Not Liable To Be A Slow Reader

| FL, USA | Working | February 4, 2015

(I’m going in to get an eye exam. Before the exam, I’m filling out some paperwork.)

Me: “Excuse me, there’s a required check mark here stating that I’ve read the liability document, but I haven’t read it yet. May I have a copy, please?”

Optometrist: “Oh, well, most people don’t need to read it. It just says that we can’t be held liable if something bad happens as a result of misuse of the glasses.”

Me: “No offense, but I’m not the kind of person that signs something without reading it. May I please have a copy?”

Optometrist: “Fine, but it’s going to take you half an hour to read the whole thing.”

(He gives me a single laminated paper that has text on both sides. The text is rather small, but I doubt anybody would take more than ten minutes to read it. I’m finished in about three minutes.)

Me: “All right, I’m done.”

Optometrist: “Oh, really? Wow, I didn’t know you could read so fast.”

(He dropped his rude demeanor after that, although the guy that actually gave me the exam was nice throughout the whole process!)

The Bill That Keeps On Billing

| Bristol, CT, USA | Working | November 4, 2014

(I had my eyes checked while still living in Connecticut, and while I still had insurance. I recently moved to California, and while I set up mail forwarding I wasn’t necessarily getting all my mail from Connecticut. This happens after I call my eye doctor in Connecticut to get a copy of my eye glass and contact prescription information.)

Me: “Hi. I’m calling because I’d like to get a copy of my eye glass and contact lens prescription. They are less than a year old and I’m going to a new doctor this week and I want to provide records”

Receptionist: “Of course. Let me look up that information… I see here you have a balance due. Will you be paying that now?”

Me: “Um, excuse me? What do I have a balance due for?”

Receptionist: “For your eye exam from last December. If you don’t pay it I can’t give you the information you’ve requested.”

Me: “Okay, well, I’m not going to pay right this second, considering it’s now 8 months later and this is the first I’m hearing about this.”

Receptionist: “This is NOT the first time you are hearing about this. We’ve been sending you a bill every month since January and you haven’t paid us. We’re going to have to send you to collections for not paying this bill and refusing to pay it now.”

Me: “Okay, hold up a second. I never got the bill. I moved shortly after the exam and I set up mail forwarding, but I know that sometimes medical forms cannot be forwarded. Maybe that’s what happened. So, yes, this is the first time I’m hearing about it.”

Receptionist: “Well, you’re still refusing to pay so I’m going to send you to collections.”

Me: “I’m not refusing to pay, but I am not just going to pay a bill over the phone without having a bill and the information in front of me. Also, I’d like to call my old insurance company to figure out what happened, because I was supposed to be insured through January. Besides, if I never paid the bill and you had to keep sending notices without any indication that I got them why wasn’t I ever called?”

Receptionist: “That’s not our policy to call. Besides when people get bills, they just pay them. I don’t know why you didn’t.”

Me: “Ma’am, I’m trying to tell you I moved. I never got the bill you sent me. I’m not sure why it wasn’t forwarded, but I never got a bill. Again, I ask how come no one ever called me, and if you knew shortly after said eye exam that my insurance wasn’t going to cover it, after I paid my co-pay and signed the form and your office told me I was all set, how was I supposed to know that I had a balance owed?”

Receptionist: “You just need to pay your bills when you get them. Why is that so hard to understand? It’s not our fault your insurance didn’t go through! Pay your bill now that you know you owe it!”

Me: “Ma’am, I’m not going to pay the bill until I see a bill, and YOUR office told me I was all set when I was checking out. You told me my insurance co-pay was all I needed to pay, so that’s what I paid. I’m sorry for the error, but I didn’t know there was a remaining balance.”

Receptionist: “We sent you bills every month and you haven’t paid yet. You’re refusing to pay now!”

Me: “Again, ma’am, I didn’t get the bills in the mail, and no one ever called me. If you had called me and said there was a problem I could have 1) given you my new address so you could send a bill, 2) called my insurance company while they were still my insurance company in January, and  3) got this all taken care before you had to send me multiple bills. At this point me not paying the bill is on you because I was not notified.”

Receptionist: “It’s not our policy to call people to pay their bills. It’s our policy that we send out bills and people just pay them. That’s what you should have done. People pay their bills, ma’am.”

Me: “Okay, lady, I’m going to pay the bill. I just want to see it first and I want to call my old insurance company to see if they can figure out what happened. Please send me a bill to my new address and I will attempt to figure it out”

Receptionist: “So you want the bill sent to 411 East #### City, CT #### ?”

Me: “Um, no. First off, if that’s the address you’ve been sending the bill too, it was never going to get to me. That’s not even my old address. My address was 311… So, that’s probably why I didn’t get the bill. And second, I just said I was going to give you the address I want it sent to.”

Receptionist: “Well, it’s not MY fault you gave us the wrong address! And I can’t send it to a different address; I have to send it to the one you provided!”

Me: “I’m going to stop you right there. I’m pretty sure I filled out a bunch of forms at your office with my correct address on them. I’m also pretty sure I gave you my insurance card, also with my address on it, so someone in your office must have made a typo. So, thank you for sending my medical bills to someone else for the last 8 months. I’m pretty sure I could filed a complaint about that. And another thing, if you HAD JUST CALLED ME when I didn’t pay the bill in January we could have sorted this whole thing out eight months ago. So, no, ma’am, I never received a bill, and no, ma’am, I was not aware of it ever, because your office sent it to the wrong address.”

