I had surgery at the end of 2017 which necessitated physical therapy over a three month period, which included the first part of 2018. Billing for this in 2017 was perfect, with no issues. However, the rehab facility was purchased by another facility, so in 2018 billing was under the new owner. This resulted in several issues, which I discuss in more detail in my book, Advocating for Yourself. Three of my checks for services went to one address, when they should have gone to another. I had issued these directly from my bank account, so I had proof of the checks. They had cashed one, but the other two were still in limbo somewhere at that facility. After my third call to this provider, I decided to record the call since every promise they made to me regarding resolving the issue never happened. My state is a one party state, so I didn’t need permission from the facility to record this third call. Thankfully, I did. The billing representative told me in that call that she was putting a trace on those two missing checks. I told her I could call the bank and check into reissuing those. She told me it would not be necessary and that my account would be placed on hold until they tracked down these checks. A couple of weeks later, I received a collection notice. They had turned me into collections. Interesting. I thought my account was on hold. At this point, I was done with trying to resolve through the facility. I reported this to the FTC and our Attorney General’s office and was able to send that recorded message to them, along with proof of those checks issued from my bank. I then sent a dispute letter to the collection agency, following the Fair Debt Collection Practices guidelines for disputing a debt. In my book, I provide a sample of this letter. I keep a template on hand because this is not the first instance I’ve had of a billing issue that resulted in being turned into collections. One of those issues, the facility owed me $22, and someone somewhere along the way interpreted it that I owed them $22. That one took nearly a year to get resolved and cost me around $45 in certified mailings. You’d think this is one of the most ridiculous issues I’ve dealt with, but no. In Advocating for Yourself: The Laypersons Guide to Contracts, Scams and Overcharging, my hope is to help others know how to deal with similar issues when they feel they have reached a dead end.
I will be running a special this week on the book, so watch for the discounted price. It is available in Kindle Unlimited, Kindle book, and paperback.