When money is tight people try to cut expenses. They usually start with the obvious like shutting off lights and clipping coupons to cut the grocery bill. It can be frustrating when you’ve looked through everything and made changes where ever you thought possible. It can seem frustrating because of hidden fees, you’ve been paying but not noticing. Some of these fees are on your debit card, phone bill and other places. Avoiding hidden fees can be difficult but with a few simple steps, very possible.
When you’re signing up for a new service or credit card, ask if there are any additional fees. Sometimes there is an application fee or an activation fee. If you are faced with an application or activation fee, ask if that fee can be waived. Ask if the fee would be waived if you sent the information over the internet or by postal mail. Also if you’ve been a customer before make sure you tell them that, as they might be able to use that information and not charge you.
Be careful when you’re changing or upgrading your services. Sometimes those actions are not free and rarely you’re told about the fee until your bill comes. When calling to change or upgrade your service, ask about additional fees. If there are fees make sure they are billed properly, just one time. If there is a fee, you can ask for it to be waived based on the fact you’re an existing customer. If you’ve been a good customer and usually pay on time, this can be a good thing to point out, when asking a fee to be waived.
If you find a fee on your bills that you’re unaware of, call the company and explain you were never told about the fee. You should be clearly told about all fees, including taxes, at the time service begins. If a company fails to disclose all it’s fees or adds additional fees without notifying you, they could be acting against the law in your state. Make sure you keep all paper work you’re given when signing up for services, credit cards and anything you’re continually billed for.
The best way to deal with hidden fees that are costing you money is to call the company. If possible, walk into their office. If it’s just impossible to find time to call or go to their office, send a well worded, detailed email. Be sure to always use your account number and name as it’s spelled on the account to avoid anymore issues with the company.
Keep in mind when contacting a company, the first person may not have the ability or authority to change or credit your bill. Don’t be afraid to ask for someone that can, such as a manager.
If you’ve asked about a hidden fee on your bill and the company is not willing to do anything about it, you can file a complaint. The complaint should be sent to your state’s customer affair’s office. Be sure to clearly state the hidden fee in question and that you were not made aware of such fee. It’s a good idea to add in any contracts or paper work that supports your claim that you were not told about such fees.
While some of these fees seem small to a couple dollars. The reality is the fee is there month after month, year after year and that’s where those hidden fees really add up. Take a close look at your bills and see where those hidden fees are costing you money.