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Getting my consumer bitch on

I like to think I am, by and large, very patient and reasonable.

This belief, coupled with the fact that the first words I can remember hearing my mother say on the telephone were "Let me talk to your supervisor," lends spine to my approach when a company has my money and is not giving me what they promised in return.

Yesterday, brainiacfive attempted to make an appointment to see our supposed PCP (primary care physician, for those fortunate enough not to be versed in HMO-speak), and was told they would be unable to make an appointment for him until the end of July. Today, I gave them another chance, and was told the same thing, as well as that it was because they didn't have anything for "new patients" until then. Apparently it doesn't matter that they've been listed as our PCP for over a year; if you haven't actually been in the office before, you're considered a "new patient" and sent to the back of the line. (Alas, havocthecat, it appears the reason your doc has reasonable scheduling is that they have the sense to say "no more!" before taking on more patients than they can handle. What a concept.)

Last time we went through this (when our previous PCP retired), it was something like six weeks before the change of PCP went through. Thankfully, after I called our provider group (the layer of bureaucracy between the insurance company and the doctors) and opened the conversation with a sarcastic-cheerful "Do you have any doctors taking new patients who are actually taking new patients?", I found out that the structure has changed and the insurance company only cares what group you're with. They're leaving the assignment of specific doctors to the group. And the rep I talked to was like, "Oh, no, we can change it effective June 1 because you hadn't actually seen this doctor." That, and the FOUR names and phone numbers she gave me for docs taking new patients in Elgin (along with instructions to call back once we picked one, and they'd get it sorted immediately), meant that we both hung up the phone much, MUCH more cheerful than I picked it up.

What do we learn from this? That it's amazing what happens when companies put people on their phones with functioning brains and the ability to actually do something about customers' problems.

And that it never hurts to have a solid opening line. ;->

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
seldearslj
Jun. 14th, 2007 09:38 pm (UTC)
I...opened the conversation with a sarcastic-cheerful "Do you have any doctors taking new patients who are actually taking new patients?"

I can hear you saying this. It's quite amusing.

(Okay, so it's a Friday morning and I didn't get much sleep and anything that will bring a smile to my face is amusing today, but still...)
wiliqueen
Jun. 14th, 2007 09:58 pm (UTC)
Hey, I'm always happy to amuse!

I don't know what it is about Consumer Bitch Mode, but people do seem to get more scared sometimes than I would really think they should. And then palpably relieved when I don't in fact eat them. All I can think is that they're twice shy from being bitten by the less reasonable ones.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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