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Lost Checks

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Anonymous
August 11, 2005 6:48:05 PM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.cingular (More info?)

Has anyone else experienced problems with Cingular losing checks? I
handle A/P for a small company and we have two different Cingular
wireless accounts (one for web-access cell phones, one for regular) and
within the last month, the check mailed for each account was never
cashed. In each case, I found out when Cingular or a contracted
collection agency called to threaten service cancellation.

With the first one, I figured it was just a random event, but now with
the second one I wonder if it's not something to do with Cingular. It
seems like a lot of their operations are a mess since the AT&T merger.

Whatever the case, it's a headache.

Thanks,

Jane

More about : lost checks

Anonymous
August 11, 2005 7:11:44 PM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.cingular (More info?)

Thanks for the info.

I figured payment processing was automated in some way. :) 

I considered the possibility that I had sent the checks to the wrong
address or failed to send them at all. But the checks are mailed and I
did use the payment coupon with the pre-printed address.

If it had been one check, I'd have written off as a 1-in-15 million
shot. But the fact that it was 2 check for 2 different accounts (on
top of all the other headaches I've had with Cingular since they merged
which I won't even get into), I thought maybe it was something more
systemic.

Also, I must send out 50-60 checks a month to various vendors of ours
and these are the only two that didn't reach their destination.

Jane
August 11, 2005 8:00:41 PM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.cingular (More info?)

<jgoodwell@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:1123796885.043339.318230@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...
> Has anyone else experienced problems with Cingular losing checks? I
> handle A/P for a small company and we have two different Cingular
> wireless accounts (one for web-access cell phones, one for regular) and
> within the last month, the check mailed for each account was never
> cashed. In each case, I found out when Cingular or a contracted
> collection agency called to threaten service cancellation.
>
> With the first one, I figured it was just a random event, but now with
> the second one I wonder if it's not something to do with Cingular. It
> seems like a lot of their operations are a mess since the AT&T merger.
>
> Whatever the case, it's a headache.
>

A couple of things:

Your check is more than likely never touched by a human and most likely
never handled by a Cingular employee. A company of that size usually has
large regional banks processing their payments- the address (even though it
says Cingular) is at the bank. The entire process is as automated as
possible.

With the merger, it is possible that they have changed banks and get a lower
cost per item in the deal. Many commercial A/P programs store an address to
remit payment and send the cut checks to that address. Is it possible you
are sending your checks to the wrong address and need to update your
software??

Was the payment coupon enclosed with the checks? Due to the automation
involved, checks will fall out of the process if they do not have the
coupon.

Think about it- they probably process somewhere in the vicinity of 15-20
million transactions a month. Nobody is going to get that volume posted
correctly every time. And yes, I agree- it does create headaches.
Related resources
Anonymous
August 11, 2005 8:14:13 PM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.cingular (More info?)

- Did you mail them in the same envelope? It wouldn't create problems,
but it might explain both of them being MIA.

No. Different envelopes. Payment coupons enclosed. Account numbers
on the checks.

- Cingular is now a little confused. I got a notice from them that I
have a bill due of that same amount. I figure it will settle out in a
little while.

I would have thought the same thing. Then I got the call from the
collection agency.

Jane
August 11, 2005 8:19:59 PM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.cingular (More info?)

Did you post them at the post office or put them in you mailbox in
front of your residence with the flag up (a nice way to let
mail/identity thiefs that you have something that is ready to be
stolen).


On 11 Aug 2005 15:11:44 -0700, jgoodwell@gmail.com wrote:

>Thanks for the info.
>
>I figured payment processing was automated in some way. :) 
>
>I considered the possibility that I had sent the checks to the wrong
>address or failed to send them at all. But the checks are mailed and I
>did use the payment coupon with the pre-printed address.
>
>If it had been one check, I'd have written off as a 1-in-15 million
>shot. But the fact that it was 2 check for 2 different accounts (on
>top of all the other headaches I've had with Cingular since they merged
>which I won't even get into), I thought maybe it was something more
>systemic.
>
>Also, I must send out 50-60 checks a month to various vendors of ours
>and these are the only two that didn't reach their destination.
>
>Jane
August 11, 2005 8:35:13 PM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.cingular (More info?)

