Even incorrect charges can hurt consumers

Occasionally, credit card companies make mistakes and end up saying consumers didn’t take care of a bill that was paid. When that happens, it’s important for them to know what to do.

According to television station KJRH in Tulsa, Oklahoma, one family paid a $35 charge they made in 2006, but was told by their credit card company that they had not settled the bill. As they refused to pay for the same charge twice, they piled up late fees for three years that badly damaged their once-spotless credit report, and received calls and letters from collection agencies because of the mistake.

While the dispute was eventually resolved because of the station’s intervention, not every consumer can have a major news outlet on their side in a fight with a lender. It is therefore important for consumers to be aware of what to do when a situation like this arises.

First, consumers should call the company to dispute the charge, making sure to note the date and time of the call, as well as the person they talked to. They should also send a written letter disputing the charge, and be vigilant for any other fees that arise as a result of the mistake.

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