Tuesday, January 4, 2011

At The Tone Press…

Don’t you just love filling out paperwork, especially when it comes down to insurance companies and doctors, either one by themselves can be confusing, but get them together and it’s a whole new ball game with no one knowing the score.

I get this little form once a year for my Doctor to fill out, saying that my condition is exactly the same and has not changed, the insurance company requires this form each year since I retired disabled, how long are we going to do this I asked? It appears that I get this pleasure for about twenty more years, as long as I am still retired and/or disabled, now since I retired disabled I don’t think the company is going to call up and say “Hey Jimmy why don’t you come back to work” and my Doctor says that I need to get used to this disability thing, so it appears he has gotten himself at least twenty more of these forms to fill out.

Back in November I received the form and filled out my part, took his part to him and it was placed into my file, the Doctor was going to fill it out and call me the next day to come and pick it up, next day we call and it wasn’t ready, so we call back later in the day and the nurse informs me that it had been filled out, but rather than wait for us to come and pick it up, she dropped it in the mail to us, and faxed a copy to the insurance company, a win/win I am thinking, but yet you know better…right.

Today I get a letter from the insurance company with the term “Third Request” written boldly across the top, good thing the nurse actually mailed me a copy, so I will place it in the mail as it should have been back in November, but first I will call the insurance company and explain my situation.

I dialed the 800 number and had Mrs. Computer answer, in a long drawn out monotone voice that shoots right through your head, a list of options are given and I miss everyone of them, half were in other languages and I do remember the first one had the word claim in it, at the end I was told by Mrs. Computer to either say or press the number I wanted so rather than listen again I just pressed one, now I got another menu sending me down another road, I don’t like lists of options I just want to talk to someone, I learned a long time ago, if in doubt just say “Operator” so I did.

The computer hesitates and the monotone voice came across a bit agitated saying “You are requesting to speak with Customer Service, say yes or no” I said that’s right, a bit louder the computer repeated the request, but I swear it slowed down when it said “Say Yeeeesssssss or Nooooo” so I said Yesssss, to speed up the process please either say or enter your social security number or claim number, now I may have been born on the weekend but it wasn’t last weekend so I repeated “Operator”, we must have either your Social Security Number or Claim number to speed up the process, this process was going on fifteen minutes now so I played along, I punched in my claim number which looks like an automobile VIN number, the agitated computer comes back and informs me that this was not a valid number and again asks for my Social, I simply repeated “Operator”, I thought I heard a disgusted sigh, and was told, please hold and I will connect you.

Good Afternoon “It’s A Bright Sunshiny Day” Insurance Company this is Susanna how may I help you, I said, you know something, I sure miss the day when a real person answered the phone, she laughed and confirmed she did also, and said let me have your claim number, I told her that the computer did not recognize the number and she laughed again and said she wasn’t surprised, I gave her my VIN/claim number, she hesitated, then said I see why your number wasn’t recognized, this is the disability department and you need to talk to the claim department, I said but I did call the phone number listed on my form, she said that is correct, we have the same number let me transfer you to that department, she rattled off a page of required disclaimer information that I have no idea what she was talking about and I heard a loud Beep Beep.

Good Afternoon this is “It’s A Bright Sunshiny Day” Insurance Company, our business hours are from 8:30AM to 5:00PM Eastern Time Monday through Friday, at the sound of the tone listen to the list of options required for you to reach the person you want to leave a voice mail for, please input your claim number…

I had been on the phone for what seemed forty-five minutes and the time now was about five minutes after five eastern. Did I input any numbers or listen to any options required to leave a voice mail, nope I am now sealing an envelope and snail mail will just have to do the job, it’ll most likely get there long before I get past the computer voice.


  1. i'm g;ad i'm not the only one who has this problem and i to hate filling these appers out seriously save a tree

  2. I feel your pain!!!!! I had to chuckle at you saying, "that's right" instead of a Yes or No. I don't think I have an accent, but Mrs. Computer can never understand my responses and I end up repeating myself frequently when making those calls. Similar to how I have to ask those in India to repeat themselves everytime I make a call for technical help with my computer!

  3. ACH! I feel the frustration. Many days I have almost felt like tears...or throwing the phone across the kitchen.
    I miss real---- REAL people.

