At one time, I used to pay my Sunoco credit card online using a multi-bill pay service (I have since forgotten the name of it). For some reason or another, Sunoco decided to stop offering payment options with that service, and rolled over to their own. They sent out a couple of notifications regarding this change, and I promptly ignored them all.
So, as it goes, my last payment to Sunoco via the bill pay service went unpaid (money never came out of my account, money never went to Sunoco). No big deal, really. My fault, not Sunoco’s. But the problem came when my next bill came in and I found there was a hold because the account was 30 days past due. Again, my fault, not Sunoco’s.
Now, wanting to do the right thing, I went online to register a new account with the new bill pay service. I entered all of my information, hit send and… declined.
Thinking I entered in something wrong, I submitted my info again and hit send and… declined.
So I called the number offered to figure out what the hell was going on. After the lady got my information, we got to the root of the problem.
“Your account is on hold because it’s past due,” she explained.
“I know,” I said. “That’s why I’m trying to register online. So I can pay it.”
“You can’t register online until the account is brought up to date.”
“I can’t bring the account up to date until I can register online.”
“Yes, sir, but your account is on hold. So you can’t register online.”
“Wait,” I said. I was confused. It felt like I was Mark Wahlbergh in Boogie Nights and I was trying to get the masters of my recordings (You can’t get a record contract if the record company can’t hear what you’ve got!). “So you’re saying because my bill is past due, I can’t set up an account online to pay the bill. That is past due.”
“Do you realize how retarded that is?”
She laughed. “Yes. It’s silly, and I’m sorry. If it were up to me, it wouldn’t be this way.”
“Okay,” I said. “I’ll send something out today or tomorrow.”
“Well I can take a check by phone, if you want. That will get your account up to date. There would be a service charge.”
“What’s the service charge?”
I laughed. Not in humor, but in disbelief.
“Wait, are you fucking telling me that I can’t pay my late bill online because it’s late, but I can pay you right now for 13 extra dollars?”
She laughed again. “Sadly, yes.”
“Wow. Just. Wow. No, I think I’ll pass on that bargain.”
We said our goodbyes and I went to my bank’s website, set it up and paid through the bank.
I should’ve done that in the first place.