Phone Heaven/Phone Hell

I knew I was in trouble when the voice prompt asked if I wanted more information about my prescription. “No, said I. The disembodied computer voice told me anyway!

A few weeks ago I wrote about my trouble getting Stef’s Connecticut registration properly off-the-books. After a little phone tree hell I spoke with Jackie–my guardian angel at the DMV. Today I met her equally angelic co-worker Ann.

As it turns out there was still paperwork to be processed and a few hoops to jump before we could be straightened out.

“Don’t worry,” said Ann.

You know what? I won’t!

For my end of the deal I cajoled Stef to take a photo of her current insurance card and email it to me. I then forwarded the photo to Ann.

I so want this journey to be over, but this is the DMV. Its evil might be more powerful than the combined goodness of Jackie and Ann.

As long as I was trying my luck on the phone I rang up my insurance company to renew a prescription. They make it cheaper to get the drugs by mail but then make you jump through hoops!

Insurance companies and other users of voice driven systems try their best to reduce their employees time on the phone. Unfortunately, they are free and easy with mine. It’s almost as though they don’t care.

OK–not almost. They really don’t care about my time. Do they?

I knew I was in trouble when the voice prompt asked if I wanted more information about my prescription. “No,” said I. The disembodied computer voice told me anyway!

After any yes/no question was answered by me the automated voice waited three or four seconds before giving an acknowledgment. It was a demeaning experience. Truth is we’ve democratized this type of experience to the point where everyone is uniformly treated like crap!

The low point came when my order had been entered. I was told my cost would be $70. The voice then asked if I still wanted to get the prescription filled!

If you want to know what’s wrong with our insurance system there’s a perfect example. No one should ever have to answer that question. No one should deprive themselves of needed medication because it’s expensive. I can afford the drugs, but I’m sure people hear that $70 prompt every day and are forced to say “No.”

In the end every part of my prescription experience was cold, uninviting and devoid of human compassion. Maybe the idea of the insurance company is to discourage me from spending their money. Ya’ think?

If Ann and Jackie could handle all my calls for help the world would be a much better place!

4 thoughts on “Phone Heaven/Phone Hell”

  1. You chose the stock photo of the “blue” pills? Heh heh.
    Right on with the post re: insurance companies and hospitals.

    When I had a minor, but annoying surgery that required a few nights in the hospital, the hospital sent me an un-itemized bill for $28,000, kindly leaving me the option to by Visa or Mastercard. They knew I had insurance; boy, did they ever confirm that before I hit the table. So, why did they waste the paper, envelope, and stamp sending me that dopey invoice? I had to call them, waste time with them on the phone, only to be told not to pay anything until all the insurance came in. I received 3 bills in the interim and a collections call!

    The alternative would have been to wait for my insurance to come in, then bill me once for the co-pays, and never call me. Wouldn’t that have been cheaper?

    Other than that, the care was great!

    1. Aren’t the blue pills you’re referring to actually pills and not the capsules shown? In any event, I was talking about Lipitor.

  2. Oops. I guess they are. Good point. But the unintentional insult was that I said you (of all people) used a stock photo. It looked professional enough to be one!

    Hope the Lipitor works for you. It has helped many friends.

  3. Geoff,
    Thanks once again for the morning chuckle! There have been MANY times for me I have had to say no to the pharmacist….after finding out the price…and what my insurance was not going to cover. My doctor yelled at me for not taking my cholesterol meds…and I said to her…”Do you realize how much this stuff costs??”…after that she gave me samples from the office shelf!

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