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My Biggest Complaint About Stopping EFT/ACH Online Bill Payments

Everybody has electronic payments coming out of their checking nowadays. Convenience is the name of the game with electronic banking. Setup an electronic payment with a merchant, click it and you’re done. Payments start rolling out monthly without a thought.

Now get in a payment dispute with one of the merchants your paying by electronic fund transfer and you’re flat out of luck. Try stopping that EFT/ACH payment and you might get a response from your bank along the lines of the one I got from my bank:

We would like to inform you that if permission was granted to debit your account, unfortunately, [my bank] does not have the authority to stop this merchant from withdrawing from your account. If the EFT/ACH you requested to stop is merchant generated then it would need to be cancelled on the merchant end.

Further more, please keep in mind that ACHs stop payments are amount specific and will stop any other ACH coming through your account for the same amount. Should you choose to place a stop payment on an ACH item from the [my bank] end, there is $25 fee and stop payments on ACHs are not guaranteed as merchant may change payment information even slightly and the payments would continue to go through. Please contact the merchant to request that they discontinue attempting to withdraw funds from your account or set up another form of payment with them. Your best option would be to speak to merchant and try to get this resolved. Please note that if this option doesn’t work then you can dispute if you claim these transactions are not authorized. You can do this by logging on to your [my bank] account then going to Bank Mail and Requests, selecting Resolution Forms and clicking on EFT Dispute package. Please complete the forms and send it to us in event you want to dispute these transactions. If the ACH transfers continue, we suggest you consider closing this bank account number and opening a new account. This can be done by submitting a new application.

I can stop payment on the EFT, but then the merchant could try to slip one in for a penny less and it would go through. I’m left with the dispute resolution service the bank provides or I will have to close the account and open a new one.

There should be an easier way to stop electronic transfers from your checking account.

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