Saturday, April 15, 2017

O is for odd customer service #AtoZchallenge

I am going to use customer service loosely as a term in this post.

On Friday, as I was driving home from work, I received a phone call on my cell phone. I picked up. I have bluetooth in my car, so the call went to my speakerphone.

This woman said that she was calling from an eye program. This program is a part of the drug used for my eye injection. The first injection is covered by this program.

I asked what the nature of the call was. She repeated herself by saying that I had my appointment on April 7th and that the injection was paid for by this program. Okay, I got that information the first time. It was obvious that she was reading from a script. I asked her specifically what she needed from me.

She said that she needed to ask me some questions. I asked her how long would they take. She said ten minutes. I told her that I needed to pull over and park. I was also starting to get annoyed with her constantly repeating April 7th (she is now at the fifth mention of my appointment date) and talking over me.

I was parked. I was getting so annoyed. I asked her point blank what information she needed from me. Clearly, my ophthalmologist gave her details about my date of birth. She was asking for my drug plan information. I fired back by asking whether she had it, as my ophthalmologist would have forwarded all information to her. She first disputed my claim, but then backtracked.

She then decided to call my insurance company and patch me in. I knew exactly what she was up to. She wasn't upfront with me.

I know that in Ontario (I don't know if it is Canada-wide), medical folks who need to know what coverage patients have on their medical insurance for whatever category cannot get this information directly from the insurance company. Patients need to either call and relay the information to the medical folks who need to know, or in my case, this woman decided to have me on the line, which would allow her to get the information that she needed by calling my insurance company.

She didn't get my consent. She just called. My drug plan covers 90% of the cost of all injections. I could have told her that.

We disconnected with the woman from my insurance company. This woman proceeded to explain that, should I get approved, this program would cover the remaining 10% of the cost, provided that the 10% does not go over $500 for each injection.

I basically let her have it. I gave her this feedback:

  • Right off the bat, you should let me know that this program would pick up the cost of my injections, depending on my drug plan and my eligibility in this program that is sponsored by the drug used for my injections.
  • You should point out that you need to know whether my drug plan would cover this drug. You should ask whether it is okay for both of us to call my insurance company to figure out what percentage is covered.
  • You should then let me know that a decision needs to be made as to whether the remaining 10% will be covered by the program. That decision should take another week or two.
  • When you call me, you do not need to repeat April 7th a grand total of seven times during the call. I am fully aware that I had an appointment with my ophthalmologist on Friday, April 7, 2017. I do not need it repeated seven times. Once is good enough, especially when this call is being recorded. Repeating this date so many times does not add value to our conversation. Perhaps your demographic is geared towards older folks, but it is patronizing and is not helping me relax when you won't tell me what information you need from me or exactly why you are contacting me right off the bat.
I flat out told her that I am going through enough stress that I don't need some woman to beat around the bush. Get to the point, so that I can get on with my life and you can get the information you need to continue processing my coverage.

This call, which would have taken ten minutes, ended up being 25 minutes. I vented. I told her that no patient should deal with such customer service. I am going through enough. I don't need added frustration from a woman who is reading from a script. 

I even told her to stop talking over me. This call is being recorded? Good. Let's hope that someone is monitoring it and she actually does indeed provide my feedback to her supervisor. I have worked in a call centre in my past. Often, it falls by the wayside.

She assured me that she would forward my feedback to her supervisor and apologized again. Well, thanks for delaying my drive home, making my blood pressure boil, and wasting so much time when all of this aggravation could have been avoided.

Frankly, I am at this stage where I don't care much about the 10% cost. Being stressed out isn't worth this company paying for it. I am perfectly fine with not dealing with the stress and paying for the 10%. I should be covered, but we'll see what would cause me not to be accepted in this program. My tearing a strip off her? If that happens, I'll be back again to file more grievances, even though I should focus on my health and not dealing with annoying small potatoes like this woman.

My favourite line was this woman repeating her name at the end. I told her that I already got it when she first introduced herself on the phone and when she did the same to the woman at my insurance company. Frankly, I want to forget your first name. I don't want to deal with you after this ordeal. Let's hope that I do not need to call and speak to you again. Ever.


  1. Oh good gravy, sorry you had to go through all that stress. Totally understand your frustration. Hope you are having a peaceful and restful Easter weekend.

    Hugs and blessings...Cat

    1. Thanks, Cat. It wasn't a good experience. Luckily, I have a three-day weekend to de-stress.