I Will Not Not Do As You Say

, , , , | Right | May 13, 2019

(I take escalated calls for a national insurance agency. In insurance, any time a change is made to your policy that impacts the cost, the company must notify you. The notification can be in mailed paper form, or email/virtual if you’ve set it up that way.)

Me: “Thank you for calling. My name is [My Name]. The previous representative said you had some concerns about the paperwork you received. How can I help?”

(The customer goes on to explain that over the course of the year she has received many copies of her policy. She has made as many 12 changes due to failure to return forms and other things. She explains that she is old and her time is precious at her age — her words — as she doesn’t have much of it left, and that we shouldn’t bother her with mailings, because then she has to call us.)

Me: “I want to be respectful of your time. You received this mailing because of a discount we finalized on your policy. There’s no action required on your part. You will not receive anything further unless you make other changes, I assure you.”

Customer: “You’re just trying to harass me with all this paperwork. I don’t even know what coverage I have! Your company just wants to overcharge the elderly and harass us.”

Me: “I’m sorry for the confusion. The documents you have there outline all the details of your coverage. Again, I want to respect your time, but I’d be happy to review those coverages if you need me to. Also, we are not charging you anything more; we’ve applied a discount. How can I help?”

Customer: “You can stop sending me stuff. I’ve gotten so much stuff this last year…”

(The customer continues on a long rant, and I continue to apologise and ask how I can help, only to ultimately assure her over and over again that we are not sending any additional paperwork.)

Customer: “So, you’re not going to do anything about this?”

Me: “Ma’am, you literally just instructed me not to do anything. You said not to send you anything, and not to make any changes. So, yes, that’s right, I’m not going to ‘do anything.’ Is there anything else I can help you with?”

(This went on for thirty minutes of her “precious time.”)

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When It’s The Healthcare That Gives Us The Blood Pressure

, , , , | Healthy | April 30, 2019

For an assortment of reasons, my husband has been unemployed for a while, outside of extremely short temp work and off-the-book odd jobs. For a while he has been having random symptoms: foot and ankle pain, shortness of breath after exertion — more than normal — and lower back pain. All together, they don’t seem to add up to anything aside from random aches and pains, they never stick around long, and without insurance, he can’t afford to see a doctor properly, so he just treats with aspirin and the like.

Finally, it happens: the Affordable Care Act is passed. He signs up and gets real health insurance for the first time in a decade. He’s assigned a primary care physician and we call to set up an appointment. No answer. We try again, and again, and again, at both the number listed on the insurance site and on their individual site. We never get an answer; we never even get voicemail. After a bit more than a month of this, he’s feeling ill; the local EMO doesn’t take the medicare-based version of his insurance, so we head to the hospital ER right down the street. He apologizes for coming for such a minor thing but we don’t have any other options at the time. They say it’s fine and after a wait, they take his vitals… and they immediately wheel him into the observation room. We’re trying desperately to get some actual information from the first nurse bringing him in, or the second nurse coming to hook him up to all their monitors.

Finally, a full doctor comes in and starts asking questions, but we interrupt and ask, specifically, why they are doing all this. She shows us the blood pressure monitor: 220/120. His BP has always been high, especially at the doctor’s/hospital because of “white coat syndrome,” but never that high! Somehow he never actually had a heart attack or stroke over the past several months, but that unrestrained pressure did a lot of damage to his kidneys. My husband is in the hospital for about ten days — although he was originally going to get out in six, one batch of test results gets messed up and they can’t run it again until the following Monday. When he leaves, he is on a prescription for about eight different heart and blood pressure medications, two of which are quickly dropped and two others cut in half once he gets home and can relax!

The bad news is that, because of the level of damage his kidneys have suffered, my husband’s on the verge of needing to go on the transplant list. The good news is that his heart has made a near-complete recovery, his prescriptions have been cut down further, and his kidney functions have actually improved to a point where he’s no longer hovering on the verge of failure!

And that’s why we say to this day, with no irony: thanks, Obama!

