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Reader Tip: It Pays to Review Your Bills

Tammy emailed in the following tip:

I recently moved and had to switch over my internet and phone service. When I got my bill, I was a little shocked — and after careful review, I figured out why my bill was $160 (compared to my usual bill of about $50).

I usually don’t check my bills to often, but after this experience I started checking every little charge on all of my bills.

As it turns out, I was charged twice for an insurance for the house wiring. I called the phone company and told them about this and they removed BOTH charges.

Then, I noticed I was being charged $95 for a phone jack that should have been covered by that insurance! So I ended up calling back the same day and asked about this. It was also a mistake and they refunded the $95.

After all of this, the representative informed me he would give me a credit for my inconvenience, so he went ahead a gave me a $35 credit.

After my 2 phone conversations, my original $160 bill was only about $15 — so it truly does pay to review your bills!

photo source

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13 Comments

  • Melissa says:

    Wow, good catch! I review my bills too, particularly the phone bill.

  • Cammie says:

    I don’t, but my husband is meticulous about reviewing our bills. He catches mistakes and random (incorrect) fees all the time. I am so thankful he does it! He saves us a lot of money.

  • Angie says:

    We caught fraudulent charges on our CC because of checking the bill regularly online.

  • Rhonda says:

    It also pays to review restaurant and store receipts before leaving. My husband and I had a very rare sushi date night. When the bill came I thought it sounded too high for just two people and sure enough we had another tables drinks charged to us. That was an extra $20 we almost paid.

    • Michelle says:

      Recently my son list his wallet with my cc in it .i checked it online and found son had charged 350$ for wake board binding. Cancelled by me. My oil company also ran my card twice 3k in charges – stopped using them!!

  • I just finished mailed an appeal letter because it looks like I was billed 3 times for the same surgery. When I looked over the bill there were also odd items like $350 marked “Miscellaneous” or “Other” and a charge for a hospital across town that I didn’t even visit. Anyhow, hopefully we get it all cleared up and the total gets reduced. Here’s a post I wrote awhile back about appealing your medical bills:

    http://theabundantwife.com/save-money-with-these-7-tips-for-appealing-your-medical-bills/

    Thanks for sharing your tips!

  • ClareC. says:

    I check/catch mistakes on my bills and receipts often. One that comes to mind was a 99 cent package of clearance bacon I bought once that the cashier mistakenly rang up as 99 dollars. I didn’t catch that one until I got home but that certainly made me go right back to the store to get my 98 dollars back!

    • awmeme says:

      ClareC~Its a good idea to keep a running total of your groceries in your head…that way when your overcharged especially by $99 you’ll know without having to waste gas going back to the store.

  • Anna says:

    Yep, I always check my bills out. Many times I have caught mistakes.

  • Melissa says:

    I don’t usually, but recently, I wanted to give my daughter a lesson in home expenses and realized that I was being charged for an annoying text service. I don’t know HOW I got signed up for them, but they had been texting me ads for months! Just dropped our bill by $10 per month! I will start paying better attention!

  • cassi says:

    I review every bill when it arrives…we pay bills online so the process is open bill, throw everything but bill in recycling, and go through the bill. I have caught incorrect charges on my cell phone bill, a bill that had been paid but I was rebilled for, but the biggest errors always come from our local clinic bills. It is really terrible…from incorrect coding to forgetting to submit something to insurance the errors seem to never end. I also catch errors with insurance by looking over EOBs…they have made at least 5 Errors all on their own…I get lovely excuses like…no you are right that thould be covered it was a mistake. I can’t imagine how much money I would have lost if I hadn’t checked!

    • Bethany says:

      I hit send and then realized I should have mentioned medical bills. When I was reviewing my mother’s bills, we found all sorts of insurance billing problems. I’m sure they were “accidents” but had I not been paying attention, it would have cost almost $400 for one bill when it should have cost -0-

  • Bethany says:

    I will add to this to always check your bank statements .. mistakes do happen and if you catch them right away, you seem to have less headache resolving the issue. I’ve had it happen on several occasions —

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