*This post may contain affiliate links, please see my disclosure
Seeing as how there are so many companies who don’t seem to bat an eyelash at billing you for things that you never ordered or “accidently” double charging you for services, I’ve decided to come up with a list of ways to combat billing mistakes. You can check out Part 1 before reading on and see if you can save some money today 🙂
4. Credit Card Bill
If you have ever owned a credit card, you should probably know this: Credit card companies make money by charging you fees and interest. Now, we have a credit card (though, maybe we shouldn’t) and we have never paid a cent of interest to the credit card company because we pay it in full several times a month. But I still check it at the end of every month to make sure there wasn’t a mistake. With our newest card, we have not had any issues, but past credit cards have held my payment for a few days, causing it to post after the due date. They then charged me full interest (like 20%) or something ridiculous. I had to call them up and ask them to remove the charge. They told me they would remove it this one time, but to make sure and pay at least a week in advance next time so the payment would post on time. Can’t they just move the due date up then so I don’t get hit with interest even though I submit my payment on time? Hmmm…
One other thing that has happened is our card has been stolen (twice this year, actually). We found out by them sending us new cards in the mail with a letter explaining that a bunch of numbers had been hacked form a database, blah blah blah. We noticed some odd charges the first time, and they actually reached out to us first and asked about them. We assured them we didn’t rent a cottage in the Netherlands yesterday, so they cleared all the false charges.
BUT, the second time the thief bought some stuff online and we had to manually dispute the charges with the company. They approved our first dispute, but rejected the second one because the store convinced them that we had, in fact, made the purchase. They sent a big explanation letter talking showing the transaction, which had our address and name info, along with all the required credit card info. Heck, these thieves even used a coupon! WHAT?! They bought 3 iTunes gift cards and received a $9 discount. Gosh, that was nice of them! Well, the one error was that they used some spammy email address, which I pointed out was not ours. After some hesitation, the credit card company finally agreed to refund the charges. It was only $36, but what a friggin headache!
Savings: $15 in interest, $1,000 from first theft, $99 + $36 from second theft = $1,150
5. Grocery Store Bill
We frequent a few chain grocery stores in town and my wife shops the heck out of ’em! We rock eMeals (<- affiliate link) for our meal plans, so we know we’re always shopping the deals. We also occasionally bring in some coupons as well. One thing we’ve noticed is that you can’t always trust the computer to scan our items properly, or give us the proper discount. Items may be tagged wrong, prices could be advertised differently, coupons might not scan, items could be double scanned, etc. So we are now in the habit of watching the items ring up on the screen. We’re probably worse than the checker’s micro-managing boss the way we hover, but we’ve definitely saved some cash by watching like you’re creepy next-door neighbor does through the blinds…
Savings: Probably $20 a year
6. Restaurant Charges
Mrs. iHB and I are fans of the finer things in life. Which really sucks because we don’t make enough money to pay our bills. But we do often find ourselves sipping on some vintage 2006 Oregon Pinot Noir while satisfying our taste buds with the choicest of meats, and of course, GARLIC MASHED POTATOES!
We have noticed that restaurants can be VERY BUSY places, which means a higher probability for mistakes on your bill. Many a time, we’ve been charged the wrong price for an item during happy hour, had things added to our bill that we never ordered, and had drinks counted twice and been double charged for them. And though we’re big ballin’, we do always make sure to check the receipt before handing over our card. We probably save a good $50 – $100 a year catching these mistakes.
Savings: About $75 a year
Total Savings: $1,245
Stay tuned for Part 3, because yes, there are EVEN MORE places people can rob you of your hard-earned cash!
Comments: Have you seen unwanted charges on your credit card, grocery or restaurant bills? What did you do about it? Are you in the habit of checking receipts before paying, or do you drop a stack of 100’s like a rapper and buy out the bar? Also, who wants me to tweet AT&T and Comcast and ask them why all billing errors are in their favor?
25 thoughts on “How To Save Money: Billing Mistakes (Part 2)”
I’ve had a billing error before. I specifically asked not for NFL Sunday ticket and I was charged $32.99. They could only credit my account–this was after I spoke to 3 people. All said it was the company’s policy that anything under $100 couldn’t be credited to my credit card, only to my billing account. I contect customer retention and wouldn’t you know it? They were able to refund $32.99 to my credit card…go figure!
Isn’t customer retention wonderful? It’s ridiculous that you have to go to them to get anything done, though. I call in every 6 months to lower my internet bill, and I just go straight to “cancel service” now. Not worth the hassle 🙂
Love the website name, btw!
