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I'm definitely not paying them - the imaginary bill is their problem. I just think it's ridiculous that they are so incompetent.

This will probably not end well for you if you value your credit score. The bill is your responsibility. I almost guarantee you signed something saying you would be responsible for the full amount. If they haven’t billed your insurance, yes it’s incompetent and frustrating, but the correct way to handle this is to pay it off yourself and then work directly with your insurance company to get reimbursed.

Edit: I’m assuming you’re in the US.

The great thing is I'm not concerned at all about my credit score. I could see how this would be inconvenient for other people. Like the Equifax hack, to me this is another indicator of how ridiculous the entire credit score system is.

Simply on principle, there is no way I would ever negotiate with or pay people this incompetent.

Credit score affects more than credit. It affects your ability to rent an apartment and it affects your insurance premiums in all but three states.

This is true, too. I can see how that might be inconvenient for some other people, but thankfully I'm not concerned about my need to do the first or my ability to pay the second.

It's definitely ridiculous how unaccountable third parties can affect one's life in such a way, leaving the consumer scrambling to set the story straight about themselves.

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