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Cheque Writing to the Extreme

Really, for 4 Cents?

After economic data yesterday, I figured I’d get back to my normal writing about Financial Things that really annoy the living crap out of me, and sure enough today another simple example appeared on my door step.

As part of my job, I occasionally use a Smart Phone that my employer will supply, however, I must pay for any time I use the phone for personal reasons, which seems to be a good system (in my opinion).

Today I received a bill for 4 cents, because last month I used a loaned phone for a week or two. To send me this bill for 4 cents someone spent at least 10 minutes going over the bill from our service provider to check over whether I had used my phone for personal reasons, and whether it looked personal. When I worked in the private sector we used to estimate an employees time was about $100 an hour, after you counted salary, accommodations, benefits, etc., so that means about $16 was spent to send me this bill for 4 cents.

No, that is not what I am annoyed about (yes  it is annoying, but it is noise compared to the real rant), it is the fact that I cannot simply ignore this 4 cent bill, because I will get in trouble if I do that, so it must be paid. I am not allowed to tape 4 pennies onto my bill and return it to my accounting department (a co-worker tried that and had his bill returned with a note stressing that the payment must be by cheque).

I have ranted about the cost of me buying cheques before, and this is another cheque which I must write (the cheque alone seems to cost 50 cents to me directly (12 times the cost of the bill)).

When I write this cheque, it will go to our accounting department and someone will then have to spend at least 1/2 an hour to process the cheque, so that will cost another $50.

So the entire 4 cent bill will cost over $75 to process.

This one just has me scratching my head and wondering about when people create “processes” do they actually follow up to see how much their process costs in comparison to the money you collect?

Feel Free to Comment

  1. That is ridiculous!

    I got a bill for $2 that I disputed, and they sent me bill after bill for this $2. It was the principal of the matter that I wouldn’t pay it (I really didn’t owe it!), but for more than a year they sent me a check every month. They spent more in postage, let alone the time, labor, and supplies, to mail me those bills. I got a little satisfaction out of that. 🙂

    Bankruptcy Ben – Haha!!

  2. I remember one place I worked, they estimated the total cost of an invoice was $10.00 anything less was not worth it (and that was a looooong time ago). The $16 cost the company incurred is only part of the equation. Once they get the checque, they must still process it (which costs a LOT more than just dropping 4 pennies into the petty cash drawer or writing it off).

  3. It would make sense to have a minimum balance, say $10, at least, before having to waste time and more money to process something so small that costs more money in the long run.

  4. First, get PC Financial already will ya? Cheques are free. Machine use is free @ CIBC (and Loblaws).

    Second, i’d do my darnedest to pay by CC. Make the person who charged you incur even MORE cost by having to process a CC transaction.

  5. Years ago, I managed to own fractional shares of a company, having transferred the whole shares to a different broker.
    So with .4 shares of a $10 stock the broker would not close the account, and I wasn’t going to sell as the commission was $10. For 6 years the broker mailed me a statement 4 times a year, the postage alone was over $1.60/yr. Finally, the company itself did a reverse split, and cashed out the remaining fractions. So I got a $4 check.

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