I shop at Wal-Mart and have to watch them like a hawk. Still, even sometimes they get me. Depeneding on how bad the last visit went, I’ll normally call up or go up. They’ve given me cash back for double charging me on milk the day after but they’ve also refused to give me the product that was clearly marked (and had several of the same kind behind it) as a low price because “it was stickered wrong.” Which just sucked because when I worked retail, if something was stickered xxx and it was really xyz, I still had to give it to them if all the product was stickered wrong.
That’s one thing that frustrates me is shopping at stores that don’t enable their employees to give good customer service. Wal-Mart’s policies literlly disallow their employees from honoring a price tag or changing any prices.
I really feel bad for anyone who has to work at a crappy retail store. They don’t care about high turnover, so you will never leave there feeling like they care about the customer.
Wal-mart is THE WORST. I almost always find mistakes on my receipt. Usually it’s just 25 cents here and 50 cents here….but it adds up! Yet another reason I hate that place!
I try to avoid going there unless it’s the only place of refuge during the Apocolypse. Seriously, never leave that place feeling like “wow, those people really care!”
I admit I suck at checking prices at the grocery store. I just never remember exactly how much each item I bought was. So even though I make a point of going for sale items, I might still be charged extra sometimes.
As for credit cards, I see more of why you are unsure about having a credit card now. That added stress and wasted time would be frustrating even if you are avoiding interest charges.
Yea, I am going to look at other reward cards. I like ours just fine, but it was stolen twice in a year. Frustrating!
I don’t shop much anymore, but when I do, I am actually the guy who swipes and walks away without grabbing the receipt. Luckily, my wife is much more diligent than I am and won’t ever get overcharged.
I have to check the prices because my husband just signs the receipt and never checks. Very frustrating sometimes.
^ YA! What’s up with that?…some guys. ~backs away slowly~
Hey I work retail and do my best to give the best customer service 🙂 what drives me nuts is the people who purposely look for a mismarked item and then screams at me at the register about how our policy states they should be getting their $2 item or free… Now they leave a bad taste in my mouth for sure… I really dislike retail… But anyhow thanks for the tips 🙂
Yea, cheating customers is frustrating. I’m more talking about people who genuinely didn’t know the price, or were promised a deal and then it was not honored.
And yea, retail sucks, but it can pay well in a position like yours (management).
I’ll say that I’m a little careless as well and don’t really check the receipts at the grocery store. I try to watch all of the items as they ring up at the store though…
All-in-all I’m not sure I’ve ran into many problems. I don’t carefully review the receipts and I probably should start doing that. For my business expenses, that’s a totally different story. When I’m paying $30/plate for 23 meals, I am CERTAIN there are only 23 meals on the receipt. I did save $60 a few months back because they tried to charge for 25.
wow, that’s a lot of meals! i’d definitely check that receipt.
I admit, I don’t check at the grocery store, but it’s mostly because I’m in there for 1 item, so I get in and out as fast as possible!
I almost had one the other day. The guy at Lowes was about to reswipe my card after he’d already done it. Luckily, I was paying attention while he (clearly) wasn’t.
I’ve dealt with the “double-card-swiper” before. that guy….
I hate it when things ring up at the wrong price but normally cashiers change it without investigating. I wonder if I told them something was cheaper and it wasn’t if they’d still discount it or if they really know the item is priced wrong. I’d never do it but it’d be an interesting experiment.
Hmmm, I wouldn’t do it either, but if you were at a plce like Whole Foods or some other fancy grocery store, they would definitely do it. They have something called “GOOD CUSTOMER SERVICE”, which is like finding a diamond in a haystack these days.
I watch pretty closely at the grocery store, since I usually only buy a few items it is easy to tell if the total is off.
I had a similar experience with my credit card, where they claimed my payment was late even though it should have easily arrived on time. They did refund the late charge. I usually make multiple payments on my cards now so I haven’t had that problem again.
Glad you got it refunded. I think it’s a nasty, rotten trick that credit card companies pull and hope you don’t notice.
I got double charged once at a TGI Friday’s by a shady waitress. She ran my card once on a fake tab she created, and then on my real tab as well. I had to go back with my receipt and talk to the manager in the day, who ended up looking it up on video and finding out the waitress was stealing.
Whoa, that’s a bit extreme. Did you get on the show “Americas Most Wanted”?
Wow! I can’t believe your CC company put up such a fight over a fraudulent charge. I have never had a problem. If they ever denied me a charge I would close the card and move my business elsewhere. I kind of want to know who the issuer is, so I can stay away from them.
Glad it worked out! I totally would have kept fighting even though, as you said it was only $36!
Issuer is BOA, it’s the Alaska Air card, but man, I just can’t find the perks of this card elsewhere. I’ve done a bunch of research, and no one else offers the airlines deals that this one does.