Tuesday, October 18, 2005

The Line Must Be Drawn >Here!<

As far as "the grid" goes, I'm probably all over it. I have credit cards, I order things from catalogs, I pay taxes, have a car, bank accounts, Columbia House record club card. So in the vast pile of information out there in the servers of corporate and governmental America there's enough on me for someone to easily find out where I ate lunch today.

And yet I'm still reluctant to join the world of online bill paying. Chase has been trying to entice me to do just that lately, even offering $25 (payable via paper check) if I paid three bills online. The ease of payment attracted me, as did the thought of avoiding using stamps and, more importantly, trips to the post office to buy stamps. And the writing of paper checks and mailing them seems so... 20th Century.

I don't have the spinach on me old bean, might I write you a draft on my account?

But the language in the "terms of use" agreement gave me pause.

Damn the terms of use agreements and my inability to just click 'accept' and have faith in corporate America!!!

Somewhere in there it said I would be authorizing Chase to give information, including Social Security numbers, to the payee for verification purposes. I'm sure most of my payees have my Social Security number, and by the time I reach whatever the retirement age turns out to be there probably won't be Social Security anyway, so it shouldn't be a big deal.

I guess I just don't understand why a payee would need to verify that I'm the one paying my bill. Hell, if anyone out there wants to pay my bills without my advance permission be my guest. It'd be nice to have someone else pay my bills for a change, then I would know what it would be like to be one of those people that lives off of their parents. Those people have time to perfect their lifestyles and tastes in music.

Anyway, I'm on the grid, but I'll still be using paper checks. Besides, it's the only place I get to use fractions anymore.


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