I am only an occasional blog-ranter, though I am my family's designated ranter in real life. I am pretty good at it, but it takes a lot out of me. Sometimes, however, I over-rant. Worse, I sometimes rant unfairly. These rants, I should say, are generally customer service issues and are not part of my dealings with my dear students.
My most recent rant. We tried to pay Miss Em's $200 dental bill by phone, but the phone was never answered. Eventually, we got through and left a message. Since we never heard back, we called the office a few days ago.
The receptionist/money person (who is not very competent, I'm afraid) said "Oh, we sent that to a collection agency. You will have to pay a fee." Mr FS reported this and I felt my rant coming on. So I called back.
My comments are in bold.
1. We CALLED to pay the bill two weeks ago. Response: we never got the message (the messaging service this dentist uses is also incompetent and we once did not receive a response to a semi-emergency. Dentist promised to change services.)
2. Did the doctor get a new service? Answer: No.
3. Why did you send this to a collection agency (the bill was recent!)? Response: Oh, "they" come in now and then and take all the bills.
4. We spent between $4000-$5000 over the past year, all paid for. Is it really worth it to send a bill representing a tiny percentage of that to a collection agency. Especially given the fact that the dentist has prescribed another $5000 in dental work for Mr FS????
I asked for the dentist to call me, since I am pretty sure she does not know what's going on at the front desk--most medical professionals remain blissfully and purposely ignorant of the money side of their businesses. She did leave a message.
Question: was I right to get upset over this? And, if so, why? I think #4 above is the most upsetting to me. I believe the office showed a serious lack of consideration for a very good--let's face it--CUSTOMER.
The front-desk person called us also and said that she looked through the emails from the answering service and that there was an email about our call and that it was TOTALLY her fault....
Also, how can I make sure the Collection Agency did not put this on our Credit record? My in-laws had to pay a disputed $15 charge more than 20 years after the fact when they needed a bridge loan...
What should I say to the dentist when I call back on Monday? Mr FS said I was right in content but that my tone was probably too harsh.