telephone calls/setting appts etc... curious

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by dreamer, Mar 13, 2008.

  1. dreamer

    dreamer New Member

    OK I HATE being on phone, i really dislike setting appts etc.
    I was wondering if it is everyone everywhere? I mean um...when I call to set an appointment, I ALWAYS get voicemail, and have to leave a message in order to get a call back in order to set an appointment. Seems no matter where I call, why I am calling- I ALWAYS have to leave a message and then wait for a call back. ANd then, most of the time, the callback comes MUCH later- long after I am sitting with calender and insurance card or whatever in hand.
    Very often it comes when I am in the car or something, or elbows deep in cooking something very messy, or in loud laundry room....ya know? I really find it quite frustrating, so tend to stockpile a bunch of phone calls so I am makeing a bunch at one sitting- sometimes holding off on more urgent things, simply becuz I cannot bear to deal with the leaving messsages etc. Nd then when the return calls DO come in, they can be equally as anoyng, becuz even places that ASK for detailed messages to be left, seems when they call back they do nt have any of the info I left for them. Or they did not get the message to the correct person who CAN help me, and they all me and say (or leave a message) simply that they returned my call. And YIKES I cannot believe how FAST people speak on voicemail- they rush thru their name, rush thru any number they MIGHT leave (and often no extension, that happens a LOT when school calls- so when I try to call back, noone is sure just WHO called me) I mean even if I could keep up with how fast they talk when leaving the number or name, they garble it in a slur or drop off or cut off letters or numbers....

    There have actually been a few times where I have been out and about and in an area of somewhere where I am supposed to be calling, and instead go in in person to try to set an appointment, simply becuz it can be so hard by phone. BUT sometimes THAT backfires becuz sometimes places just are not set up or able to do so for "walk ins" even if all I want to do is set an appointment.

    Does anyone else get frustrated by this? Does this happen to anyone else?

    Then today I had one call to make where while I do not leave in say Texas or south CA but, the recording for the docs office I reached was ALL in spanish. I do not speak spanish. I listened and heard a beep and assumed that was when I could leave a message, but I was not sure, becuz I did not hear anything about getting the recording in English.
    Gosh it sure is easy for someone to say "call and make an appointment" but gosh, my experience of late is that it is NOT easy AT ALL. SOmetimes I think I might rather have a root canal than have to make phone calls, except to GET a root canal, I would first have to call and make an appointment!!!!! ACK!
  2. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    dreamer, I also hate making those appointment phone calls as I usually get the voice mail as well. However, I don't leave messages. I will wait as if I have a rotary phone or until the option of speaking with a real live human comes up. My gyno's office will not take calls for CANCEL appts, which I think is risky, because what if you do leave a msg to cancel but they claim they never got it and then you get billed for the missed appointment?? Hmmmmm?? lol.

    One of the reasons I like my reg DR is that I ALWAYS get a live person. I may be put on hold, but I don't have to leave a msg, which I think is awesome. If I do have to leave a number I always give my cell phone so I don't miss that return call. I'd rather be juggling the phone while standing in line at the bank than miss that ONE important phone call from, say, difficult child's psychiatrist, Know what I mean??

    You are not alone~

    Most places will give the "Press O for an Operator" as a last resort option if you're patient enough to sit through all the other options.
  3. dreamer

    dreamer New Member

    more weirdness-
    everytime I go see my gp- they tell me I hafta pay new patient rate, which is higher. Nevermind he has been my gp for oh maybe 20 years? Why? becuz it has been more than a year since he last saw me. Hmm, well, I have not been sick in a general way, I did see my gyne here in the practice, and I did see the rheumy in the practice...and have had the kids in to pediatrician in the practice....but you have not seen the GP so you are consiedered "new" so it is a higher fee.
    And everytime I go in to the officce, I have to fill in a new history. Um, hello, the whole family comes to this pratice, all our docs are here at this practice, and have been for 20 years- what history will have changed? well, we are updateing our computer so we need to do it again. Once I was at docs 2 days in a row and the 2nd day they SWORE I had to fill in a new history, even after I said I just did this YESTERDAY.
    One time I took difficult child to doctor becuz she was ill, turns out she had scarlet fever- and they yelled at me for bringing a contagious child to docs office, possibly infecting others. Gosh, so sorry, should I have taken her to the shoe repairman for care instead? ANother time a nurse actually made fun of me for bringing easy child in when easy child got a tick I could not get to let loose. (and easy child wanted it tested for disease) The nurse told me the doctor was squeamish of bugs and now it would fall to her, the nurse, to remove the darned tick. Gee, I am SO sorry. Sorry we are paying $300 to be here....makeing you have to do something you find stupid.

    SOmething else makes me nuts, too. Call to make an appointment, and gosh get there and they say oh no, we do not treat THAT- for THAT you see your specialist. Um, what specialist? I do not know what I have, and I do not know what specialist to see...well, you need to find one, cuz doctor is not comfortable treating that, well, fine, tell me what kind of doctor TO go see. Then I call THAT specialist and his people say, well, do you have a diagnosis? no, my doctor would not give one, out of his area of expertise. well we only treat X. DO you have X? Well I don't know, I am not a doctor.
    My insurance will not pay for appts without a specific my rheumy was upset cuz I had not seen GP---well, what REASON to I give when setting GP appointment? My rheumy just wants to make sure I see you?

