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Refusing to pay service bill

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  • Avatar Kamban 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 2124
    Joined: 08/01/2016
    When I was doing IR, I would not infrequently turn people away with, “nah, you don’t need that” and not charge them. It’s bad enough to take time off from work or getting a ride and waiting for the procedure.

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    I get a consult once in a while that is not in my field.I do not see them or charge them anything.

    Or for an insurance we clearly do not take, but I could see them and charge as out of network. I feel that it is unethical to see them without informing them and giving them a choice.

    And if I feel that they would need continued care for the condition and hence would need to see another specialist in my field with another consult charge, I dissuade them from seeing me and direct them to a colleague who accepts the insurance. Surprisingly some patients still want to see me even after this information is conveyed and are surprised that physicians even try to save them money. ?

    #184483 Reply
    jfoxcpacfp jfoxcpacfp 
    Moderator
    Status: Financial Advisor, Accountant, Small Business Owner
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    Joined: 01/09/2016

    Since you described the issue on the phone, the technician should not have even gone to your house to tell you they don’t do that. Sorry, but no way I would pay that bill. I also wouldn’t waste any extra time on it. I’d just write a note on it and or include a note with it and send it back c/o “The Person In Charge at XYZ Service Co.) It’s just the principle.

    Wonder how many times they have gotten away with this? You are not a chump, @mpmd, don’t fall into that trap.

    Johanna Fox Turner, CPA, CFP, Fox Wealth Mgmt & Fox CPAs ~ 270-247-0555
    https://fox-cpas.com/for-doctors-only/

    #184484 Reply
    Avatar Panscan 
    Participant
    Status: Resident
    Posts: 663
    Joined: 03/18/2017

    You’re going to be wasting a bunch of time on it when it goes to collections. I doubt they are going to stop pursuing it.

    I feel like not paying it and not spending any more time on it are mutually exclusive.

    #184513 Reply
    MPMD MPMD 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 2043
    Joined: 05/01/2017

    Since you described the issue on the phone, the technician should not have even gone to your house to tell you they don’t do that. Sorry, but no way I would pay that bill. I also wouldn’t waste any extra time on it. I’d just write a note on it and or include a note with it and send it back c/o “The Person In Charge at XYZ Service Co.) It’s just the principle.

    Wonder how many times they have gotten away with this? You are not a chump, @mpmd, don’t fall into that trap.

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    Thank you for assuming perhaps incorrectly that I am not a chump, but I am taking WBD’s advice. Going to write a letter and give them the option to do the right thing. I don’t want to have issues with my next mortgage over $89.

     

    You’re going to be wasting a bunch of time on it when it goes to collections. I doubt they are going to stop pursuing it.

    I feel like not paying it and not spending any more time on it are mutually exclusive.

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    I think you’re right. Going to drop the letter in the mail today along with the check and mentally cross it off my to-do list.

    #184560 Reply
    Avatar Dont_know_mind 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 785
    Joined: 11/21/2017

    Since you described the issue on the phone, the technician should not have even gone to your house to tell you they don’t do that. Sorry, but no way I would pay that bill. I also wouldn’t waste any extra time on it. I’d just write a note on it and or include a note with it and send it back c/o “The Person In Charge at XYZ Service Co.) It’s just the principle.

    Wonder how many times they have gotten away with this? You are not a chump, @mpmd, don’t fall into that trap.

    Click to expand…

    Thank you for assuming perhaps incorrectly that I am not a chump, but I am taking WBD’s advice. Going to write a letter and give them the option to do the right thing. I don’t want to have issues with my next mortgage over $89.

     

    You’re going to be wasting a bunch of time on it when it goes to collections. I doubt they are going to stop pursuing it.

    I feel like not paying it and not spending any more time on it are mutually exclusive.

    Click to expand…

    I think you’re right. Going to drop the letter in the mail today along with the check and mentally cross it off my to-do list.

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    This is what I would do also. I would not risk my credit report over $89. You want an unblemished report, to have a hassle-free mortgage experience. Unfortunately, even if you high net worth and income, having that blemish can be a hassle to get a cheap mortgage, particularly during a recession or when the banks will be nervous to lend, which is probably when you will want to access more credit to get a bargain.

    I had an irritating experience with my last internet service provider where they double charged me a termination fee. I spent hours on the phone with customer service, then wrote a letter. I did eventually get the money back. I would pay the fee and write a letter as you have done. Hopefully you will get your $89 back.

    #185001 Reply
    Avatar Snag75 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 179
    Joined: 12/09/2018

    I wouldn’t pay until they failed to discuss further with me and didn’t stop harassing after submitting online complaints to BBB, Yelp, etc (very easy to copy and paste original post into the appropriate website, and you’re done).

    BBB is not a court of law and you don’t need to have damages, can simply request them to stop trying to extract money from you fraudulently.  BBB posts their response, and they get dinged for not handling it — 90% of the time I’ve done this, the company suddenly complied with my request.  Reporting to their state licensing authority is a little more hassle (only because they are slower to make easy online forms), but can still copy and paste the same info – they are not a court of law either, but they can investigate if there is a concern of fraud or not performing according to their licensing standards.

    You would get a warning before it goes to collections.  You can always decide to pay it at that time.

