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Rounding off bill payments: No harm, no foul?

October 22, 2013|By David Lazarus

Bill says he often gets away with rounding off his bill payments to the nearest dollar.

So when AT&T recently charged him $150.05 for wireless service, Bill rounded that down to $150. And what do you know? AT&T dinged him with a $5 late fee for the missing 5 cents.

Bill asks: Aren't these guys being unfair?

ASK LAZ: Smart answers to consumer questions

This is one of those occasions where I'm going to side with the company. If they want $150.05 for services rendered, then you're supposed to pay $150.05.

You don't get to play fast and loose with your bills.

That said, a $5 charge for a missing nickel seems a tad excessive. I'd bet AT&T would waive it if you called and (politely) explained things.

And next time, pay the full amount requested. For more, check out today's Ask Laz video.

If you have a consumer question, email me at or contact me via Twitter @Davidlaz.

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