Dispute Resolution Tips

Are you having sticker shock over a recent bill? Errors do occur occasionally with utility, hospital, or other bills. These can often be corrected with a quick phone call. Sometimes, disputes over charges are more difficult to resolve. Good preparation can help put the odds in your favor.

Helpful Ideas

  • Select an opportune time to call. Avoid Mondays and the days following holidays since they are typically busy
  • Have a pen and paper ready so you can take notes during the call
  • Have copies of your current bill, past bills and canceled checks
  • Know your account number and passwords
  • Decide how much you are seeking to reduce your bill – be realistic with your expectations
  • Write down the date and time you talked with the person
  • Ask for the person’s name, identification number and extension before you begin to discuss the bill
  • Ask if there’s a case number, and jot it down
  • Go through the bill line by line to determine the cause of the problem
  • Be firm but pleasant; ask to speak with a manager if disagreements persist
  • Ask what the expected turnaround will be for the resolution
  • Write down any price quotes and/or charge adjustments; ask the customer representative to do the same in the company’s computer database