In December of 2003, I signed up for an account with MSN Billpay. They offered an account that was free to pay certain companies, including Illinois Power. It meant one less check to write every month, and it was free, so it was great!
As I was balancing my books the other night, I noticed an unexpected $2.95 withdrawal in November and December. I eventually figured out that it was MSN Billpay that was responsible (it had the same code as the Illinois Power withdrawal). I went back to their website and I couldn't find any mention of their free account level. Did something change? Was I ever notified?
I clicked to cancel and found that I had to call an 800 number. Annoying, but no big deal. When asked why I wanted to cancel, I explained that I was unexpectedly charged for service. He told me that I was not the first person to say this. Apparently, there was some click-through that I was presented with when I logged in on 1st August, 2004. Crap, I thought, I was notified (even though I had no memory of it), so I doubt they'll refund me my money. But when I was prompted with, "Is there anything else I can help you with today," I asked for the refund anyway. "No problem," he said. Sweet.
The moral of the story: If you want something, don't be afraid to ask, even if you're sure of the answer. You just might be surprised.