Always check your bill before paying

When you check your bill and find a billing error, it pays to contact the seller or provider immediately to rectify it. Federal laws protect consumers if they report errors in charges to their credit or debit cards in a timely manner. Therefore, by taking the appropriate steps, a consumer can avoid penalties and recoup their money.

Never forget to check your bill

The first step in responding to a billing error is to contact the provider by phone. If an immediate resolution is not provided, it is necessary that the consumer put their notice in writing in order to keep a record of the communication. Consumers should also list their name, account number, the error amount and the date of the notice. The notice should be sent within the first 60 days of the receipt of the first billing statement.

A response to the notice should be received within 30 days, and the issue should be resolved within the next two billing cycles or 90 days.

Following Up on a Billing Error

If the consumer responds in a timely manner to a billing error and demands restitution but fails to receive a response, they are entitled to withhold payment until the error is resolved. Consumers should also expect to receive written confirmation of the error as well as the corrections made.

If further steps are required, a consumer can request an investigation into the error as well as seek legal counsel in order to avoid delinquency charges.

When you check your bill, it is important to document all transactions in order to verify any billing errors that may arise. Keeping track of purchases and payments will ensure a consumer has legal standing when disputing charges and will avoid negative credit reports.