Have I been scammed?

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Latest post Tue, Oct 23 2007 7:59 PM by B Lynn. 5 replies.
  • Tue, Oct 23 2007 10:13 AM

    • B Lynn
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    • Joined on Tue, Oct 23 2007
    • Posts 3

    Have I been scammed?

    I had to have all my teeth pulled and get dentures. I went to a place where they provide all denture services. During my first visit I was given a printout of what it was going to cost. The total cost on Treatment plan was $4546. There was no indication that this amount was only an estimate and that there might be more charges added later. Now 2 1/2 months later I get another bill saying I own an additional $1876.

    I based my decision to have the work done at this place on the cost I was given in the initial appointment. Had I been given full disclosure on what the final total would be I would have never had the work done at this place. I don’t understand how someone who is supposed to know what they are doing could make a mistake of $1876. Did this person not know what she was doing or was it a deliberate act of deception?

    I am on disability and paying the additional costs would be very, very difficult for me. (The additional costs put the total over $6,400.) Can they tell me one price and then add an additional $1876 when it is impossible for me to do anything about it?
  • Tue, Oct 23 2007 11:30 AM In reply to

    re: Have I been scammed?

    "Did this person not know what she was doing or was it a deliberate act of deception?"

    Presumably you asked this provider that question. What was their answer?

    "Can they tell me one price and then add an additional $1876 when it is impossible for me to do anything about it?"

    I'm not sure why you think it is impossible for you to do anything about it. You tell them you agreed to pay X and that's what you will pay unless they demonstrate some extraordinary reason why it should cost 41% more.

  • Tue, Oct 23 2007 1:17 PM In reply to

    • B Lynn
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    • Joined on Tue, Oct 23 2007
    • Posts 3

    re: Have I been scammed?

    What I meant by impossible for me to do anything about it was the fact that the major option I had was to go elsewhere but that option was taken away from me by the fact all the work was done.

    I called their billing dept again and found out not all the bills had been submitted to the right insurance so they have resubmitted the claim to the right place.

    I was also told by the billing dept that if I still show a large amount due after they hear from my insurance that I will need to take this up with the business manager that did the initial plan. I certainly plan to do that.

    Thanks for the help.
  • Tue, Oct 23 2007 1:49 PM In reply to

    • njgal
      Lawyer
    • Top 150 Contributor
    • Joined on Tue, Oct 9 2001
    • Posts 352

    Feedback [*=*] re: Have I been scammed?

    Sounds like they are willing to see what the insurer does....you need to figure out with specificity where the difference is. Sometimes things happen, and the vendor is entitled to additional fees that were unanticipated in an estimate.....but first you have to figure out where the additional fees are being allocated, and why they were not considered up front. If it's the amount collectible from an insurer, then maybe you have an argument with your insurer.

    Can't tell much from your post.
  • Tue, Oct 23 2007 1:54 PM In reply to

    • LynnM
      Lawyer
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on Mon, Apr 3 2000
    • CA
    • Posts 28,248

    We're not mind readers

    Without seeing the document it is impossible to say if the original figure was simply their best estimate of a firm price.
  • Tue, Oct 23 2007 7:59 PM In reply to

    • B Lynn
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    • Joined on Tue, Oct 23 2007
    • Posts 3

    re: We're not mind readers

    The printout I have very clearly says it is my "Treatment Plan". The total cost is broken down into everything they are doing, including the type of dentures and their cost. The amount listed at the bottom clearly states the total is $4546.

    Because she did this printout before she realized I had insurance she then at the bottom of this printout deducts the amount of coupon I provided her, an insurance estimate (so far this is the only part of the bill that is still waiting to be resolved. They sent part of my bill to my main insurance and not the part that pays for dental work) and she also deducted a percentage for the fact I paid in full that day. .

    The only time the word estimate is used is from what she figures my insurance will pay. She deducted $1116 for insurance and they have so far paid $910. It will depend on what else my insurance pays. I feel the only thing I would owe them is the difference between her estimate and what they actually paid.

    I talked to my insurance co. and I filed a formal complaint against this dental company because in addition to this billing problem there were really bad problems with the dentures they made. One of their own dentists said both (upper and lower) were so bad they needed to be redone. Out of 3 dentists that saw me he was the only one to say they were badly made and insisted they be redone. (To quote him “these are so badly made I can’t work with these”.) Thank God someone there agreed with me or I might still be trying to use something that was really unfit for use.

    The only way I could still owe $1800 is if the total amount she had for my “treatment plan” is incorrect. I based my decision to have the work done by them based on the total cost listed on this paper.

    I have a feeling I am in for a fight with them
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