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05/13/2010

Not a problem, I'll be sending you a bill for my time

J0444333 As parents, we make a multitude of decisions about how we spend our time: How many activities can fit into each day?  What activities will a 3 year old enjoy and will also be safe and do-able with an infant?  How can we coordinate the housework, cooking, appointments...you know what I'm saying, right?  It is hard to find enough time in the day for the things we want to do without spending time on the phone trying to rectify customer service errors.  Sadly it seems like I'm spending time each week having these conversations.  It's easy to fire some problematic companies, like the cable company or phone service.  I make sure they know why I'm making the switch with the hope someone might listen. (doubtful, I know.)  But what can I do about companies I'm stuck with, like my health insurance company, or people I don't want to fire, like the most fabulous pediatrician in the world, who just happens to have a terribly inept billing department?  And why, with so many great people looking for jobs today is customer service still so deplorable?

I recently had the opportunity to talk with my health insurance company and the doctor's office about a billing mistake - each wanted me to call and confirm who was at fault before they would do anything.  Sure, I'd be happy to make another phone call while simultaneously nursing the baby and trying to keep the preschooler from using her markers as darts in some new game she just made up.  Tell me again why you can't just call the doctor's office?  My favorite part about the experience was her response when I assured her I had done my part and reiterated that I just needed her to investigate further - no apology for wasting my time, no promise to take care of my problem, just a "not a problem, we'll look into it for you". 

Actually, it is a problem.  It is a problem that I am wasting time on the phone with people who are employed to provide a service that isn't being provided.  It is a problem that I'm having to distract my daughters to help someone do something that I already pay them to do.  It is a problem that the same mistakes happen every time.  It is a problem that I can't get a simple apology or even an acknowledgement for the frustration and craziness these calls cause.  I refuse to pencil these intrusions into my schedule - unless I can start billing them for my time.  Perhaps that would wake someone up?  If only it were that easy!


This is an original Ohio Moms Blog post.

Steph can also be found sharing her problem solvin' approach to parenting and life at Problem Solvin Mom and on twitter as @psmom.

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