Bill Validation, or billing disputes, are an inevitable part of your daily home-owner association relationship. To ensure you get the best possible services, energy, or water bill validation procedure by means of your providers tariff, there have been developed some tried and tested methods to know how much your monthly energy and water bill is using, based on the amount you pay and the type of meter you have hooked up. This information is often displayed on your billing statement. But what is really the meaning of each, and what do they mean to you?
When handling your bill with a provider, you can either dispute inaccurate charges, dispute overages, or simply question the accuracy of the bill. All three activities are legitimate means of checking the accuracy of your billing and seeing if your provider is being honest with you about their usage data. However, there are some billing errors that are almost impossible to prove unless you have direct and incontrovertible evidence of them. One such example of this is when your energy consumption is significantly lower than your providers estimated consumption, then you will almost certainly want to dispute the billing error since it will mean you have to pay more than what you have signed up for.
utility company billing errors
Billing errors like these are examples of what is called “non-traditional” errors, and because they are considered errors, they are not subject to normal collection processes. These errors are considered unverifiable because of the fact that your utility company cannot normally verify or back up these types of non-traditional errors. So unless you have proof of your claim and you have the authority to take your account to collection, it is usually not worth it to pursue this type of dispute. This is why most disputes about utility company billing errors are settled outside of court, and that is because settling these types of disputes usually involves agreeing to a payment schedule that both sides agreed upon, rather than going to court.
However, there are some instances where a bill validation dispute can be legitimate. For example, if you feel that the balance on your bill (the invoice) is inaccurate, and you can prove that it is incorrect, then you may have a case. You would file a written letter to your utility company stating that the balance on your account is inaccurate, and that you will dispute the bill. You would probably mention in your letter that you have proof of this in either a historical billing account statement or an electronic bill statement. If your account is out of date, you may also be able to provide proof of this yourself by filling out a historical billing statement showing that your account was out of date for more than three months in the past.
The best way to avoid having to go through a lengthy dispute process with your utility billing department about unverifiable bills is to use a bill validation service. Billing services typically have access to databases that are regularly updated, which makes it extremely easy for them to verify all the information you need to make your case. They will look at both the historical and electronic data for your account, and determine whether or not the information provided by you is accurate. If it is not, they will either remove the disputed item from your account or will enter a reminder on your bill, letting you know that the information cannot be verified any longer.
Billing services can help you out when it comes to dealing with utility bills, especially if you’re going through a time sensitive bill that you don’t really understand. You can generally expect the invoices to be sent to you within five days after the date of your last bill, so it may be difficult for you to get all of your information together in time for the validation process to work. On the other hand, if you take the time to go through the details of the dispute with a professional bill validation company before sending in your invoice, you should find that it goes through fairly quickly. Just keep in mind that in some cases you may not get all of the information that you need to contest your invoices, so a bill validation service can come in handy to help you make sure that you get what you’re entitled to.