What To Do When Your Phone Bill Is Wrong

What to do when your phone bill is wrong including contacting the FCC

Bills are an unpleasant fact. We all pay for certain necessities and luxuries on a recurring basis, usually monthly. Phone service is often among those that come on a month by month basis. With charges for both local and long distance, add-on features such as call-waiting, three-way calling, call forwarding, and additional choices including cellular plans, the bills can be overwhelming when trying to decipher. So what is one to do when they realize that their bill has errors? Several steps can be taken to try to resolve the issue with the company in question, and if that fails, there are still alternative things that can be done to try to rectify the situation.

First, make a copy of the bill in question. If for some reason you lose or cannot locate your copy, the company in question may try to bill you for a replacement. Next, contact the company. If it is a local company, take a copy of the bill directly to their customer service department. If it is not a local company, call them and inquire as to their recommended procedure to follow for a billing dispute. You will most likely be referred to a customer service representative over the phone who will try to sort out any irregularities that your bill contains. Many times, this is all that it will take to resolve the issue. Remember to be calm and professional. If you start the conversational in an accusatory tone, the representative may not be as inclined to help, as you would like them to.

What if the company replies by saying there is no error? Ask them to explain to you why it is correct. If the dispute involves a charge that is not normal, ask them to review your past bills to verify that this is or is not a normal charge. You should also ask to speak to a supervisor or manager if you are not receiving any satisfactory answers. It is also advisable when dealing with a large company to call back in the hopes you reach a different representative if you are not achieving the results you know you are entitled. If you are given any case or reference numbers concerning the dispute, make note of them and the name of the person you are currently talking. I also make note of the day and time, so if I have to call back I can give an accurate description of when I called in addition to whom I talked.

What should you do if after following all these steps you have still not reached a satisfactory ending? As a consumer, you have the right to file a complaint with the FCC (Federal Communications Commission). For billing disputes, you can contact them by phone, postal mail, fax, email, or electronically by means of their website. If you wish to file a complaint via the website, you should completely fill out and file Form 475. Whichever way you choose to contact the FCC, be sure to include your name and contact information, account numbers, dates, specific violations, copy of the bill in question if mailing in the information, and especially as to what resolution you expect.

Keep in perspective at all times that as the consumer you have the right to dispute any charges you know are wrong. Be persistent, consistent, and patient when dealing with any company that you are having a monetary dispute. By doing so, you will have the upper hand by always being in control.

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