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DME Company not applying payments to our account.


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I need to know what kind of attorney can help us with an issue with a durable medical equipment company (DME), who is not sending bills and continues charging our credit card without authorization. This is a billing dispute. Over the last two years, my spouse and I both receive quarterly CPAP supplies from this DME company. We get an EOB from our insurance carrier occasionally, but every quarterly order the DME company has collected a credit card number and we have granted authorization for them to charge our co-pay, which is 10% of the total for the supplies after meeting a deductible.  Over the last 18 months, they have charged our credit card in amounts that total more than $1800.00. We have never received a physical bill from the DME Company. Everything was fine (or so we thought) until this May when they charged us $233.04, which was the total amount of the order.  Since we had not met our deductible, it seemed correct. Then we received an EOB and our carrier paid them 51.64 and applied the remainder to the deductible. We reached out the DME company and were told we owed $181.40 on this order. We asked where the $233.04 was credited and they said there was no payment for $233.04. We had already obtained the transaction number, terminal number and other identifying information from our credit card company.  When we provided the DME company with that information, they told us we did pay and that it was on another account. I used a business relationship to obtain the direct line for their General Counsel and I called him. He was very apologetic and said he would assign it to staff to research and get back to us. Staff called and said they were correcting the issue. They had allegedly zeroed out the account. They have provided no explanation and by my calculations they have collected nearly $1800 more than they were entitled to based on the supplies we received. I just want to know what we were billed and where they applied our payments. In an interesting twist, last Saturday they charged our credit card $133.56 and we haven't ordered anything and this in only a week after they zeroed out our account. We are stressed and over dealing with this. We cancelled the credit card we use with them, so they can not ever charge it again! We disputed the 133.56 charge as we did not authorize that charge. We are located in Southern California and need an attorney to deal with this for us. 

Edited by NoMoreHate
Add clarity, correct grammer and sentance structure.
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Here is a link to Ca. legal help

http://www.lawhelpca.org./

You should file a complaint with the Ca. consumer services also

https://www.dca.ca.gov/#:~:text=The%20Department%20of%20Consumer%20Affairs'%20Division%20of%20Investigation%20(DOI),%2C%20regulations%2C%20and%20professional%20standards.

 

You should also opt out and check your credit reports for errors

https://whychat.me/GUIDEBOOK.html

Edited by Why Chat
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On 8/11/2020 at 2:26 PM, Why Chat said:

Here is a link to Ca. legal help

http://www.lawhelpca.org./

You should file a complaint with the Ca. consumer services also

https://www.dca.ca.gov/#:~:text=The%20Department%20of%20Consumer%20Affairs'%20Division%20of%20Investigation%20(DOI),%2C%20regulations%2C%20and%20professional%20standards.

 

You should also opt out and check your credit reports for errors

https://whychat.me/GUIDEBOOK.html

Thank you. This is a great start and I appreciate your guidance.

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I don't understand why you would cancel the credit card especially before the disputed charge was a adjudicated by your credit card company.

 

Are you saying the $1800 you allege they overcharged was not the co-pay you mention?

 

How do you plan to pay the co-pay from now on?

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1 hour ago, hegemony said:

I don't understand why you would cancel the credit card especially before the disputed charge was a adjudicated by your credit card company. It is and never grew Visa that we only used for medical purposes. We have many other Visa and it had lower limit never grew so it was an easy solution to cancel the card to stop future charges by them.

 

Are you saying the $1800 you allege they overcharged was not the co-pay you mention? Correct. They have charges just over $1800 more than the co-pays and deductible over the last 18 months.

 

How do you plan to pay the co-pay from now on? We are going to use a different Durable Medical Equipment Company that is local and we can go in person to pick up the supplies and pay in person with another credit card, cash or check.

 

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52 minutes ago, hegemony said:

I wonder if by authorizing the credit card the company included e-statement language and that is why you haven't gotten a paper bill? Is there an online portal that it posts statements to?

There is an online statement portal it was always blank and they updated it after my call to their General Counsel. It now carries a recent date for every payment and credit. They listed a running list of all payments. No listing of any of the charges and at the end it it says amount owed: $0.00. I ran a total of the payments and then printed out all of our EOB's and the credit card statements. We were charged more than $1800.00 more than the EOB's list as "amount you owe".

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sue for $1800? How much with a lawyer cost? 

