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What to do when a Veterinary refuses to send a detailed bill?

Consumer wants to know if there are any laws requiring a company to send a detailed bill.

veterinary_bill_collectionsQuestion: Hi, My husband and I had to take our dog to the vet 2 1/2 years ago because she was sick. We paid some in cash and signed a paper stating we would make payments.

I just received a call today asking for 300.00. I asked if she had the right address because we never had gotten a bill. She told me that they don't send bills and that's how their able to be so “affordable”.

I honestly don't believe it was 300.00 and I want a detailed bill. Should I let her send it to collections and then ask for a detailed bill? I'm at a loss of what to do because I don't want to just send money without seeing what I physically owe. Thanks

Answer: You may need to seek further advice on this one because I have never heard of a company refusing to send a paper, detailed bill. And, I know of no consumers laws which require a private company to send detailed paper bill.

However, allowing the bill to be sent to a collection agency does not guarantee you will be able to see a detailed bill. It is safe to assume the collection agency will simply send you a letter with the standard debt collection language along with an amount owed and an account number. There will probably not be any detailed itemization.

It would be unfortunate for a $300 matter to end up at a collection agency and have the potential to go on your credit reports should you be unable to come to a resolution. The amount is just not worth risking your credit rating.

Perhaps you can speak with a manager or the owner of the business; or, send something like a goodwill letter. State you are more than willing to settle the bill; however, you would like a detailed itemization because you cannot recall the exact services rendered.

Certainly this should not be an over burdensome request. And, it is certainly not unusual to want a paper trail along with accurate records in order to pay a bill.

A complaint with the Better Business Bureau may get you some results but it may also be viewed as a contentious act. Something like a goodwill letter shows you are willing to pay but simply want to know what you will be paying for in detail. Good luck to you.

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