Friends With Money (Problems)

, , , , , , , | | Friendly | July 10, 2019

(I am at the mall with a friend, who is also my roommate. We head into a cell phone provider, as I’m going to change my plan and buy a new phone. We get to talking about how expensive it all is. Side note: he’s notoriously bad with money.)

Friend: “I can barely pay my phone bill as it is. I can’t imagine paying [price] for a [brand-new model phone].”

Me: “I can’t afford it, either; that’s why I’m getting the older model. It’s on sale now, essentially free if you extend your contract.”

Friend: “Make sure you ask about cancellation fees. [Other Phone Company] was the worst when I couldn’t pay and tried to cancel my plan.”

Me: “Yeah, I’ll ask.”

Friend: “Or you can do what I did and just disappear.” *laughs*

Me: “What?” 

Friend: “Yeah, instead of giving [Other Phone Company] like 200 bucks to get out of the contract, I just stopped paying.”

Me: “But you still owe them that money, right? They can come after you for it.”

Friend: “Let’s see them find me.” 

Me: *silence*

Friend: *proudly* “I’ve moved twice since then. They’ll never get a penny from me.” *laughs*

Me: “That would kill your credit rating.” 

Friend: “What does that matter? I already have a credit card.” 

(It still boggles my mind. He was a good person, and smart in general, just absolutely clueless about money.)

Risk Of Breast Cancer Is Not The Worst Thing In This Story

, , , , , | | Healthy | May 26, 2019

I’m a young woman who doesn’t have to go in for yearly mammograms, but when doing a check one month, I notice a possible lump. Women are encouraged to visit their doctor immediately when this happens, as breast cancer can be very aggressive. I go in to my regular doctor office, but the PA I normally see is on maternity leave, so a different one is scheduled for my visit.

The new physician is nice, but it all goes downhill once she refers me for additional testing. Her assistant schedules the referral without a checking date or time with me and doesn’t give me all the appointment info. My mammogram appointment starts out rocky as a result, but thankfully they don’t find any cancer so I’m pronounced healthy and sent on my way.

Fast forward a couple weeks, and I get an outrageous bill for the facility I was referred to. I reach out to the hospital billing and then my doctor’s office. The hospital billing team is very nice but the doctor’s office doesn’t care that they botched my referral by pushing me over to one of their connected facilities. I talk to them about once a week for a month and a half, and their office manager can’t remember to return my calls. Finally, after leaving a message for the office manager’s boss, hospital billing gets involved.

The office manager has requested that they just comp my bill because of all the issues –more than what I mentioned above — I’ve had when dealing with them. She says it should be cleared up, so I end that call relieved. Hospital billing steps in, and suddenly I’m being told that my bill is not being comped. I’m normally non-confrontational, but the woman I’m speaking to is so rude and doesn’t seem to care that her organization’s facilities have repeatedly messed up just about every interaction I’ve had related to this initial visit, or that I’ve been promised the bill will be written off already. We argue for several minutes until she agrees to take another day to look into this more and decide. It’s really just a stall on her part, as reneging on writing off the remaining bill will be going back on what her colleague promised.  

She calls me the next day and begrudgingly agrees that they’ll comp my bill. I also end up speaking to the office manager again, who reminds me that they’ll expect me to pay my bills in the future.

For the record, I always pay my bills and had given them an initial payment which I thought was kind of a co-pay. I learned better as a result of this and will not make that mistake again.

We all think everything is resolved until a couple months later, when I get some cryptic call from some woman that I can barely understand. She’s asking for me to identify myself so she can discuss my account with me. I tell her that I don’t know who she is and I’m not comfortable with sharing personal info. She says that’s fine but I should call them back when I’m ready. Somewhere during the conversation, she says something that makes me realize this is a collections call.

Of course, she won’t tell me anything unless I share my info with her, but the only billing snafu of late was the hospital one. So, I call them and end up finding out that when they bill, the facility sends one bill but the radiologist sends a separate bill. And somehow, I should know that these bills are sent separately.

