I am an absolute shopaholic. I spend a lot of time patronizing literally every type of business under the sun. As an avid consumer, I believe that I have advice that I can give businesses that can help them become more successful and serve there customers better. Even though I am the only one working on this blog, much of what I write comes from endless conversations with friends and family members who have experienced frustrations when patronizing businesses, big and small. My name is Alice Stark and I hope you enjoy the journey that we will be going on together!
In college, you never have to worry about keeping the lights on, keeping the heat going, or running water. In a dorm, these things are provided. If you live off campus, there is a pretty good chance that your roommates might offer to pay the utilities if someone else pays the rent or pays for cable TV. This tends to put hundreds of thousands of young adults at a disadvantage when they finally graduate college and move into an apartment by themselves. You do not know much about utility payments, so you struggle to pay them.
Well, you could spend the next decade navigating the ways of the world, or you could just read the following. Both paths will teach you how to make your utility payments and give you all of the available options for making payments on time. You may be quite relieved to learn that there are at least five ways you can make a payment on your utilities.
Many utility companies have utility merchant accounts set up online so that customers like yourself can create an account and use a debit or credit card to make their utility payments. You will be charged a one-time transaction fee for paying online with a card, but then your payments will always be on time and never lost in the mail or late. It is also possible to pay by e-check online, but then it can take up to three days to fully process the transaction.
Pay at a Grocery Store
Grocery stores often take utility payments for electrical and gas bills. Some also take payments for your phone, internet, and/or cable TV services too. Check with the service desk at the store you shop most often for groceries. Then you can pay your bills and get groceries all at the same location.
Be sure to secure your payment confirmation numbers and call your utility companies to provide those numbers. This signals to the company that you have paid the bills, and that they just need to wait for the transactions to clear. When you do it this way, and make contact, it stops the utility companies from charging you late payment fees.
Pay at Your Bank
Banks also frequently offer utility payment services. Not all banks hold this kind of business partnership with all utility companies, however. If you live where there are two or more utility companies supplying consumers with power and heat, one bank may have a contract with just one utility company, one bank may have contracts with all of the utility companies, while a third bank may not accept utility payments at all. Ask a teller at your bank what utility payments they accept, if any.
Sending Money Through Banking Apps
You can also use money-sending services such as Western Union, Paypal, Zelle, and more send money to your utility company. Some of these money-sending services are stand-alone services, while others are partnered with specific banks and banking institutions. If you have your bank's app on your phone, scroll through the options until you see the "send money" tab, and open it. It will direct you from there on how to set up payments. You should also check with your utility company to see if they accept payments this way.
If you want to be super-responsible and develop good financial habits, pay by check and mail it. This seems a little "old school," but utility companies still accept payments this way. Just be sure to include the payment stub from your bill, and mail it and the check at least three days prior to the due date. Do NOT mail your payment on the due date, as you risk being fined for a late payment.Share
26 February 2018