Online bill payers cautioned: Be sure you are on right website

3rd-party payment company causes confusion, concern but is not a 'scam'

A Simmesport State Bank customer was surprised, and a bit concerned, when they tried to pay bills to the bank online and were directed to Doxo.com to make their payment.

SSB assistant cashier Gwen Bordelon said that was the only complaint the bank has received, but it decided to caution customers to be alert to that possible link, just in case.

“This website (doxo.com) is not our affiliate,” the bank said in a post on its Facebook. “This is not us.”

The bank asks that any of its customers who received a pop-up message from Doxo.com, or were directed to that site, and used it to set up online bill payment to contact the bank at 318-941-2362.

“Apparently, the customer typed in Simmesport State Bank and was linked to this other website,” Bordelon said. “We caution our customers who want to pay a bill to us online to be sure they are on our website. The app is also available to download.”

Doxo is a third-party online bill payment center and “digital filing cabinet for all your important household paperwork,” PC Magazine wrote in November 2016. “It’s a very good online app for anyone trying to go paperless ...”

That magazine gave the company 4.2 out of 5 stars and a rating of “Good.”

“As a personal finance app with digital filing cabinet built-in, Doxo performs well, is reliable, and is worth checking out,” the magazine said.

Doxo is physically located in Seattle, Wash. It was founded in 2008 “on the simple idea that connecting with a company to get important documents, pay bills and organize files should be as easy as connecting to a friend on Facebook or a colleague on LinkedIn,” the company states on its website.

The company’s “doxo for business” program “enables companies in finance, utilities, healthcare, telecom, banking, insurance and other sectors to connect to customers and receive payments,” the online Bloomberg.com said in its description of the company.

OTHER ‘WARNINGS’

SSB is not the first nor only business to be surprised by customers wondering how Doxo is connected with them.

San Bernard (Texas) Electric Co-Op posted a “member warning” notice on its website telling co-op members “There is an on-line bill pay website that appears to be affiliated with SBEC, but it is not. Doxo.com is a third-party website that allows people to pay their electric bills via their site. However, doxo.com may charge the member extra fees, and SBEC cannot control when we will receive the member payments from doxo.com, possibly resulting in a late payment from the member or even disconnection due to non-payment.”

When the Brown County (Ind.) Water Utility issued a similar “warning” in February 2017, the Brown County Democrat ran an article that Doxo might be some sort of scam. The newspaper corrected the story the next day stating Doxo “is a legitimate site offering third-party bill and payment management.”

Like Simmesport Bank, the electric co-op and the water company said, customers who want to make sure they are paying their bill to the right company in a timely manner without extra fees should go to the company’s website to make their payments. A Doxo customer service department employee also noted that the best course of action for anyone doing business online is to “read before you write. Be sure you are on the website you want to be on.”

A quick glance through online entries found two rating sites that were not impressed with Doxo. Supermoney.com rated it 2.6 out of 5, with 26 votes cast. Serchen.com rated it 1.3 out of five based on nine comments.

It has won numerous business awards in Washington State for its products and services.

Doxo co-founder Roger Parks responded to our call requesting information about the company and noting the local concerns expressed. He said the company has more than 48,000 billers and well over 2 million consumers using Doxo.com. He said he would like to reach out to any local customer with a question about what Doxo does.

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