I have always paid my bills on time and in full. It’s not always been easy to do and sometimes I avoid doing something if I know it will mean asking for help to pay for it. Unfortunately not everyone feels the same and there are a number of persons who owe constantly.
For those consumers who are struggling to pay bills there are many options. They can go in and talk to a representative of the organization and agree to a payment plan. These payment plans allow consumers to pay in smaller installments over a period of time until the bill is paid.
Most organizations will agree to such a proposal especially if you outline the challenges that you are experiencing in paying the bill in one payment.
For those who are not open to a payment schedule, consumers also have the option of taking a loan. This is a form of debt consolidation as the payment for several bills can be done and each month you would only have to pay the loan amount.
There are some companies that will negotiate with their customers and reduce their bill. If you can prove for example that the service or product that you received did not meet your expectations even if they were not necessarily defective you might have a chance of the bill being reduced.
If consumers are able to show some other kind of hardship such as severe illness or other types of emotional distress, the bill might also be reduced by the management.
If you don’t pay your bills and ignore the problem, chances are that you will eventually have to ‘face the music’. Debt collection services can be contacted and they can prove to be very intrusive in your life. They can make calls to your place of employment or show up at your home as they endeavour to recover costs for their client.
Then of course your credit rating is also affected. If you attempt to do other business including taking out an another unrelated loan and your credit history is checked then potential investors will be turned off by your poor repayment history.
I have also noted that there has been an announcement in various media that stated that those who have accessed student loan in the past and who have either stopped or never started making payments on those loans will have their names and pictures published.
That might seem harsh as it will no doubt cause embarrassment but it must have been as a result of many failed attempts to contact those persons. Is it the best way to ensure that everyone pays their bills?
The publishing of the identities of those who have been delinquent might serve as a deterrent to anyone else who might be contemplating that action as well as get others involved to encourage their friends and relatives to repay their loans.
So what’s your take on the issue?
How should consumers who don’t pay be treated? Let me hear from you!
Teri Ann Renee Paisley
Gleaner Online writer