February 10th, 2010

{stock} windy

Poor people are so funny!

This is a short suck that happened six months or so ago. I was reminded of it today because I was at the dentist.

I used to work at a record store, and signed up for their insurance plan. It was not very good, and only took a small amount of money off prescriptions and doctor/dentist visits, but it was better than nothing and I couldn't afford a better plan. I was supposed to get my wisdom teeth out last fall and showed up to the preliminary appointment to have them take x-rays and talk about logistics and such.

After I talked to the doctor I went up to the front desk to schedule the surgery. There were two women working at the desk, and I handed one of them my insurance card. She told me she would phone the company to find out what my co-pay would be for the surgery. A minute or so later she got off the phone, wrote something down and showed it to the other woman at the desk. They both burst out laughing. She then told me that it was only going to be $100 off the surgery or something. They started laughing again, as though it was a joke. "This thing is basically useless!" she said, handing me back my insurance card.

I really didn't find it very funny, and I decided not to get the surgery done after all. Yes, the card is basically useless - but why on earth would you say that to a customer?

Slightly WTF Service at the Sleep Specialist

A while back, my doctor decided that he wanted me to take a sleep test, which I failed (and I'm aware that it takes a special brand of fail to not be able to sleep correctly, but whatever), so last week I got a call from a local sleep clinic who informed me that my doctor sent them a referral and they wanted me to set me up with an appointment to see a specialist.

I fill out the giant stack of papers they send me and show up a good twenty minutes early (because I'm a good patient like that) for my appointment today. I hand over the manifesto of my sleep habits and my insurance card and take a seat.

A couple minutes later they call me back up and inform me that they haven't received any referral from my doctor.
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Bad service? Virgin Train

Last weekend I went to London via Virgin Train. My husband and I reserved seats in their "quiet" car, the *one* car in the standard class area of the train where you're asked not to use cell phones or have your personal stereos switched on so loud that others can hear them. The idea was that we could work and read on the train.

So we get into our pre-booked seats. Everyone is reading and working. Just before the train takes off, two noisy teenagers burst onto the train and sit directly behind us. Almost immediately they start making calls on their cell phones and are generally as loud and as obnoxious as one would expect entitled teenagers to be.

I pointed out that they were in the Quiet Car--they hadn't reserved but had grabbed free seats, that you weren't supposed to use cell phones here, and if they wanted to do so, they could do so freely in every other compartment of the train. But please not here. The rules were clearly posted for everyone to see. There was also an announcement, but the girls were so noisy, they probably didn't hear it.

The teenagers rolled their eyes and ignored us and continued to be as noisy as possible. My husband and I spoke to them once again, with no result, and then went to report this. The only person we could find was the guy working in the snack bar who said he would report it to the person responsible. But nothing happened. Five minutes before we arrived in London, some ticket taker person speedwalked through our car without making eye contact, and that was it.

So basically it appears the Quiet Car runs on the principle that people respect the rules and behave themselves. However, if they don't, the train personnel will not get involved in any useful way.

Would it do any good to write a letter of complaint? We definitely did not get the "service" we thought we had paid for.

The way back, fortunately, was quiet. Luckily everyone was on the same wavelength about the quiet business as we didn't see a single train employee--they checked our tickets on the platform before we boarded.