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Not Willing To Billing

, , , , , | Healthy | April 29, 2019

(I have medications being filled on a 30-day supply. My insurance company requires me to call every month and verify that I do need the medicine and that my health panel — age, weight, allergies, etc. — is up to date. I made my call earlier this month, letting them know that I would be on vacation when the medications were scheduled to be delivered and asked if they would deliver without requiring a signature. The representative said it was fine and told me that my medicine would arrive while I was gone. I asked my sister to check on the house while I was gone, specifically mentioning the delivery and the rough timeline I was given. When I come home, she tells me that there have been no deliveries. I call my insurance company again.)

Representative #1: “[Insurance], this is [Rep #1] speaking. Can I have your name and policy number, please?”

Me: “Hi, my name is [My Name]; my policy number is [number].”

Representative #1: “Okay, I have your account here. How can I help you?”

Me: “I was supposed to have some medicine delivered, but nothing has arrived.”

Representative #1: “Okay, I see here that we attempted to deliver on [date] but there was no one home to sign.”

Me: “I was told I could opt out of the signature because I was out of town.”

Representative #1: “No.”

Me: “…”

Representative #1: “…”

Me: “Can I get a new delivery scheduled?”

Representative #1: “I can add you on today’s shipment and overnight the medication to you at no additional cost.”

Me: “That’s great!”

Representative #1: “Okay, I just have to verify your info.” *we go through the same questions I answer every month* “Everything looks good. This will go out today for delivery tomorrow, with a signature required.”

Me: “Thank you!”

(The next day, I’m home all day and nothing comes. Since our package deliveries can come as late as nine pm, I’m stuck waiting all day before I can call back. The day after my delivery was to arrive, I call again. I get a different representative.)

Representative #2: “[Insurance], this is [Rep #2] speaking. Name and policy number?”

Me: “[My Name], [policy number].”

Representative #2: “Thank you, [My Name]. How can I help you?”

Me: “I spoke with [Representative #1] two days ago and was told I would have my medications delivered yesterday but nothing came.”

Representative #2: “Oh, I’m sorry about that. I see here that you tried to order [medication] on [date before vacation] and we tried to deliver but there was no one to sign.”

Me: “Yes. And I called again and was told it would be here yesterday.”

Representative #2: “I’m not showing anything like that but we can ship– Oh, wait. There’s a hold on your account for unpaid copays.”

Me: “Unpaid copays? I’ve never received a bill.”

Representative #2: “You should have received… two.”

Me: “I don’t think I did. Why was I not told of this hold when I called two days ago?”

(I open my online account to see past bills. There is nothing.)

Representative #2: “I’m not sure, ma’am. I only see a bill for $243 that needs to be paid.”

Me: “I’m confused. I’ve met my out of pocket deductibles. What is the bill for?”

Representative #2: “One moment, I can look that up for you.” *hold music* “I’m sorry, ma’am, I’m having trouble finding the specific bill.”

Me: “…”

Representative #2: “…”

Me: “So… what now?”

Representative #2: “If you want to pay in full, I can have your order shipped as early as tomorrow.”

Me: “Um… I don’t even know why I’m paying.”

Representative #2: “They’re unpaid copays.”

Me: “I’m looking at my online account and there’s nothing like that. How do I suddenly owe that much money?”

Representative #2: “Oh. Um. Hold, please.” *hold music* “Thank you for holding, ma’am. My supervisor is looking into this further. Unfortunately, we cannot authorize your medications until you pay your balance. I can take your credit card info—“

Me: “I’m not paying anything until I have an itemized bill.”

Representative #2: *huffs* “Hold.” *hold music* “Okay, ma’am, I’ve talked with my supervisor. Your balance is $243. Will that be card or check?”

Me: “That will be nothing until you tell me why I’m paying.”

Representative #2: *huffs again* “Ma’am. I am trying to work with you here. You owe copays. We cannot fill your prescriptions until you pay in full.”

Me: “And I will happily pay as soon as someone can tell me why I’m paying. I’m looking at my history right now. Not only is there nothing with a copay for the past six months, but all other bills are marked as paid.”

