Gephardt: What To Do After Getting Charged For Canceled Services
RIVERTON, Utah – Recurring billing is a great thing for our busy schedules. But it can become really frustrating when you think you’ve canceled a service, only to keep getting billed by the company.
It happened to Reva Riddle when she canceled her DirecTV service in Oct. 2018, after she got tired of not being able to watch KSL TV during a nearly eight-month blackout of the station.
“When I canceled, they sent me a box to send the equipment back, which I did,” Riddle said.
She said she thought everything was taken care of, until six months later, when she saw DirecTV had still been billing her monthly.
“I called them and said, ‘Quit billing me!’” she said.
Riddle got a refund of $350.65 for those charges. But again, not all was fixed. More than a year after she originally canceled her service, Riddle received a collections notice. So, even after disputing the bill and getting a refund, Riddle was still on the hook.
“I’ve spent many hours on it and I’m discouraged (and) disappointed that they won’t tell me what it’s for,” Riddle said.
Looking at the response from the collections company, it appeared she was on the hook for “total services” through “Aug. 3, 2019.” That came to $193.05. Then there was a “past due” balance of $461.99 for a total of $655.04. It also showed DirecTV never got her equipment back, which she said she absolutely sent back.
DirecTV did not want to talk to us about this on camera. In a simple, e-mailed statement, the TV service said, “We’ve credited the customer’s account and she is satisfied with the resolution.” The DirecTV spokesperson didn’t indicate why Riddle was sent to collections in the first place.
“I just want to get the collection off my back,” Riddle said.
The good news for Riddle is that’s exactly what has happened. Collection agents are no longer pursuing her for that $655.04.
Making Sure A Service Is Canceled
So, what can you do to make sure a recurring service you’ve canceled is actually canceled?
First, check your bank account at least once a month. Don’t let six months slip by before noticing in a statement that you’re still being charged.
Most companies also give you a cancellation or confirmation number when you cancel. Write that number down on your last bill and keep it safe so if they do call, you’ve got proof of cancellation.
If you’re sending equipment back to the canceled service, be sure to get a shipping tracking number and hold on to it. You will want to prove the company actually did get its equipment back.
And, do what Riddle did. If you get a collections notice, dispute it in writing within 30 days of receiving it and send as much proof as you can.
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