What are my rights when a company takes money from my account after telling me it’s paid off?

UPDATED: Jul 28, 2011

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What are my rights when a company takes money from my account after telling me it’s paid off?

We called to pay our final bill with our old cell phone company and were told that the bill was $156.30. We specifically verified that this would pay off the account, and we would not owe any more. However, four days after the $156.30 was taken from our checking account, the company took a another $270.59 from our account. If the company told us that our account was paid off with our $156.30 payment, is that legally binding? Or can they come back and say our bill should have been $270.59, and only refund the $156.30?

Asked on July 28, 2011 Utah


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

If the money was improperly taken from your bank account by the former cell phone company where you in fact did not owe any more money on the account, you should immediately call your bank to contest the debit and follow up with a written letter to the bank objecting to the withdrawal if in fact you had paid off the debt in full. By doing this, perhaps the bank may be responsible for an unwarranted and improper withdrawal from your checking account.

However, it the former cell phone company mistakenly told you that your bill had been paid off in full and it was not, then what you were told was done mistakenly and the debit from your checking account albeit a surprise to you was allowable.

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