Thursday, July 29, 2010

How to make the Accounts Receivable woman stutter

I've had this medical bill since December.
It didn't match any of the insurance papers I had, so I held onto it.  You know, expecting the proper insurance stuff to arrive any day.

But, the insurance paper never came, and the bill didn't get paid.
So, the wording on the medical provider's statements every month got stronger and stronger.

Finally, I called the insurance company who immediately sent me the missing paperwork, and then I called the medical provider to let them know I'd be writing a check right away.

"You'll be paying that in full, then?" the Accounts Receivable woman asked.
"Oh!" she cheerfully replied, "then we can give you a 'full payment' discount!"
After she rattled off the new balance I was expected to pay, I paused.  "So... if I had paid this back in December..." said I, "which I would have if I'd had all my stuff together... I'd have paid the whole amount... but, now, seven months later, I get a discount?"
"Uh... you... we..."

Turns out, if I call ahead and let them know I'll be paying any bill in full, they'll give me a 10% break on the amount due.
Can you believe that?
After ten years of being a good client and paying off all my bills in a timely manner, they've never once TOLD me this.
Until I missed one.  Until I was a bad client.

Am I reading this wrong?
Anyone in customer service paying attention, here?
How come the bad customers get treated better than the good ones?


Andy said...

Roses, this is one of the true oddities. We have not had health insurance for over 20 years.

Each time we go for medical care, we tell them that we do not have insurance, and will be paying cash.

Often the discount can be as much as 50%. Sometimes not that much, but always something.

las794 said...

I love bureaucracy....

Dani said...

Squeaky wheel baby, squeaky wheel.

The Gray Monk said...

Rule One of the Bureaucratic Rule Book - Never provide any information to the "clien" that is to their advantage, unless they already know about it...

Try totalling up the amounts you could have saved and asking for a refund.

Teresa said...

Figures - honest people who pay their bills on time... screw 'em. I'm going to stop paying bills and see what happens.

Harvey said...

In their defense, it's not so much about "rewarding the jerks" as "cutting their losses".

At first, it's question of "getting everything" vs. "getting nothing".

After several months, it becomes about "getting something" vs. "getting nothing".

Not getting paid costs them money.

That said, I'm all in favor of leveraged negotiations. You go, girl!