The Dangers of Online Billing

The student loan people are trying to fuck me over. Pardon my language. I’m trying really hard to tone it down but they’ve really pissed me off. If you’ve been following me, you noticed that my student loan balance somehow jumped somewhere close to $600 one month. No, I didn’t go back to school or anything. I logged into my account and suddenly the balance was larger!

So, I diligently called the student loan people. The first rep (yes, I said first – there are more) said that somehow about $600 was capitalized on my loans. Mind you, I have been out of school for about 4 years now so there should be no outstanding loans to be capitalized. Rep #1 said that she would have to submit information for an investigation before they could determine if some mistake was made. I was to wait for 7-10 business days to pass.

Life intruded and I patiently waited a good amount of time. I got nothing from them. Zip, zilch, nada. I called back and was told that they had investigated and found the balance to be correct. I asked them what happened to my correspondence. Rep #2 told me that they don’t send messages, and rep #2 was wrong about interest being capitalized. I guess she had some magical screen that no one else there seems to be able to find.

I told the rep that I knew for a fact that the balance did increase because I’ve been tracking my balance on a monthly basis for almost two years now. Rep #2 told me that I would need a statement or something from them to prove my balance history. I asked rep #2 if they don’t keep a history of billing statement and he told me that because I signed up for electronic billing, they don’t generate monthly statements.

Hold the fucking phone here. You mean to tell me that opting in to electronic BILLING does not generate a damn bill and you don’t have a monthly history of my balance anywhere? According to this rep, no they don’t. I thought he was punking me. I started to look around for Ashton Kutcher and the cameras. Nope, no punking. It was just the government trying to screw me.

I told rep #2 that nowhere on the website did it say that opting in to electronic billing effectively ended them generating any bills at all. Of course while I was on the phone with him I immediately changed my setting to revert to snail mail billing which curiously does generate bill.

My impassioned pleases to rep #2 and his supervisor resulted in them saying that they will send my file back for investigation and I should call back in yes, 7-10 business days. I felt like I was going to pop a blood vessel. You know what I could have done with $600?! I know these bastards are just saying they’ll investigate to pat me on my head and send me on my way without doing anything.

To you I say be careful of electronic bills. At this point I’d rather take my chances with my neighbors stealing my mail and committing identity fraud than getting non-existent electronic bills from the Dept. of Education. Fuckers.

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