<jgoodwell@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:1123798304.827577.168510@g49g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
> Thanks for the info.
>
> I figured payment processing was automated in some way. :) 
>
> I considered the possibility that I had sent the checks to the wrong
> address or failed to send them at all. But the checks are mailed and I
> did use the payment coupon with the pre-printed address.
>
> If it had been one check, I'd have written off as a 1-in-15 million
> shot. But the fact that it was 2 check for 2 different accounts (on
> top of all the other headaches I've had with Cingular since they merged
> which I won't even get into), I thought maybe it was something more
> systemic.
>
> Also, I must send out 50-60 checks a month to various vendors of ours
> and these are the only two that didn't reach their destination.
>
Did you mail them in the same envelope? It wouldn't create problems, but it
might explain both of them being MIA.
August 11, 2005 11:24:07 PM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.cingular (More info?)

jgoodwell@gmail.com wrote:
> Has anyone else experienced problems with Cingular losing checks? I
> handle A/P for a small company and we have two different Cingular
> wireless accounts (one for web-access cell phones, one for regular) and
> within the last month, the check mailed for each account was never
> cashed. In each case, I found out when Cingular or a contracted
> collection agency called to threaten service cancellation.
>
> With the first one, I figured it was just a random event, but now with
> the second one I wonder if it's not something to do with Cingular. It
> seems like a lot of their operations are a mess since the AT&T merger.
>
> Whatever the case, it's a headache.
>
> Thanks,
>
> Jane
>


You're still writing actual paper checks? Gawd, that just sounds so nasty.

--
jer
email reply - I am not a 'ten'
Anonymous
August 12, 2005 12:18:03 AM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.cingular (More info?)

A lot of payments are being processed manually. Cingular recieves checks in
1 location mails them to another for posting and yet another for processing.
This is why there are so many complaints about late fees and disc fees. If
you value your security I would reccomend that you make online payments at
their website or go into one of their stores and make cash payments. if you
mail a check at least 2 people are physically handling your payments
<jgoodwell@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:1123796885.043339.318230@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...
> Has anyone else experienced problems with Cingular losing checks? I
> handle A/P for a small company and we have two different Cingular
> wireless accounts (one for web-access cell phones, one for regular) and
> within the last month, the check mailed for each account was never
> cashed. In each case, I found out when Cingular or a contracted
> collection agency called to threaten service cancellation.
>
> With the first one, I figured it was just a random event, but now with
> the second one I wonder if it's not something to do with Cingular. It
> seems like a lot of their operations are a mess since the AT&T merger.
>
> Whatever the case, it's a headache.
>
> Thanks,
>
> Jane
>
Anonymous
August 12, 2005 2:36:05 AM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.cingular (More info?)

Scott <how.do@you.do> wrote:
> Your check is more than likely never touched by a human and most likely
> never handled by a Cingular employee. A company of that size usually has
> large regional banks processing their payments- the address (even though it
> says Cingular) is at the bank. The entire process is as automated as
> possible.

Ah, yes... I had almost forgotten the joys of those payment processing
centers. There were humans there, just not employees of the company you
were paying.

> Was the payment coupon enclosed with the checks? Due to the automation
> involved, checks will fall out of the process if they do not have the
> coupon.

Ours were supposed to be processed anyway... We wanted the check cashed,
and then we'd figure out where to apply the money.
Almost anything would be used as the matching account number, meaning that
they would apply payments to the wrong account, and we'd have to figure it
out later.


Immediately after signing up with Cingular, I went online and configured
for paperless billing. I paid the balance left over from AT&T-WS within a
couple of days of receiving the notification. Cingular is now a little
confused. I got a notice from them that I have a bill due of that same
amount. I figure it will settle out in a little while.

You're right about the huge volume of little pieces of paper. It's amazing
that they process almost all of it correctly.

--
---
Clarence A Dold - Hidden Valley (Lake County) CA USA 38.8,-122.5
August 12, 2005 2:36:06 AM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.cingular (More info?)

