My question involves collection proceedings in the State of: Alabama
Well after reading alot of the posts here, I feel really stupid asking about this, but I need an expert opinion so here goes.
About 3 months ago I got pretty sick and went to a walk-in medical clinic to see a doctor. I usually just ride it out when I'm sick since my husband and I are self employed and don't have insurance and money is particularly tight these days, but I had a really nasty sounding cough and my husband talked me into going. I saw the doctor and they did a chest xray. Of course it's posted all over the place that people without insurance must pay immediately IN FULL, so we paid and left.....no problem.
About a month later I get a bill in the mail for $35 and it says on the bill it's for xray services. I keep everything, so I pull out the itemized bill that we paid that day I went to the clinic and there it is, $70 for chest xray. So I send them back a copy of the bill that we paid, and wrote them a short note that it was paid for in cash the day of my visit.
About 2 weeks later they send me that copy back with a snooty little note telling me that what I paid for was them "taking" the xray, that I still owed for the doctor "reading" the xray and that I DO owe them. Well the lack of politeness really ticked me off, so I wrote them a note back telling them that if that was the case, then they should have billed me for it that day, since the notice in the office explicitly stated that anyone who does not have insurance is required to pay their bill in full on the day of the doctor visit, which I did. I didn't hear anything for about a month and this morning when I got up I had my first collection call on the answering machine.
I guess my question is, should I just bite the bullet and go ahead and pay these people? My husband and I don't make much money, but our credit is good and I hate to ruin mine over $35. I guess what really ticks me off is, I had no problem giving them their money that day, how can they just add charges later? When you get your car fixed, your mechanic doesn't call you up a week later and tell you that you still owe him $20 bucks for a filter. Why are they allowed to do it? I feel like that if indeed it is a valid charge, they should have put it on my bill that day. Sorry this is so long, thanks to anyone who can give any advice.