Representative #2: *clearly annoyed* “Would you like to speak to my supervisor, ma’am?”

Me: “Yes, I would.”

(Hold music.)

Supervisor: “Hello, [My Name]? I’m told you would like to speak to a supervisor. I’m [Supervisor].”

Me: “Yes, thank you. I called almost two weeks ago to have meds delivered. There was a miscommunication and they were not delivered. I called two days ago to have the same meds delivered as of yesterday, but they weren’t. I called today and found that I owe money and [Insurance Company] is withholding my medications until I pay. Nothing in my records shows any unpaid copay, so please tell me what is going on here.”

Supervisor: “I apologize for the inconvenience. Please be patient with me while I look into this further. Can I put you on hold?”

Me: *thinly veiled annoyance* “Yes.”

Supervisor: “Thank you.” *hold music* “Hmm. Ma’am, I apologize. I see the bill, but I’m not finding anything that it could be linked to. Unfortunately, I cannot authorize your prescription to be refilled until this bill is paid.”

Me: “Let me get this straight: your records show that I owe money. Yes?”

Supervisor: “Yes.”

Me: “You will not send my medication until I pay this bill. Correct?”

Supervisor: *uneasy* “Correct…”

Me: “But when I ask why you want me to pay, no one can tell me why. Am I wrong?”

Supervisor: “No, ma’am, you are not wrong.”

Me: “Can you see why I’m annoyed?”

Supervisor: “Yes. Please let me put you on hold one last time.”

Me: “No.”

Supervisor: “Ma’am?”

Me: “I will not be put on hold again. This phone call is already over an hour long. If you cannot tell me why I owe this money, I can only assume it’s a mistake on your end and I’m being billed for someone else’s medication or—“

Supervisor: “We are very thorough in our billing process and—“

Me: “—OR someone is committing insurance fraud and I’ll have to hire a lawyer to get this resolved.”

Supervisor: *panicked* “Um. No, no, that won’t be necessary.” *clicking keyboard* “I will see to it that your medication is shipped out today and I will put an override on the unpaid bill. I will continue to research this and get back to you as soon as I know what is going on. Is your number [phone number]?”

Me: “Yes, it is. Thank you.”

Supervisor: “Thank you, ma’am. Enjoy the rest of your day.”

(My medication was delivered the next day and yes, I signed for it. It’s been two weeks and I still haven’t heard anything about my mystery bill. I guess I’ll have to wait and see what happens when I call for my next refill!)

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Unfiltered Story #147714

, | Unfiltered | April 22, 2019

I assess travel claims and answer the phones for lots of different cients,
I pick up an email (printed) and I am looking for the reference number to locate their claim. We locate emails by searching for the subject of the email and so we tell all customers to put their claim reference number as the subject.

I find a reference number FINALLY and I type it into the system and try to locate the email using the subject of the email, to my astonishment the customer has typed ‘claim reference number’ as the subject.
there are over 2000 people who have sent an email with this as the title.

a note to the editor; I know this isn’t written in dialogue, but this is too stupid not for me to share.

Unfiltered Story #147210

, | Unfiltered | April 21, 2019

(I am answering the phones for new claims on a travel insurance we ask the customers basic information about their trip to log the claim)

Me: Ok Mrs X and what date did you start your trip

Customer: I didn’t know you were going to ask me this I thought I would just fill in a form.

Me : ok, I’m sorry, we don’t send out blank forms now, we talk the whole claim through, if you don’t remember the trip dates then you can call another time with that to hand.

Customer: NO I will not call back I’ve been waiting on hold for thirty minutes, it’s YOUR JOB.

( I look at the wait time, it’s  23 seconds)

Me: Ok mrs X I’m sorry you held so long, look if you don’t know your dates and things now, we can use some mock dates and I can give you a reference, just to give you peace of mind it’s registered,

(the customer is satisfied with this and we go through most of the call amiably)

Me: OK! so you’ve told me (I recap her claim ) Last thing I need to know is what country did you travel to?

Customer: *Proudly* I know this one!! Crete.

Me: *slams face into keyboard*