3 On Your Side

Paying bills online has pitfalls

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(Source: 3TV/CBS5) (Source: 3TV/CBS5)
(3 ON YOUR SIDE) -

Richard and Gail Flickinger know the tranquility that comes from music. And although they realize hitting a wrong key can strike a sour note, they say hitting the wrong key on a computer keyboard is even worse.

According to Gail, the couple learned firsthand when they were making out bills recently and tried to pay their Cox Communications bill.

"When I paid the November bill I made a type error."

That typo resulted in a financial mistake. Flickinger goes on to explain how the typo happened.

"I hit a 7 and the amount I was supposed to pay was $81.11 and but I put the 7 in between the 8 and the one making it $871.11."

By hitting the wrong key, Flickinger electronically sent Cox Communications nearly $800 too much. And getting that company to return the overpayment she say has been next to impossible.

"They had someone call me to try to help me understand why this had happened, I said I understand why it happened you have my money and you won't give it back. That's even more aggravating as though I'm too stupid to know what happened here."

It took nearly two months but her efforts eventually paid off when Cox sent Flickinger a refund check.

Flickinger says she's learned a valuable lesson and although she'll continue to pay her bills online, she wants other consumers to know the pitfalls that come with the convenience.

"I'm hoping that this will bring it to the attention of other people."

Cox did return the money without 3 On Your Side's involvement and says there was a delay due to a hiccup by her credit union.

Copyright 2017 KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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Gary HarperGary Harper is the senior consumer and investigative reporter for 3 On Your Side at KTVK-TV.

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Gary Harper
3 On Your Side

With more than 20 years of television experience, Gary has established himself as a leader in the industry when it comes to assisting viewers and resolving their consumer-related issues. His passion and enthusiasm have helped him earn an Emmy for Best Consumer Reporter from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. He’s also garnered several Emmy nominations

He has negotiated resolutions with companies of all sizes, including some of the biggest corporations in the nation.

Gary has successfully recouped more than $1 million for viewers around the state, making 3 On Your Side one of the most popular segments on KTVK and the station's Web site.

He's best known for investigating and confronting unscrupulous contractors. In fact, many of his news reports have led to police investigations and jail time for those who were caught. Viewers, as well as the companies and people he investigates, regard him as consistently being thorough and fair.

Gary has been with KTVK-TV since 1997. Prior to his arrival in Phoenix, he worked for WZZM-TV in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he was as an anchor and reporter.

Gary is from Chicago, but launched his television career in Lubbock, Texas, after earning a broadcast journalism degree from Texas Tech University. Following his graduation, he was quickly hired by KLBK-TV in Lubbock, where he enterprised and broke numerous exclusive reports. His aggressive reporting in Texas helped garner him Best Reporter by the Associated Press.

Gary has been married since 1994 and is the proud father of two sons. When he's not helping viewers, Gary is busy catching up on his favorite college and professional football teams as well as cheering on his beloved Texas Tech Red Raiders.

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