By now, I’m freaked because a) I thought this was resolved a few months ago, and b) I’m planning to buy a house and don’t want a collections account to show up on my credit report.

I make a few calls that result in me leaving a message with the rude hospital billing lady I spoke to a few months before. She leaves me a message later letting me know that she’s spoken to the second billing team and it should be taken care of. Our insurance person at work also tells me to call back the collections agency and let them know I’m working things out with the hospital. I do and they freeze the collections account for me.

I’ve not heard anything from either billing group, so it all seems to be resolved now. And I’ve switched to a different doctor’s office, one not connected to the hospital. Everyone is really nice and so far I’ve had no issues.

Moral of the story: ask lots of questions when your doctor refers you anywhere. And don’t go unless your insurance has signed off on that being the best in-network facility and estimated how much it will cost.

This Is Why We’re In A Recession, Part We Don’t Even Know Anymore

, , , , , | Right | February 21, 2019

(I work for a credit card company. The calls are frustrating, and honestly, I am tempted to close so many accounts and transfer the customer to Spanish. This woman calls in confused about interest.)

Me: “Thank you for calling. How can I help you?”

Caller: “My name is [Caller]. Why is there a $1.63 charge in my account? It says it’s a finance charge?”

(Looking over her account I see she is referring to interest; the company just marks it on the statement as a finance charge.)

Me: “Ma’am, I show this is interest because you only make the minimum payment.”

Caller: “Yeah, because that is all I have to pay.”

Me: “That is what you have to pay to avoid a late fee, but to avoid interest you have to pay the full statement balance. I show you have been receiving interest for the last ten months.”

(I am about to end my shift and don’t want to argue, so I am going to offer to waive three months of the small, $2 charges to try and end the call, but before I can offer…)

Caller: “No. I just have to make the minimum. That is how I avoid it. I’m new at cards, but I know that is how it works. So, you are going to waive the interest and make sure it doesn’t show up again on my account.”

(I really want to yell at her but I decide to try and teach her with sense.)

Me: “Ma’am, that is not how interest is calculate—“

Caller: “How the h*** am I supposed to know that? I want it in writing!”

Me: “If you have a copy of your statement, it says it there—“ *reads off the whole paragraph of info* “It also said it on your terms and conditions you received with your card and whenever you make a payment.”

Caller: “What if I didn’t understand It?”

Me: “You could call in and we can explain it to you; that is what we are here for.”

Caller: “What if I don’t know what I need to ask? Or find out what I need to know if I don’t know?”

(Confused and in utter shock at the level of stupid I just heard, I have had it.)

Me: “Then you call in and start the call with, ‘I don’t understand how credit cards work; please enlighten me.’”

Caller: “F*** you, b****!”

(I hung up and noted how rude and stupid she was. Someone ended up listening to it and my supervisor came and spoke to me about it. They told me I should have just given her what she wanted. I left the next week.)

Shut Up And Take My Money!

, , , , , , | Working | February 16, 2019

(My family is using a company for our cell phones, who in turn use a national carrier to actually provide the cell service. For a number of reasons — of their doing — we decide to close our account and change companies. We receive a last bill demanding “immediate payment,” which only offers the ability to pay online, in person at a store, or by calling a listed phone number — no mailing address. I attempt to pay online, but am not able to, as I don’t have an “active phone.” I decide to pay in person. This is the sequence of events, as I attempt to PAY my last bill. At the store:)

Me: “I need to pay our bill. We no longer have an active phone with you, so I couldn’t pay online.”

Customer Service Person #1: *looks up my information* “I’m sorry, but we cannot take your money. We no longer handle bills for [National Carrier] you were using. You can only pay by phone.”

(I go home and call the phone number on the bill.)

Me: “I need to pay our last bill. We don’t have an active phone, so I couldn’t pay online, and the person at [Store] said they no longer collect bills for [National Carrier].”

(I give him the account and the disconnected phone number.)

Customer Service Person #2: *collects my information from me* “I’m sorry, but we cannot take your money. We also no longer handle bills for [National Carrier], either. You have to call your old carrier.”

