Money Management

I Mailed A Payment To The Wrong Business Address

Have you ever

– lost your wallet?

– forgotten to mail a payment?

– misplaced an important financial document?

– overdrawn your checking account?

– spent more than you could afford to spend?

– maxed-out a credit card?

– made any number of finance-related mistakes?

If you answered yes to any (or all) of the questions above – welcome, you are among friends.

Just last month, I mailed a check, which I intended to mail to a local medical center, to the wrong business address – a doctor’s office located just down the road from the medical center.

When I make a mistake, like the one mentioned above, I do my very best to minimize its impact.  I have called the medical center, assured them that their payment is on the way.  I know that I sounded like a joke from an old comedy skit – “the check is in the mail” – but it was better to call, just to give them a heads up.  They were very nice about the whole situation.  I get the feeling that this might not be the first time they’ve received such a call.  I also called the other doctor’s office.  They are searching for the check.  I also informed the bank and asked them to cancel the check.

I also look for ways to prevent similar mistakes from happening in the future. In this case, both the doctor’s office and the medical center have nearly identical names and they’re located in the same city – and on the same street!  When I looked up the medical center’s name, online, the address for the doctor’s office popped up.  I used that address, and the check was mailed to the wrong place.

Why did I have to look the name up online?  Because, I spilled water on the original bill, and the address on the bill was smeared beyond recognition.  Seriously.  I couldn’t make this stuff up.  So, from now on, two things:  One, I will check and double check that I have the correct name and address on any bill that I pay.  Two, I will not eat or drink while paying bills.

It’s going to take a few days – or even weeks – for this issue to work itself out.  I’ll stay on top of it, calling both the medical center and the doctor in a few days.

We all make mistakes – goof up and cost ourselves time and money.  The key is to minimize the impact of these mistakes, correct them, and learn a few lessons along the way.

Oh, I do believe that this post wins the “least-creative blog post title” award.  Rock on, my pf-nerd friends! And, obviously, I’m not trying to down-play the seriousness of our financial mistakes.  I’m just saying, once a mistake has been made, the goals should be – face it, deal with it, and improve.

2 thoughts on “I Mailed A Payment To The Wrong Business Address

  1. I am glad that I can help create a circle of friends.

    lost your wallet – check; but I was a kid then.
    forgotten to mail a payment – check; many times, but this has never been a problem.
    misplaced an important financial document – nope.
    overdrawn your checking account – check; a couple times and once it cost me dearly.
    spent more than you could afford to spend – nope.
    maxed-out a credit card – check; argued with the cc company who charged me a fee for going over the credit limit which was then taken off. I paid off the card at the end of the month as I always do.
    made any number of finance-related mistakes – check; many times. Left $180 at the cash machine once, for example.

    The good news is that none of these mistakes had any seriously negative financial consequences. Sure, some of them cost me money but never enough to get really aggravated over it.

  2. I know how you feel! About a year ago, I accidentally overpaid my telephone bill by $700 when I sent my credit card payment (electronically) there by mistake. Luckily, I caught my own error and sent a second payment to the credit card before they charged me a late fee. I wrote about this event in a post I call Whoops!

    I never requested a refund from the telephone company for the overpayment. In the end, I had a big credit balance and didn’t have to pay the phone bill for a very long time…

    Anyway, I hope your problem gets resolved.

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