Take my money, please!

I mean it, guys, want money from me in exchange for services I’ve agreed to? All you have to do is ask.

So apparently, if you ever dare to log into GMAC Mortgage’s web site and pay a bill “on-line” (using teh interwebs), even just once, they stop billing you. Neat, huh? Subprime house in the hamptons, here I come! Hmm. Well actually, they keep billing as usual, they just stop sending the bills to you. See, since you’ve demonstrated that you by some means have access to the “on-line”, you are fully capable of logging into their web site everyday to check if they’ve posted a new bill today. Or if you’re really lucky, a link to the bill may have even floated its way to your spamtrap e-mail account*, where it distances itself from the numerous p3n1s p1llz and Honeyjen18 wants to be your Myspace friend! spams** by sporting an eye-grabbing subject line such as “Account Update“***. Because as you know, e-mail is a reliable communication medium.

Luckily, late Friday night I thought to myself, as so many do on a friday night, “hmm, it feels like I haven’t gotten any mortgage bills in a while”, and logged in there (with help from the smiling gods of “15-day grace period” and our internet working again today) just in time to avoid some unknown and no doubt unspeakable late fee nastiness. (Or a becigared, bemonacled Foreclosure Guy showing up randomly at my door with a briefcase and chloroform.)

On a related note, State Farm Insurance stops talking to you if you move about 2.5 blocks. So, they send to your new address (which they have) a note that says, “you moved, so we can’t talk to you anymore, call your agentFULL STOP NO CARRIER”, and to your old address (which, judging from the you-moved note, they understand that you have moved from), your bill, policy and renewal forms (which are apparently immune to mail forwarding service, although stampless paper postcards from the Awards Verification Center still are not). I found all this out after Googling for their phone number today, as it was not on the letter that told me to call it (nor, for that matter, any information concerning the identity of my mysterious Agent). I actually got this letter sometime the week before, but wanted to schedule this hold-music hell for a time when I would be chained to my desk like a good code monkey anyway, with only the occasional frequent pee break (Decaf? My world knows no such thing :P) to influence my odds of having to restart the whole phone tree from the beginning, and be able to set the phone on handsfree and get something half productive done while sitting on hold.

I have to ring them up again tomorrow and doublecheck whether this thing still automatically renews, like a gym membership, or if I’ve been driving around uninsured for the last couple weeks baiting every cop in town.

* I have exactly one remaining spam-free email account. For this reason, it is strictly reserved for friends and personal acquaintances. Ist nicht fuer gewerken bei das banks, mortgage servicers, webforums, order confirmations, shareware trials, shopping sites, travel agencies, etc. End discussion.

** where “Myspace friend” == “Webcam whore” and “Webcam whore” == “$18.99 a month Webcam whore”

*** actually, I don’t know what they use for a subject, because I’ve never received one. At least, not containing the text string “gmac” anywhere in the body, subject or sending address, according to a grep of my spamcexxyinbox.

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