"Tact is the ability to describe others as they see themselves." -Abraham Lincoln
Dealing with a billing error can be frustrating. But giving up too quickly will only cost you money. I've learned this the hard way, and many of my clients and friends might benefit from what I've learned.
So, if you've got an erroneous bill to settle, here's what to do:
¤ Write a polite letter. Control your irritation if you want results. Describe the problem and ask for help. Customer service personnel will be more willing to work with you if you don't attack them.
¤ Follow the chain of command. Addressing a letter to the CEO of a bank, for example, may only delay a resolution. Start at the bottom, and work your way up until the problem is resolved.
¤ Write within 60 days of receiving the erroneous bill. The Fair Credit Billing Act will protect you only if you follow its limits. That means writing to the company within 60 days after the bill was sent to you.
¤ Give full information. Include your name, address, account number, a brief description of the problem, and copies of the sales slips and other documents that support your claim. Try to keep the letter to a single page.
¤ CC a regulator. If you show that you're sending a copy of the letter and documents to the Comptroller of the Currency or the Federal Trade Commission, you signal that you mean business.
¤ Confirm delivery. Send the letter by certified mail with return receipt.
Much of what we do around here comes down to going to bat on behalf of our clients and making sure that they aren't getting taken to the cleaners. The above is just a few points from our methodology.
The best advice? Have a professional in your corner.