I arrived late for a medical appointment with my Internist due to my daughter’s car being in the driveway and my inability to locate the key….I attempted to contact the Physician during the entire ride to the office, however, being part of a larger ‘complex’, I could not insure that the information was going to be received by her office regarding my lateness. When I arrived for the appointment, I was 15 minutes late and was told that the Doctor could not see me until later that afternoon….5 hours later….I asked to speak with someone and ‘security’ was sent out to ‘appease’ me. I was told that the Physician was unable to see me at that time; it didn’t matter what my reason for being late was…and that she would see me at 3:00pm that same afternoon. There was no, I’m sorry about this…let’s see if we can work with you…especially since my home was 20 minutes away. I decided that I was not going to go to the ‘top’, I was not going to argue with anyone….I simply asked to have my records forwarded to another Physician practice where I had recently met a Doctor who attended medical school in the Philadelphia area and who ‘invited’ me to her practice. I have since received emails/letters/notifications from my former Medical Center asking me why I missed my appointment, how bad it was for my health that I missed my appointment, when am I coming back to make up the appointment and can I please complete the survey attached regarding the Medical Facility’s customer service. It remains to be seen how my practice will handle a situation such as the one I experienced at this particular Medical Center.
My 89 year old mother has been approximately 85% deaf in one (1) ear and 50% deaf in her other ear since birth. She has been wearing a hearing device for approximately 65 years. She is on Medicare but has a supplemental coverage (very good one…normally) through United Health Care. Until 2014, she never had any medical coverage that would reimburse any portion of a hearing device. In the 2014 United Health Care catalog, she learned that UHC would cover up to $500 of a new hearing aid. She was excited; she had been complaining about the need to replace her existing aid and this would be helpful to her. She went to the Audiologist, showed him the excerpt from the very detailed 2014 plan and then proceeded to order a new hearing aid last February 2014. It is now October 13, 2014, between my mother and me, we have contacted United Health Care via mail/fax/email and phone on six (6) different occasions…getting all the way to a supervisor the last time we spoke in early September. Copies of the invoices have been mailed/faxed and no acknowledgement has been made, no check has been received…NOTHING….as I write this notice, I’m insuring my mother that I will ‘try again’. At this point in time, we look at the $500 as having been spent, however, there is a greater issue at stake. I’ve worked with UHC in other circumstances from a professional perspective and their methods have been less than acceptable. Granted…in the situation that I refer, the ‘client’s’ behavior was much less acceptable than UHC’s…however, the average consumer ‘trusts’ that a major health insurer is going to be honest in what they claim as a benefit and that UHC will know the financial background of the companies that they deliver millions of dollars to each year.
My phone recently lost the ability to take pictures….I have an Android Smart Phone with Verizon Wireless…I’ve been with Verizon Wireless for about 15 years. I’ve had issues with them in the past but their customer service use to be pretty satisfactory. I hadn’t had a reason to deal with them for a period of time. When I called to see what the problem was with my camera on the phone, I was sent to a few different individuals and the technical person finally informed me that Verizon could not do anything about it…it was a Motorola problem and I was to wait for Motorola to fix it with another update. I was angry and I calmly informed the technician that I did not have an agreement with Motorola, my contract was with Verizon. Her response was again to inform me that Verizon could do nothing for me until Motorola did another update and that Motorola was aware of the problem. I hung up the phone with incredulity. I then called the local Verizon office and was informed that, yes, there were problems with my model and that I could bring the phone in and they would replace it with the same but newer version of the model. I was promised (with repeated questioning) that Verizon would insure that they would transfer all the data from my then existing phone to the new phone. Of course, that didn’t happen for once I received the new phone from Fed Ex and took it to the Verizon office, I was informed that ‘no’, Verizon could not take the time nor did they have the ability to transfer everything from one phone to another, however, I could take it home and try to do it myself. To their credit, they did transfer about 80% of what I needed. I brought both phones back home and to this day, have not had an opportunity to sit and figure out how to transfer the additional data that I want on the new phone….I have since received a $500 charge on my Verizon Wireless bill that will remain there until I return the phone…..Do I just return the phone without the data transferred? What do you think?
I won’t go into any other details of my experiences…I do want to state that I think the attitude of many companies today seems to be that helping a customer figure out how to use the product that they just purchased is a waste of money. This is especially true of high technology items.
Consumers don’t ask for that much. I look at this problem or issue from a Human Resources’ perspective. Why are these employees behaving in this manner? I’m going out on a limb here and assuming that it is being done under direction…The consumer wants our television ads to be true and companies to treat us fairly. Corporate America should hear the consumer when they say that sleazy sales tactics and shoddy service will no longer be tolerated. The average consumer needs to speak up when we are not treated properly. We need to learn to vote with our wallets and take our business elsewhere. I’ve had this attitude that since I’ve been with Verizon Wireless for so many years, they will respect my opinion and give me exceptional service…that isn’t the case. I thought the same thing of United Health Care for my mother…that hasn’t been the case, either.
We also need to let our lawmakers. at both the state and federal level, know that consumer protection is important to ALL of us and that we would like them to commit resources to fight ‘fraud’. Consumer Protection agencies have seen their budgets decimated in order to balance the ‘bigger’ budget. We have to let our lawmakers know that this is no longer acceptable. Our government ‘watchdogs’ need to be able to, again, help protect the consumer.
The following quote was in an article that I recently read on this notated subject and it applies to many situations. Per the author of the article I read, he does not normally quote the bible in business publications but the following is quite appropriate: Leviticus 25:14 “When you sell anything to your neighbor or buy anything from your neighbor, you shall not deceive one another.” This quote should be applied to many things in life….as most ‘religious’ representatives should know.