AT&T added a late fee to my credit card bill because they say they have no record of my payment, even though I gave them a confirmation number. Do I have any recourse?

Written by
Mike Killian
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Question: I paid my AT&T credit card online and got a confirmation number, but AT&T charged me a $39 fee because they say they have no record of the transaction, even though I gave them the confirmation. Do I have any recourse?

Answer: First of all you want to be positive of your facts. You should verify what the specific fee was for. Is it a late fee, over the limit fee, or something else?

Next, if you paid a bill online there should also be a counter transaction record from the source that paid the bill such as a checking account. That transaction will reflect that payment along with the date and who the payment was made to. This information along with the confirmation number from AT&T should be enough to argue your case. I would re-contact AT&T with this information, and I would speak to a supervisor.

The Fair Credit Billing Act insures billing accuracy; therefore a company as big as AT&T is going to be very careful not to violate that law. So communicating over the phone with a supervisor should take care of the problem. If it does not and you are certain of your facts, write to the creditor at the address given for "billing inquiries," not the address for sending your payments. Include your name, address, account number and a description of the billing error. Send your letter so that it reaches the creditor within 60 days after the first bill containing the error was mailed to you.

If your bill contains an error, the creditor must explain to you--in writing--the corrections that will be made to your account. In addition to crediting your account, the creditor must remove all finance charges, late fees or other charges related to the error. If the creditor determines that you owe a portion of the disputed amount, you must get a written explanation. You may request copies of documents proving you owe the money.

Finally, you can sue any company who violates the Fair Credit Billing Act.

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