CenturyLink Hits Customers With Bogus Late Fees

If you don’t pay your cable, phone or Internet bill on time, it makes sense that you might get hit with a late fee. But CenturyLink hit customers with late $5 late fees for charges these subscribers never saw even had the chance to pay.

KATU-TV in Portland, OR, has the story of a CenturyLink customer who was looking at his bill and wondering just why in the heck he was being asked to pay five dollars for late payment on his previous bill.

After a bit of sleuthing, he realized that CenturyLink had made a $.17 adjustment to his bill after he had paid it. And since he can’t magically read the minds of the CenturyLink billing computer (which, judging by the stories we’ve received from readers, must be a second-hand Tandy 1000), he did not pay these extra few cents he never knew about.

It only took him two phone calls and hours of his time to make someone at CenturyLink agree that he should not be penalized for not paying a bill he was never given.

“How many customers got this charge with CenturyLink and how much are they getting from people who aren’t seeing that 17-cent charge?” asks the customer.

Apparently it’s not an isolated incident. When KATU asked CenturyLink to comment on the story, the company replied that it “has proactively researched to find impacted customers and is in the process of providing a credit to their accounts.”

So, though we don’t know how many customers were hit with the fee, it appears that CenturyLink is actively trying to correct its mistake.

Regardless, this story is a good reminder to everyone — not just CenturyLink customers — to always check your monthly bills to make sure you’re not getting hit with bogus fees or charges. In this day of automated payments and paperless billing, too many consumers assume that mistakes are not being made.

Thanks to Amy for the tip!