Preventing heart attacks for 8 years, and counting.
I just had an electronic debit on my checking account from “ACHMA VISB BILL PYMNT”. I had no clue what this was. If you google that phrase with the quotes (before writing this post) you get 19 hits and they’re all bizarre foreign, spam or porn sites. Not that I’m saying that all foreign sites are spam or porn sites, it just that none of them had any useful information and therefore I was convinced that something got hacked somewhere and I had somebody stealing money out of my checking account.
When I called the bank, they had no other information about the transaction, no phone number, no company name, nothing. I’ve never had this charge before. The name meant nothing to me. I was totally freaking out. I was ready to close my account. Right before I pulled the plug on my account, I finally discovered/remembered that I had paid my Verizon Wireless bill with an online checking account draft this month instead of my usual method of credit card.
When Verizon charges your credit card they at least have a sem-intelligible entry of “VZWRLSS*MY VZ VB P 800-922-0204 GA 30004 US”. I can guess that it’s VeriZonWiReLeSS, or MYVeriZon, or heck, there’s even a phone number embedded right there.
What do you get if you use the bank draft? “ACHMA VISB BILL PYMNT” no matter how you squint, there’s no way on earth that you’re going to figure out that “Verizon” is in there somewhere. They had 21 characters to convey their 7 letter company name and they blew it. On the credit card charge, they give you 3 pieces of identifying information — and even let you know that it was a US based charge.
So, I’m writing this blog post so that hopefully the next person that google’s “ACHMA VISB BILL PYMNT” won’t have the panic attack that I had. You can thank me via Comment or PayPal, and then you can yell at Verizon for writing such useless information into our checking account statements.
Interestingly enough, as Lola has pointed out, there’s another derivative out there: ACHIVR VISB BILL PYMN TEL, or maybe even ACHIVR VISB BILL PYMNT. So, apparently, the “MA” or the “IVR” after the “ACH” means something. The “ACH” must mean “Automated clearing house” for the bank account withdrawal. Which then makes me think the IVR stand for “Interactive voice response” and it could be an indicator that the bank account withdrawal was authorized over the phone? Can anybody confirm this?
Of course, this still leaves the “MA” and the “VISB” known to someone ONLY at Verizon.
Also, in response to M Kimball, I’d be curious if any Verizon employee has ever visited this page. Hey, random Verizon employee, if you’re reading this, say “Hi” and please shed some light on the subject.