Norfolk Southern imposes a finance charge for undisputed and unpaid freight bills beyond terms.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is NS assessing finance charges?
Slow payments require NS to bear increased costs. As a result, the company has instituted a finance charge to encourage customers to either pay bills within the credit terms or advise NS promptly of bills they are disputing.
What are the NS credit terms and when does the clock start?
NS has credit terms of 15 days starting from the invoice date. Customers paying from their internal records (in the absence of a bill), should assume the NS freight bill will be generated a day after the waybill date or shipment tender date.
How is the finance charge calculated?
The finance charge is 12% annually (or 1% per month) prorated on a daily basis for each day the payment is beyond credit terms. At 12% annually, the daily rate is .0329% (12%/365 days). At the end of each month, the amount of the bill is multiplied by the daily rate (.0329%) and the number of days the bill is beyond terms to determine the monthly charge. For example, a bill for $1,000 paid 15 days beyond terms would accrue a finance charge of $4.94. ($1000 x .0329% x 15 days.)
Will I receive finance charges on disputed bills?
When a customer disputes a bill, NS suspends the finance charge for the duration of the dispute. If NS determines the bill is correct and returns it to the customer for payment, it again begins to accrue daily finance charges but only from the time of dispute resolution.
How do I dispute a bill?
Customers can dispute a bill online using eFreight Bill under AccessNS. They may also call, write, email, or fax the dispute to the customer account representative whose contact information is shown on the bill. Be sure to include your name, phone number, fax number, and email address.
Will mail time be taken into consideration?
No. Customers should mail payments in time to reach NS by the end of the credit period. The finance charge continues to accrue daily until NS receives the payment. Postmarked dates are not considered payment dates.
Will I receive only one finance charge statement per month, and where will this statement be mailed?
NS produces the invoice for the finance charge on the first business day of the month and will include charges for bills past credit terms during the previous month. Each mailing address will receive one invoice for all finance charges arising for that address. NS will mail the invoice to the same address as the original freight bill.
What supporting information will NS provide on the finance charge bill?
The supporting detail will include pertinent information from the original freight bills (such as car number and shipment date) to allow the customer to identify each bill that was not paid within terms.
Will NS assess finance charges for miscellaneous charges?
Not at this time; however, the credit period is the same for miscellaneous bills, and customers should pay or dispute these bills within credit terms.
If I use a third-party payment service, will I still be subject to finance charges?
Yes. Regardless of the payment or approval process, the payment must be received by NS within credit terms to avoid a finance charge.
Who should I contact regarding the finance charge?
Your customer account representative whose contact information is shown on the bill.
What steps can I take to avoid these charges?
The best way to avoid a finance charge is to promptly remit payment and include sufficient remittance advice to allow proper identification of payment. If you believe a bill is in error, contact your customer account representative to ensure the finance charge is suspended until NS can reach resolution on the issue.
Customers who join our 14-day Automated Clearing House draft plan are exempt from finance charges. If you have more questions or would like to enroll in the draft plan, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Electronic billing and payment options can help minimize finance charges. To find out more about EDI freight billing, contact Matthew Bass at 404-529-1897 or at email@example.com.
To find out more about electronic funds transfer, contact Brooke West at 404-529-2126 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.