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December 11th, 2007

Damn it, Planned Parenthood

I had a good experience when I went to Planned Parenthood for the first time in October. The only thing that bothered me was during the interview before my exam (as I was a new patient, they were going over my forms with me) and the lady asked if I wanted a chlamydia test along with my pelvic exam. This is what happened:

Counselor: The state pays for us to do a chlamydia test with every exam, would you like one?
Me: I really don't think it's necessary.
Counselor: Are you sure? We can take the sample during the pelvic, it won't add on any more time. Plus you won't have to pay for it.
Me: Nah, I don't need it.
Counselor: It's free, you might as well. I mean you don't HAVE to, but you might as well since you don't really have to do anything. It's just a swab.
Me: Okay, fine. Go ahead.

I kind of just wanted her to shut up and I didn't really care about the test. She said it was free, it wasn't going to hurt or anything, so whatever. Not a big deal.

Well today I got an invoice in the mail from the company that did the lab work for the fee from the supposedly free chlamydia test. It says the test cost $127, it was adjusted to take $85.81 off, my insurance paid $32.96, and I have to pay $8.23. Now, that's not a lot of money at all. I don't need those eight dollars. But I'm PISSED that the lady assured me over and over that I wouldn't have to pay for the lab work. I said I didn't want it more than once but she kept saying it was free, so I said okay. Had I known I was going to get charged I wouldn't have done it; I knew I didn't have chlamydia, there was no point.

Now that's not a lot of money for me and it's not going to damage me to pay that nine dollars, but I got an adjustment plus my insurance covered most of what was left after that. A lot of the women going to Planned Parenthood don't have insurance or the money to pay for this test. So while I'm HOPING that she only screwed up this once while talking to me, I bet there were some other women who ended up getting billed when they shouldn't have.

I'm going to call them tomorrow just to make sure that I didn't receive this bill in error, and if I really am expected to pay this I'm thinking it would be fair to tell PP to pay it for me. I feel kind of bad asking a nonprofit to spend money I can afford to spend, but I want to make sure they don't do it again to someone who doesn't have the money.


EDIT:
I just called at the woman who answered told me that the state does indeed cover it for all women under 24 years of age if they do not have insurance. The woman I talked to knew I had insurance because we talked about it in that same meeting, so yeah, she screwed up. The lady who answered the phone took down my information and said she'd call me back. We'll see how this works out x_x

Comparatively speaking to some of the things I have seen here, this isn't too bad, but still.

I get that during the holidays, things get busy for sale staff and customers get annoying.   But when I  ask for a gift receipt, and the clerk tells me, I don't know how to do that, just scratch out the price when you give it to the person, I find that a bit weird that they don't know how to do something so basic.  Especially after I ask if we do it that way, will it be an issue for the receiver to return the item, the salesperson decides maybe he should  call his manager to find out how to do a gift receipt.  I can't be the only person during the holidays who asks for a gift receipt, can I?   And if you don't know how to do it for me, don't you think you should learn how to do it for the other people after me who will ask for one? Then after figuring out how to print the receipt (was one button), he handed me the gift receipts, and when I asked where my credit card receipt was, he very nastily told me it was in the bag.  

I was polite the entire time, and I get that they may hire seasonal help, who may not know everything, but I think when they are taught how to use the register, that probably should include how to print a gift receipt.  I also didn't get the impression the clerk who waited on me was seasonal help, since he was overly familiar with the manager.  I was so annoyed by the whole thing, especially when he became nasty when I only asked about the whereabouts of my  credit card receipt, I decided to buy the items elsewhere. (I know, stupid on my part to wait in another line in a different store just to make a point no one would probably care about anyway). 

So after purchasing them elsewhere, I returned the items, going to a different floor, different line with 5 registers.  And wouldn't you know when I got to the next available register, person told me that she wasn't authorized to do returns, so I had to wait for another 5 minutes for the only one of the five who was?  Who has 5 registers open, but only one with someone who can process a return?  There wasn't a specially designated return registers, so I guess that was my karma payback for trying to make a point.

On the flipside, the store where I did make the purchases had A+ customer service, and had no problem keeping the line, which had to have at least 30 people in it at any given time, moving quickly and efficiently (5 minutes from the time I got in it to the register), and despite the long line, the cashiers were pleasant to the customers.

Hey Bitch... where is my magazine?

On the 21/10/2007, I ordered a 4 issue subscription to Bitch Magazine starting with issue 37. All up, this cost me $40.00 USD or $45.00 Australian, which didn't bother me so much because hey! I'm used to importing stuff from the US and I know it aint cheap. But I really wanted this magazine because it had an article on asexuality and corresponds with some research I'm doing.

On the 7/11/2007, after I was sure that my order had been processed, I emailed Bitch Magazine asking when I could expect to receive my first copy.

Reply: The fall issue was mailed in early November. Since it is sent by surface mail, it could take up to five weeks for delivery.

I thought this was a bit strange, as the fall issue has been on sale since September 1st, but I figured they waited until they had enough subscriptions and then did a mass post.

But now it's the 11th of December and I still haven't received a copy and it's been more or less five weeks. Additionally, I have ordered stuff from the US before and it has taken maybe two weeks to reach my little home in Sydney, Australia.

Is this bad_service or am I just being impatient?

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