Updated July 13, 2020: 

How to dispute a bill for services starts with checking all your bills for discrepancies to ensure the amount that you are being billed is correct, because creditors can make errors. If you notice a billing oversight or overcharge, it is necessary for you to notify the creditor by sending them written notification of the incorrect billing amount.

Written notification sent to creditors concerning billing disputes compels them to abide by federal requirements to clear up the disagreement. To support your claim of a billing error, it's imperative to keep all documentation pertaining to the account with the creditor such as proof of payments, receipts from the creditor, and the written contract that involves you and the creditor. These items of proof along with your bank statement will assist you in proving your dispute.

Things to Do To Prove The Validity of Your Dispute

  1. Inspect the invoice

    • Make sure you understand what charges have added to your invoice by analyzing it thoroughly. If you've received previous invoices from the same business, compare preceding invoices to the current bill and look for any differences or similarities. The company could have neglected to include payment acknowledgment from the earlier invoice and added both totals to the current bill. So it is vital to provide documentation that proves payment from the past invoices to support your claim.
  2. Check your accounting records

    • Compare the amount of the present invoice to your own financial records and figure out the difference to determine if a discrepancy exists. If the business states that you failed to pay a bill, include a photocopy of the canceled check to indicate that you had sent a payment or any other type of proof of payment. Bank statements depicting the cleared check payment are also helpful.
  3. Look at the business contract

    • Find out if there is an agreed-upon method for resolving billing issues, written in the contract provided by the company with whom you are doing business. Whether you owe a payment depends on whether you've received the goods or services, or not. If the business bills you for services or goods that you haven't received yet, then you don't owe them a payment.
  4. Contact the company

    • Inform the creditor that you are questioning the amount of the bill you recently received. Listen to the representative's explanation of the invoice amount and if you disagree with the explanation, explain to the representative that you don't agree because the invoice amount is different from your financial records. The discrepancy could be a clerical mistake.
    • If the error is amendable via phone call, ask the representative to send you an amended invoice. If you resolve the dispute by phone, send a written notification of the resolved matter to the company that confirms the settlement. Don't count on any statement that was made by the representative until you are in possession of written confirmation of the new agreement, like an amended invoice.
  5. Collect proof to support your dispute

    • If you have past receipts or any other financial records that support the fact that you were mistakenly charged, photocopy them and send the proof to the creditor. Do some investigation and research the reputation of the business if you are new to doing business with them. It would be helpful to find out if this company has had billing issues in the past or if it is an ongoing problem.

Requirements Creditors Must Adhere to When a Bill of Service is in Dispute

Some requirements have time limits that the creditor must abide by, if you send written notice informing them of their error, for instance:

  • The creditor must acquiesce to the notice of the error within 30 days of receiving it.
  • If the creditor is at fault, they have two billing cycles to make adjustments to the account and amend the billing mistake or provide an explanation for the billing amount.

Find out about your rights as a consumer and if you decide you need legal representation against a creditor, post your legal need on UpCounsel's marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5 percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law and have an average of 14 years of experience, including work with or on behalf of companies like Google, Menlo Ventures, and Airbnb.