It was one of those slow Tuesday mornings. It was a Tuesday. I know ’cause I don’t pay any bill on a Monday. Kasi lalabas ang pera buong linggo. Just being careful, that’s all. Little did I know that I would make the biggest and major major financial mistake of my life.
So like the title states: I overpaid my phone bill. “Overpaid” is an understatement because I paid _ _ _ _ more than what’s required. To add a little mystery, I’ll let you fill in the blanks.
I was paying through my online bank account. I didn’t have the actual bill so I just referred to a text message my dad sent me. I logged in and went to the bills payment module. The system sent me an one-time-password (OTP) and I input it in the site. I entered the payment details and clicked “Submit.” “Are you sure you want to proceed?” the pop-up window said. I clicked “OK” ’cause I was so sure.
My phone beeped. A text message. Hmm… I wonder who it was. Nobody had been texting me (since forever!) so it was either my telco, my bank or a mayor planning to run as senator greeting me Merry Christmas.
It was the bank and the text said that I paid ____ amount making me over my limit by ____ pesos. My whole body froze. My palms got sweaty (…Mom’s spaghetti – Eminem). You know that feeling when you’re trying hard not to get your white shirt stained by spaghetti sauce but one sip just turned everything around.
I wanted to cry. I wanted to send sad emojis and gifs to all my Facebook and Viber groups. But I didn’t. I chose to remain calm and not panic. I know the problem was reversible. I sure hoped so. I am human and in the end it’s just a funny story I would tell my friends. I really really hoped so.
If there’s one thing I learned in 2017 it was that all problems are temporary. I just need to take each problem one at a time; solve each problem any way I could. At the back of my head, I knew everything would be fine. Plus, I was always a patient customer when dealing with customer service representatives. I figured God—and good karma—would help me this time around.
I called the bank and the customer service representative said the payment hadn’t been reflected yet in the system. BUT I was seeing it in my online account and I already received a text message. PLEASE EXPLAIN. He asked me to just call back again at 2 or 3 in the afternoon . So I did. I spent hours not thinking about it. I even had lunch outside work.
At 2PM, I called the bank again and the customer representative said that they didn’t have the capability to reverse the payment. System daw eh. The representative suggested that I call the telco. I did just that and the telco’s customer service representative gladly helped me file for a reversal.
Telco Customer Service Representative: “How much is the overpayment, sir?”
Me: (in a nonchalant voice) “______ pesos.”
Telco CSR: “OH MAI GHAD!!!” 😱
I submitted the reversal form later that same day. However, since this happened right before the holiday season, I had to wait for a response for weeks. This _____ peso problem kept me on my toes the whole holiday season. Reuniting with the whole clan and meeting up with friends managed to distract me enough to keep my mind off it. I did learn to let it go. Wala naman ako magagawa kundi maghintay. So why suffer, right? Relak lang though di ako makapaglabas ng pera. Every peso counts.
Weeks of agony passed. Christmas and new year passed. The telco finally called me. They bear good news: the transaction was reversed on their end. The next day, I called the bank to check again.
Me: “I want to check if the reversal was already reflected. I don’t want to be charged with interest.”
Bank Customer Service Representative: “Sir, you have to pay the balance first so you won’t get charged?”
Me: “Please check my transactions.”
Bank CSR: “OH MAI GHAD, SIR! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!” 😱
Me: “So can I file the reversal now?”
After he was done laughing, he assured me that the interest won’t be charged since the transactions were already reversed before the next cut-off. Phew! I’m just glad it’s all over.
I’ll be careful next time I pay my bills. This cannot happen again!
Do you also pay your bills online like I do? Have you had any similar mishaps while paying your bills? Sound off in the comments below.