Custom Search

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Dental Distress Over or Not Over?

Thanks to all for your comments, many of which I used when I spoke to the dentist herself.  I would like to stay with the dentist, if possible. We had an incompetent dentist for many years and the new one is good. As far as I can tell, there is but one other good dentist in the area. It is a field with a lot of incompetence, I'm afraid, and little recourse for patients.

The receptionist (who took payment AFTER--unbeknownst to us--sending bill to collection agency, which is perhaps illegal and definitely unethical) insists that the bill never got to the agency. I called the agency and they have no record with Mr FS's name. However, they did say to keep checking back. How long should I do this for?

I had a long chat with the dentist. She kept repeating two things: "I think $200 is a lot of money" and "I'm sorry you feel that way."

As for the first, I refrained from responding with the obvious riposte: "If it's so much money, why did you send it to collection, which takes half the money??"

As for the second: this one burns me up. There are times when it IS appropriate. But it has become a customer service cliche that--like the passive voice--absolves the speaker of responsibility. So every time she said that, I said "Are you saying that my feelings are without cause or justification?"

Finally, she did relent on this and said that she would make a personal call to patients before sending a bill to collections. I don't know how much her feelings are shaped by the $5000 in upcoming treatments we have mapped out.

I do have a lot of hostility remaining. A decent dentist a short walk down the street...that may be worth dealing with my anger.

My last (I hope!) question: how many more times should I check with the credit agency? Should I ask for something in writing from the agency and from the dentist's office before scheduling any work?

And once more: THANK YOU.


tess said...

Boy, I did not care for the dentist's attitude. Seems like medical and dental offices usually send out at least 3 reminders.

I would definitely get things in writing and recommend shopping around for a new dentist. Check yelp reviews to see what dentists are recommended. I found a massage place that help end 2 months of horrible sciatic pain.

PattyRules said...

Wow, definitely not a good attitude on the part of the dentist. Would like to hear more from you!
Click Here

Cornelia said...

I think the dentist's attitude annoys me more than the inept accountant's mistake and I sure as heck would move on.

Cornelia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Patience_Crabstick said...

Wow, I was kind of betting that the dentist would be falling all over herself to apologize and would promise to chastise her billing staff. I'm surprised that she thinks $200 is a lot of money. This was her justification for sending your bill to a collection agency? That seems like a fairly small bill to me, although I work in oncology where a single dose of a single drug can cost thousands of dollars.

dotsybabe said...

First, I love your rejoinder and will have to remember to use it myself when I hear that grating "I'm sorry you feel that way." Second, $200 is a lot of money to you too, or did she forget that you are the one paying the bill? Third, if it were me in this situation, I would look around for another dentist. There are several on-line sources (some free, some not) that can help you find another dentist. I think a DDS who doesn't value your feelings and concerns doesn't deserve your patronage.

Rosa said...

I would definitely be looking around for another dentist, if only because I think a dentist this insensitive to matters like this might be inclined to do less than her best work for a patient who had complained about something in her practice.

I have a really good dentist now and a large part of why she is so good is because her office staff is so incredibly competent. (On the other hand, I have an amazing optometrist who I loathe seeing because his office staff are rude, arrogant and incompetent. Ugh.)

Duchesse said...

Check with the agency quarterly, two more times. Should be enough.

I would try the one other dentist, for a routine cleaning. Why put up with this if you don't have to?

The current dentist's rote response to you seems to indicate she does not get it, and therefore, I doubt she ever will.

Frugal Scholar said...

@Everybody--Thanks again to all, and will follow up as you suggest. As i mention in today's post, the conversation was more cordial than I have made it sound. I'm still angry at the whole thing, unfortunately. The dentist acknowledged that she doesn't attend to office issues, but that she will make some changes now that I've brought problems to her attention. We shall see. As I also mention in today's post, there is one more good dentist in my area. He's the back-up.