Getting Overcharged & Double Billed

by Brandi Savitt – September 13, 2010

Why It Pays to Read Your Receipts & Statements

I’m not sure what’s in the air, but in the last four weeks I have saved myself almost $100 dollars – just by reading over my receipts and credit card statements BEFORE paying my bills!  From catching a mistake by a cashier at Trader Joe’s to a erroneous charge on my Amex, I have been reminded in a big way why reading over receipts, bills and credit card statements is a key step in bill paying.  No one wants to overspend – especially due to someone else’s  mistake!

Here’s FIVE reasons why looking over your bills & receipts can you save you BIG!

Double Check for Double Charges

When it comes to paying bills, many of us pay online with just a click of a button, or we are in such a hurry that we merely glance at our statements without really scrutinizing the charges listed.  The fact is, that often a sales person will accidentally run a charge through twice or the computer malfunctions.  It is not necessarily the responsibility of your credit card company to catch these errors.  DON’T BE LAZY!  By taking two minutes to read over your statement, you can avoid paying double for a simple mistake or a glitch in the system!.

Random Purchases, Sneaky Charges

If you make a lot of online purchases, it is super important to also look at your credit card statement to make sure you were only charged for what you intended to buy!  This goes for online services too that have sneaky automatic renewals that are unclear when your sign up.

For example…  Two months ago at the office, I signed up for a one time access to a research site for $6.  It was very clear that I would only have access to the search engine for 24 hours.   However, when I got my credit card bill, I indeed had the $6 charge from the company I had accessed, but then I had a random $20 charge from a company of another name.  I had no idea who the second company was, but when I did my research, I realized the first site signed me up for a second service and used my billing info!  I immediately canceled the service stating that I never signed up for the site and demanded my $20 bucks back.

Cut to last month, I opened my statement and had yet another $20 charge from the same random company! I immediately called Amex, and they credited my account while putting a lock on my account so that particular vendor could no longer charge my card without my authorization.

The reality: If I had just glanced at my statement, I would be paying $20 extra dollars a month for many years to come!  In just twelve months, that’s $240 of wasted funds!

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One Response to “Getting Overcharged & Double Billed”

  1. Lyn says:

    What a great article we should all pay close attention to. I found three incorrect charges on my credit card bill this month. There was a scam $12.00 charge for coupons (?) that I overlooked for several months. When I called, they immediately removed the charges…no questions asked. The little charges they sneak in are what is frightening, any large charge would be noticed immediately. If they can sneak in a couple of bucks each month on thousands of people, imagine what they can make. They do not need a large charge. BE CAREFUL!!
    Great advice!!!!!

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