Hippocrates Is Rolling Over In His Grave

, , , | | Healthy | May 13, 2018

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

Doctor: “I need to verify my patient’s coverage. Her number is [number].”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but there is a problem and I can’t access that account. I will have to forward this issue over to our technical department, and they will get back to you as soon as possible.”

Doctor: “I need this information immediately. Can I talk to them now? It’s very important.”

Me: “I’m sorry, they are very backed up over there and everything is handled in the order it is received. You will be added to the queue and they will get back to you later today.”

Doctor: “What if she was dying and I needed her coverage information? What then?!”

Me: “Ma’am, with all due respect, if the patient was dying there in your office, I would hope you would treat her regardless of her insurance coverage.”

Doctor: “Well, yes — I mean… Just make sure they call me today.” *click*


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A Verbal Disagreement

, , , , | Working | May 9, 2018

(My youngest daughter is autistic, and nonverbal. She’s over 18, but I have power of attorney. Because it gives her better coverage, she is on her father’s — my ex husband’s — insurance plan, which I am not on. Invariably, whenever I have to try to do anything with her insurance, I have some trouble, but this last time was the worst of all.)

Representative: “Hello. How may I help you?”

Me: “Hi, I’m calling about policy [number] on behalf of my daughter, [Daughter], whose birthday is [date]. I’m [My Name], and if you look at her file, you’ll see I have power of attorney to handle her coverage.”

Representative: “I see. Are you the policy holder?”

Me: “No. My ex-husband is the policy holder, but I have power of attorney to handle my daughter’s policy, as well.”

Representative: “Hmm… Can your daughter confirm that with me? Just put her on the phone and have her give me her name and birthday.”

Me: “No, I can’t do that. If you look at the note on her file, I have power of attorney because she’s nonverbal. She is literally incapable of speaking with you.”

Representative: “Ma’am, if you’re not the policyholder, and you can’t get me her permission, I can’t help you.”

Me: “You already have permission in the form of power of attorney; it’s in her file. Are you looking at her file?”

Representative: “Ma’am, I can’t do anything for you or for her without her permission.”

Me: “She is not capable of giving it over the phone. She is nonverbal. That is why I went to a judge, and was granted a notarized power of attorney, which I then sent to your company to have filed with her records. You have access to that file; if you’ve entered in the information I’ve given you, you can see that. Do you need me to repeat any part of our information?”

Representative: “Ma’am, your daughter is a legal adult. I need her consent before I can speak to you.”

Me: “May I please speak to your supervisor?”

Representative: “Ma’am, you are attempting to access information about a policy that you have no right to. I have no obligation to continue this call.”

Me: “Will you listen to me—”

Representative: *hangs up*

Persistence Is Assured

, , , , | Working | May 8, 2018

A couple years ago, I got some car insurance quotes online. As usual, I received follow-up calls from most of those insurers trying to get me to actually purchase from them. I let them all go to voicemail since I didn’t want to deal with them, and they all gave up within a week.

All except one, that is. This guy called me every weekday and Saturday for six months and left a minute-long message every time. It clearly wasn’t a robo-call because the messages were not the same; the same basic spiel, but with enough changes in tempo and word choice that it had to be a human.

Yes, I could have answered him one time and just told him I wasn’t interested, but after a couple of weeks I was curious how long he would keep it up. I don’t know if this level of persistence was corporate policy, a manager’s instructions, or the salesman just not using his time wisely, but in any case, he wasted over two and a half hours of company time on a potential customer who clearly wasn’t going to respond positively.

When Frauds Collide

, , , | Working | March 31, 2018

When I was 22, I was working for a prominent theater company in Philadelphia as a shop apprentice, building sets. As an apprentice, I was paid very little money, so I lived with my parents, about 45 minutes away. Because of the commute, I had to leave my parent’s house before 7:00 am to avoid city rush hour traffic. I also had to work really long hours, which meant that I frequently got home around 2:00 am.

One night, while driving home after a 17-hour day, I hit a deer. Being young, inexperienced, and without collision insurance, I thought nothing of it since I collided with a deer. A week later, my dad told me that I should contact my insurance carrier, a large, well-known national chain, to see if deer weren’t actually covered under “comprehensive.”  (They are.)

An agent came out to the house to assess the damage, and I asked if I could file a claim in spite of a week passing. The agent assured me that I could. However, the report he filed said that “no deer matter” had been found on my car, but they did find a scrape of paint on the underside of my front bumper. The company then decided that I was trying to defraud them of the $400 cost of repairs.

Over the next year, I had to provide character assessments, a police record of the deer removal, statements of my hours at work, and various depositions, all to support my claim that I hit a deer and was not committing insurance fraud. Meanwhile, the company kept sending me vicious letters, threatening me with significant fines in the hundred thousands, jail time, or both.

The last thing was a formal “hearing” in the city to determine, once and for all, if I was committing fraud. My dad was incensed and insisted on going with me. Once there, I repeated my story about hitting a deer. They asked about the paint, to which I replied that I didn’t know, and that I had probably bumped a parking block. I was then asked where I worked. When I told them, “Downtown Philadelphia,” the response was, “Oh. Okay. We see this kind of thing all the time.”

My charge of fraud was dismissed, and the insurance paid me my $400. I was so angry that I was even suspected of fraud. Were I to actually try it, it would have been for way more than $400.

They Need To Adjust Their Adjusters

, , , | Working | March 5, 2018

(We’ve recently had the worst hailstorm in years in our area, with pieces of hail golf-ball-sized and bigger. Because our house doesn’t have a garage, all three of our vehicles — two personal and my husband’s work car — look like someone took a hammer to them. I call the next business day to file a claim with our insurance agency, and a couple days later I get this call from the local adjuster.)

Me: “Hello?”

Adjuster: *in an overly cheery voice* “Hi, is this [My Name]? This is [Adjuster] from [Insurance Company] calling about your vehicle damage claim.”

Me: “Yes, thank you for calling me back.”

Adjuster: “Sure! We’d love to get you in to our drive-through estimate center, so let’s get you on the schedule.”

Me: “Uh, well, doesn’t it say on the claim that all three of our cars were damaged?”

Adjuster: “Yes! Okay, let’s get you scheduled.”

Me: “It will be difficult to bring all three cars in at once without help, since there are two of us. We might be able to get a friend to help on Saturday.”

Adjuster: “Oh, we only do damage estimates on weekdays from eight am to five pm!”

Me: “Right… Well, my husband is off on Fridays, but I only get a half-hour lunch break and wouldn’t have time to drive in from my office and back for the estimate. Also, we’d still need to get a friend to drive the third car if you insist on seeing all three of them at once.”

Adjuster: “Yes, we’d like to see them all at the same appointment. The drive-through claim center is really the fastest way to get an estimate.”

Me: “Understood. However, there’s still the problem of three cars and only one person who is for sure available to drive. Don’t you have a field agent who can come to our house?”

Adjuster: “Yes… We can send a field agent. But the drive-through center is much faster!”

Me: “Yeah… We’d still need the field agent. On a Friday, so my husband can be here.”

Adjuster: “It will take longer!”

Me: “That’s fine. Please assign us to a field agent.”

Adjuster: *pauses* “All right! I’ve put you on the list for a field agent to call you. It may take a couple of days; the drive-through center is really much faster.”

Me: “Thank you.”

Adjuster: *STILL cheery* “I guess now you can forget this conversation even happened!” *click*

Me: “No… I don’t think I can.”

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