Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Paperless Society

We have health insurance through my husband's work, including access to a nice  Flexible Spending Account plan whereby we contribute to the plan based on our expected costs for co-pays and other non-reimbursed medical expenses.  In our case, that includes dental, orthodontic, and visual expenses we approximate.  Then we submit receipts and are reimbursed the $, and realize some tax advantages.  We think the plan, which is administered by a large well-known company, is mostly just...ducky. 

When we have had an issue, I have always been able to work it out through their pleasant customer service reps.  Since they are based near my hometown, we talk the same talk.

Just today I dealt with them on a couple of claims, one of which we worked out over the phone.  You will be glad to know my October 1 payment to the orthodotist will be reimbursed at midnight tonight.  Happy Thanksgiving!

They had also denied a $10 receipt because, their very helpful customer rep explained, "It's a Walmart receipt, and Walmart prints the store name on the back, so you have to copy front and back."  I asked how he knew it was Walmart, and he said, "ummm...from the bar code."

Then we laughed, because though he could read from the car code that it is Walmart, he cannot pay it without seeing the printed, "Walmart."

So why do we have this technology?  So much for the paperless society!

Just a little note - I have worked for the power company before, and have a good idea of how a customer can explode over program rules and requirements.  I could tell my rep today feared I might blow up over the submission requirements - he was braced for impact!  Part of his laughter was just plain relief that I did not give him a hard time.  The rep on the phone (or the little gal doing the energy audit) has no control over POLICY, and cussing him/her out will not make the day go better for either of you.  When you talk to someone who works for a large company with rules and regulations, be kind.  I have never regretted speaking kindly.


Life At Camellia Cottage said...

Oh, K, you are so right! I worked for BellSouth for 30 years, and most of those years I was the first point of contact for either sales or customer service. Yelling at the person who answers the phone rarely gets your problem solved! Speaking kindly, but armed with knowledge and patience will get you so much farther!

Wishing you and yours a wonderful Thanksgiving!!! Becky

Anonymous said...

Just yesterday I was in a store and the customers ahead of me were so rude to the cashier, treating her as if she was only there to serve. When it was my turn, I was sure to give her plenty of smiles and made her laugh. I tried to lift her spirits. I guess that's part of being "light" in this dark world- we have to do our best to upset the balance.

Anonymous said...

Good Morning, Glad to hear you are pleased with your health plan and you are right about patience/kindness on the phone. I love the new look of your blog ~ wishing you a lovely Thanksgiving.

KaHolly said...

Very sage advice. The same goes with writing letters or e-mails. No matter how angry or frustrated I am, I always word them in a kind manner and most of the time, I'm rewarded in the end. Glad your insurance plan is working out for you. You are very lucky to have such a good plan. ~karen

amy said...

You are so right, a kind word can go so far! I witnessed the most bizarre thing in my life a while back. The customer in front of me berated the cashier and accused her of racism. The poor cashier was nearly in tears as she checked me out. I wanted to cry with her! I smiled and apologized for what had just happened. Whatever happened to, "If you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all!"?

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