Monday, June 10, 2013

Mini Ethical Issue

You get a know it is wrong, in your you say something, or take your chances that the company doesn't figure it out?

SO I need to do a mini-come clean (maybe mini will be my theme of the week.....):  Bossy's supplies total hasn't been "accurate" per the bill for about 5 months.  The amount I have reported is the amount that the bill SHOULD be, but the bill hasn't been right.

  • January:  Start the financial waiver process
  • Early February: Approved for 60% off the balance and any future bills in February.  Because of timing, I was told by the financial manager (who is no longer there), the adjustment needs to be made manually (month by month for the balance, and then the same going forward), and it may not be complete by the February billing cycle, which was only a few days away.
  • Mid-February:  Get bill that does not reflect discount, but we were expecting that.
  • March:   Get bill, no adjustment made.  Call customer service, and they said in their system, a partial adjustment has been made and was done after the bill went out.   Was told it would be corrected by April bill.
  • April - Get bill that shows the partial adjustment.  Call again why the full adjustment wasn't completed.  Customer service doesn't know and passes it on to the next level up, who assured me it would be done by May.
  • May - never got a bill.

So here we are in June.  I called again, and was told they have lots of accounts and they just haven't gotten to mine (to which I rebutted and said why did someone start the process and never finish it?).  Asked why I didn't get a May bill.....and was told they don't like to send out inaccurate bills (but they did for months prior).  Asked what the current balance was...and it was still showing the partial adjustment.  Asked why the past 6 months of service charges isn't on the bill.....was told that insurance hasn't paid those charges yet, so they don't know what our portion will be (which we have dealt with before).

So I again asked when the adjustment will be finished, and was told she would call me back.  She called back that afternoon, and said they were mailing me an updated, corrected bill.  I asked the balance......$362.


I didn't say anything, because I wanted to see the bill.  It arrived over the weekend, and as I initially suspected, they adjusted the amounts that had previously been adjusted.  From what I can tell, the full adjustment was completed but wasn't updated in the system, and then my phone call triggered it.  Instead of seeing that the adjustment was complete, they took another 60% off the bill.

I had estimated that the bill should have been about $900.  Subtract 60% (which is $540) and you get $360.  So there ya go.

I know the bill is incorrect.  I could open my mouth, and would then owe another $540.  Or, I could just pay off the bill (we still have overtime money in the wings that we were deciding which debt to put it towards and in what increment) and be done.  I am guessing if I pay off the bill....all the accounting mistakes will drop off the bill and only "current" billing will show up.  The likelihood of them finding their error will decrease.

But that isn't how we roll.  I just KNOW that this will all backfire.  Because it always does.

We talked about paying off the bill, AND continuing to put the agreed upon payment per month aside for awhile....and if the bill comes back around, at least we have some money toward it.  If it doesn't come back around, then that money would be a big snowball toward the next debt.

So....what would you do?  Roll the dice and hope they don't figure out their mistake?  Tell them they made a mistake and all they will say is Thank You?  Run for the border????

I am a good person, and I pay my bills.  Heck, it took us 8 YEARS to pay off Bossy's hospital bill....most people would have given up WAY before that.  But this is tempting....


  1. So they readjusted the amounts twice? Could it be the extra money is for February instead, or some pro-rated arrangement from before it went back into effect? Does your bill have any details explaining any credits?

    1. Yes, they did it twice. I can see the pre-"readjusted" amount, and that is the already adjusted amount. They just did it again because they didn't understand that I told them that the first half of the bill was already done, and it was the second half that was the problem. appears that the initial adjustment to the second half was done and didn't show up. So they adjusted it again.

      The original bill was $2800. The adjusted bill should have been $1120. We have made a few payments along the way....bringing us to a final balance of $895. But they are now saying the balance is $362.

  2. In my experience, companies ALWAYS come out on top. One day a year from now they might catch the mistake and send you the real bill.

    I always call and question the amount whether high or low and then....only then do I feel comfortable.

    1. Wanted to add in your case the company sounds like they are completely disorganized.
      You are doing all the right things. It is nice to know that there are still people of integrity out there.

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  4. I would call the billing department again, inform them of the possible error in the bill but make it clear that you are mailing in payment for the bill that is in your hand. I would then make a copy of the bill and the check for proof of payment incase they try to over bill you in the future.

  5. To be honest, I would pay what the bill says to pay but expect them to correct in the future

  6. I would call and question the amount. If they stand by their amount, I would pay it. This is very confusing. Its no wonder the bill is wrong.

  7. I once had a check deposited twice into my account. I didn't say anything but I also didn't touch the money and just let it sit in my account. After about a month, it was randomly taken out of my account and I received a letter a few days later saying they had made a mistake.
    Honestly, I would do the same thing here. I'd pay the bill and keep my mouth shut BUT I would put the rest of the money that you think you owe into an emergency fund so that if they ever come back for the money, you have it and aren't screwed.

  8. I would call and tell them I think I owe you more money and I want to be honest. I expect them to be honest with me. If they don't argue the amount ask for and paid in full receipt to be mailed to you. Then let it slide you did what you could.