<dold@XReXXLostX.usenet.us.com> wrote in message
news:D dgjsl$1sf$1@blue.rahul.net...
> Scott <how.do@you.do> wrote:
> > Your check is more than likely never touched by a human and most likely
> > never handled by a Cingular employee. A company of that size usually
has
> > large regional banks processing their payments- the address (even though
it
> > says Cingular) is at the bank. The entire process is as automated as
> > possible.
>
> Ah, yes... I had almost forgotten the joys of those payment processing
> centers. There were humans there, just not employees of the company you
> were paying.

Exactly. And there are fewer than there used to be- some use a handwriting
recognition software that recognizes the dollar amount about 97% of the
time.

>
> > Was the payment coupon enclosed with the checks? Due to the automation
> > involved, checks will fall out of the process if they do not have the
> > coupon.
>
> Ours were supposed to be processed anyway... We wanted the check cashed,
> and then we'd figure out where to apply the money.
> Almost anything would be used as the matching account number, meaning that
> they would apply payments to the wrong account, and we'd have to figure it
> out later.

Oh, I'm sure they would still cash the checks , but they are probably
sitting in some kind of holding account. Depending on how good the process
is for Cingualr (and I really don't know), they could sit there foerever
(well, almost forever).



>
August 12, 2005 3:09:05 AM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.cingular (More info?)

Alcoholic wrote:
> A lot of payments are being processed manually. Cingular recieves checks in
> 1 location mails them to another for posting and yet another for processing.
> This is why there are so many complaints about late fees and disc fees. If
> you value your security I would reccomend that you make online payments at
> their website or go into one of their stores and make cash payments. if you
> mail a check at least 2 people are physically handling your payments


As an independent business person, I have a deal with my bank... They
let me spend my money any time I want for free, so long as I use their
e-pay system. If I want to spend some of it outside the rules by
writing a nasty paper check, I can do so, as long as I'm willing to pay
a fee. The e-pay system only requires me to know their account number,
and their bank's ABA number. Ckick... Shazam! It takes about ten
seconds. Years of no fees, no lines, no stamps, no gasoline, no
missing-in-actions, no sweat.


--
jer
email reply - I am not a 'ten'
Anonymous
August 12, 2005 3:11:44 AM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.cingular (More info?)

Scott <how.do@you.do> wrote:
> Exactly. And there are fewer than there used to be- some use a handwriting
> recognition software that recognizes the dollar amount about 97% of the
> time.

I worked on that software in a previous life.
It had to scan the written dollar amount. The numeric amount on the line
above is only for reference, and is not the legal amount. It wasn't even
supposed to be used for verifying that you had scanned the written amount
correctly, which I thought was odd.

Again, there was some matching of the check amount against the amount due
on the bill, which was encoded, to see if the recognition seemed correct.

--
---
Clarence A Dold - Hidden Valley (Lake County) CA USA 38.8,-122.5
Anonymous
August 12, 2005 6:16:47 AM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.cingular (More info?)

You can use your banks online payment system but schedule the payment at
least 3 days prior to the due date. Cingulars system or the Financial
institution has a lag time for each transaction , if you put the payment in
on the due date it will be credited past due and you will get at least a
5.00 late fee on each acct. If you use Cingulars system it credits the
Cingular side immediately and will then show up 2 business days later on the
bank account. Cingular does not charge a transaction fee for the Electronic
Debit.
"Jer" <gdunn@airmail.ten> wrote in message
news:11fo871ncnun88f@corp.supernews.com...
> Alcoholic wrote:
>> A lot of payments are being processed manually. Cingular recieves checks
>> in 1 location mails them to another for posting and yet another for
>> processing. This is why there are so many complaints about late fees and
>> disc fees. If you value your security I would reccomend that you make
>> online payments at
>> their website or go into one of their stores and make cash payments. if
>> you mail a check at least 2 people are physically handling your payments
>
>
> As an independent business person, I have a deal with my bank... They let
> me spend my money any time I want for free, so long as I use their e-pay
> system. If I want to spend some of it outside the rules by writing a
> nasty paper check, I can do so, as long as I'm willing to pay a fee. The
> e-pay system only requires me to know their account number, and their
> bank's ABA number. Ckick... Shazam! It takes about ten seconds. Years
> of no fees, no lines, no stamps, no gasoline, no missing-in-actions, no
> sweat.
>
>
> --
> jer
> email reply - I am not a 'ten'
August 12, 2005 12:07:17 PM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.cingular (More info?)

