fun.

I'm an idiot.

17 comments:

Meg said...

A few years ago my friend and I were using the new fanged (at the time)e-filing system for taxes. Apparently we may have been partaking of some adult beverages at the time.

She has two children. Apparently we identified her daughter as Amish. Since the rest of the family was Catholic apparently that sent up a red flag to the IRS. Oooops!

patsy said...

ok, I can help you with this, my sister worked for att for a few years and she learned and told me some things. when you get the "person" on the phone if they don't cooperate after you explain your problem ask to speak to thier supvisor. Helen says that is the way to go. what ever you do don't yell and shout cause they will put you on hold and leaving you hanging. no f words either. good luck.

patsy said...

hang on mike i am sending Helen over to help but she has to stop laughing first.

The 4th Sister said...

Mike, when you call AT&T ask for a supervisor...they don't want to send you to one because they get a ding on their call log....and the person they send you to will probably be an escallations officer..that was my job...they just say they are a supervisor..

they have the power to electronically put the funds back into your account....I'm sure that is how you paid it....they will want to send a check...weeks to get... be nice and keep going up the ladder till you get someone who will do it....if you get an a%% hole tell them you have to go and call back ...you will get someone else..a sad story always helps...you know RENT ck will bounce, that sounds better than you own your home..Kids Christmas checks will bounce....DON'T mention the 6 million Dollar cat...they will not feel sorry for anyone buying that....I am sure you can get it back...they may give you the song and dance of "a Supervisor will call you back within 24 hours' Tell them you can't wait you will just have to hold....they say that to get you off the phone... Your electronic debit goes to a special department and they may want to send you to them...I remember 4 years ago it still took 3 days to get it back into your account...hopefully they are faster now...

Avery Gray said...

The evils of coinage. Integers are the only way to go, if you ask me.

Portlander said...

If they won't refund your overpayment, insist that they send you an allergen free cat. Sometimes they will do that and call it even.

Mike said...

Meg, why is the IRS asking the religion of her kids? That's weird.

Patsy, thanks for your help!

4th Sis, your advice was right on the money (no pun intended). After spending a LONG time banging around the voicemail system, I finally spoke to someone who tried to send me a check in a few weeks. Their supervisor, however, agreed to transfer the funds to my account within the next couple days, just as you explained. Thanks!

Avery, it was the act of turning my number INTO an integer that caused this problem.

Portlander, believe me, you are not the first to notice my propensity to send huge amounts of money to undeserving corporations.

The 4th Sister said...

At&T tries to make it hard to get to a person....used to be....may have changed....as soon as the recording came on you started hitting 0...it took 6 Zeros to get to a person....built into the system....

Avery Gray said...

My point exactly. If you'd ascribed to the integers only rule in the first place, this could have all been avoided through a little something I like to call "rounding up".

patsy said...

"Anti-Jewish commentary is flooding the Internet in the wake of Bernard Madoff's arrest on charges of masterminding one of the biggest Wall Street frauds in history, The rich jews stuff i thought was just a lot of hate talk until I read you had enough money in your bank to make a 4757.00
payment and six million dollar cat payment so now I think maybe the talk about "the rich jews" might have some truth to it.LOL

Mike said...

4th Sister, it wasn't just that the voicemail system wouldn't let me talk to a human, it was that the phone would ring and ring and ring for tens of minutes.

Avery, but I DID round up. I super rounded up!

Patsy, you certainly don't waste any time using up your goodwill, eh? Well, if it makes you feel any better, it was only overdraft protection that kept payments and checks from bouncing right and left.

patsy said...

Truth be told Mike, me and sis. 4 are not know as "nice" actually we are famous as being mean. That is why we took delight in telling you how to get past AT&T's road blocks.
This is the reason we like you, you seem to be our kind of people. MEAN!

Mike said...

Patsy, well, you were helpful mean people then.

meg said...

Uh, never thought of that..... I may have been slightly impaired at the time....much like now posting on Christmas when I should be wrapping and playing Mrs. Clause.... But the brandy just calls to me, I have no restraint when family crashes here for a few days. I need a mental break.

Anyhoo, I believe it's because if you are Amish, Mennonite or Quaker you don't have a social security number. You're a religious objector or something. I am looking forward to her turning 18 in a few years and breaking the news that she has to go marry Amos in Intercourse Penn. Boy will she be suprised.

Monica said...

I just paid my $100 water bill...with $1000. How did it all work out witih you?

Mike said...

Monica, did you really? Man you must feel like a moron! It worked out ok for me. I got the money back in about a week.

Monica said...

Yes. Yes, I do feel like a moron. Glad you got your money back, and I hope I don't have to wait that long for mine.