Check those bills!

kathy_February 12, 2004

Mom dropped her long distance from her phone over a year ago. Long d. connection fees are about $5 per quarter. I was at her house the other day and asked her what her phone bill was and she said around $23 (she wants to get caller ID and we were deciding what it would cost). She handed the latest bill to me. That bill was over $28 and I pointed it out to her. Turns out she was charged for long distance. She called the phone company and they told her she had had long distance all along. My smart Mom got out her expense book and went back the following year and the charges were all the same. So I would keep your eyes open if I were you if you drop your long distance to save money. They might just connect you back. Kathy_PA

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Did she call them back and ask to be reimbursed for the service she disconnected and did not use....I'd fight with them over this. She might get a little something if she complains long and loud. I'm just curious. Thanks. Bud

    Bookmark   February 12, 2004 at 4:25PM
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I'm with budster - give 'em a hard time.

Make their sneaky tricks costly.

And - if your Mom has time, check with some friends to see whether they've had the same problems.

They may not pay attention to one - but a dozen may attract their attention.

Contacting a substantial group of friends is easy by email - another reason to keep that list of all your friends' addresses (in addition to capabilities) that I've suggested.


    Bookmark   February 13, 2004 at 5:55AM
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My mil had this problem with her cable company a few years ago. They wouldn't disconnect and kept charging for it. She paid it, but I sure wouldn't have.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2004 at 11:43PM
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I'd recommend you call the phone company to ask them what department to send a letter w. date confirming that you want your long-distance charges terminated from your bill until further written notice. (Sure this costs you a fax or mailing but they're less likely to "lose" this request).

Also, keep a copy for yourself as that's the evidence you'd need if this happens again.

We all know how many "request on file" data areas in billing departments exist and it sounds like making a "input deposit" in this one would help, hopefully.

Good Luck - Eileen :-)

    Bookmark   February 17, 2004 at 7:06AM
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Hi well Mom told me she guessed she would pay those charges and I said "No you won't!!" So she did not and she has not received the newest bill.
Hmm that paper trail sounds like the way to go.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2004 at 4:55PM
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You're right to check your bills, Kathy.

Legally, you do have an argument over a service you haven't used, didn't even know you had, and haven't paid for; however, once you pay even a tiny portion of your bill, whether by mistake or under mispresumptions, you've "affirmed the debt" (acknowledged your liability). Don't let your mother pay any of her present phone bill until this is cleared up.

If it were myself, I'd ask to be sent a different bill reflecting just my reg. phone bill before giving payment for my basic service and also, mail this company the letter (return receipt so you have proof someone received it) as I proposed in the above post.

Whether or not your mother argues paying this bill the letter should be sent, regardless. Hopefully, a collections department wouln't bother your mother over $28.00 but if it does go there - post here again - all you can do now is try to rest assured knowing once you've received receipt (staple it to your copy) for your mailed letter, you've covered yourself for the future with a written notification as evidence of your request and this should never happen again. Good Luck!


    Bookmark   February 25, 2004 at 6:56PM
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I found our selves in that type of predicament. We signed up for a special promotion with our phone company for flat rate of .05 aminute,no monthly fees. Well wouldn't you know, I started checking bill to make sure eveything was the way it should be, it seemed a tad high, Lo and Behold they charged .07 and a $2. monthly fee. I only noticed after a few a months, but I sure gave them a call back and got it readjusted. But they continued to do the same thing for the rest of that promotional period and had to call back each time to get credited for it. It seemed a small amount but the point is you signed up for that and that's what you should get. In the mean time a long distant comp. had decided to add themselves to our account (which we did not order)and were charged a monthly fee, that was taken care of as well... It is well worth your time to go over your bills...

    Bookmark   March 21, 2005 at 9:21AM
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Can't remember the whole of the Latin expression that I heard many years ago, but I think it appropriate here.

Went something like, " ... non carborundum ...".

Translation was, "Don't let the bastards grind you down".

Have a joyful holiday, all.

One of the nice things about retirement is ... every day is holiday!

ole joyful

P.S. Whatcha bet the censor doesn't let that word pass? o j

    Bookmark   March 24, 2005 at 1:40PM
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Think I'll check my bills. We dropped long distance a few years back and my phone bill seems to be creeping up. Bet there are some hidden charges.
We signed up with a long distance company where there are no charges except for the minutes you use. I'm really happy with this company. Now if my local company could make me happy.
Kathy G in MI

    Bookmark   April 5, 2005 at 12:38PM
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My latest "caught them" was a charge for interest...on a bill paid 2 days ahead of due date. The excuse was "we didn't post it until after it was due"....well it was their fault and not mine....and yes I got my $4.00 and something back! You just have to make the effort to call and be nice but FIRM - at least that is what has worked for me.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2005 at 7:48PM
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I had one of those excuses that it must not have made it by the due date, BUT the check had cleared my account by the due date! They took off those charges!
Kathy G in MI

    Bookmark   April 9, 2005 at 12:12PM
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Thanks for the information. I'd better check my statements closer.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2005 at 7:09PM
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