Alcoholic wrote:
> You can use your banks online payment system but schedule the payment at
> least 3 days prior to the due date. Cingulars system or the Financial
> institution has a lag time for each transaction , if you put the payment in
> on the due date it will be credited past due and you will get at least a
> 5.00 late fee on each acct. If you use Cingulars system it credits the
> Cingular side immediately and will then show up 2 business days later on the
> bank account. Cingular does not charge a transaction fee for the Electronic
> Debit.


Having to count lag days may be how free personal account management
works, but the context of the OP message was for a business transaction.
In business, things works a little differently. We've used the e-pay
system on Sunday evenings to pay a Cingular bill and the transaction was
posted on their account in time for the opening bell on Monday morning.
OTOH, commercial accounts are also fee-free with a ~$250K running balance.


--
jer
email reply - I am not a 'ten'
Anonymous
August 12, 2005 4:06:26 PM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.cingular (More info?)

Alcoholic wrote:
> You can use your banks online payment system but schedule the payment at
> least 3 days prior to the due date. Cingulars system or the Financial
> institution has a lag time for each transaction , if you put the payment in
> on the due date it will be credited past due and you will get at least a
> 5.00 late fee on each acct. If you use Cingulars system it credits the
> Cingular side immediately and will then show up 2 business days later on the
> bank account. Cingular does not charge a transaction fee for the Electronic
> Debit.

If you use Cingular's payment handling system, I always recommend the
use of a Check Card, if your bank offers it (and if they don't by now,
it might be time to consider switching banks). There's an added layer
of protection involved there if things go wrong (including an
established dispute resolution system if you disagree on a payment), and
it's good to have the fewest possible people and entities knowing your
ABA routing and account numbers. While I don't yet fully know how
Cingular does things, I know that other cell carriers (i.e. Sprint)
actually contract a third party vendor to handle online and automatic
payments, and don't really tell you about this. Having an unknown
vendor which I've made no prior agreements with know how to make ACH
debits from my bank account isn't something that I'm comfortable with.

I also avoid using automated debiting for accounts like Cingular, where
the monthly payment amount can change due to the open-endedness of the
business relationship (overages, etc). It takes a minute or two to
manually make enter the check card info on their site and make the
payment, but at least then I know for certain it's been done, and that I
also know for the certain the amount going out of my cehcking account.

--
E-mail fudged to thwart spammers.
Transpose the c's and a's in my e-mail address to reply.
Anonymous
August 12, 2005 4:44:22 PM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.cingular (More info?)

jgoodwell@gmail.com wrote:

>- Did you mail them in the same envelope? It wouldn't create problems,
>but it might explain both of them being MIA.
>
>No. Different envelopes. Payment coupons enclosed. Account numbers
>on the checks.
>
> - Cingular is now a little confused. I got a notice from them that I
>have a bill due of that same amount. I figure it will settle out in a
>little while.
>
>I would have thought the same thing. Then I got the call from the
>collection agency.
>
>Jane
>
>
>
Doesn't it seem odd that Cingular would refer ONE *late* bill to a
collection agency?
Anonymous
August 12, 2005 4:44:23 PM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.cingular (More info?)

> Doesn't it seem odd that Cingular would refer ONE *late* bill to a
> collection agency?

Not so odd....actually not an actual collection agency if it is over XX
days late. For example, if they sent the check in, it didn't get
processed, then were 1 day late on the next payment, in the account
notes it will say, "sent to collections" which yes, is on its way, but
not officially to a collection agency. You can still settle the balance
with Cingular, not a third party collection agency.

One possible scenario would be that the account slips were put in the
wrong envelope. One slip would read account # xxx5 w/ a balance of
$100.00, and the check would have account # xxx1 on the memo line, and
an amt of $31.00. I've done that before. And if the accounts have a
personal name & the check's name doesn't match up....well that could be
another issue.