    It’s not about the $89 to me, as much as knowing companies would be trying to generate cashflow this way from people, including people who could not afford it, and they need to know it’s not okay.  Plus Yelp review saves others the same hassle.  ymmv

    #185009 Reply
    Avatar Dont_know_mind 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 785
    Joined: 11/21/2017
    Disability Insurance

    What’s that phrase, “If you owe a large corporation $50, it’s your problem, apparently, but if you owe them $50M, then it’s theirs.”

    #185235 Reply
    Liked by Craigy, Tim
    Avatar Tim 
    Participant
    Status: Accountant
    Posts: 1789
    Joined: 09/18/2018

    BBB rejected complaints without a monetary damage. If you successfully avoided paying, they did refuse it.

    #185243 Reply
    Avatar Snag75 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 179
    Joined: 12/09/2018

    BBB rejected complaints without a monetary damage. If you successfully avoided paying, they did refuse it.

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    This has not been true in my experience at all (their online forms have a checkbox where you can specifically request no compensation or action on their part).  It’s mainly about business conduct, which may or may not include a request for financial reimbursement.

    They do have criteria where they will reject if it’s something that falls better into another realm (outside of business/marketplace conduct), but monetary damages are definitely not required.

    It may be a moot point for OP at this time, but good to keep in mind for the future (see below).

    https://www.bbb.org/process-of-complaints-and-reviews/national-complaint-acceptance-guidelines

    #185371 Reply
    Avatar Tim 
    Participant
    Status: Accountant
    Posts: 1789
    Joined: 09/18/2018
    Earnest refinancing bonus

    Houston BBB required an invoice and proof of loss.
    FYI, BBB is NOT an organization ran for consumers benefit. Membership fees are paid by the business as a marketing tool using the label for reputations purposes.
    They simply are required to respond to disputes.

    #185501 Reply
    Liked by Vagabond MD
    Avatar Snag75 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 179
    Joined: 12/09/2018

    Houston BBB required an invoice and proof of loss.
    FYI, BBB is NOT an organization ran for consumers benefit. Membership fees are paid by the business as a marketing tool using the label for reputations purposes.
    They simply are required to respond to disputes.

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    Interesting.  I’ve submitted complaints to BBBs all over the country (due to living all over, plus you have to submit to the region where the company HQ is located) and never even had to submit anything when the request was for refund (which was usually less often the case than other requests for actions by the company).  It’s been a couple years since I submitted one so perhaps things have changed.

    You are correct that their job is to ask companies to respond to disputes and publish the results, which can affect the company’s score if too many unresolved disputes.

    #185503 Reply
    Avatar MSooner 
    Participant
    Status: Spouse
    Posts: 153
    Joined: 02/25/2016

    I’m inclined to think it’s either a misunderstanding (that they clearly haven’t taken care of correctly) or it’s shady. Either way you are right to be upset.

    I’ve never, ever had a service provider in this sort of category leave without giving me an invoice to sign and having me pay right there. Often I get an email copy too! The only exceptions were when we had a sprinkler system and new heat pump installed and I still had to sign something saying I would pay before they started work. Maybe it is common in other areas, but here they are never going to just “bill you later.” I cant imagine it would be good for collections on their end either!

    #185581 Reply
    Avatar Snag75 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 179
    Joined: 12/09/2018

    I’m inclined to think it’s either a misunderstanding (that they clearly haven’t taken care of correctly) or it’s shady. Either way you are right to be upset.

    I’ve never, ever had a service provider in this sort of category leave without giving me an invoice to sign and having me pay right there. Often I get an email copy too! The only exceptions were when we had a sprinkler system and new heat pump installed and I still had to sign something saying I would pay before they started work. Maybe it is common in other areas, but here they are never going to just “bill you later.” I cant imagine it would be good for collections on their end either!

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    I’ve had a ton of shady stuff happen with vendors.  You’d be surprised.  Hence my experience with BBB and state agencies, and also my disinclination to just let it go.  It’s total fraud and consumer bullying, and exactly what Yelp and that stuff is for.  It’s literally the only way for lay consumers not to get screwed by technicians who defraud.

    #185589 Reply
    Rogue Dad, M.D. Rogue Dad, M.D. 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 875
    Joined: 03/07/2016

    Unless they’ve already said they are referring to collections I would not pay. I would literally fight tooth and nail not to lay in this circumstance. I would work up a level of righteous indignation that would make them cower.

    And once I knew it was about to go to collections I would probably pay. But they wouldn’t know that. 99/100 you can get this type of thing waived with the right approach.

    http://www.RogueDadMD.com

    An alt-brown look at medicine, money, faith, and family

    #185594 Reply
    Liked by hatton1, Snag75
    Avatar Snag75 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 179
    Joined: 12/09/2018

    Unless they’ve already said they are referring to collections I would not pay. I would literally fight tooth and nail not to lay in this circumstance. I would work up a level of righteous indignation that would make them cower.

    And once I knew it was about to go to collections I would probably pay. But they wouldn’t know that. 99/100 you can get this type of thing waived with the right approach.

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    Agree with this 100%.  I’ve never regretted taking a company to task when they misbehave.  I’ve only regretted not doing it sooner or not doing it at all.  They will rarely send a collections notice once they feel like they’ve been exposed and have something on the line, esp a local company.

    #185595 Reply

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