A previous poster, Ed, complained about Severn Trent Services and their bogus Late Fees. Alyssa rebutted, stating that the lady in question was just doing her job and that perhaps Ed should pay his bills on time.
I have no way to verify Ed's claims, but I was also just hit with a bogus late fee and had a discussion with a fairly rude customer service representative... there would seem to be a pattern here.
I pay my bills through an automated service with my bank and have not had a late payment in the 10+ years I've used the service. If a provider doesn't accept electronic payment (and STS "remarkably" does not), the bank cuts and mails a check. I have verifiable proof that my check was mailed 7 days before the due date on my STS bill. Magically (implied sarcasm), it took 10 days for STS to receive and process the check. Other checks sent on the same day to other providers took only 4 days. How does that happen? I see two possible answers. Either Ed is right, and it's all a big scam that STS is running to make extra money (and we're all screwed because it's a monolpoly), or STS, as a business, just sucks at processing payments and handling customer service (and there are no consequences because they operate a monopoly). It's got to be one or the other. Take your pick. What recourse do we have?
I don't feel the need to bash on the individual that I spoke to at STS, but she was pretty d**n rude. For a first time occurance, with a customer that has a good history of on-time payments, I would expect a little compassion and perhaps a reversal of the fee. Instead, I was greeted with a cold "Maybe the post office was late. There's nothing we can do about that." (10 days?!?!! I've sent mail from California to New York that took three days. How does it take 10 days to go from one side of Houston to the other?!?!) When I asked how many days in advance I had to send a payment to avoid the issue, she said "I don't know what to tell you". Realizing that I would have more effect talking to a brick wall, I thanked her for screwing me due to STS's incompetence, and hung up. Again, they have a monopoly. Where is the recourse?