Customer Service is Job 1…

April 30th, 2011 | Leave a comment | Customer Service
Customer Service is Job 1…

I have a problem with a medical bill – billed for the same procedure supposedly performed twice in 13 days.

I call to inquire – “you have to dispute it in writing.” What about the bill? “It won’t go to collections for three months, if you get another bill, just call to tell us you’ve disputed it.”

I get another bill. I call back.

Friendly computer-generated voice: “Your estimated wait time is 60 seconds”
…five minutes later…..
“Thank you for calling, our hours of operation are 9am-5pm. If you have reached this recording and it is between those hours, we apologize. Please try your call again later.”

Friendly computer-generated voice, who doesn’t seem at all apologetic at how our last encounter ended: “Your estimated wait time is 1 minute, 10 seconds.”

Less friendly human, who comes on the line two minutes later: “I see that you called last month.”
Me: “Yes, and I was told to call again this month if this hadn’t been settled, to let you know why it hadn’t been paid.”
Somewhat human: “Well, it won’t stop the bill from going to collections.”
Me: “I was told last month it was nowhere near going to collections.”
Allegedly human, after a long pause: “No, not for two months.”
Me: “So then I don’t have to worry about it going to collections.”
Perhaps human: “This won’t stop it from going to collections.”
Me: “So, will you make a notation on the account that it hasn’t been paid because of a written dispute?”
Human-like, after a longer pause: “I’ve made a notation. But that won’t stop it from going to collections. Is there anything else?”
Me: “No. Thanks so much for your courtesy and help.”

Next time, I think I’ll stick with the friendly computer voice.


The Whiner is finally going public, after decades of annoying, aggravating and trying the patience of friends and family. The Whiner’s background is in media, business and the internet, so his Whines often focus on stupid or incomprehensible events in those areas. However, they also focus on the incredible incompetence and obliviousness he encounters in his everyday life.

You may encounter the same level of daily frustration as the Whiner does. However, he doubts it.

In real life, The Whiner does have a name, an MBA, and a consulting business specializing in common sense solutions to media and internet problems. Reach him via email – or join him on Facebook or Twitter.


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