The long-time comeback for inquiring creditors has always been the once fail-safe "The check is in the mail." That oldie but goodie won't work anymore if you've purchased a new vehicle from Ford or Toyota's credit arm. The two automakers have adopted bar code scan technology that tells each company whether or not your check actually is in the mail. The same technology is used by Netflix to determine when a subscriber has sent back a DVD, which enables the cloud-based DVD rental service to send that customer another DVD before the first actually arrives back.

Though the bar code scan technology can be a hassle for people trying to get credit companies off their backs, it actually helps them, as well. If a payment was lost in the mail or some unforeseen natural disaster like a hurricane puts your check under five feet of water, the credit companies will know and you won't have to pay a late fee. Also, if your check really is in the mail then they won't bother with the annoying phone call all together, as they'll already know it's headed their way.

[Source: Automotive News - sub. req'd, photo by billaday | CC2.0]

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