Rotterdam

Bill-pay service says Rotterdam provided false information to residents

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After Rotterdam officials urged residents not to use a third-party company to pay bills, a company official said the town provided inaccurate information about the service. 

Town officials told residents they should stop using Doxo.com to pay their town bills due to payments being received late, according to a Wednesday press release sent by the public relations firm The Martin Group. 

In the press release, the town alleges Doxo.com has been posing as a bill-paying service for the town and charging people for those services, but the town has been receiving payments late because of the company’s processing time. 

The town did not state how many payments were received late.

On Thursday the town said it was “the fear” that payments could be late that prompted the release. 

“Rotterdam contacted Doxo and made requests to be removed from the website, but the company refused,” town officials said in an emailed statement from The Martin Group. “The town is aware of at least eight instances where payments were made through the website, and our fear was that residents’ payments may be unknowingly late due to the processing time. Again, it’s important to note that Doxo is not an approved third-party vendor of the Town and they’ve ignored or flat-out refused our requests.”

Doxo.com co-founder Roger Parks said he doesn’t know why the town has circulated inaccurate information. 

We have thousands of customers in the greater Rotterdam area that have used Doxo to pay hundreds of billers,” he said in an emailed statement Thursday. “We routinely work with billers directly to reduce customer fees, reduce biller expenses and improve the customer experience.  I can’t explain why the inaccurate information was released by the town, but all the facts about our service are easily verified at www.doxo.com.  We’d welcome the opportunity to work with the Town to help reduce consumer fees and improve the bill pay experience.” 

He said people in Rotterdam have been using Doxo.com since 2017. There are currently 130 people using the site, he said. 

Parks said someone at the company reached out to the town in May and spoke to Diane Martin, the receiver of taxes about what the company does. 

The town did not respond to a request for comment on that conversation. 

He also said people using the site acknowledge with a keystroke the delivery date of the payment before submitting it to the site. 

“At no time is there a question in the experience about how or when a payment will arrive,” he said. “We have been sending payments on behalf of Doxo users for over four years without issue.”  

Parks also said the town just can’t simply be removed from its site. 

“That would be akin to the town telling a bank that users can’t pay the town from the bank bill pay service,” he said. “Or telling Yelp they can’t have your restaurant listed, or calling Zillow to ask to have your home removed, or calling Amazon to say you don’t want them to sell a certain product. The Doxo service is customer-centered, giving users the ability to pay all their billers from one account, from any device, for free.”

The town’s press release Wednesday also gave residents inaccurate information on how to pay its bills using the town’s website. 

According to the release, residents can pay their town property tax and water bills on the town’s website at www.rotterdamny.org by clicking the “Pay Taxes Online” tab. However, those instructions do not actually work. The correct information to pay a bill is located on the webpage for the receiver of taxes on the town’s website. Residents should visit www.totalcollectionsolution.com and once there enter the user name “[email protected]” and password “public.” 

This website can be accessed by any user and users can see exactly what addresses have and have not paid bills. 

The third-party vendor the town uses also charges a fee, according to the town’s website. There is a $1.75 fee for e-checks and a 2.7% processing fee for credit cards added to the total payment. 

The town does not get any portion of these fees, states the town’s website. 

Other ways to pay can be found at https://www.rotterdamny.org/departments.aspx?DepartmentID=3.

Categories: News, Schenectady County

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