Note: On January 8, 2016 American Express sent out a notice to a large number of Bluebird & Serve cardholders informing them that loading capabilities on their accounts had been terminated. For more information, see: Amex kills Bluebird and Serve for manufactured spend
I’ve heard from quite a few people recently that Bluebird’s bill payments are often going to the wrong biller. Obviously, this can create a huge headache if it happens to you. Personally, I mostly withdraw money directly to my bank account (see “Bluebird’s transfer money button”) so this hasn’t yet happened to me. Instead, I asked fellow blogger @palmerlaw (travelblawg.com) if he’d be interested in doing a quick guest post on this topic. What follows is Mark’s post…
Double Check Where Your Bluebird Payments Flew
Bluebird has been a great tool for paying some payees that do not otherwise (or easily) take credit cards, including rent, tuition, mortgage payments and student loans. However, since Bluebird has made several updates to its website, there have been some reports of errors with what seems to be the conversion of the previously entered payee information.
I heard some reports of users having issues with payments being sent to the wrong payee, so I tried to be extra careful in recent months by deleting an old payee and reentering it before issuing a payment.
While making the online bill pay payments, I did notice that while one payee would be selected to be paid, a different payee would appear on the next confirmation screen. It could be easy to miss. That prompted me to stop, go back, and do the delete-reenter method.
Drat! I must have missed one.
I noticed a large payment still hadn’t posted to a certain Chase credit card. But before giving it another day or two to post, I received a “notice of payment posted” email from… my mortgage company? But I already made that Bluebird payment and already received the notice email for that bill pay. Huh?
I logged in to my mortgage website and sure enough, a payment of $4,010.00 was made (at least all to my principal). Duh! So I went to Bluebird’s website to confirm I wasn’t crazy.
Here’s what I saw on the homepage. That looks correct.
Upon clicking the transaction, it still appears correct.
But thanks to a tip from Erik (@AZTravelGuy), the key to solving the payee mystery was to check your Payee List for last payments made. Yep, there is where my payment really landed!
What should you do?
Double check any recent Bluebird bill payments.
Clear all previous payees and reenter all information before making any new payments.
Did the wrong payee transaction cost you a late fee/interest for missing a payment on time? You might be able to get a reimbursement from Bluebird.
Contact Bluebird (24/7 contact 877-486-5990) and refer them to their technical error and commitment to pay the proper payee (on-time). See sections 6(b)(c) and 20 of its Member Agreement here: https://www.bluebird.com/legal#member-agreement. Follow-up snail mail correspondence may be necessary.
A big thanks to Mark for writing up the above post! Checkout his travel + law blog at travelblawg.com.