Do you ever check your monthly bills?.

  spuds 11:16 18 Oct 2014

With the increase of direct debit payments for paying bills, I wonder on a point of curiosity how many member's actually check their bills on receipt (paper or paperless), and more importantly check the amounts being taken from direct debit or credit card arrangements.

I have remained with my ISP for quite a long time now, and about two years ago I changed the deal package to contain evening and weekend calls free into the broadband agreement. Due to different price changes on the monthly bill, through daytime telephone calls, it was decided to change to one of the ISP's special deals covering all telephone call free 24/7, with some restrictions on certain numbers about three/four months ago.

Since then, 'errors' have appeared on the 'paperless' monthly bill's, mainly with numbers or connection charges that have raised question of having been made. My ISP's response is one that "We work hard with BT" yet at the same time no straight forward answers are given. Admittedly some of the calls listed, come into the free section of the agreement, but others do not (checking 1471 then pressing 3), which so far we have managed to get a refund credit for.

What's your views: Do you bother to check you bills - are they always correct or have you found mistakes - what have you done about it - what was the outcome The results might be interesting to know, on how each of us might approach this possible situation?.

  bumpkin 13:03 18 Oct 2014

I tend to check my phone bill (Talktalk) and have found odd charges occasionally but nothing worth pursuing, probably someone else in the family anyway. I used to get quite a few to something listed as "services" not sure what that means. That is meant to be 24/7 free calls excluding mobiles and certain other numbers. Are you with Talktalk? I think you mentioned it in past but possibly wrong.

  spuds 13:10 18 Oct 2014


Yes with Talktalk, and have found errors with last two bills out of three.

What I have mentioned to TalkTalk, is the amount of seemingly weekly/daily on-street cabinet work going on in the area, and wondered if that had anything to do with the 'errors'. Their solution (so far) seems to be a refund credit on questioned errors

  Forum Editor 15:46 18 Oct 2014

"Do you bother to check you bills"

Doesn't everyone? I don't know of anyone who allows payments to be taken from a bank account without being aware of the amount(s).

  Batch 16:07 18 Oct 2014


" I don't know of anyone who allows payments to be taken from a bank account without being aware of the amount(s)."

You obviously don't read the money advice columns in the newspapers (e.g. Torygraph). Always amazes me when people say something like "they've been taking the wrong money for 3 years and I've only just noticed". Sometimes significant amounts are taken from people's accounts without them realising. The mind boggles!

I always check all my bills / bank statements etc. Have to say that in nearly 45 years with Lloyds there's never been an error (on Lloyds' part). But do people that use their debit / credit cards for trivial payments (e.g. buying a newspaper) actually check their statements? Nephew of mine get's a monthly statement about 7 pages long with hundreds of entries.

BT are my bugbear. Took them about 7 months to fix a billing error (charging me for a free service - the bill even declared it as "Free for 12 months", but they still charged me). Chased them every month. Promised it was resovled and it wasn't. Right pain.

  Pine Man 16:54 18 Oct 2014

I used to use Microsoft Money but now use Quicken.

It doesn't take long to enter your expenditure with credit/debit cards, as you use them, and when the monthly bills come in any discrepancies stick out like a sore thumb.

Most direct debits nowadays are set at the same amount each month so if one of those differs it will, once again, stick out like a sore thumb.

With Quicken I always know, to the penny, my net worth.

A little bit of effort saves a lot of problems going unnoticed.

  flycatcher1 17:51 18 Oct 2014

Check your bills ? Of course, a Fool and his money are soon parted.

  spuds 17:53 18 Oct 2014


My TalkTalk package agreement, which should be the same that you have is £27.18 per month. I hadn't realised that 0844 numbers were chargeable, because at the time of arranging the new 24/7 agreement, the TT adviser gave the impression that 0844/0845/0870 calls were part of the free call package.

The other recurring problem that I have had over the past two bills, is a supposed press 3 callback on 1471 checks. We use 1471, but have never used the press 3 facility (which is chargeable at 20 pence for connection, plus the cost of any return call). This still remains a mystery, because TT thinks we have used this facility, because BT states we have. The mystery deepens further, because 20p for connection appears on the bill, with no further charge to that connection showing, possibly because those press 3 return calls never took place, which is correct.

But going back to the original post, it would still be interesting how others deal with their bills, and if they trust that they are always correct, especially now quite a lot of service suppliers are requesting paperless billing.

Further to that, BBC Watchdog was once again airing complaints about charges on mobile phone services last Thursday, and a representative from Ofcom was present stating that "they were onto it" or words similar.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 18:43 18 Oct 2014

Always check the bank statement

never checked the EE (orange) statement for years now as it appears as a DD on the bank statement. and never varies.

  Aitchbee 20:58 18 Oct 2014

I pay a fair chunk of my monthly and quarterly bills - including gas, electricity, council tax, service charges [for flat] and BT phone bills - in person, with cash - and then always check the receipts given. The other charges that I pay are by direct debits - mainly for Virgin services - and are always available to check 'online' for accuracy, along with helpful accompanying text messages [from Virgin] to indicate when the amounts will be subtracted from my bank account.

  exdragon 09:59 19 Oct 2014

I'm with Pine Man on this. All expenditure is entered into Quicken and it's a daily routine when I have my first coffee - check bank and all credit card statements. Might be boring, but I picked up a pending charge on a credit card which just happened to be the price of an ipad and case. I like being in control of my own finances.

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