Browse Questions: Finances

Medical bills exceed amount quoted

December 22, 2016

Dear Consumer Ed:  I recently underwent outpatient surgery.  The doctor’s office told me that my out-of-pocket costs would be $525.  I paid the money and had the procedure.  A month later I received two bills: one for $150 for the anesthesiologist and one for $110 for the surgeon.  I don’t think I should have to pay these bills because I was told ahead of time that I only owed $525.  However, I am concerned that if I don’t pay these bills, it will hurt my credit rating.  What should I do?

How much more can gas stations charge for using credit card vs. cash?

December 13, 2016

Dear Consumer Ed:  I see a number of gas stations that offer a lower price if you use cash instead of a credit or debit card. At one station the cash price was $2.30 but the credit price was $3.20, although the only place that was displayed was on the pump itself. A 90 cent price differential seems out of bounds to me. Are there any limits as to how much more a station is allowed to charge for using a credit card vs. cash?  Also, are gas stations required to display the credit card price so that it is easily readable when you are driving by?

Can a utility company charge me for a previous tenant’s bills?

November 2, 2016

Dear Consumer Ed: Can a utility company charge me for a previous tenant’s utility bills? I am a new tenant in a rental home. The owner passed away last year, and apparently after the medical bills were paid, there was no money left in the estate. I am now being told that I cannot get electricity or water service until these bills are paid. Who is legally responsible – me or the estate that is financially broke at this point?

Debt consolidation

January 13, 2016

Dear Consumer Ed: 

What is the right approach for debt consolidation? Is it a good thing to do? How do I find a reputable company? 

Work-from-home jobs: real or scam?

December 29, 2015

Dear Consumer Ed: I am a college student and I’ve been looking online for part-time work so I can make a little money.  I see work-from-home jobs advertised, but my friend says most of them are scams.  How can I tell if a job posting is legitimate or not? 

What is the maximum interest and fees a buyer of old credit card debt can charge?

October 13, 2015

Dear Consumer Ed: I have some outstanding credit card debt from seven years ago. I was recently contacted by a debt collector, who is not the actual creditor, attempting to collect this debt. They want me to pay fees and interest that have nothing to do with the original debt. Can you tell me what is the maximum percentage of interest and collection charges that a buyer of old credit card debt can charge the debtor in the state of Georgia?

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