We hand the credit card to the waiter and give it nary a thought while the faceless service worker takes our card away for, what on reflection, seems like an unnecessarily long time, and charges us an unreasonable amount (was that Pepsi really $5?) that we just pay without questioning. On top of that, we feel socially obligated to tack on 10% to 15% more than the price of the meal as a gift to the waiter for the extraordinary service of not being rude while doing their job.
Why do we uncritically pay too much for things? Many restaurants do not provide itemized checks. So we do not even know what exactly we are paying for. This kind of social conditioning is costing us money in far more consequential areas of our lives. And it is past time that we stop the madness.
When a person’s credit falls into disrepair, they become susceptible to overpaying for debt they did not incur. But that can be a hard thing to prove. And even if provable, it seems difficult to fight. They have a room full of attorneys to support their case while you have none. Even one attorney on your side can even the score. What you need is an attorney that can help you with your credit dispute letter.
It is easy to let yourself be overcharged because:
- You know you owe a lot of people money and have lost track of the amounts
- You stopped caring about the amount because the situation seems hopeless
- You never knew the full amount because of intentionally confusing payment terms
Fortunately, there are ways to turn things around and stop getting overcharged:
Ask for an Explanation and Reduction of Bills that Seem Too High
It seems like some companies ought to be ashamed of themselves for what they charge for products and services. As it turns out, they often are. They charge the way they do because customers let them get away with it. You don’t have to let them get away with it. You can confront them, and often get recompense for ridiculous charges. This tragic story about a horrendous injury to a dog, and the ultimate costs, provides an example of how it is done.
After a visit to the vet and an emergency clinic, the traumatized dog owners had a bill of $9,000. $900 of which was from the family vet. When the reality of the bill hit them, they decided to look at the bill more closely. As related in the article:
“I went into the vet office and asked to speak with whomever would go over the bill. For 30 minutes, I told them I would not pay their crazy prices. They charged us $200 per dog just for shaving their wounds. They used a freaking electric razor! It took them a few minutes to do each dog. The emergency clinic even told me they had to do it again because the shave was not good. Nope, not paying full price!”
He goes on to talk about other outrageous fees for products and services. The upshot is that he got half of the $900 bill removed. The hospital refused to budge, however. Even so, just confronting companies with the absurdity of what they are doing can pay dividends.
Another example can be found in the plethora of stories about outrageous fees charged by cell service providers to travelers foolish enough to think they could use their phones overseas for similar prices as they do at home. They discovered that minor cell use while traveling could cost them thousands. Those fees were often retroactively reduced when the provider is confronted with them. It pays to confront serial overchargers.
Check Your Credit Report
This one is easy and obvious. You can’t delete your spam faster than free credit report offers can fill it up. While the methods of making you aware of this service are sleazy, the idea is good. Just because you don’t like the used car dealer does not mean you don’t need a used car. Keeping track of your credit report will allow you to see disputable charges near the time they happen. You can’t dispute it if you don’t know about it. Stay informed. Creditors make mistakes all the time.
Dispute the Unfair Debt
If you don’t dispute it, you own it. Fortunately, there is a process that enables you to dispute debt. Furthermore, disputes are very winnable. The burden of proof is on them, and they have a limited amount of time to present that proof. If you really don’t own it, the odds are in your favor of not having to pay it.
It is hard enough to keep up with the debt you rightfully owe. Never pay for debt that you don’t.
photo courtesy of edenpictures