Today’s post is from Brock over at Clever Dude. Thanks so much Brock!
I opened up the envelope and stared at the small rectangular box labeled “Amount Due.” I was confused because even though the representative at the cable company promised it wouldn’t happen, our bill had increased this month.
We recently saw a commercial on TV stating that our cable company had changed their pricing structure, and many customers could see a decrease in their bill if they called and switched to one of their new plans. We visited the local cable office to talk to someone in person so we could see the information in black and white. The new pricing structure did work in our favor, so we signed up for one of the new package plans. It seemed like a great deal, as we were going to get more channels, an additional DVR, AND our bill would decrease by about $20 per month.
Imagine my surprise when the first bill was actually significantly higher.
This isn’t the first time this has happened. We actually joked with the representative that we didn’t understand why the first bill after switching plans was always inexplicably higher even when the plan change represented a net decrease in our bill. She laughed with us and emphatically stated there’s no way that would happen this time.
I was determined to figure out how they had screwed up.
It took me a comprehensive line by line review of the bill and about 20 minutes, but I figured it out. My bill included the following:
- One month’s charges of the new bill for the next month
- One month’s charges of the new bill (for the previous month)
- Credit of pro-rated amount of the previous month I did not have the new plan
- One month’s charges of the old bill (for the previous month)
- Credit of pro-rated amount of the month I did not have the old plan
Can you spot the mistake?
Everything seemed logical, until I realized that our cable bill charges for the following month’s service. I had already paid for the service of the month that just ended with my previous bill, but with line #4 they were charging me for that month again.
I called their customer service number and was bounced around from person to person. By the time I finally got someone to admit that I was right, I had been on the phone for over 40 minutes and explained my situation and my conclusion to no less than four different representatives. The gentleman who finally agreed with me credited our account the amount we were overcharged.
I don’t think this is an isolated incident, as every cable plan change that I can remember has resulted in the first bill after the change being much higher even if the plan change was supposed to result in a decrease. However in the past I did exactly what they wanted me to do: I didn’t question it and just paid the bill, being happy that the next bill was the amount I expected.
Have you ever experienced this phenomenon? What did you do about it?