Me: “I have only ever used you to pay my bill. This is the only phone number on my bill, and I don’t have a [National Carrier] number. I have no one else to call, and I just need to pay my last bill.”

Customer Service Person #2: “Let put you on hold, so I can talk to my supervisor.”

(He disconnects me instead. I call back, and explain the entire story again.)

Customer Service Person #3: *recollects my information* “Let me put you on hold, so I can figure out what to do.”

(Five to ten minutes go by.)

Customer Service Person #3: “Unfortunately, you will have to call [National Carrier] to pay this bill, as we cannot take your money for [National Carrier].”

(However, this time she gives me a number to call which is not on the bill. I call the new number, which uses the exact same menu navigation, making me think it’s the same place. I explain the entire story again, and include the account and disconnected phone numbers.)

Customer Service Person #4: *collects my information from me* “I’m sorry, but I cannot take your money without an active phone. Once we suspend your phone for non-payment, you have to pay in person at [Store].”

Me: “Listen. It wasn’t suspended for non-payment. I cancelled my account with you, and this is my last bill with you. As I told you, the store already told me they couldn’t take my money, and that I could only pay over the phone. All I want to do is pay you what I owe you. Why can’t I pay you if I have the account number and old phone number, and you have access to my account?”

Customer Service Person #4: “Okay, let me put you on with my supervisor.”

(I’m transferred to the supervisor and explain the entire story yet again, with all the account information.)

Supervisor: *she collects my account information again* “I’m sorry, but I cannot take your money without an active phone attached to the account.”

Me: *explains to her entire story for a second time* “I don’t understand why this isn’t enough information to give you the money that I owe you, since [Store] can’t take my money in person.”

Supervisor: “Okay, let me see what I can do.”

(After a few minutes, she comes back on and asks me several new questions. Then she takes my credit card information.)

Supervisor: “Now, then, I must warn you that there is an additional fee, since you paid by phone, instead of paying online or in person.”

(I have had enough!)

Me:This is ridiculous! I will not pay a fee as if it is some kind of privilege to pay you! You wouldn’t allow me to make my payment online or in person, and are forcing me to pay you by phone! Listen. You have two options: take my money right now for only for the bill total, or I am going to hang up on you and never pay this bill. What can you do? Cut off my already deactivated phone? I cannot believe that you all have refused to take my money.

(She agreed to waive the fee and took only the bill amount. Who knew that trying to actually give someone money would be so hard?!)

Going Toe To Toe With Payday

, , , , , | Right | December 9, 2018

(I am working the reception desk at my vet clinic. Our policy is to not schedule appointments for clients who have large outstanding bills. I am relatively inexperienced at appointment scheduling, and I really should have asked the client’s name before telling her what we had available. This happens on a Wednesday. The phone rings.)

Me: “[Clinic]. This is [My Name]; how can I help you?”

Client: “Hi. My cat may have injured his toe; do you have any openings on Saturday?”

Me: “Unfortunately, we are closed this Saturday, but we do have an opening on Monday morning at eight o’clock.”

Client: “I’ll take it.”

Me: “Great. Can I have your name, please?”

Client: “It’s [Client].”

(I pull up her account and see that she has an outstanding balance of well over $1000. Someone even flagged her account to make sure we don’t provide any more services to her until she pays us.)

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but we unfortunately cannot schedule an appointment for you until you pay off a significant portion of your balance.”

Client: “I’m going to make a payment on Friday.”

Me: “I’m sorry, but I can’t schedule you until that payment is made.”

Client: “But I don’t get paid until Friday, and by then, that Monday opening will be taken!”

Me: “While that particular appointment may be taken by Friday, we have other openings next week. However, I cannot schedule you until you have paid off a significant portion of your balance.”

(This goes on for another two or three rounds of her saying she’ll make a payment on Friday and me reiterating that I can’t schedule her until she pays. Finally, I convince her that I’m really not going to schedule her appointment until she pays us.)

Client: “Well, I guess my cat will just have to suffer, then!”

Me: “Goodbye, ma’am.”

Page 1/712345...Last