Something Beautiful or Humorous: Apples that Eli painted

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Consumer Brats Of The World, Unite!!

Before I had kids, when I had more control over my time & I had more energy to divert to other things, I was a consumer brat. I would demand perfect service at restaurants & stores, money back & other compensation when it wasn't. I wrote letters & sometimes got apologies & free stuff. We would always get stuff from bad experiences with airlines, especially. And I would also realize when an experience was a good one. We sometimes made an employee's day by complimenting them to their manager or writing a positive letter. You can sometimes get free stuff by writing positive letters, too. After a while you start getting good at it and keeping track of details, names, dates, and learning which people can give you what you want.

Well, it's been a LONG time since I've yelled (I mean REALLY YELLED) at a customer service rep. on the phone. I just got off the phone with Quest Diagnostics (you know, the place where you go if you ever have to have your blood tested for anything). It was the most enraging, blood-pressure raising experience I have had in months (and that's pretty amazing, seeing as I deal with tantrum throwing toddlers day and night). They have been sending me bills for something from Oct. 2005 and I have made phone calls and sent faxes and jumped through every hoop to get them off my back! A) It was the insurance company's responsibility & not mine and B) The insurance company already paid them back in Nov. 2005, and Quest doesn't need to be sending me anymore bills, especially now in Dec. 2006!!!!

Today marks my return to consumer brat-hood. I'm NOT writing them a letter because the LAST thing I want is more contacts with them or service from them! But my way of fighting back is to ask all of you to NEVER DO BUSINESS WITH QUEST DIAGNOSTICS AGAIN! I sure won't. Every time we have had labwork from them, they have billed us instead of billing the insurance company. Why? Worst case scenario for the reason why: They make 6 times more money if I pay them. So if patients "accidentally" pay them instead of having the insurance do it... oh well!! They were charging me $120 and the amount the insurance company pays them (because they have a discount agreement) is $22. Best case scenario for why they would bill me every time & not the insurance co.: THEY ARE IDIOTS and can't send things to the insurance company without the patient walking them through it!!

Ok, you say, but that's just the billing department. The lab technicians are so smart and accurate. Not so. Once I went there for a glucose test to see if I had diabetes after Mia was born. They sent the results back to my doctor saying I had taken a Fasting Glucose test when in fact I hadn't. I had taken a 2-Hour-After-Eating Test, where your numbers are allowed to be a lot higher. So when the doctor saw how high my number was, he thought I had diabetes, when in fact, I don't. It makes me really wonder about all the other tests I've been through, and also my kids! Errors at labs can be so dangerous.

The medical & insurance industries are SO MESSED UP. Think how much worse it would be if it were all government run. (But that's a good topic for another blog...) I'm grateful that since Quest is a private corporation, we have at least a few other choices. We aren't forced to give them any more of our dollars. So if you deal with Quest Diagnostics, you are either dealing with dishonest crooks or you're dealing with idiots. So go ahead. Get your labwork done by them. Suit yourself. See what happens. OR you could say to the doctor that refers you there, "No, thank you. I'd like to go to a different lab."

5 Quick Things That Made Me Happy Today

  1. Reading books to Mia & hearing her repeat all the new words she was learning
  2. Crisp cool air at the playground & sun on my face
  3. Fresh squeezed citrus juice
  4. has the survivor episodes online that you can view in their entirety for free! It solved my problem of needing to catch up on my shows. (The DVR didn't have enough space to record all the shows we're behind in. The last episodes we watched were back around Thanksgiving!)
  5. 15 Cent Books! I was at Lorton Library and they had just put out a bunch of used books for sale. (If you're local, you should go check it out. 15 cents a book or 7 for $1) I found some really beautiful books in perfect shape. Dr. Seuss, Lois Ehlert, Cynthia Rylant & other fun books.

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