If you have young children, learn from me, and don't pay your electric bill by phone in order to keep the payment from being late. You might have fussy children hanging on you right at the end of that phone call, which may cause you to have a difficult time hearing what buttons to push. You may, in fact, miss the part about completing the phone call and finalizing your payment. You may hear something about hanging up and mistakenly think that your phone call is over. You may then hang up and start tending to the children that were interrupting you and not notice that you weren't given a confirmation number. You may go on with your day thinking about how great pay-by-phone systems are. About a week later, you may wonder why all of your power suddenly shuts off at 10am. You may have to take your three-year-old to the bathroom by flashlight, make a few phone calls, and realize that you are the only one in the neighborhood without power. You may have to call that same number again, only to find that there is no record of that payment you thought you made a week ago. You then will have to do it all over again, this time with sick children that are much needier than when you made your first attempt to use the pay-by-phone system. You may have to call back three times just to get your account number punched in correctly and then have to re-enter other numbers multiple times (mainly because you are about to have a breakdown at this point). After all that, you may have to use another automated system to get the electric company to come turn your electricity back on. Then you might just sit down at your dinner table and cry while your children eat lunch.
A Few Other Things I Learned Today:
Don't put mail in a drawer you never use in order to get it out of sight before a house showing (you may need to use a pay-by-phone system to keep one of those bills from being paid late).
Laugh at your mistakes after you finish crying about them.