Check those bills, mistakes like this may be lurking

Check those bills, mistakes like this may be lurking »Play Video

PORTLAND, Ore. – Stay-at-home dad Max Margolis is meticulous about each and every bill that arrives at his door, and he always pays his bills on time.

So when his CenturyLink statement for phone and Internet arrived this month it was "$5 higher than I've been paying forever," he said.

It turns out CenturyLink made a 17-cent adjustment on Margolis' November bill after he had paid it. Then the company turned around and charged him a $5 late fee for not paying the adjustment.

Margolis got on the phone with CenturyLink.

"The first lady couldn't do anything about it. Then they gave me another number to call," Margolis said.

An hour and a half later, this busy dad finally got the $5 credit.

"How many customers got this charge with CenturyLink and how much are they getting from people who aren't seeing that 17-cent charge?" Margolis said.

KATU put that question to CenturyLink and within two hours the company admitted the late fee error and issued the following statement:

"CenturyLink has proactively researched to find impacted customers and is in the process of providing a credit to their accounts," said spokesman Martin Flynn.

"I'm glad to hear that, seriously," Margolis said.

It's a credit CenturyLink customers will be getting without the lengthy wait on the phone.

If you got that erroneous late fee prior to Nov. 14, you should see the credit on your December bill. If it was after the 14th, look for that $5 credit on your January statement.

You can still call CenturyLink or just remember to check your statement for the adjustment.

It is always a good idea to carefully inspect your regular bills, even the ones you get online, for reasons just like this.

If you have a story for the Problem Solvers you can either email them at or call 503-736-3415.