Very Bad Reception, Part 15

| Working | June 4, 2016

(I am 21 and have braces put in. I am employed full time and have my own medical insurance, completely independent of my parents. When filling the forms in at the dentist, I list my mum’s number as an emergency contact, but all other information is my own. Unfortunately my medical aid is a little slow in paying out claims, and the following conversation occurs every few months for about two years, between my mum and the dentist’s office.)

Mum: “Hello.”

Receptionist: “Hi, this is [Receptionist] and I’m calling from [Dentist]’s office. May I please speak to Mrs [Name]?”

Mum: “You’re speaking to her. How can I help you?”

Receptionist: “I’m calling in connection to the last claim we’ve made for your daughter’s braces check-up. Unfortunately we’ve not received payment yet. Could you please follow that up with your medical aid and let us know when we can expect payment?”

Mum: “You’ll need to speak to my daughter about that. She’s the one on your accounts and it’s her medical aid.”

Receptionist: “Well Mrs. [Name], you are her parent and you are ultimately responsible for this payment. Please check and let us know when we can expect payment.”

Mum: “Right, you need to contact MISS [Name], not me. She’s 21 and fully responsible for her own payments and medical aid.”

Receptionist: “I understand that ma’am, but you’re her parent, so you’re responsible.”

Mum: “She may be my child, but she is not a child. I’m only listed as an emergency contact; I have nothing to do with her finances or her account with you. Please call her directly on [my number] to sort it out. Please also make a note somewhere that she is an adult and not a child, and that all communication needs to be with her and not me.”

Receptionist: “Okay, let me try that number, then. Thank you. Have a good day.”

(They would call me afterwards and the payment was sorted within a few days. But they just couldn’t comprehend that they had an adult patient for braces. The dentist was even more scattered!)


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