 

I'm not suggesting you don't do what you need to get your $1800 back, but you haven't even gotten the results of your credit card billing dispute (I assume you filed one in writing with the card issuer).

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On 8/11/2020 at 12:25 PM, NoMoreHate said:

I need to know what kind of attorney can help us with an issue with a durable medical equipment company (DME), who is not sending bills and continues charging our credit card without authorization.

ANY general counsel or consumer attorney can handle this type of case.  Most likely it never even sees court as they will settle so as not to call regulatory attention to their billing practices. If you call several attorneys and they can't take the case ask for a recommendation of a colleague that would be suitable.  Most can give you at least one or two names.  CALL do not email.

On 8/11/2020 at 12:25 PM, NoMoreHate said:

Over the last two years, my spouse and I both receive quarterly CPAP supplies from this DME company.

For those that may need a service like this or for a relative/friend that might DO NOT EVER use a mail order service for the supplies you need.  Especially the ones that advertise saying "you may qualify for free diabetic/cpap supplies."  NOTHING is free and this is the kind of illegal billing practices they engage in.  Worse if you are strictly on Medicare or Medicaid they are WAY over billing those programs knowing they are not likely to get caught.

 

ALWAYS use a local DME company that is privately owned where any dispute can be handled in person.  Locally owned businesses rely on their reputation of reliability and quality in DME to stay in business not fraud.

 

48 minutes ago, hegemony said:

sue for $1800? How much with a lawyer cost?

If this company is doing the fraudulent charging I suspect they are the attorney will cost the OP nothing the case would be on contingency and they could potentially recover more than the $1800 in punitive damages for fraud and deceptive billing and business practices.  In an effort to avoid an audit by CMS, the State Attorney, and DOJ they would most likely settle for attorney fees/costs and a flat payment to the OP for $5-10,000.  Going to court and having their business practices exposed could cost them MILLIONS when they get shut down and potentially land them in jail.

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On 8/13/2020 at 9:57 AM, hegemony said:

sue for $1800? How much with a lawyer cost? 

 

I'm not suggesting you don't do what you need to get your $1800 back, but you haven't even gotten the results of your credit card billing dispute (I assume you filed one in writing with the card issuer).

We did file a dispute with the CU and the issuer removed the charge. It says "Security adjustment" and they credited back the unauthorized charge. That was 133 and change. There are still other charges by this DME Company on the card that are older than 60 days and can't be disputed. From March 2020 through May 2020 they went wild. We have the card on auto pay for "statement balance". With the Covid crisis we weren't paying attention. We lost two family members to complications from Covid so we just just on auto pilot. We are usually better gate keepers of our financial matters. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Update: I did retain and attorney who specializes in unfair debt collection. There was a large firm located within an hour of me. He has already sent a letter outlining all of the issues directly to the DME Company general Counsel.  I'll update when they respond and how we proceed. Thank you again to Why Chat and everyone who responded.

 

He said I had a really good case and that I provided him excellent documentation which included the rare billing statement (they did not consistently send statements, credit card statements, transaction id information from the bank, telephone logs with written summaries of all conversations, emails and letters. He said he believes I will recover and he is handling the case on a contingency basis. He said he would take this one to trial if they are that stupid.

Edited by NoMoreHate
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58 minutes ago, NoMoreHate said:

He said he believes I will recover and he is handling the case on a contingency basis.

Good for you!  Based on what you posted and what I know about billing practices I was very confident you would not have difficulty finding a good solid lawyer to take this on contingency.  

59 minutes ago, NoMoreHate said:

He said he would take this one to trial if they are that stupid.

He isn't playing on this.  They are REALLY stupid if they do let it go to trial because he is planning what I said which is to expose ALL their illegal billing practices.  

 

Do let us know IF YOU CAN how it works out.  Keeping in mind there may be a nondisclosure clause if you settle.

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55 minutes ago, CreditSucksNot said:

Good for you!  Based on what you posted and what I know about billing practices I was very confident you would not have difficulty finding a good solid lawyer to take this on contingency.  

He isn't playing on this.  They are REALLY stupid if they do let it go to trial because he is planning what I said which is to expose ALL their illegal billing practices.  

 

Do let us know IF YOU CAN how it works out.  Keeping in mind there may be a nondisclosure clause if you settle.

Thanks. I will update when I can.

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