Saturday, February 5, 2011

Messing With Bill Collectors

Okay, so this post has nothing to do with driving a bus, but it was too good not to share.

I admit it, i'm not the best when it comes to paying my bills on time, all the time. I do get to most of them by at least the 2nd or even 3rd notice. Not really, but occasionally, I do have bills that slip my mind. These are usually unpaid balances on a medical service that I received ONCE way back when. Normally, I'll get a bill like that in the mail, think nothing of it, then when it hits second notice, will send out the money because it slipped my mind the first time.

Two years ago in December 2008, I had a Sinus CT scan done. I thought nothing of the visit since I did not have a co-pay. My insurance covered it all, or so I thought. December 2010, I get this random phone call from an 888 number stating I had a message waiting. So I called back and a lady answers with, "Hello?" No indication that it was a company she worked for, no indication that it was a creditor looking to rectify a bill, NOTHING.

I explain my random phone call from the number, and she places me on hold with a rude, "Hold on." Then she comes back and says very snippingly, "You have an unpaid bill of $6.86 from *Radiology* for a CT scan back in 2008, you need to pay it now." It caught me off guard and being that it was right around the holidays, my first thought was that it was a scammer trying to get my information. My second thought was that if I hadn't seen a bill initially (back in 2008/2009), then I have no idea what she was referring to. Keep in mind, she answered the phone very unprofessionally, so I was right to be cautious. I told her, "Send me a paper bill, because I need to double check with my insurance that I do owe this amount. I also don't feel comfortable with giving my credit card information over the phone." She retorted with, "We wouldn't take your information anyways, there would be a 10 dollar charge to have it processed if we did."

So I hung up and waited. Two weeks later, a bill did appear in my mailbox. I had gone through my insurance claims and found the one claim they were referring to. Again, at this point I had no recollection of receiving a bill for the services at the time of the service. I put it on my "to do" clipboard and ignored it, thinking still that it might be a scam. I got another call from the same 888 number. By this time I was getting irate because they answered the phone in the same snippy tone. All this was over a bill for something that SHOULD have been simply written off. We're arguing over 6 dollars and 86 cents here.

I called the *Radiology* place directly and, after reaffirming they DID send a bill, I got told, "You're not the only one who owes $6.86." Now you pissed me off and insulted me. I had half a mind to get the money in small change, tape it to the envelope in duct tape and send it off duct taped like Fort Knox. I ended up getting a money order instead, costing me 45 cents. I also had to provide my own stamp for THEIR return envelope. So, I did the next best thing. I typed up an itemized Invoice, billing them for the cost of the stamp and for the cost of the money order. A whopping 89 cents. Looking back, I should have included the cost of the paper too. Hopefully, I pissed off the person who opened it, saw my bill to them and thought, "This is Stupid!"

My sentiments EXACTLY.

The Bus Driver


early years resources sam said...

Lovely post. Thanks for sharing


Kratik said...

Very well written.
A great experience and yes, it sure was too good not to share. Well, you didn't include the cost of the paper. nothing big happens all he time.

Have you ever felt grateful to your teachers. Well, if you haven't, I sure have.
Read this...

Anonymous said...

Jeez man, just pay your bills.