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Trying To Explain How Dates Work To The Letter

, , , , , | Right | June 22, 2022

I work as a customer support phone operator for a large insurance company. We send reminders through email and post running from one month up to the day before their policy is due to be renewed. Depending on how busy the postal service is, it can take a few days, a week, or even longer to reach customers.

I can’t even begin to count how many times I have had the exact same conversation.

Customer: “I just received a request for payment for this year! I already paid this on [date]! What are you trying to pull here?”

Me: “I’ll be more than happy to check that for you… and I do see that payment was taken successfully. You said you just got this letter? Can you tell me the date on it?”

Customer: “Well, it says here [date before he called to make payment], but I don’t see what that has to do with anything!”

I understand you’d be upset to pay twice, but if folks wouldn’t only take two seconds to read the paperwork we send, it would prevent a lot of hassle on both our parts.

Insuring That You Feel Even Sicker

, , , , , , | Healthy | June 6, 2022

I’m feeling under the weather, and I go and see my doctor. My complaint is a simple one and all I need is a three-dose run of medication. I go in to the local major chain pharmacy and drop off my prescription. 

Later, I get a call telling me that they can’t run my script as it was rejected by the insurance company. 

Dang it.

I go in and find out that, while my condition is severe enough that I really need three doses to clear it up, the insurance company will only allow the more common two-dose run. Three, apparently, is right out and is an offense to the Insurance Deities. 

Me: “Okay, what if we don’t involve insurance? How much would this be if I just paid out of pocket?”

Pharmacy Tech: “You can’t do that. The insurance company rejected it.”

Me: “I understand that. What if we don’t submit it to insurance and I just pay cash?”

Pharmacy Tech: “You cannot do that. The insurance company denied it.”

Me: “If I didn’t have insurance, what would you have done?”

Pharmacy Tech: “We’d have just charged you the cost of the medication.”

Me: “Okay, how abo—”

Pharmacy Tech: *Cutting me off* “We cannot do that. The insurance company denied it. You cannot get your medication.”

Me: “F*** the insurance company! I want to run this as an out-of-pocket! How. Much. Is. It?”

Pharmacy Tech: “Sir! I am going to have to ask you to leave.”

At this point, I had to reach down deep and find my inner Entitled Jerk. I demanded the manager. 

Basically, what happened next was pretty much the conversation above but with a manager backing the pharmacy tech up. Eventually, I asked for the script back and was told that since it was denied and had been stamped as denied, they could not give it to me.

I started to get really annoyed and was about to really flip out, but then the police officer they called while we were going around tapped me on the shoulder and explained that I was being trespassed off of the grounds. 

The officer was polite about it, listened to my side of the story, and agreed that it was unfair and that I should have been able to get my meds or at least get my script back.

Eventually, I called my doctor back, they issued another script, and I went to a locally-owned pharmacy. I told them that insurance was not going to cover it and that I wanted to just pay for the medication if it wasn’t too expensive. They told me, it was reasonable (very reasonable), I paid, and I got my meds. 

The kicker? Without coupons or pharmacy discounts, the medication was only $8.34 a pill. I got banned from my pharmacy over a lousy nine bucks.

There’s No Delay On Complaints

, , , , | Right | May 30, 2022

I work in the claims department for a life insurance company, taking claims over the phone. I honestly feel for all of my customers, but some people are convinced that we are actively trying to cheat them. I have some version of this conversation daily, after informing the customer that the claim is still being processed and reviewed.

Caller: “You should be ashamed of yourself! My uncle passed six months ago, and you still haven’t paid!”

Me: “I see in the notes that you returned the necessary paperwork last week.”

Caller: “I didn’t get the paperwork from my cousin until then! I can’t send what I don’t have!”

Me: “Unfortunately, we couldn’t process the paperwork until we received it. We have it now, and we will process your claim as quickly as we can.”

An Un-Toxic Work Environment!

, , , , , , , , | Working | May 24, 2022

I work at an independent insurance agency. We are allowed to disconnect abusive calls, and the agents and owner will fire clients if the behavior is repeated. We are asked to give at least one warning before disconnecting; I give two.

We have recently hired a new customer service agent. She has many years of call center experience. She has been doing pretty well on the phone and has started taking calls solo. I follow up with her to make sure the files are noted properly after her calls. I’m reviewing some of her notes and notice she has in the notes that a client yelled and cursed at her.

I pull the call and listen to it. It’s vile. She kept trying to tell the client she was trying to help him, but he was yelling over her and cursing up a storm. He finally hung up on her.

I immediately notify the client’s agent and send him the call recording. I then ask the agent to come to my office.

Me: “Hey, I saw the notes from [Client]. Are you okay?”

Agent: “Yes, I’m okay. I’m sorry, I tried to calm him down and help him but…”

Me: “No, no, no, don’t apologize. You did nothing wrong. I know I mentioned it when you started doing solo calls, but I want to reiterate that you do not have to put up with that kind of behavior.”

Agent: “You were serious?”

Me: “Absolutely. I ask you to give them at least one warning; it’s up to you if you want to give more. If they continue to be abusive, tell them their agent will be in touch and hang up. Let the agent know and they will take care of the issue.”

Agent: “I can seriously hang up on people?”

Me: “Well, not for random reasons. But if they are inappropriate or abusive, absolutely!”

Agent: “That’s amazing. We weren’t allowed to hang up on anyone at the call center. No matter what.”

Me: “That’s one of the perks of having an awesome owner. We don’t tolerate abuse.”

I love my job and my boss. Even though it can get stressful, knowing the agents and boss have our backs makes a massive difference.

I Can’t Believe It’s About Butter

, , , , , , | Right | May 18, 2022

I work for a multinational company that has a hand in home appliance insurance. We sell repair plans to people who need their fridge, freezer, or washing machine fixed, or people who want to insure their new TV, etc. Our call volume is through the roof at the time of the first lockdown, so we prioritise our customers who need appliances repaired for such things as storing medical equipment.

Today is a hectic day. I get a call from a rather irate but well-spoken lady. 

Customer: “I’ve been trying to get in touch with you all morning. I just don’t know what to do anymore. Can you help?!”

Me: *Bracing myself* “I’ll try my best.”

Customer: “I went to [High-End Supermarket] and purchased their spreadable butter but… and it… it just… it just won’t spread. I’ve ripped holes in all my sandwiches! Tell me, which shelf should I be putting my butter on in my fridge? Is there a specific shelf?”

It’s worth mentioning before I give you my reply that the call before this was from an elderly chap whose washing machine broke down and needed repairing as they needed bedding regularly due to a medical condition. The call before that was from an upset mother whose fridge freezer had broken down and contained her young daughter’s insulin.

This lady not only called to ask for something that could be found on Google in ten seconds, but she had to have lied on the automated options to get through to the priority line, taking the place of someone who actually needed help.

Me: “Did you really call to ask which shelf to put your butter on? I would refer back to the manufacturer of the butter for their guidance or better still, the manufacturer of your fridge freezer. Stay safe and goodbye.” *Click*