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Stand up for your money

By Kemberley Washington · Bankrate.com
Thursday, March 28, 2013
Posted: 10 am ET

I had to write this post after having a few encounters where it appeared like everyone wanted to overcharge me. From purchasing a dress that should have been discounted to being overcharged on my cable bill, I was paying more than my fair share.

I simply had to stand up for my money!

Don't take 'no' for an answer

If you have been overcharged for a purchase or service and are trying to rectify the situation, do not take "no" for an answer. Whether it is the monthly cable bill or a purchase at your favorite clothing store, it is essential to be persistent.

Attempt to resolve your issues with a customer service representative. However, if that does not work, ask for a manager. If you are still not satisfied, continue to speak with someone until your issue has been resolved. Remember, this is your money and no one deserves it more than you.

Review your charges

Many times, we simply write out checks or swipe our credit cards when we receive a bill. However, before paying for anything, understand what you are actually paying for.

This simple advice worked well recently when I questioned the charge for sales tax to services being provided. After the employee reviewed the bill, she realized the sales taxes were not applicable to the sale. But imagine the many others who came before me and paid more than necessary.

Dispute inaccurate charges

Sometimes, standing up for your money means discovering hidden charges that are not your responsibility and that can adversely affect your credit rating.

To find these mistakes, go to AnnualCreditReport.com and request a copy of your credit report from each of the three main credit reporting agencies. You can view one free report from each agency every 12 months.

Dispute charges that are inaccurate. If after disputing the charges you still are unsatisfied with the final outcome, you can include a statement in your credit file explaining your situation.

Remember: your choice, your future!

Kemberley Washington is a certified public accountant and business professor. She writes a personal finance blog at Kemberley.com. Follow her on Twitter and on Facebook.

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1 Comment
Josiah A. Ilori
March 29, 2013 at 1:40 pm

Kimberley, your write-up should be recognized as very timely, coherent and in line with current events in our economy. As you have rightly said, "your money is your life investment" and it must be protected by all means. My own personal experience with these so called service companies should be lessons to others. A well known personality was mentioned introducing me to participate in the new products that were been promoted. I trusted the name that was mentioned, released the funds as requested, only to find out that they were culprits! Within minutes, the money I released through my credit card had gone. The service to be rendered was not forthcoming to me and the contact address gone. I quickly contacted the Bank to stop payment to the culprits but it was too late. The case is still under investigation. My advice is that before you release your credit card information on-line, be sure that the company is a reputable one. Even some of these culprits would go to the extent of making monthly withdrawal from your account without your knowledge. Be careful and be vigilant.