Paying bills with Bitcoin is an emerging trend in the world of digital currency in recent months. Having the option to use digital currency to settle monthly bills sounds appealing to quite a few people, as it means they don’t have to spend normal money to do so. Unfortunately, this new trend is also attracting companies who claim to pay your bills for you, but just run off with your bitcoins.
Billpayforcoins Is Not What They Claim To Be
The number of services offering to accept Bitcoin and pay bills on behalf of the customer is fairly limited. That should come as no surprise, considering this is a very niche market within an even smaller niche market. Additionally, impending regulatory decisions can shake up this business model any day now, depending on what type of legal requirements will need to be fulfilled in the near future.
None of that is preventing companies from offering this service though, or in some cases, making it look like they offer this functionality. Billpayforcoins is a relatively new service, which will pay bills on behalf of customers in exchange for Bitcoin. With a 1.99% service fee – up to a maximum of US$75 – and payments to be credited to the payee account within 5 business days, the business model itself looks pretty solid.
What makes this service so appealing to customers is the fact that transactions of up to US$9,000 can be executed, which is quite impressive. On top of that, Billpayforcoins supports “Coin a Friend” integration, which allows customers to co-pay bills once both parties have sent their share of the Bitcoin amount to the company.
But this is where the fairy tale story comes to an abrupt end, as there is a huge reality check waiting around the corner. Several Billpayforcoins users have been reporting issues regarding bills not being paid, and not getting refunds from the company when contacting their customer support.
These accusations are in stark contrast to the promotion done by the Let’s Talk Bitcoin! podcast, where the owner of the site had an on-air interview not too long ago. Doing so, lead many customers to believe this was a legitimate company they could trust, yet the reality turned out to be quite different.
On this Reddit post, a user explains how he sent US$1059.28 worth of Bitcoin to Billpayforcoins, so that two of his credit card bills could be paid. After three weeks of waiting, and multiple unanswered emails to the support team, payments have still not be made. Despite the Billpayforcoins account screenshot showing both transactions to be successfully completed, neither bill has been paid to date.
GoCoin Halts All Payments Until Matters Are Resolved
The negative attention surrounding Billpayforcoins has not gone unnoticed, as the company’s Bitcoin payment processor GoCoin suspended all services until these matters have been resolved. Being affiliated with a company scamming its users is not good from a public relations point of view, which is why GoCoin decided to distance themselves for the time being.
After receiving the full complaint and transaction details from affected users, GoCoin’s compliance team reviewed the case. For the time being, no payments are being processed on behalf of Billpayforcoins, until all outstanding payments have been completed or affected customers have been refunded in full.
To make matters even worse, when looking up the company’s address on Google Maps, you are presented with a parking lot and a few storage facilities. Not exactly the place where a money transmitter business would be run out of. However, every company has to start somewhere, so don’t judge a book by its cover.
Billpayforcoins Responds on Reddit
The official explanation for the delays, according to Billpayforcoins, is because the sole person responsible for handling payments “was out for nearly a month dealing with some serious family issues.. “. Compounding the issue came in the form of technical problems, which did not allow the team to access key platform features.
“Despite a thorough and detailed explanation of our business with people at the highest level at each of these banks and despite the fact that they opened our accounts and approved our business… within months, Bank after Bank closed our accounts without warning, held the funds until they got around to cutting checks back to us (which is odd because once they closed the accounts we no longer had a bank to deposit into), and stopped or ignored payments that we made on behalf of our customers.”
Images courtesy of Billpayforcoins, GoCoin, Shutterstock