Thursday, August 7, 2008

Accounts Payable Auditor

You know those lists of what mothers do? Chauffeur, menu planner, hair stylist, etc. Well the list should definitely include something like Accounts Payable Auditor. I'm sure I've saved our families hundreds of dollars by taking the time to wrangle with customer service reps over messed up accounts and charges that never should have been made. This week's examples:
  1. Requesting a refund for a $25 charge from the phone company for reconnecting our Internet service. This was a follow-up to an earlier (and longer) call addressing the fact that they had disconnected our DSL for nonpayment even though the payment had been made. (That call included some bizarre Catch-22 moments in which the phone rep asked for information about my payment which I could not provide...because I couldn't access my bank account information online.)
  2. Identifying the reason for a random $15 charge from my gym. Finally tracked it down via corporate headquarters as an "annual facilities improvement" charge. That rep wouldn't take off this year's charge, but she said I won't be charged for it next year. Chances of that actually happening are slim, so there's another phone call to look forward to next year.
  3. Cancelling a monthly payment to my parents for my share of their family cell phone plan, which I'm not on anymore. The payment still comes out of my checking account each month but is not listed as a payee or repeating payment or anywhere else on my account.

Am I the only person who spends way too much time--hour upon maddening hour--on this kind of nonsense?


  1. No.

    I hate this sort of thing, but I will nit-picket all sorts of charges (I'm annoying enough to walk out staring at my grocery bill, and then walk back in a few minutes later when I see the discrepancy).

    Although now that I'm working so much, I've had to learn that my time is sometimes more valuable than pinching pennies. Course I still do it...

  2. My biggest "wars" have been with the pest control guys and our Home Owners Insurance. I won both in the end but it literally took HOURS and MONTHS on both counts. I am currently dueling the medical ins. company and our pediatrician while they have a turf war over whose problem what is. Ugh. Motherhood is so fun.

  3. I sometimes fight it but it is so frustrating to me that sometimes I give in. Which means They win. It just makes me so frustrated though that if it's only a one-time $10 or $15 charge, I'm probably not going to get all worked up about it, as annoying as it is. Otherwise, I'm cranky all day...

  4. It's sad how many times this happens. It annoys me to no end. Medical bills are by far the worst. I can't even begin to tell you how many bills I have gotten that as soon as I called about it they respond "yes, that's right you don't need to pay that bill."....... Then why did you send it???!! IT's nice when it's that easy though...because it hardly ever is.

  5. No, my wife does that sort of thing too. Personally, sitting on the end of a phone bores me so much that I probably wouldn't do it, but thankfully my wife *always* does. She religiously checks the food bill too!

    The Broken Man