Tutorial for “Complain About a Billing Error”

Tips

Keep in mind that most errors are unintentional, and that most businesses want to address and clear up their customers' complaints quickly. Avoid aggressive, accusing language. If two or three letters sent to lower level managers do not resolve the problem, send one to the president or CEO of the company. In each case, be firm but polite.

Steps

1. State all the relevant facts concerning the case in question.

Sentences

  • On December 8, 2001, my wife and I made a reservation at your hotel for the night of December 20. We secured the reservation with our credit card, but were unable to keep the reservation. We called two days in advance to explain our situation to Mr. Doe. He said he would cancel the reservation without a penalty since we had called early; however, when we got our credit card statement, the charge from your hotel was still listed.
  • On Thursday, April 3, I ordered the following CDs from your company: Bach's Two and Three Part Inventions, Mozart's Requiem, and Glass's Glassworks. The following week I received only the Mozart disc, but was charged for the other two as well.
  • As you can see, I have returned, unopened, the JVC VCR that was sent to my home on December 13, 2001. I did not order the machine and do not want to be charged for it.
  • I have just received your company's catalog, which I ordered in February. I was told over the phone that the catalog would be sent to me free of charge, but inside the envelope I found a bill for $15.75.
  • I am writing regarding the bill I received from your firm dated December 5, 2001. According to the bill, I owe your firm $750.00 for financial services rendered. I paid this charge one week after the services were rendered. This is the third bill your firm has sent me since then. Please make the appropriate adjustment.
  • I have just received your October 14 invoice #123 for a boiler repair. According to the invoice, I owe your company $4,672.00. The problem is that I have no boiler and did not enlist your services. Please correct your records.

Phrases

  • according to the invoice
  • am sure it's a simple mistake
  • am questioning why
  • am sure this can be cleared up quickly
  • are aware such things happen
  • charged for merchandise I did not receive
  • collection letter was erroneously sent to me
  • concerning the most recent billing
  • did not enlist your services
  • do not understand the reason for
  • feel the warranty should cover
  • has been a billing error
  • have been charged for
  • received a collection letter
  • regarding an incorrect invoice
  • regarding an erroneous bill
  • seems to be a billing error
  • should not have been charged for
  • understood that there would be no charge to my account
  • was erroneously charged for
  • was an error in my bill
  • was charged a late fee
  • when we received our credit card statement
  • your salesperson told me that

2. Include copies of any receipts, invoices, notices, or cancelled checks that will validate your claim. Keep the original copies for future reference.

Sentences

  • I am including a photocopy of canceled check #123 as proof that I paid your firm the balance of the amount I owed for your consulting services.
  • Enclosed are copies of the three notices your company has sent me in the last month for the same charge.
  • Enclosed with this letter is a photocopy of a receipt dated November 13 that shows that I paid the full amount in cash for the computer in question, and therefore do not owe your store any money.
  • Enclosed is a photocopy of a letter dated May 12, signed by Jane Doe, stating that she would clear the charge in question from my account.
  • I have included the purchase order that shows I ordered a 15-inch monitor, instead of the 20-inch monitor I received.

Phrases

  • am including a photocopy of
  • as you can see
  • clearly shows that
  • documents show conclusively that
  • enclosed in the envelope are
  • have clearly made an error
  • have collated all the relevant information
  • have included the purchase order
  • have included a copy of
  • have enclosed copies of the
  • if anything is missing
  • included with this letter
  • is difficult to dispute that
  • it is clear that
  • my records show that
  • of my canceled check
  • records show quite clearly that
  • should be cleared from my account
  • shows that I paid the full amount
  • therefore do not owe you

3. Include a specific request regarding how you feel the situation should be resolved.

Sentences

  • Please remove this charge from my account, and remove my account from the Doe Collection Agency. Will you also please remove my name from your company's mailing lists?
  • We would appreciate your company sending us the rest of the hardware we ordered.
  • I am returning the extra software and ask that you credit my account with the price of the excess merchandise.
  • Will you please remove these charges from your company's records, so I will not be billed again?
  • Will you please change the invoice to reflect the correct purchase?
  • I would like your company to change my invoice to show that I ordered model #86R instead of #92R. Please bill me for the model I ordered.
  • If your records show that my husband did in fact order the parts you sent, I will be glad to pay the balance.

Phrases

  • adjust the invoice to reflect
  • am returning the
  • as soon as possible
  • ask that you credit my account with
  • before the end of this billing cycle
  • bill me for
  • credited back to my account
  • expect my account balance to reflect
  • expect this amount to be credited
  • expect reimbursement for
  • expect my credit balance to reflect
  • expect a refund of
  • kindly remove my name from
  • please remove this charge from
  • reimburse me for
  • kindly send us the rest of our
  • send a corrected statement reflecting
  • send an itemized statement
  • to reflect the current purchase
  • would appreciate it very much if you
  • check your records

4. Close the letter on a positive note, expressing confidence that the reader will handle the matter well.

Sentences

  • I trust your firm will make every possible effort to clear up this misunderstanding.
  • Thank you for your help.
  • I appreciate your immediate attention to this matter and trust I can now put it behind me.
  • I hope to hear from you soon that the matter has been resolved.
  • Please contact me as soon as possible. I am sure we can find a mutually agreeable solution.
  • Thank you for taking care of this problem. I look forward to doing business with you again.

Phrases

  • am sure we can find
  • am eager to cooperate
  • appreciate your looking into this matter
  • as soon as possible
  • clear up this misunderstanding
  • clearing up this matter
  • find a solution that will
  • for resolving the problem
  • for taking care of this problem
  • for your prompt attention to
  • for your cooperation
  • have always trusted your company to
  • have confidence that
  • hope to hear from you soon
  • if you need more information
  • kindly contact me
  • look forward to having this sorted out
  • maintaining a professional relationship
  • make every effort to
  • please let me know
  • thank you for
  • trust you to correct
  • trust that you will

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