Receptionist: “WE DON’T CALL PEOPLE! YOU ARE JUST EXPECTED TO PAY YOUR BILL WHEN WE SEND IT TO YOU!!!”

Me: “That’s enough. I want to speak to your supervisor!”

Receptionist: “She’s going to tell you the same thing!” *to her supervisor* “There is a woman on the phone who refuses to pay her bill. I’ve been telling her that we’ve been billing her for eight months and she needs to go to collections!”

Supervisor: “Ma’am, I’m afraid you’re going to have to pay your bill today. We’ve been billing you for eight months and you haven’t paid at all.”

Me: “Ma’am, I’m sorry, but that’s not what’s happening. I just found out today for some reason my insurance company didn’t pay for the exam from last December. Your receptionist, just told me YOUR office had my address wrong in the system, so that’s why the mail didn’t get forwarded to me in California. She also told me it was not the policy of this office to call people when there is a problem with billing. So, you’re right I refuse to pay this bill today, but not because I’m not going to pay my bill. I just want a copy of the bill sent to me in California, which your receptionist also told me she couldn’t do because it wasn’t the address I provided back in December, which your office put in the system wrong to begin with. I also would like a copy of my glasses and contact prescription sent along with that bill. I need to give it to my new eye doctor.”

Supervisor: “Ma’am, I can’t give you any information until you pay your bill, and I’ll have to send it to collections if you don’t pay with in 30 days.”

Me: “Then please send me the bill to my new address and I will get this taken care of. But unless I see a bill, how do I even know what I’m paying for?”

Supervisor: “I guess we can do that, but you really should have paid the bill when you first got it.”

Me: *bangs head on desk* “I give up. My new address is [Address in California]. Please send out the bill today and I will get this taken care of.”

Supervisor: “Okay, but you really need to pay your bill. You haven’t paid it in eight months and we’ve been sending you a new bill every month.”

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Only One Left

| Sweden | Right | August 25, 2014

(I am an optometrist, selling glasses and contact lenses. A customer calls me up to ask about some contact lenses I sent to him in the mail.)

Customer: “Hi, I’m just calling to ask you which of the lenses is for which eye!”

Me: “I’m sorry! I am usually so careful about these things. I can’t believe I forgot to mark them.”

Customer: “Yeah, it says ‘right’ on one of the boxes, but what about the other one?”

Me: “Uh, then the other one would be for your left eye.”

Customer: “Great, thanks!” *hangs up*

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More Deaf Than Blind

| AZ, USA | Right | November 1, 2013

(One of our eye tests works by patients clicking a remote when they see some shimmery lines, and is set up where the face-plate slides into place to test the individual eyes. The patient has already informed me that he has a glass eye in the right socket. This machine can sometimes be very temperamental when a test is in progress, so I want to explain the test before I mess around too much with it and skip his glass eye. It’s still currently set on the right eye as the default.)

Me: “On this first test, when you look inside there, you’re going to see a little—”

Patient: “I can’t see out of that eye.”

Me: Yes, sir, I know that. I can skip this eye when I get the test started, but I wanted to explain the directions first. Now, you’re going to see a little black spot right in the center and—”

Patient: “But I can’t see out of that eye.”

Me: “Yes, I know that, sir. I can skip that eye in just a moment. You’re going to see the black dot in the center and there are some very faint, sort of wiggly lines—”

Patient: “But I can’t see out of this eye.”

(The patient continues to put his face into the machine which is still on the right eye.)

Me: “I know that, sir. You’re going to see a black dot in the center and some faint, wiggly lines and that’s just a preview of what the test looks like. When—”

Patient: “I can’t see out of this eye!”

Me: “I can skip that one. When the test starts, and I’ll let you know when that is, I just need you to look—”

Patient: “I can’t see out of this eye!”

(I am now ignoring him to get through my directions.)

Me: “When the test starts, you need to look at the black spot in the center and click on the clicker whenever you see those wiggly lines.”

Patient: “I can’t see out of this eye, though!”

Me: “I need you to sit back for me so I can get the machine ready to just test your left eye.”

(The patient sits back and I slide the face-plate over for the left eye. I put in the settings to get the machine to skip the right eye, and am just about to start on the left.)

Patient: “So, what am I supposed to do in this thing?”

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A Perfectly Framed Argument

| Fredericton, NB, Canada | Working | July 15, 2013

(After noticing the my current prescription for my glasses isn’t strong enough, I go an optometrist near my university. The optometrist in my home town is a two-day drive away, and I won`t be back home for almost an entire school year. I see the doctor, get my new prescription, choose my frames and am told that I only have to pay for everything when the glasses come in. Over the course of the year, I call, but am told that they aren’t in yet. After a year, I go to another place and get my glasses there. Finally after 18-months of waiting, the first place calls me.)

Receptionist: “Hello, is [my name] there?”

Me: “This is she.”

Receptionist: “Hello, this is [optometrist] calling to tell you that your glasses have arrived, and are ready to be picked up.”

Me: “Umm, actually, I got tired of waiting and went somewhere else.”

Receptionist: *rudely* “You ordered glasses with us, and then go elsewhere?”

Me: “Uh, yeah. If you check the date on the frames, you’ll notice that I ordered them over 18-months ago. I kinda needed new glasses before I graduated from university.”

Receptionist: *click*

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