pipiare (pipiare) wrote in bad_service,
pipiare
pipiare
bad_service

I'm posting a bit on behalf of my sister, but really it's my entire family that's been having problems.

We met this dentist through our church; the bad service is not with him - he was kind, gentle, and understanding, and charged reasonable prices. However, when his son took over the business after he retired...

 Dentist Jr. was not exactly a bad dentist, but he was distinctly lacking in the warm bedside (well, reclining-chair-side) manner his father had. At first his reminding about appointments and scheduled x-rays was nice because, well, as a family we are rather forgetful. However lately this gentle reminding has become more and more pushy. We blamed this mostly on new office staff until two recent incidents.

This early spring, Cannon contacted my father to see if they could use some of his pictures to show off a large-format printer. My father has written several books on astrophotography, so he was all too happy to let them do this, especially since Cannon paid him in the large prints, which he then had framed. Dentist Jr. heard about this on one of our check-ups and was very enthusiastic about trading some framed prints for dental work. It seemed like a win-win situation, as Dentist Jr. got some lovely new work to put on his walls, and we would get dental work for essentially the price of framing the prints. (These were all very large photographs, so they more than cover the cost of dental work for the entire family this year.)

However. (There's always a "however" in these long stories, isn't there.) This summer, we started receiving bills from them that showed amounts past due, and interest charged on those amounts. My father called the office, they assured him that it was just some clerical error and that it had actually all been taken care of with our credit for the pictures. Understandable one time, because in this day and age exchanges like this don't happen very often. However about the third time this happened - with apparent accumulating interest - it wasn't so funny anymore. It seemed like the office staff was dodging our calls - putting them directly to voicemail, people not returning our messages before going on extended vacations (and of course they were the only ones that could fix it), so on and so forth. It took my father going in to their office and staying around until they had time to talk to him for the situation to be fixed. Since Dentist Sr. was a good family friend, and Dentist Jr. still goes to our church, we assumed that this was mostly the fault of the new office staff, and were assured that it would not happen again.

The last straw though came this morning. My sister went for her checkup about 4 weeks ago, where they noticed a spot that the assistant had Dentist Jr. come look at. They both agreed that it was just a stain, took x-rays just in case, and confirmed it. Today they called wanting my sister in immediately, because it apparently was a cavity. However, it's 'immediately' on their time: Dentist Jr. is going on yet another vacation the end of this week, and there are no openings today, so they tried to get my sister to make an urgent appointment next week. When she said she couldn't - next week is when her classes start, and she will be very busy - they only tried to pressure her more about how this was definitely a cavity and she needed to have it looked at immediately.

This is starting to sound less and less like a good dentist practice, and more like Dentist Jr. needs money for another boat payment and is therefore shaking us down for more cash!
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