Category Archives: Just my opinion

I don’t get it.

Really. I don’t get it. I’ve tried and tried, but haven’t been able to beat the system yet.
When I lived in Connecticut, I received supplies for my CPAP machine thru the mail from a local company. No fuss, no muss, no issue. For two years after I moved, I received my supplies from the same company. The only complaint I had was they were too aggressive. I would get a call every week saying I need new masks, hoses, gels, anything. I had a 6 month supply of it all, and still the calls! Ahhh, the good old days.
Now the insurance company will no longer let me get my supplies mailed from Connecticut, they have to be based locally. And the battle begins. My local physician needs documentation to issue a prescription. I have to obtain this from the pulmonary physician in Connecticut. I have a tough time getting this idea across to the person on the phone in Connecticut. My Spanish wasn’t up to the task, and I never got the opportunity to press “1” for English. First, they didn’t understand what or why I wanted a copy of my sleep study, then they insisted I already had it. I thought I had finally gotten the point across when I asked “Why would I have this? Should I have used it as an insert for that year’s Christmas card?” They finally agreed to mail me a information release form to send back to get the information.
Two weeks come and go,and lo and behold, I get the form. To paraphrase it “Enter name here, sign, and fax back”. Pretty complex, eh? To make sure I get the correct information needed, I contact my local physician. They tell me to fill it out, give it to them and they will take care of it.
A month passes, and nothing happens. I’m not too concerned, because I’m still using the pile of supplies I’ve received and stockpiled from the first company. I decide to follow up and see where I stand. I stand in the middle, as the supply company and my doctor’s office insist that they are waiting for the other person to proceed. It’s medical keep away! Neither party will call the other, not cricket, old chap! Neither will release the information to me, since I don’t have Dr. before my name. Both of them insist the issue does not lie with them. We’re talking non-narcotic medical supplies with a street value of zero. It’s not like I’m looking for the codes to launch nuclear missiles. If you need that code, it’s HillaryIsaLoser#1. I think it’s was recently changed by the new administration.
I decide to try a different tack. I call my original Connecticut physician, the one who ordered the test at the pulmonary lab in the first place. They call me back in 10 minutes, they have everything, they just need a release form faxed to them by my South Carolina physician. Progress! I call the SC doctor, and talk once again to someone in the office, and now it has to be reviewed by the physician. I guess my “Best if used by” date has expired.
So to recap my tale of woe, I went from a supplier who thought I was running a warehouse to a supplier that treats their inventory like it’s irreplaceable. I have two doctors offices that are waiting to hear from each other, and another who insists I already have everything. I wonder what college offers a B.S. in bureaucracy. They’re doing a heck of a job!

It’s a secret

We’re adjusting well to our new location. The weather,the house, the neighbors are all great. I just didn’t realize we were moving into an area with such a high level of security. What do I mean? I’ve have seen more advertising on TV and newspaper in this area that either assumes you know where they’re located, or just don’t want to tell you.
Car dealers advertise they’re located on Highway 17. Great! Highway 17 runs from Charleston SC to Wilmington NC, and to make it more interesting, there are at least TWO Highway 17s. One is referred to as “Business” and the other is called “The Bypass”. So why do I get confused, I mean one is listed as Business? Because there are businesses on the Bypass. Or they will say they are right next to another place you don’t have a location for. “We’re near the Mall” Which mall? There’s 3 malls within 20 miles of here!
Real estate companies list everything by neighborhood: the house is in the Lakes, or Ocean Oaks or some other cute name. I’m new here, and I want to buy a house: which lake do I go to? Do I have to look for Oaks and then an Ocean to know where I am?
Finally, and my favorite, was a newspaper ad for a bar. It has discounted wings during the football games, $2 drafts, trivia, and a bar menu. It has an email address of XXXXXX@Aol.com What it apparently doesn’t have is a name or a building, because the ad ran for a week without a name or an address, not even an address as bad as “Highway 17” or near the Mall. The only thing I can figure out is it’s a front for the CIA. A friendly front, with $2 drafts and discount wings, but a front, nonetheless. It’s just my opinion.

Adventures in cable land

I recently had the misfortune of ordering a service upgrade from a cable provider. I suppose I must bear part of the blame. I didn’t know in some cultures, the word “upgrade” is synonymous with the word “cancel”. The company scored an almost perfect score: they screwed everything up except the billing process.

What should have been a simple modem / router swap out turned into no phone ore internet and limited cable for 3 days, 9 hours on the phone, promised discounts that haven’t occurred, and finally a service visit from a real, live human being.

Did you know your cable company does not give your phone number or address to their service technicians when they dispatch them for repairs? That was the explanation I received after waiting all day for a call to schedule service. I was told the service tech couldn’t call me, because they didn’t have my phone number. When I asked how that’s possible, since I have to enter the “phone number associated with my account” every time I talk to them, I was told the techs don’t have access to my information.   I asked “If you don’t tell them where to go, and how to contact me, how do they do their jobs?” I got a stony silence on the phone.

It turned out that despite my signing up on their website and receiving a confirmation call from a bad accent, they had no records of my upgrade or service, but sure as heck knew how much they were billing me for my non-existent service.

I received an online survey about a month later. Under “comments” I wrote: Convicted terrorists should be forced to deal with your customer service as a penalty for their crimes”. Apparently, that was too subtle.

Yesterday, I received a phone call from the cable company about an upgrade I ordered, and then canceled. I told the caller the upgrade had been done, and I was being faithfully billed for it. He said, “No, I’m calling about the upgrade to XXX Street, Unit YYY.” I told him I didn’t own property at XXX Street, Unit YYY. He then insisted I give him the address of my home. I told him to be fruitful and multiply, but not in those words. Simple, yes?

So today what happens? Another survey in the email, and another phone call. They can’t keep track of my services, but boy are they interested in me. I suppose I should be grateful. Now I know where all of the people who flunk out of the Discount School for Nuclear Reactor Operators go to work.