I wonder what articulate phrases you would have to describe the likes of Wells Fargo, Boeing, Google, etc...
You think auto-pay is a bad idea for customers of internet service providers? So you just want it shut off within what... 7 days? 21 days? 60 days after you fail to pay? From where do you get your free internet?
Philosophically speaking is autopay "necessary" with most services? No.
Are there people out there that meticulously manage each and every bill and avoid the auto-pay option as much as possible? Yes. I'm toward that end actually, and generally opt out of auto-pay for a great number of important bills, but as I've become busier I find myself using it more, and would certainly opt-in, even if given a choice for my Internet service.
Is it a really good idea to use autopay for the customer and a logical requirement for a service provider in a number of common cases?
Finally, calling sonic (a for profit company, is one of the most ethical to ever exist) an employer of a "cynical ploy", which is very nearly redundant, while at least unintentionally acknowledging how thoughtful the CEO is for taking the time to organize the company and do things like reply here above, for anything, especially non-obviously and non-ironically since it's not a non-profit, is a stretch; specifically calling sonic cynical for making sure it is paid for these services in the brutal world of ISP monopolies in particular is hyperbolic at best.