Online Convenience Fee Is 63% Of Utility Bill

Reader Michael says:

I moved into a new apartment last month, and just received my first electric bill. It is run through a company called AUM Inc. (, on behalf of my apartment complex. I went to pay the bill online (as I prefer to pay my bills) and I noticed something on the page. In fact, it’s on the page no less than 5 different times.

My bill: $11.84
“Online Convenience Fee”: $7.50

That means this convenience will cost me… 63% of my actual bill. In fact, for reference, if I don’t pay my bill until after it’s due, I’ll owe a total of $17.84. That means I can wait until the bill is past due, buy a stamp, and still pay $1.09 less than I would if I paid online today.

This means now I have to go buy stamps, as their kindly enclosed envelope does not include postage.

I’ve attached a screenshot of the payment page. I blacked out my name and apartment complex, I didn’t see anything else identifying on the page.

You know, it was actually on the page one more time, but we cropped it. Sorry.