Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Getting Late Charges Forgiven

Occasionally, we miss a payment due date due to misplacing a bill or not receiving one in the mail. However, rather than remit the late payment fees, I usually call customer service and request forgiveness. We have an excellent record of paying all our bills on time, so we usually get the late charges removed.

Here's an example of the conversation I have with a customer representative (CR):

Me: Hi, this is ____________ and I'm calling about my bill which I haven't paid. My apologies for being late. I didn't receive (or I misplaced) the bill this month which is the reason we didn't pay it. As you can see, we always pay our bills on time.

CR: Thank you for calling and letting us know about the late payment. Yes, I'm looking at your records and I can see you make timely payments.

Me: Since this our first time missing a payment, can you take off the late charge this time?

CR: Yes, that would be no problem to remove the late charge. I've credited the amount to your account.

Me: Thank you. I appreciate your help.

There has only been one instance where the CR would not forgive the late charges. I called on the day a credit card bill was due and explained we had just found the misplaced bill. I told the CR that we would send payment immediately and asked if he would take off the late charge. He responded that any payment received after the close of business that day would incur a late charge which could not be forgiven. However, he mentioned that payment could be direct debited on the same day from our account using their the payment option on their website; and by doing so, we could avoid late charges. We followed the directions and they received the payment before the end of day.

My request to forgive late charges is usually honored because our payment history is very good. So far, we haven't been late more than once for any of our accounts over the past seven years. If we had multiple late bill payments, I expect that a CR would be unable to take off any late charges.

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This is not financial advice. Please consult a professional advisor.

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1 comment:

Kristia@FamilyBalanceSheet said...

I have been successful with this as well and it helps when you have a good track record with paying your bills on time.