Friday, March 25, 2011

poor customer service or just bad manners?

hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil,
the qualities of  a poor customer service person
What I want to know is when does poor customer service step over the line into bad manners or are they the same? Are people just getting by by doing the absolutely the minimum and not one iota more or is it just my impression? Am I the only person who still takes pride in the way I treat people  and in the things I do?

I went for my routine mammogram last month, prior to my appointment they called to get my insurance information. I'm sure they would have ruptured something if I were uninsured. My insurance is what they call a split contract, I have one card which represents both my blue cross/blue shield and my other carrier that covers doctors/ drugs- not rocket science right? I explained this to the woman (the insurance rep) prior to my appointment so that  the hospital and the attending Radiologist had the information on record with the hospital for filing purposes. She called me back after verifying that my insurance was current/active and my appointment was confirmed.

Wouldn't you know it, today I received a bill from the Radiologist. The hospital had failed to record the information I provided them about the second half of my insurance- the doctor/drug part. This bothers me to no end, no service-nothing beyond self service -them making sure they get their payment at the hospital period. So I had to call the Radiologist Group and explain the ins and outs of my insurance so that the can file the claim and get paid. I went back and looked at the print out of information they gave me at check in. You guessed right, the insurance information was only partially complete- the hospital part. Be honest people tell your patients you don't provide the doctors with insurance information for crying out loud.

Then as if that wasn't enough, the last time I saw my gynecologist at the latter part of last year they didn't have her 2011 calendar available so they told me they'd e- mail me with an April appointment. Two weeks ago when I hadn't received any such e-mail I called to make the appointment myself. They were already scheduling her appointments for June I'm guessing I was forgotten/overlooked somehow. O.K these things happen I understand that.

They were kind enough to give me the number of her personal assistant and I left a message with her explaining the situation. So I'm polite I waited for the call back thinking I'm an established patient even if they can't accommodate me with an appointment they'll surly call me and tell me so right? Today, two weeks later  and still no return phone call from the assistant, nice right?  I called back to the office to schedule an appointment thinking June's not sounding so bad after all and frankly now I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place. When I spoke to the girl in the office she told me the first available wasn't until July, two weeks ago it was June. So much for waiting for that call back that never came!!

Why is it that the best doctors have the crappiest staffs?

So what do you think? Unprofessional or just bad manners? Or both?


  1. The answer is YES Both. I implor you to write a letter to the doctor and make a formal complaint, after all he or she is self employed and would like to know what you have to say.

    Jim Dorchak

  2. I also have a little humor in this area. Years back I had to appraise a very large medical office for an out of town client. THe client specifically wanted to know what the market rents should be, or what we call a lease analysis, I charged an hourly rate of $125/hour on this job. I walked into the waiting room, knocked on the window and was yelled at to sign in and sit down. I said but... but... only to have the window slid shut in my face. It was very embarassing as the crowded waiting room heard the very loud mean woman yell at me. Two hours passed as I paitently waited. WHen my name was called the DEceptionist asked what doctor I was there to see. I said "NONE I AM HERE TO DO SOME WORK FOR THE DOCTOR AND I HAVE BEEN CHARGING $125/HR AND THAT I WOULD BE HAPPY TO SIT BACK DOWN AND WAIT SOME MORE.... The whole room broke into applause.

    Jim Dorchak

  3. I have every intention of speaking to her personally Jim, she's rather nice and very approachable. I'd feel more comfortable with the face to face- it's more my style. But rest assured it will be addressed as you can tell this kind of stuff really bothers me.

    I love your story in your second comment. My husband laughed when I read it to him and said your a man after his own heart and I can almost picture him doing something similar.

  4. That's so frustrating...I think this sort of stuff happens when "they" don't view the people on the other end of the phone as real people. We dealt with this with our daughter's medical bills...I was pushed to the point of tears several times...until I finally got one person in customer service who really cared.
    It made such a difference.
    She figured everything out and it meant so SO much. If only "they" could catch a glimpse of the impact that a little compassion and little extra effort could make.

  5. I'm sorry that you had to go thru that Kara. When there is a serious illness especially one that generates large bills the last thing one needs is an uncooperative insurance company. I'm glad that finally worked out for you.
    Compassion in my circumstance would be lovely, at this point I'd settle for a person who does their job adequately.It's very frustrating!

  6. This is why when I find a place with good customer service I keep going there, even if it is a little out of the way or it costs a little more.

  7. I agree with you strongly. If I frequent a restaurant or a store for example and I get consistent poor or rude service they loose my business- i'm outta there.


I'd love to hear what you have to say, so go ahead and leave a comment. I'll get back with a response as soon as possible.