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Of all things, Sears had posted a late payment charge of $25 on our bill, along with a finance charge.

I asked that the due date be changed to a somewhat later date to keep this from happening again - no can do. Sears does not change the dates. Period. Our options are driving to the store and paying there to be sure the payment reaches them in time, calling them 2-3 days ahead of the due date to give them our checking account number to have the amount deducted from the account each time, or sending the payment in earlier than we do now. The Sears operator also mentioned paying extra so we have a credit in case our next payment doesn't reach them in time again!

OK - my question. Has anyone else on the board been having problems with Sears concerning this? Are they being sloppy with bookkeeping, is the mail extra slow now, or is there some other reason this has been happening recently?


Yes, it sounds precisely like what they tried to pull on me. This is how I handled it:

First, I got them to wipe the charges, just like you did. I asked them to change the billing date and got laughed at (I think that happens more and more when you start to become a Fool).

So I decided to take advantage of my bank's online bill-pay feature (which I do anyway but with a twist):

As soon as I get the bill I pay the minimum payment, which usually is small. Then, when my paycheck comes in (just before the due date), the minimum payment has already been met and I send them another payment for what I feel I can afford that month (I'm working on eliminating the debt entirely, but I have higher-interest cards to pay off first).

This works if you have or can get any kind of electronic payment option. Or you can do it at Sears.

Oh yes, and once you do send in the minimum payment, check their website frequently to ensure they received it. Or call them. Warning: even after you send in the minimum payment, they'll still show a "minimum payment due" on the website

My ultimate solution is to pay them off and not deal with such a limited range of options. Sears stuff tends to be quality, in my experience, but from now on I'm paying cash up front.

Hope this helps.

El
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