RICHLAND, Wash-- It seems every time we turn around there's a bill to pay. You know what the money's going toward but do you always know who gets it?
Take the city of Richland. You can pay your utility bill at City Hall and online. But send in a check, it doesn't go to Richland.
"It goes to Seattle to a company called Retail Lockbox, inc," says Dan Underwood, finance manager for the city of Richland.
It's called outsourcing. Businesses hire a third-party company to handle part of the work. But don't think it gets lost in translation; the city says it's actually saving you time and the city money by not hiring more employees.
"We were able to save about $45,000 a year in the process and get a more efficient and effective bill processing. I think it's a win/win for the city and utility customers," adds Underwood.
Need to talk to customer service for the local paper? Some representatives are based overseas.
"We are located in Manilla, Phillipines," explains one representative.
But the Herald says there's nothing to worry about-- business is handled quickly.