Mechanicsburg officials say third party bill-pay site is causing problems, leading to late fees

Carlisle/West Shore

MECHANICSBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – The borough of Mechanicsburg is having trouble with a third party bill-pay site that manager Roger Ciecierski claims has caused dozens of residents to be sent late fees for bills they believe they’ve paid.

“They come in with a late notice that they’ve received from the borough, and say that they’ve paid the bill on the borough website,” said Ciecierski. “They show us the website, and it’s not the borough’s website … it’s this third party agency.”

That agency is called Doxo, based in Seattle. It was founded in 2008 as “a convenient way to connect with companies and pay multiple billers through a single location.”

But Ciecierski said Friday that Doxo is not affiliated with the borough in any way.

“They’ve refused to stop collecting these, even though I tried to explain to them the issues it’s causing,” he said. “We actually had someone that was delinquent on their sewer bill, the delay of [Doxo] sending the check to us actually caused her to have her water shut off. The company has stated it takes 7 to 10 days for them to process the check, and then the mail time to get here from Seattle, Washington, ends up being late. The 35 payments that [Doxo has] made so far this year, most of the people have come in and complained about the fact that their bill was late. They’re upset, and to be honest with you, they have every right to be.”

Doxo’s co-founder, Roger Parks, spoke with ABC 27 at length, explaining their business and how they operate, but declined for a recorded interview to be included in the story. Parks did say in part:

“Doxo is a third party consumer bill pay site with 3.5 million consumers paying over 60,000 billers in the USA. Consumers can log on to any device from one account, so they don’t have to go to each individual biller.”

Parks said Doxo has been making payments for various residents to the borough since 2017. He said it is their goal to always work with the borough on any issues, adding his company does cover late fees if there is an error on their end.

Parks said his service is often more cost-effective and more convenient for mobile users than individual municipality websites. He believes that could be a reason why his site often is the first option under a Google search for a respective municipality’s site.

Ciecierski said the borough launched online bill pay earlier this year. He urges residents to use that site to pay their sewer and refuse bill, warning any resident that incurs a late fee after paying through Doxo that they will be responsible for paying that fee.

Ciecierski points the public to in order to pay through the borough’s own system.

He added that the borough is in talks with its solicitor to determine if any legal action can be taken against Doxo.

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