As a licensed clinical social worker, Carolyn Wilson spends her workday helping sex assault victims.
“I have my own private practice,” she said.
So when she needed a software she could use to bill Medicare, she signed a contract with a company offering that service.
“They were very popular in this area,” she said. “They seemed like they would do a good job.”
She said she used the software for a while but decided she no longer wanted to do her own billing. That’s why she said she canceled the contract in 2017 and kept a copy of the confirmation for her records.
“I did it in writing,” she said, adding that she thought she had done everything right.
But then she said she got a bill for more than $650.
“I called them up and said, ‘I don’t owe you for 2018. Remember I canceled.’ And they said, ‘You still owe us for 2018’”.
The account, she said, was sent to collections and she started getting calls telling her she now owed more than $2,200 because of fines and fees.
“I was thinking they were crazy and I was really angry because I knew that was wrong,” she said.
After months of getting nowhere on her own, she contacted NBC 6 Responds.
The company explained in an email that Carolyn did offer “…a 60-day notice in accordance with her contract” and that they intended to end billing but, “Unfortunately this did not occur due to the timing of her request…” and their “…automated invoice cycle.”
Within 24 hours of the NBC 6 Responds team receiving that email, Carolyn said she received a voicemail from a representative for the company, Ability, apologizing for how the situation was handled and saying they were putting an end to the collections calls. It was one call she was glad she got.
“You guys got through and got enough people looking at it that somebody went, oh, she really doesn’t deserve to be in collections,” she said. “I’m just grateful that Channel 6 was able to help me out.”
It’s always a good idea to be clear on the cancellation policy when you sign a contract that automatically renews every year. You should also make sure you have proof of a cancellation in writing, which helped the NBC 6 Responds team resolve Wilson’s situation.