Tutorial for “Disagree With a Bill, Rent Payment, or Other Financial Issue”

Tips

Clearly state the problem and explain what you want the reader to do about it. Avoid accusations and threats, particularly in a first letter. If the problem remains unresolved, you may wish to state clearly in a later letter what action you will take, but only if you are prepared to follow through.

Steps

1. Identify the disagreement and give evidence for your argument.

Sentences

  • I recently received a bill from your office dated January 23. The bill was for $300.00 including a $100.00 charge for a blood test on November 13. I have no recollection of such a test.
  • On February 23, I received a second bill from your garage charging me for an emissions test that you never performed on my car. On January 29 I sent your office a letter requesting a revised bill with the test charge removed. I have enclosed a copy of that first letter.
  • I recently received notice that my rent for July 2006 is overdue. Before leaving on vacation this summer, I paid for both June and July's rent in advance. Please find the enclosed receipt documenting that I paid July's rent.
  • I just received notification that your bank did not honor my check (#123) to Doe Automotive Repair because of insufficient funds in my account. I also received a $35 penalty to my account. Please find the enclosed photocopies of my checkbook log and my last month's statement. These records show there is more than enough money in my account to cover the check to Doe Automotive.
  • We received your August rent payment of $621.50, which is $8.50 less than your regular monthly rent payment of $630.00. You included a note explaining that you deducted $8.50 from your rent payment to cover the cost of light bulbs you replaced last month. Please refer to page three of your contract where it states, "The tenant is financially responsible for replacing light bulbs, and all light bulbs must be functional at check out."

Phrases

  • a bill for
  • a notice that
  • according to my records
  • according to the lease
  • am not liable for
  • charged me for
  • do not understand the
  • had understood that
  • have no recollection of
  • have enclosed a copy of
  • in accordance with
  • in the amount of
  • may recall that
  • notified me
  • on the basis of
  • please refer to
  • received notification that
  • recently received
  • seems to be an error in
  • the enclosed receipt
  • the terms of our contract

2. Clearly state the outcome you desire. If appropriate, state what action you are prepared to take to ensure a just outcome.

Sentences

  • Please check your records and send me a revised bill with the correct charge.
  • Again, please send me a revised bill with the correct charge. It gives me no pleasure to do so, but if I do not receive a bill with the correct charge by next month, I will report your office to the Better Business Bureau and seek legal representation to protect my credit rating.
  • Please send me a receipt or letter indicating that you acknowledge that my July rent has been paid.
  • Please contact me immediately regarding this problem. If I have made a computational error, I need to know so I can correct my records. If the error is yours, please remove the $35 penalty charge from my account, correct my balance, and send a letter describing these corrections to Doe Automotive Repair.
  • You may either pay the additional $8.50 now or include it in next month's payment.

Phrases

  • a prompt correction
  • a written explanation
  • as we discussed over the telephone
  • contact me immediately
  • correct this oversight
  • credit my account
  • explain your error
  • if I have made an error
  • if necessary, call me at
  • if the error is yours
  • issue a revised
  • kindly check your records
  • need to know so that
  • please correct your records
  • reimburse my account for
  • review my records
  • send written acknowledgment
  • send me a revised
  • trust that it will not be necessary to
  • will call you on

3. End by expressing your confidence in reaching a mutually agreeable solution.

Sentences

  • Thank you for correcting this error.
  • I trust that this time you will correct your records.
  • It appears that this is a simple oversight. We have enjoyed living in Doe apartments.
  • Thank you for your quick attention to this matter. If you have any questions, call me at 555-5555.
  • I will be happy to accept your payment either way.

Phrases

  • a simple clerical error
  • am confident that
  • am sure that this
  • appears to be a misunderstanding
  • can sort this error out quite easily
  • can reach me at
  • if you need any more information
  • if you have any questions
  • if I can help
  • look forward to
  • please feel free to
  • resuming our mutually beneficial
  • thank you for
  • these things happen
  • this unfortunate error
  • to our mutual satisfaction
  • trust that this will
  • will be happy to
  • would appreciate your
  • your attention to this matter
  • your immediate attention

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