Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Let's Talk About POOR Customer Service!!

So I'm VERY dissatisfied with my maternal fetal specialist and don't think I will ever go back. Well, it's not the actual specialist. I like the doctor. It's some of the staff and the policies of the office.

So I went to this specialist in January after suffering 3 miscarriages & hearing rave reviews from 2 friends who had been to this office. So my ob-gyn gladly referred me. My visit went well. I really liked the doctor. He drew some labs that day and said, "We will call you when we get the results & schedule a follow up appointment to go over everything." So the weeks ticked by and I never heard a thing. Finally, I decided to call. Oh, what's this you tell me, lady at the front desk? I have to have ANOTHER referral from my ob-gyn to set up a follow-up appointment? Really?? Well, okay, thank you.

So then when I called my ob-gyn's office they were completely flabbergasted. What? You're already an established patient of theirs! I've never heard of such a thing! But okay, I'll call them and see what's going on.

Long story short...Yes, their policy is that I have to have a referral even for a follow-up.

Okay. Got it covered. Got the referral. Got my follow-up appointment made so doc can go over the lab results with me. But wait! I've got to change the date b/c I want to coordinate it with another appointment (HSG) nearby so I don't have to drive 1.5 hours twice & miss 2 days of work. So I call to re-schedule...

Okay, no problem...So you don't know the exact date yet of your HSG? That's okay! I'll just make a note here that when you have the appointment for the HSG that you'll call & let us know. Oh no, you WON'T have to have another referral! I'll make this note, and you just call & let us know.

Okay, I'm thinking that this is great. It's all going to work out...


So today I called to set up the appointment. The lady tells me, "It's been over a week since your original appointment date, so you'll have to get a referral from your regular doctor." My heart sinks, my heart starts to race, and my voice gets shaky. "But," I tell her, "The person I talked to last time said that I wouldn't have to do that. She said that she made a note. And it's kind of a lot of trouble for them to make the referral and I wanted to make sure I wouldn't have to do that again."
She says, "Well, it's really not a lot of trouble for them. Doctors offices are familiar with our policy, and they do this all the time." Her tone wasn't very kind, and she spoke as though the matter were completely settled.

I'm not much of an arguer. So I just gave in. "Okay," I mustered in a defeated tone.

Maybe this isn't a big deal. But it is to me. On this day it was a HUGE deal b/c I'm SOOOOOO tired of poor customer service from doctors offices. I'm so tired of not being treated kindly and with compassion. After 3 miscarriages, I kind of feel at the mercy of these people. I need their help. And I feel like I'm just another chart to them. I've called before when they were snippy & unkind. When you've had 3 miscarriages you tend to be a little more sensitive and a little more needy of kindness & compassion & understanding.

No, it may not be a big deal to have to call my ob-gyn and request yet ANOTHER referral. But it is to me. I know they're busy. And I know I would feel like an idiot having to explain the whole story about why I have to have another one in the first place. I've just had it!!!

So I've decided today that I'm not going back there. Instead, I think I'm going to see my RE at the fertility center. He's the one performing my HSG whom I really like. The only problem is that 1) It's out-of-network on my insurance and 2) It's expensive!!

We really don't have that kind of money. But when is it okay to get to the point where you say, "I don't care anymore! If I have to pay hundreds of extra dollars to get good service then that's what I'm going to do!!" That's where I am now. I just don't care about the money right now. I'd rather do without other extras like eating out and shopping in order to have good care right now b/c I feel like I can't handle any more bad doctor office experiences.

Why can't the people who work at these offices be educated on what people with fertility issues are going through? Can't they be trained to show an extra measure of kindness b/c we've already been through so much?

Okay, now I'm going on and on. I just got so torn up over this today & am even crying as I write this. Yet, I want to say something positive after all this venting....

I know that God is in control. My hope is not in my doctors. My hope is not in the staff. If they're unkind or have policies that I disagree with, God is still watching out for me & leading me. I love Him so much. I praise Him even in today's little storm & the big storm of miscarriage. It reminds me of a song that my husband & I sing together..

I know the Master of the wind
I know the Maker of the rain
He can calm the storm
make the sun shine again
I know the Master of the wind

God Bless you all! I hope this didn't bring anyone down b/c I want it to be a place of hope. I still have a lot of hope!!! I just needed to vent a little bit & knew that you would understand. :)

Thanks for listening!


Dan & Hillary said...

I understand the angst and impatience. All you want to say to the receptionist is, "don't you understand? don't you care? just book my appointment and please give me a break. I have enough already to worry about." It's okay to feel broken up about this. I'm so sorry you've gotten the run-around:-(

Stacey said...

Oh dear. I can totally feel your frustration over this! I've had lots of experiences like these over the years and finally reached a point where I'd had it with rude receptionists and nurses with awful attitudes. Thank God they aren't all like this, but I've had my share, too. I'm so sorry. I truly don't understand why people end up in this profession if they don't have the heart for patients like us in this particular field. We're hurting, we're struggling, and we just need a hand and someone to be polite while we try to get help! I think it's totally understandable for you to demand good service. And if you don't get it, take your business elsewhere! I hope you'll have a much more positive experience next time. (((HUGS)))

Birdie said...

Thanks so much, girls!!! I so appreciate your comments and understanding hearts! It really brightens my day and make things not seem so bad just to know that someone else understands. :)

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