8 Tips 2 Get Better Customer Service & Better Health Care by da-AL

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Are you a creative person, writer, novelist, or anyone who feels like our precious time is being wasted ironing out issues with companies? I firmly believe when one consumer fights for fairness, they help all of us. With that in mind, here’s some of what works for me, especially when I’ve experienced horribly challenging times with health insurance such as the time I dealt with going through the terribleness of cancer and also when I injured my knee.

What are your tips for how to get decent service from big companies?

If your health coverage is through your employer, chances are the personnel department mediates things for you.

The rest of us like me must slug it out on our own. Before listing some of the tactics I’ve gathered which can be used anywhere and with any type of business, I owe great thanks to Obamacare.

Here in California it’s implemented as Covered California (Obamacare’s official name is the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), or the Affordable Care Act (ACA) for short.) Thanks to ObamaCare, it is illegal for insurance companies to discriminate against gender and pre-existing conditions other than tobacco use. Moreover, it ensures everyone is covered.

Note to Californians: Most know Covered California subsidizes health insurance for individuals with low incomes. (Medi-Cal helps those with zero income.) Few are aware it can broker for anyone. They’re a formidable mediator with excellent customer service! Thanks to them, it was a heck of a lot easier to work out my insurance problems.

 

  1. Above all else, stay solution-oriented and tenacious.
  2. Be emphatic about what you need and why. Make sure they know how important this is to you. Don’t settle for their doing what’s easiest for them, not you.
  3. Telephoning in addition to emailing can give more immediate and thorough results. Phone when they’re least busy: early on weekdays. Barring that, after 7pm. Forget about weekends. Even if they’re open, they’re likely super busy and their decision-makers are off-duty.
  4. Don’t waste time. Again, telephoning and not leaving things to all to email is the most effective. When using the phone, the moment they start to give you the runaround, ask to speak to their supervisor. If they’re totally obtuse, hang up and redial so you might encournter someone different to speak with. Later, be sure to fill out an online grievance form.
  5. If a grievance is not rectified within 30 days, it’s easy to file a lawsuit with the state. To find out how to do this without having to pay a private lawyer, google “how to file a consumer lawsuit.” In the case of health insurance, your broker can advise you.
  6. Don’t take things personally. Stay focused. For everyone but you, it’s just business.
  7. Refuse “No.”
  8. Keep notes regarding: A) who you spoke with, B) number you dialed, date, and time of day, C) a transaction case ID number or whatever identifier they might use, i.e., a “ticket number.”

Good luck! I’m rooting for you for all our sakes! Please add your tips below…

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Thank you unsplash.com blakeverdoorn.com

35 thoughts on “8 Tips 2 Get Better Customer Service & Better Health Care by da-AL

  1. I think everywhere we have these issues with the insurance companies. Even my husband has had two operations in this year but I was lucky because I have worked for a multinational company and they have taken care of his insurance otherwise I too would have to go from pillar to post and so much money would have gone from us to settle the bills.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That was very interesting to read! We don’t have the same problem with health insurance here in Denmark, it is just there, and we are very privileged that way, but I had or have similar problems now with the application for my pension from Germany. I usuallly get the names of persons as well, so one can refer, even if next time there will be another person. Definitely good advice for dealing with car insurance/other insurances and public service of any kind.

    Liked by 1 person

      • On the one hand, yes, on the other hand this service has to be paid for, and that is done by comparatively high taxes, and I have heard several Americans say that they can’t see why they should finance other people’s illnesses, when they themselves are never sick and don’t get anything out of the system. The same with unemployment. It can hit anybody. But the social services are declining in comparison to earlier years, public services are being privatized to make a profit, and, surprise, surprise, the taxes don’t decrease accordingly … 😉 😀

        Liked by 1 person

        • but we pay about 30% in federal taxes, plus sales tax which varies between states. here in Los Angeles it’s about 10%. moreover, privatized insurance is quite expensive. if one is lucky, it is part of employee benefits, which means it’s not free but the group insurance aspect makes it more affordable than buying as an individual. ie, for me via an employer costs about $600 a month (not including co-pays, which are fees one still pays on top of that, ie $30 per visit to general doctor, higher for specialists, more for tests, prescriptions, etc). the same would cost me as an individual about $1000 per month. I wouldn’t mind paying higher tax for better services…

          Liked by 1 person

          • We do pay a lot more in taxes here, when we were working that was over 40%. It varies with income, the lower incomes pay less percentage than the higher incomes. VAT is 25% here right now. Some few things are lower. We only have to pay for dentist appointments, whereof some services are subsidized by the government. We do pay for medicine, but there is a system, the more one needs to buy, the more one is subsidized. If you need a certain medicine, but cannot afford it, you can apply to your municipality for help. They usually comply.

            Liked by 1 person

        • it also annoys me to know that privatized insurance means that a big chunk of what we pay for it goes to all the sales involved such as advertising, sales people, etc. people who sell health insurance often make quite a lot of money

          Liked by 1 person

  3. Really useful and frankly this info can be used for so many of these huge organisations. I ran into issues with a bank back in the U.K. who made mistake after mistake wasting me six weeks of my life and dare I say it at one point left me in a shaking state of tears. Once I changed my attitude to see it as a challenge and puzzle to get what was owed to me, it became easier. Like you, writing down every single telephone conversation was a real help and sometimes, just sometimes you actually get through to a person who has some common sense. A bit like with the airlines who have made it so very, very difficult for us to get refunds for the flights back to the U.K. we had booked when they had cancelled the flights. Now we just stick to the bigger and better airlines like BA. More expensive but worth it in the end. The temptation for me has always been to go for the lowest cost flights, the cheapest travel insurance, the best interest rates for accounts, but what I’ve found is that ‘all that glitters is not gold’. Great piece and thanks for the reiteration! Katie

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sounds like you need LOTS of time and patience to deal with insurance companies. You give some practical tips that we all need to remember for these and other similar situations. It’s always good to remember whom you talked with, and when!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Tx for your comment! Indeed – an certain that insurance companies must win a lot of battles simply because people don’t have time & energy to devote. It often takes mental gearing up to get on phone with them. The support of family & friends is invaluable.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Great information, Daal! I’m sorry you’ve had to hassle with insurance coverage, but I hope everything gets ironed out. It sounds like you are a good advocate for yourself.

    Liked by 3 people

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