General Bills & accounts
Your account number will generally be on the top right hand side of a bill or account. It can also be called an invoice number, billing number or user number. It will be individual to your account only and is used to match your payment with your debt and when making enquiries about your account.
It is very important to pay your account by the “due date” otherwise you may be charged late fees and additional interest.
Constantly paying your accounts late can contribute to a bad credit rating.
If you have queries about your account in any way you can ring the billing or account enquiries number shown on your account. You will be asked for your account number and sometimes may need to answer questions to identify yourself.
If you have to ring a big company like a phone provider, take note of the date and time you made the call and get a reference number. Insist the customer service operator makes note of your contact in their data base in case you have to call back or aren’t satisfied with the service you get.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions until you understand how the billing works or until the company addresses your issue.
BPAY– to use BPAY, you need to ring your own bank and follow the prompts for BPAY.
Internet payments – If you have internet banking you can pay accounts online.
Post pay – Take your account and cash or card to Australia Post.
In person – You can pay many accounts in person directly to the supplier eg. mechanics bill.
Auto debit – For ongoing bills like insurance you can make automatic debit arrangements with your provider.
Centrepay – Centrepay forms are available at Centrelink you will need the supplier Centrepay reference number to activate this payment option. Phone your supplier to get their Centrepay reference number.
By phone – Ring the suppliers enquiry line and make payment over the phone using your credit card.
By mail – Post the bottom section (showing account number) of your bill with your cheque or money order to the address provided on the account.
Bad credit ratings
If you continually miss payments on an account or pay later than the due by date, you risk getting a bad credit rating. This can have an effect on you when you try to apply for loans in the future.
Usage or account summary
This is where the list of items purchased or usage of the services supplied is listed. Check to see if this is true to what you have purchased or the service you have received. Make a call to the enquiries line if you need further clarification about the account summary.
Payments for regular services
There are a few ways to make payments on your regular services, like electricity. You can pay the amount owing in full by the due date. You can arrange weekly/ fortnightly direct debits from your bank account, use the Centrepay system if you are on government payments or you can make lump sum payments.
No matter which way you pay, if you are having difficulties paying, contact the supplier and discuss your situation so you can come to an agreement about your service and payments.