So, how can you save money by arguing your bills. My name is Stefanie Dorn, I’m an attorney out of Washington State, and I’m going to give you some tips on how you can negotiate your bills. First tip is talk to a person. When you call, when you have a representative on the phone, you can more clearly explain and persuade.
Second tip, ask if there is the option of a payment plan. We usually know this tip and that you can ask for that and they will let you pay slow, but my trick is right after you ask that question, say, and what is the discount for payment in full. Because by setting up that they have the option of a payment plan you’ve set yourself up to present them with a better option, well I can just take care of it upfront but how about thirty percent off the top, and you would be surprised how often, even with bills that aren’t huge-huge, companies are willing to take a substantial cut for payment in full.
My next tip is to break down the bill into sections so that you really know what they are charging you for and what you can argue for. So take some time to really go into and ask them, what do you mean a surcharge, a charge for my service, isn’t that your job? Things along those lines that you are going to be more comfortable with the more familiar you are with all the different charges on there. My final tip is that it can’t hurt to ask and just ask nicely, and there can be a lot of flexibility.
Zoom Court. So, you got a notice to appear for court, only instead of it being in a courtroom it is on your computer screen. Hi, I’m attorney Stefanie Dorn I practice in criminal law and also do a lot of expungements. First of all, most Washington state courts are doing some form of zoom court due to Covid 19. But what is being developed is likely going to stick around probably in some way shape and form. In terms of the advantages, it can make it a lot easier to not have to take a day off work and appear electronically. In terms of the disadvantages, people can sometimes feel like they don’t have the same nature communication with their lawyer and the court. I think it’s really important to communicate with your lawyer about the hearing and how it is going to go.
I always try and keep a text message chain going with my clients because the zoom platform defaults to automatically messaging everyone, so it is nice to have a second chain of communication. Generally, you keep your video and audio off until it is your turn or until you are ready to go. The Court still expects the same type of decorum, no your honor, yes, your honor. You can still do an awkward stranding up when the judge enters the room and all the same rules of court generally apply. So, if you have questions about your upcoming zoom hearing or expungement and criminal defense in Washington State, feel free to give my office a call.