Wednesday, June 02, 2010

I Lose (Get Off My Property)

As a TMI Thursday last December, I shared a story about a trip to the doctor’s office. The appointment went well though there was some confusion about a Tetanus shot. The short version of the story is that the doctor showed a fax indicating that I received a shot from a facility called Travel Clinic; however, I never heard of the Travel Clinic, the fax did not include a patient name, and I never got the shot. The doctor asked me to clear things up with the Travel Clinic and come back if I did need the shot. Consider this part two of the story.

I returned to the doctor’s office several weeks after my initial visit and received the Tetanus shot. You would think that would be the end of the story, but if it was, this would be a terrible blog post! A few weeks later, an invoice of $20 arrived in my mailbox from the doctor’s office for the shot. When I called asking for an explanation, I learned that if I got the shot when I originally planned, there would not have been a charge. The charge was for coming back to the office on a separate occasion. Essentially, the doctor’s office made a mistake by having a random fax in my file. I called this fact to the office’s attention, but, shockingly, there were no notes of this in my file.

I decided that I wasn’t going to pay the $20. While $20 isn’t going to make or break whether or not I can pay my bills, that’s 3+ California Tortilla burritos or 2.5 days of commuting expenses (or 2 days starting in the next few months). I wouldn’t put $20 on a hand of blackjack in Vegas, so I wasn’t readily going to give it up based on an error made by the folks charging the fee. Over the last few months, I probably received 3 or 4 invoices from the office, with the final one arriving last week stating that I was going to collections. I called the office on Tuesday, and, again shockingly, there was nothing in my file stating that I didn’t need to pay for the shot. Reluctantly, I gave up. I wasn’t going to win this battle. I’m sure I sounded defeated when I said that I was switching doctors, but I don’t think they care. The only consolation is that at least I forced the office to spend $2 on postage.

By the way, 5 points to anyone who knows the reference of this post’s title (actual quote: You lose. Get off my property!)

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