I love today...it is so sunny outside & there is a cool breeze.
ahhhh......


--
sjwilson
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Cell Phone Forums: http://cellphoneforums.net
View this thread: http://cellphoneforums.net/t184925.html
Anonymous
August 12, 2005 4:51:07 PM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.cingular (More info?)

Isaiah Beard wrote:

> Alcoholic wrote:
>
>> You can use your banks online payment system but schedule the payment
>> at least 3 days prior to the due date. Cingulars system or the
>> Financial institution has a lag time for each transaction , if you
>> put the payment in on the due date it will be credited past due and
>> you will get at least a 5.00 late fee on each acct. If you use
>> Cingulars system it credits the Cingular side immediately and will
>> then show up 2 business days later on the bank account. Cingular
>> does not charge a transaction fee for the Electronic Debit.
>
>
> If you use Cingular's payment handling system, I always recommend the
> use of a Check Card, if your bank offers it (and if they don't by now,
> it might be time to consider switching banks). There's an added layer
> of protection involved there if things go wrong (including an
> established dispute resolution system if you disagree on a payment),
> and it's good to have the fewest possible people and entities knowing
> your ABA routing and account numbers. While I don't yet fully know
> how Cingular does things, I know that other cell carriers (i.e.
> Sprint) actually contract a third party vendor to handle online and
> automatic payments, and don't really tell you about this. Having an
> unknown vendor which I've made no prior agreements with know how to
> make ACH debits from my bank account isn't something that I'm
> comfortable with.
>
> I also avoid using automated debiting for accounts like Cingular,
> where the monthly payment amount can change due to the open-endedness
> of the business relationship (overages, etc). It takes a minute or
> two to manually make enter the check card info on their site and make
> the payment, but at least then I know for certain it's been done, and
> that I also know for the certain the amount going out of my cehcking
> account.
>
I don't remember what I had, but it was a service that ran on a contract
(but wasn't cell), and the contract stated that the customers agrees to
all charges by paying them. The company also encouraged automatic
payment. I didn't feel comfortable with this because I would
"automatically" be agreeing to charges that may not be accurate
(Verizon, anybody). In fact, I think it was a Verizon service, but I
don't rmember.

TH
August 12, 2005 10:54:52 PM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.cingular (More info?)

Isaiah Beard wrote:
> Alcoholic wrote:
>
>> You can use your banks online payment system but schedule the payment
>> at least 3 days prior to the due date. Cingulars system or the
>> Financial institution has a lag time for each transaction , if you put
>> the payment in on the due date it will be credited past due and you
>> will get at least a 5.00 late fee on each acct. If you use Cingulars
>> system it credits the Cingular side immediately and will then show up
>> 2 business days later on the bank account. Cingular does not charge a
>> transaction fee for the Electronic Debit.
>
>
> If you use Cingular's payment handling system, I always recommend the
> use of a Check Card, if your bank offers it (and if they don't by now,
> it might be time to consider switching banks). There's an added layer
> of protection involved there if things go wrong (including an
> established dispute resolution system if you disagree on a payment), and
> it's good to have the fewest possible people and entities knowing your
> ABA routing and account numbers. While I don't yet fully know how
> Cingular does things, I know that other cell carriers (i.e. Sprint)
> actually contract a third party vendor to handle online and automatic
> payments, and don't really tell you about this. Having an unknown
> vendor which I've made no prior agreements with know how to make ACH
> debits from my bank account isn't something that I'm comfortable with.


Many businesses know my account and ABA number. All they can do with it
is make deposits.

>
> I also avoid using automated debiting for accounts like Cingular, where
> the monthly payment amount can change due to the open-endedness of the
> business relationship (overages, etc). It takes a minute or two to
> manually make enter the check card info on their site and make the
> payment, but at least then I know for certain it's been done, and that I
> also know for the certain the amount going out of my cehcking account.
>

I tried that auto-debit business some years ago until I got clipped for
someone else's $9K tab (not Cingular). Took a month to iron out. Never
again.


--
jer
email reply - I am not a 'ten'
!