Don’t Let Automatic Payments Bleed You Dry

Automatic payments and subscription payments of every kind sure are convenient. Ever wonder why they’re so convenient? Because the companies you are paying want to make sure that you keep paying, forever if possible! An automatic customer is the best possible situation for a company. Customers are hard to earn. But once a customer is on board, they tend to stick around. Get enough of these customers lined up and a company can expect stability for a long time to come.

However, this isn’t always in the best interest of the individual customer. Just because you’ve been a loyal customer to your car insurance company for many years doesn’t mean you’re getting the best rate. Far from it – oftentimes industry events and new competition could mean that you’d enjoy better terms and payments with many other companies in your town or region. But automatic payments help to keep you from thinking about that fact. Companies that accept automatic payments would like it if you never really thought about their service at all.

Internet Service Providers As An Example Of Automatic Payments

You see this a lot in the way Internet Service Providers treat their customers. Most consumers only have access to one major ISP in their metropolitan area. Local options may be available, but these will not be able to compete against the financial might and infrastructure of an international ISP. Still, these alternatives exist and the major ISPs will do what they have to to make sure that not many of these customers leave for these competitors. If you have an account with a major ISP, you’ll be able to call their customer service number and ask for the “Customer loyalty” department. Here, you can talk about how you’ll leave the company if you don’t get a better rate. Usually, you can lock in a better deal in just a few minutes. If they don’t give it to you, leave for one of the competitors.

Other Examples

The same is true if you have accounts with energy providers, other utilities, or car insurance payments as mentioned above. In all of these cases, industry disruption introduces consumer saving opportunities. The problem is, most people aren’t plugged into these news events so that they can notice them when they happen. It’s important, therefore, to periodically take an hour or so and call up competitors to see what better quotes might be had. You might be able to save hundreds of dollars a year, or more, simply by taking the time to do this once in awhile.

Finally, it’s important not to let subscription payments go endlessly. Many times, people subscribe to goods or online services, only to stop using the service/product, and forgetting they are paying for it in the first place. Perhaps you signed up for Amazon Prime a couple years ago and went crazy with subscriptions for everything from baby wipes to peanut butter. Take the time to clear that up. Or maybe you signed up for lots of different web entertainment services, but you don’t use them any more. Take the time to eliminate those and look for savings elsewhere. You’ll save a lot of money.

3 thoughts on “Don’t Let Automatic Payments Bleed You Dry”

  1. Automatic payments are supposedly a convenience but I learned my lesson right at the start. I had setup and automatic payment for my blog’s annual renewal and then forgot about it. At the end of the year, I promptly made the payment manually, only to be told a day later that I had unwittingly paid for the next two years. I have stopped using that feature ever since!

    • The one that seems to get me year after year is our life insurance premium. I can never remember if it’s on autopay so I through all these hoops to verify that indeed it is. Every time. I’ve never overpaid but it’s still amazing all the time I’ve spent.

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