Let me begin and set the stage for you and pour out a bit of a personal rant. While I don’t want to start a fight over what is right and wrong with the current health care situation in this country, I can say it is currently broken and my example is just one of many (you may have your own).
Here is what happened. My Lisa had two little moles she wanted removed. One was on her back and one on her forehead. Both were tiny and being removed for cosmetic reasons. Our personal family doctor did the procedure in his office with a local anesthetic from start to finish in less than 30 minutes and billed us $250 and insurance, while not covering it, recommend as in-network it should have been $198 and he adjusted to this amount. Our doctor said the moles were harmless and normal, but to be safe wanted to send the samples to the lab to be tested. Lisa agreed.
Then the Medical Lab sent us a bill. Are you ready? $752 for the testing a few grams of tissue. Seriously! But our insurance again said as in-network, had it been covered, it should have been $60. So, the Medical Lab choose to overcharge us by 12½ times what they should have as in-network charge. Oh, and they CAN bill anything they want and we legally would have to pay it. Had they sent a bill for 25 times the in-network rate, that is $1,500 we would have had to pay that if our insurance would not have. If covered, no matter what they charged, even $6,000 for the testing, they would have taken the $60 and that would be that.
We immediately paid the amount recommended by our insurance, on a points card, and expected that to be that as with our doctor bill. Not so fast – they wanted it all! I STRONGLY refused in a conversation with a supervisor and stated that I would never pay such an insane amount. We went back and forth and at last got a rep with the Medical Lab who agreed the amount was high and that if we could just send a copy of the recommended repriced amount as in-network, non covered, they would “adjust it off” and send a statement showing a zero balance due. In fact Lisa had this confirmed 3 times, but then things went very wrong! I get a call from the supervisor I spoke with months before saying no matter what we owed it all and must pay.
Now most of us in “point land” do not ever want ANYTHING negative on our credit reports as it can impact our chance at getting so many millions of points year after year. Lisa’s & my credit are both spotless and perfect; we always pay our credit card bill IN FULL and on time each month every month! But this was something on principle I was not ready to let go.
I told this supervisor that we had 3 confirmed conversations that we did not owe anything now and she insisted we did! But, thanks to Lisa writing down everything, who she talked to, the date, even the time, detailed notes on what was said word for word we had them. The rep from the Medical Lab had confirmed 3 times the amount would be adjusted to zero and they would honor the in-network insurance price for the testing. In the end they sent us a new statement with a zero balance due!
To be clear I would have taken this to any level and would not have paid this one. Personally I feel the amount, over 12 times what it should have been, was unconscionable, reprehensible and bordering on something RyanAir would do. I would have taken this one to court and no matter what would never have paid more than what my insurance company told me the price should have been.
What to take from this in regard to something that matters to you, since I doubt you will have testing ever done by this Medical Lab (I know I NEVER WILL EVER AGAIN), is just this – details matter!
Bloggers often tell you when it comes to offers, print the screen offer. Why? What you see on the screen is what the banks have to honor. If they make a mistake, you have them. If a rep tells you something, get their name, the time of the call, the date of the call and what you were calling about and what the rep told you. If you have an online chat, print it. Write down the date you apply for a card, print the date you are approved. Write down the date you completed the spend and if you can print a confirmation of this from the web site. The date you activated the card, and when you do, who you talked to to activate the card, that you confirmed the offer amount of points and the spend required to earn this bonus and that you are indeed eligible for the offer.
Other things. Be proactive. If points do not post, call and ask why. If they tell you wait 4-6 weeks and call back, again get this rep’s name and all the info and the do follow up at the 4 week point to not let too much time go by. Also be persistent. If it takes 6 months, stick it out for 6 months. Keep calling and asking until you get what you were promised by anyone along the way. Oh, if an airline rep tells you something, even if you seem to know this is not quite right, get their name and info etc. so you can enjoy what has been promised by the company rep.
This is a post about details; more details that can “win” your case. Say you are talking to rep one, you get sent to rep two. What place or city or department is rep two in? Are they a manager, supervisor, or other title? Oh, how long were you on the call in total. Were you on hold a long time? Did rep two agree with what rep one said or did rep two say something different? All of this can help you since if the company does not even agree on the rules how can you, the user, be expected to know them or have to be on the short end of the stick so to speak.- René
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