WSVN — She switched Internet providers, canceling one to go with the other, but since the payments were deducted from an online account, she didn’t know she was still paying for both. And when she tried to get her money back, her headaches increased, which is why she called Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser to step in for her.

Simply put, Susan Taylor is not in the best of health.

Susan Taylor: “Well, I went into a diabetic coma. Before, I was so anemic that they took me to the hospital.”

Susan didn’t call Help Me Howard about a medical issue, but her health is relevant to her problem.

Susan Taylor: “I have a bad back. I spend a lot of time in bed, so it helps, you know, to have your Internet that you can work with.”

Susan had Internet and TV service provided by DISH. Each month the charge was put on her credit card.

Susan Taylor: “I let them make draws off of my credit card because I was afraid being in the hospital in and out. I didn’t not want my bill to go unpaid.”

Then, last July, Susan decided to switch just her internet to AT&T, so she says she called DISH.

Susan Taylor: “So she said, ‘We will cancel it and we won’t charge you.'”

Then in February of this year, she lost her credit card and the account was closed. A few days later, DISH notified her they had not been paid for the month and told her how much she owed.

Susan Taylor: “I said, ‘My TV shouldn’t be so high’ and he says it’s TV and Internet. I said, ‘Well, I canceled your Internet last July.'”

Susan told DISH again to cancel the Internet and refund her for the seven months of service she had paid for but had not used. The response…

Susan Taylor: “That they would only be able to give me for the last three months.”

Susan says, when she was told she could only get back the payments for the last three months, she suspects her already high blood pressure started to rise.

Susan Taylor: “I said, ‘It’s not my fault that you kept taking money out of my account. When you tell me something, I expect it to be so. So do I have to run behind you and check on you?'”

Well, Howard, Susan says she canceled her service seven months ago. Now, she says, they only want to refund her for three months. Is there a time limit on refunds?

Howard Finkelstein: “There is a time limit on refunds, but it’s not months, it’s years. It’s called a statute of limitations, which says that if you have paid for something you didn’t get, you are entitled to get your money back. If there is a written contract, you can go back five years. In other cases, it’s four years, three, and in some only one year. But in this case, Susan is entitled to get back the money from the seven months she paid.”

After we talked to DISH, things were resolved. In an e-mail to Susan, they wrote DISH would reverse the charges for six months, returning $299.94 to Susan. And DISH gave Susan a $49.99 credit for February for TV service to cover the seventh month. I asked why Susan was told she was only getting three months back. A spokesperson said they can’t provide information about a customer’s account, but they added, “When a DISH account is closed, the account holder receives a confirmation e-mail. Any changes to a customer’s account will be reflected on the following bill. We encourage customers to call DISH for verification and if any questions arise.”

Susan Taylor: “I am ecstatic. You people are so good.”

Susan got her money back and learned a lesson that didn’t cost her any cash. Just a few points in her blood pressure.

Susan Taylor: “I made the mistake of letting somebody have control over my account, which I never should have done.”

Patrick Fraser: “Glad we could help, Susan. And if some of your bills are automatically deducted from your account, check the statement once in a while. If you don’t get a paper bill, go online and read it. You might find charges you didn’t know you were paying or shouldn’t be paying, or things you aren’t using and can do without. A few minutes can save you a few dollars. I sound like an insurance commercial.”

Gone online and feeling out of luck? Wanna be in line to resolve it? Contact us. After you reveal your statement, hopefully we can automatically deduct the headache from your life.

With this Help Me Howard, I’m Patrick Fraser 7News.


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