Friday, December 27, 2013 Website Review

Recently, my dear mother went to pay a bill online to pay her internet bill and ended up on, a website that appears to pay your bills for you. Knowing that sometimes companies will intentionally redirect their eCommerce transactions to be handled by a third-party site, my mom completed their forms and supplied her credit card number. Afterward she realized that she may have made a mistake and asked me to find out more. With a little research in her browser history, I realized that she had clicked a link from a Google search page.

Looking at their cancellation policy and their BBB rating with 52 complaints in the last 12 months. I realized what this company was actually doing.

Their Game: 
This company makes their money on convenience fees and short cancellation windows. Their website is set up wizard style, where they guide you through the process one question as a time with each question asking for more and more sensitive information by asking you the billing number and then credit card information. Up until now, you don't know that they are going to want to charge you a convenience fee until the next screen which shows you the totals and payment methods. They will default select the "fastest" payment speed which costs a little more and then bill your card once you click to submit the order.

The Fine Print:
This company does not make it obvious that it is an independent third-party service not directly tied to the payee. In fact, you will only notice this if you read the fine print at the bottom of the web page or dig through pages on their website.

Cancellation Nightmare:
They don't want to refund your money so they make cancellation next-to-impossible. In fact if you don't cancel before 10:00 AM or 4:30 PM the same day (depending on the next time after completing the order), you can't cancel at all. They might say this is because your bill payment is being transacted and can't be halted, but I doubt the company has that quick of a turn-around time (hence why they have to payment speeds; neither one being same-day or next-day). With the situation with my mother, she tried to contact someone to cancel within that window and wasn't able to get a hold of anyone. I've encouraged her to talk with the credit card issuer about a reversal as they did not uphold their cancellation policy.

Honest Business? Sure, by somebody's standards...:
This site does not appear to be a scam or illegal, but I wouldn't call their practices ethical either. Just like with your bank or credit-union, it is a bill-pay service. They cut and mail the checks on your behalf and you pay a little more for it. And regardless of tactics, it is the user's responsibility to do their research when using any website including understanding their terms and conditions.


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