The audacity of charging the customer to autopay his bill


Automating your bill payments is possibly the best thing since sliced bread. Not only are you assured of an on-time payment, but you traditionally save the cost of a stamp and envelope too. That is, unless you want to auto-pay your State Farm Insurance bill. In order to use the auto-pay service from State Farm, a service which practically guarantees them access to my money, I have to pay them an extra fee.

It's not that State Farm charges an arm and a leg for the opportunity to use their auto payment service that irks me, it's the fact that they charge me for a service that takes less of its time, resources and money to process than a paper check. Charging customers for an auto payment may have been "OK" when it was a shiny new way to make life easy for your customers, but it has become a standard free feature for most companies. It's ridiculous that companies are charging customers for the ability to pay them electronically.

While there are other options for auto-paying bills, the addition or removal of discounts on a bimonthly basis causes my State Farm bill to fluctuate, making a third party auto payment system impractical if not impossible.