Yessir (vonlisbon) wrote in bad_service,

It's not broken, it just doesn't work

My doctor's practice has this awesome feature where you can go onto their website after their normal office hours, fill out a quick little form asking for an appointment, and someone will call you the next morning letting you know when they can squeeze you in. I've used it three times before without any trouble, the last time being about two months ago. It's not for emergencies per se, but they do give you the option of requesting a next-day AM appointment on there so it's something that logic dictates they would have to check at least every morning.

So I did just that last night (Sunday, when they were closed). I wanted the appointment ASAP as it is for a current illness that's making me unable to go to work, and woke up this morning and waited for my call. The past three times, they've done these calls first thing in the morning. So I waited. And waited. And waited. No call, no e-mail. They've been open for four hours now, so I decided to call them myself.

Me: Hi, I requested an appointment on your website last night and I still haven't received a call about it.
Rec: Ohhhhh yeahhhhh. The um, e-mails, are down.
Me: ...
Rec: Yeah, like, we can't access them right now.
Me: Oh, the website's down or something?
Rec: No, like, the person who handles all that isn't going to be back until next week.

This is a really large, popular practice and they have one single person to handle a good chunk of their incoming appointment requests? And she's gone for a week? And they're just letting the requests pile up and be ignored for an entire week? What??

Me: ....... So y'all aren't checking the appointment requests at all?
Rec: Well, like, there's been this problem with the e-mails for a while and like some of them aren't even getting here because we switched over the systems and stuff.
Me: So that feature of your website is broken? Because there wasn't anything on the website that said it was down or anything. It looked the same as ever.
Rec: No I mean it's not broken but it's down right now. So that's why there wasn't anything saying it's broken.
Me: So the e-mails aren't getting through and there's nobody there to check them anyways?
Rec: Riiiight.
Me: So I really shouldn't be using the online appointment request feature right now?
Rec: Until we get the problem cleared up, yeah, you should probably call in for now to make appointments.
Me: But there's nothing on the website saying that you shouldn't use it?
Rec: Right 'cause like there's nothing wrong with it, it's not down, we're just having some problems with it right now because we switched over to a new system.
Me: ... I'll just go ahead and make my appointment over the phone right now, if that's okay.

So I don't know if her original story about "the girl who checks the e-mails isn't here all week" was BS or what because she never mentioned it herself more than once, but that would make it an awesomely more failtastic endeavour if it is true. Or maybe she meant "the person who handles that" to be their IT person. Either way, what the hell. Something tells me they will be getting a lot of irate calls this week.

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