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12 OYS: Hidden insurance fees on your credit card bill could cost you


A 91-year-old WWII vet got stuck with fees of $13 per month on his credit card. (November 11, 2010 / WRDW-TV)

News 12 at 6 o'clock, Thursday, November 11, 2010

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- On Veterans Day, 91-year old World War II vet Burrel Lanham talks about a different kind of battle -- one with a credit card company. He's disputing extra insurance charges resulting in about 13 dollars a month for insurance.

"That fine writing," he says. "They say you outta look and see that."

He means fine print. He used the card to buy appliances, but he didn't want the insurance.

"It could be something you signed up for or verbally agreed to," says Melissa Whittaker of Consumer Credit Counseling. "You didn't realize that's what you were getting at the time."

She warns about a common program that she says includes hidden fees that have become a problem for some people.

"It seems like a moneymaker on our end of things, because they're always really pushing it when they try to sell it to customers," says Whittaker.

Even if you lose your job or get sick, there are restrictions on when and who can collect.

"And funny enough, a lot of people who have this protection still end up coming down to our office to get help," she adds.

Lanham's son noticed the charges and contacted Call For Action. Volunteers got in touch with the card company. They refunded nearly $500 after finding Lanham was charged even when he wasn't using the card.

You can keep it from happening by reading that very same fine print.

"It doesn't matter if you don't think it's right or if you want to argue with them about it, you said yes and you accepted that service," said Whittaker. "It's your responsibility to find out what it really paid for."

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