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Recurring subscriptions

Sometimes saving money is simply about knowing where your money is scheduled to go! I have found Amazon Subscribe and Save to be an excellent program for saving money (up to 15% if you pre-schedule deliveries) with excellent subscription policies. Each time an item is slated for delivery they notify you in advance, giving you an opportunity to CANCEL the order without being charged or penalized.

Now THAT’s how a company should do business. And Amazon gets high marks for customer service. They have live people to talk to you about any problem that may arise and they refund purchases without hassle. As a disabled lady, I rely on Amazon for so much of my shopping needs and I really value their dedication to customer service.

However, not all business have the same standards or customer retention that Amazon maintains. I found that out today, when I was charged a $75 anual fee on a social networking account that I no longer use.

As I did some research on the charge, I found that paypal has an automatic payment “feature” that can easily go off the radar if you aren’t diligent.

Want to check your paypayl account vendor relationships?

  1. Log in to your PayPal account.
  2. Click Profile at the top of the page.
  3. Click My Money, then click Update beside My Preapproved Payments.
  4. If necessary, select the payment, and then click Cancel to remove the autopay contract.

In addition to scheduled payments, paypal has pre-approved agreements with some vendors.  In a nutshell, that means the vendor can simply send your paypal account a bill for services and it will pay it automatically.  When I looked at my paypal payment plans I was shocked to see FACEBOOK (among others) listed. But Facebook is free! Why have a payment plan pre-approved on a FREE SERVICE? Most likely one of the questionable affiliates had a bot that grabbed and flagged a one time payment and set the switch to have paypal authorize them to pay for life. I also found that social networking account  that started my investigation this morning .. not to mention any names (IMVU) and it had no less than FOUR paypal agreements to autopay. Seriously? Wow, talk about a sophisticated avatar. That app CLONED me and set up hooks to keep itself discreetly well fed. Because unlike Amazon, who notifies you when you have a pending auto-pay scheduled — this company sends “THANK YOU” notifications after the fact.

So, my tip for today …. GO FIND your auto-pay bills and check out your pre-approved payment plans for your paypal and your bank. You may be surprised who is authorized to spend your money.

Want more information on what bills should or shouldn’t be on auto-pay. Here’s an excellent web-icle on the topic Bills You Shouldn’t Put on Autopay with helpful links.

Bottom line you should KNOW what bills are on auto-pay and what bills you need to pay by electronic hand.  Other wise you may get an unexpected penalty free and interest charged for a late payment because you didn’t know that your Amazon card WASN’T set to autopay!  Not that that happened to me of course.  Hey, I’m learning how all this bill/pay stuff works and apparently there is a FEE to the Life Lessons Accounting 101 course that I am enrolled in.


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