My Publisher Extraordinaire campaigns for everyone to just ‘Be Nice.’ I would like to take her advice and suggest we start with our Veterans and their families.
Last week the Veteran’s Administration hung up on me. Granted, I wasn’t giving the guy what he wanted….but he HUNG UP ON ME….AT THE VETERAN’S ADMINISTRATION.
Those of you kind readers who follow my blog, know that I have been in a kerfuffle with the VA since January when they unceremoniously stopped my 87-year-old mother’s health insurance. They discovered a mistake they made 15 years ago, by putting her on the wrong insurance. So they just cancelled her policy. They didn’t bother to fix their mistake. They didn’t bother to put her on the correct insurance. They didn’t even bother to tell her that they cancelled her insurance.
So, as I told you in the past, my Congressman Representative Ryan Costello (R-PA) (well actually his amazing administrator, Lisa Reynolds) helped me quickly and efficiently fix the problem. If you’re having problems with the VA or any other governmental agency, I
highly recommend you ask your Congress person to help you. Really. Don’t waste too much time trying to fix it yourself. You will be quite surprised and, hopefully, happy that your Representative or Senator has staff who are there to help you. Try it. That’s what we pay them for, to work for us.
All that being said…..please VA don’t hang up on us. Even if you don’t like what we are saying, don’t engage in the rudest form of behavior.
I wasn’t yelling, complaining or even causing trouble. I just wanted to refrain from filing additional paperwork with the VA, if they didn’t need it, thereby making everyone’s life easier.
This is what went down:
“Hello, this is Bob from the VA, we are returning your call as requested.”
“Hi, Bob, I was calling for my Mom who has a complicated case that goes back 15 years.”
“Well,” said Bob. ” what do you want me to do? Look at 15 years of claims?”
“No, Bob,” I replied, “I just want to look at one provider, if you can search by that to see if you have already processed that claim, I won’t resubmit it.”
“Okay,” replied Bob with a bit of exasperation, “What’s your address?”
“Do you mean my Mom’s address? Because she is the insured.”
“No,” replied Bob, getting a bit testy, “I want your address.”
“Well see Bob, that has caused problems before, because my Mom and I don’t live together and………….”
He said: “When you’re ready to give me your address, you can call back.” And he hung up the phone.
I tried to call back, but there was a 13 minute wait time which is standard procedure when you call the VA. Which is why Bob was returning my call in the first place, three days later.
Then I just thought, okay. I tried to help. I’m just gonna’ file this and make you do the work twice. And I may begin to implement my new practice where everyone I call for this kind of business I say before the representative can help me:
“This call is being recorded for quality assurance.”
I’ve tried it a few times. It brings silence and confusion. But no one has been rude or hung up on me since then. I say we all try it…….you know, for Veteran’s sake!
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Cathy is the author of Showering with Nana: Confessions of a Serial Caregiver