Double Billing Debacle


A Very Expensive Mistake

Our friends Jenny and Pete are like most couples we know – super busy, more than a little frazzled, and always trying to stay on budget. So, recently the two decided to take a very Fab & Fru approach to their finances and see exactly where all their money was going — they sat down and compared credit card statements…

The Devil Is In The Details

Like many couples we know, Jenny and Pete have separate credit cards. And like most couples, they split up household expenses – and each thought they knew who was covering what.  So you can imagine their surprise when they found they had both been paying for DIRECTV – for years!

Long Story Short ….

annoyedwomanIt turns out that about 5 years back when Jenny moved into Pete’s apartment, they upgraded his existing, “standard” DIRECTV service to “HD”.  Seems easy enough, right?

Then Jenny got pregnant, work was insane and…their TV bill was not something they were overly concerned about.

The problem?  Apparently, in the chaos, they never officially canceled Pete’s old service.  So even though they were no longer using their old boxes, they were still getting charged for the original plan.

When they upgraded to HD, Jenny swears they had a conversation where she said she would take over the TV bill, and she linked the bill to auto-pay on her credit card.  Needless to say – Pete doesn’t remember this conversation. Long story short – they doubled paid the bill – for years!

A “Total” Disaster

The total? An extra hundred bucks a month for 5 years – yeah – that’s a cool $6000.  When the couple called DIRECTV to explain the situation, they were in for a rude legal awakening.

Even though the rep was sympathetic, he said it was not DIRECTV’s responsibility to cancel old services when an upgrade takes place – say what?!  He went on to say, that it states “in the fine print” that billing disputes are only good for 60 days.  All he could offer was a rebate on the last couple of months and nothing more. And of course he added insult to injury by saying, “Wow – can’t believe you guys didn’t notice this until now!” Thanks…

Blessing In Disguise

As painful as it was, Jenny and Pete got a much needed wake up call. This mess prompted them to go through all their household expenses and bills with a fine tooth comb – and thankfully no other double billings were happening!  But as a result of the costly error these two have a new, much more pro-active approach to their finances.

They encourage all of you co-habitating with others to double check all your bills.  You may think you’d never find yourself in this position, but it’s amazing what can fall through the cracks in the hustle and bustle of every day life…

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