  4. I know that frustration. I tried to pay a bill online the other day, and it kept asking me for a new checking account number even though mine was stored in the system. Then I put it in again and it told me that it already existed...when it finally let me pay, it then told me I exceeded allowable payments. Then, I tried by phone, same process as you...about 30 minutes later, success! Or at least they gave me a confirmation number, I haven't checked my account to see if it went through! Arghhhh those telemated systems!!!!!

  5. Please Press 1 if you would like a comment on this post.

    Please Press 2 If you would like the comment in Chinese.

    Please Press 3 if you would like Betty to come over and smash your phone for you.

    Thank you for pressing 3. All our Betties are currently busy.....

  6. I'd be happy to fill these forms out if I could get the damned approval in the first place. I could scream. They will drive you to a nervous breakdown.

  7. OMGosh--I'm just starting this journey and have only been into it one year! Is this what I have to look forward to?


    Great stuff!


  8. I absolutely hate calling and talking to a machine. I just keep hitting the # key and usually it gets me to a real person.

  9. Hey Becca, Our technology is so great but yet we waste so much time attempting to get around the systems that are slowing us down in the name of technology, I agree save a tree and do away with unnecessary paperwork.

    Good Morning Cocotte, Just as I said “that’s right” I knew it was the wrong answer Ha Ha, a real person would have understood, it is so frustrating trying to listen to all the options and pick the correct one, yes I too have spent hours with the technical support teams so far away who barely understand our language.

    Dawn, I am with you, look at how much time could be saved, just by having a real person on the other end :^) Yep throwing the phone has come to my mind more than once.

    Hey Suzicate, I so hate punching in any information for the computer systems, because once you get to a real person you always have to repeat them anyway, I wonder where the numbers I punched in are stored if that person does not have them, at least you got a confirmation number but I would double check the account.

  10. Good Morning Betty, “Thank you for pressing 3. All our Betties are currently busy.....” isn’t that just how it turns out just when you think you have actually found a real person.

    Hey Barb, Getting the approval can really be a pain, I actually knew a lady who was completely confined to a wheelchair, and she ended up having to go before a judge to show that she was disabled. Some things are just not right.

    John, I think this is just part of it, it has to be a challenge for us it seems, would bee too easy otherwise :^)

    JM, I am with you, heck this is the main reason I skip drive throughs, just so I wont have to talk to the speaker, I suppose this is a whole other post though, I end up saying Operator over and over, next time I’ll try the # key, Thank you my Friend.

  11. Jeeze Louise, I hate that. It's one of those "You can't get there from here" things. Drives me insane!

  12. Hey Linda, That is exactly how you feel Ha Ha and sometimes you just can't get there from anywhere.

  13. Oh Jimmy I feel your pain.. I called our Electric Company recently as I had not rcvd my bill (from moving to the new house, I wanted the old bill ). Well for goodness sake I was outside talking on my cell phone and the wind blowing kept giving me a response of, "I'm sorry that is not a valid extenstion"..

    30 minutes later I finally got through to the right dept all to be told, "Ms Hayes, there is no amount due. You cleared that up with the transfer.."

    Figures, right?

    Have a great day tomorrow..

  14. Lynne, Isn't it funny how hard a simple request can be, so funny that you would like to either pull your hair out or reach through the phone and unplug their computer :)

    Go figure that it took 30 minutes for them to tell you that you owed nothing :(

    A Great Tomorrow to you too my Dear Friend

  15. "you know something, I sure miss the day when a real person answered the phone..."

    OH. MY. GOD! I sooooo know what you mean, Jimmy!

    I know this computer voice customer service 'thing' is suppose to speed up customer service in order to handle more calls, but it doesn't. It only makes it slower, frustrating, and more confusing.

    And talk about fililing out paperwork! Back in July when I had my teeth worked on, it took me 45 minutes to fill out all the paperwork. Grrrrrr!

    Great post, buddy! It's so true!

  16. Yes Sir Ron, I am like you in thinking the service slows down the process more so than it helps, things could be much easier but why should things be easier :)

  17. another nail in the coffin of life as we know it. I don't think it's any accident that when you want to SPEND money, you get right through. When you need something, or are trying to avoid spending money, these process slow the whole thing down to a crawl...
    I hate these things and I feel your pain Jimmy!

  18. It is amazing Pat that these systems are supposed to make life easier, you are right in that it moves much faster when you are spending money.


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