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Followup on NYSEG
I've been waiting for the charges to be posted to my account before finishing up the letter and mailing it. I just checked, and they were posted.

In four, not two, transactions. Two of the transactions are for $500 and the remaining balance. Two of the transactions are for $6.25 each, with the notation "POS - PAYMENT FEE 800-8207496 VA /". The number looks like a phone number, but it isn't visibly attached to NYSEG.

Anyone know what the number means?

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its very possibly the servicing company that actually deals with the credit card payments and such - many of the utilities out source that.

IAWTC. Calling them likely won't do any good, as they are only doing as NYSEG tells them to. However, unless the second transaction is larger than the first, it seems like they are setting a flat, and fairly exorbitant fee for the service. The fee based on the assumption of a $500 transaction is within a reasonable number for the actual cost the bank will charge the merchant (Wiki has links to a number of detailed charts for different types of transactions, I used a rough average of 1.5% + 0.10). It is possible they also cap the fee at a certain point, which is nice, but it would be nicer for them to not do it at all.

Keep in mind also that in many cases a debit card transaction puts the entire bill for this on the bank, which is why many debit cards have fees. It's also why many credit union debit cards only run as credit.

POS generally refers to "Point of Sale", in this case, it's a processing fee. They either use a flat fee or a fee per X00's of dollars. It is likely handled by a 3rd party vendor who charges you, instead of the retailer for payment processing.

Here's an example link: http://www.pospaymentsystems.com/

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