So you found an error on your telephone bill and are getting ready to contact the carrier for resolution: Now what?
Common sense tells you that once notified, the telephone company should correct the error immediately and refund all overpayments.
Unfortunately, this is an area where common sense rarely prevails.
There are a number of roadblocks to correcting this invoice billing error and pitfalls you need to be wary of while negotiating the refund to which you are entitled. This paper introduces you to common road blocks and pitfalls encountered when managing telecommunications invoice disputes and some tools to overcome them.
In the first two part of this blog series we discussed:
In this final article in the series, Part 3, we'll discuss some of the tools you can use to accelerate your time to savings when filing invoice billing error claims.
Every state publishes detailed laws called tariffs that regulate most aspects of telecommunications service or billing pertaining to local and in-state services. Tariffs contain information ranging from how much a carrier can charge for installation of a service to how much credit is due for a service outage. The laws vary by state and are thorough but long. Each tariff can number in the hundreds or thousands of pages.
The Federal Telecommunications act of 1934, which was then amended in 1996, regulates interstate services in the same manner.
There are companies that specialize in expense, vendor and dispute management. They have access to decades of knowledge and experience that comes directly from working for telecommunications vendors. Because of this, they are aware of the ‘small print’, ‘loopholes’ and ‘shortcuts’ that will help expedite claim processing and assure you receive all credit to which you are entitled. These companies can help you navigate the minefield and relieve a lot of stress.
State and Federal agencies
Each state has an agency that regulates and monitors telecommunications providers. The agency names vary but most are similar to ‘Public Utilities Commission’, ‘Public Service Commission’ or ‘State Corporation Commission’. The employees of these agencies are always eager to answer any question you have regarding the law and how it is applied to local and in-state services. The Federal Communications Commission (F.C.C.) regulates all aspects of interstate services.
Dealing with ongoing billing issues is tedious and frustrating. After several months it is tempting to throw up your hands in surrender, take whatever is offered by the vendor and move on to the next fire.
Do not give up.
Filing and resolving invoice billing errors and credit claims does not have to be terrifying.
Assistance is available from many qualified, reputable companies that specialize in dispute and vendor management.
All you have to do is call…