    My kids used to all go to pediatrician, pediatrician always set their appts for same day and you think they ever reduced the cost for all of us smushing in for a group appointment? Of course not. I finally began to request very seperate appts on different days. Except that stunk cuz we would be in waiting room for hours.

    Phone tag is not fun. I do not like that game. I would rather wait on hold. I also just love it (not) when docs office calls to cancel an appointment you set months ago---but when you try to set a new appointment, they are now working on appts 3 more months away, and then when you finally DO go in, the doctor gets mad at YOU for there being so long from last appointment to now. As if it is OUR fault.

    If someone here wakes up kinda ill? and needs to have a docs note for school or work? Hmmm...the docs offices are so backed up, cannot get an appointment for that day, and often not even for next day. SO head out to immediate care clinic, and what do they say? Well, they musta gotten tired of all the people needing docs notes for work/school cuz their new policy is they refuse outright to give docs notes, they even POSTED it on their wall......and what is their addvice usually? Call your doctor and set an appointment with them.....
    Go to ER and UG! Of course they will get upset and say you know we are an ER and we do life death EMERGENCIES and THIS is NOT an emergency- THIS is a waste of resources...... <sigh>

    Yes, there have been LOTS of times when I have said "forget it I am TOO sick to BOTHER with all the bureacracy of trying to see a doctor." There have also been times when I have said, well if I am THAT sick, I would prolly die waiting on hold or waiting for call back or waiting in waiting room anyway..might as well cut out the middleman and just die without all that bother. Chances are pretty good I will either die or get better.

    Exccept ya know.....CPS does not like it when you do not take kids to doctor. Neither does school------neither does a job. I mean, a job usually wants you to go, so you can bring a note.altho they usually prefer you not go dureing work hours. LOL.

    Ironic that places say they do not want you at work or school sick, especially if you are contagious, BUT......I know TONS of people fired for missing days at work due to illness, and I have dealt with schools far too many times regarding absence from school due to illness, and it was NOT pleasant.

    <sigh> sorry, just venting out my frustration with it all.
    I suppose as soon as I get in car to run errands, my phone will begin to buzz with all the callbacks. Of Course.
  4. dreamer

    dreamer New Member

    JoG, LOL, I almost said well I am glad I am in good company, BUT.....LOL, I am NOT glad it is like this.

    Our docs office does not give a dial 0 option, altho sometimes an operator WILL come on...but she only transfers you to receptions desk..and then you get the voicemail again.

    LOL the return calls far too often come when I am on the road trying to shift gears on a hill- in heavy traffic, LOL.

    Sometimes I long for the days when humans answered phones and phones were leashed to the wall by a cord.....LOL. And if noone answered, you tried again later. LOL. (altho yup- I have become as dependant on cells as anyone else)

    I also realized while makeing these calls today.....UG....

    I have an appeal going for difficult child for something, benefits- and in the original application, she had 2 docs the rejection came and said there were no docs I sent back with new copies of the docs notes. SO they called today to tell me- you need docs notes. Um, yes I KNOW that and they are THERE. SO they hung up and then called back again and asked me, how can you make a claim without docs notes? ANd I again said LOOK in your rejection you even said you have the docs notes. Oh, OK...they called back yet again------well you have docs notes so why are you appealing, this should have gone thru. Um yes I KNOW that....but you denied I am appealing becuz you HAVE what is needed and you denied it saying you did NOT have what you also said you DO have. Oh OK, can you send a docs note? UM HELLO, you HAVE TWO docs notes.
  5. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    I really REALLY hate having to fill out those insipid forms EVERY time we hit the Dr's office. Thankfully, our reg DR asks if everything is the same. Whew. But all the others make us fill it all out again. What is the purpose of that if everything EVERYTHING is the same?? I asked the receptionist at my gyno's office this and she just smiled and said, "I know...but you have to do it or you won't be seen by the DR". <eye roll> okay.....

    Don't even get me started on insurance companies, denial letters, doctor preauthorizations....omg, I feel an anxiety attack coming on.
  6. susiequte

    susiequte New Member

    What really gets my goat is when I finally have a few minutes to make some of those of those calls it's usually around lunchtime.........and then I get the answering machine telling me that the office is closed from 11-1 or 11-2 for lunch!!! I'm a nurse and I'm lucky when I get 30 minutes!!! I also hate it when the office closes at 4:30. I wish I could work those kind of hours!!!
  7. dreamer

    dreamer New Member

    Ug, yup- I always wondered about the lunch hour thing, too, cuz yup, I am also a nurse and we had to take turns haveing lunch- IF we got lunch, too.

    well, this is just-----interesting.
    My difficult child now has Medicaide. I have been trying and trying for months, literally- to get her a doctor appointment......the doctor she had all her life would not accept Medicaide. I called about 40 other docs-- widening the circle geographically...Most of them say--- we cannot take you, you have to be ASSIGNED to DHS. Called DHS and they said nope, we did not assign a doctor becuz since she was disabled before age 18, we did not want to have her have to change docs. I tried to explain that the docs were all telling me they could not take her cuz they were not assiggned, but DHS would not talk to the docs and docs would not talk to DHS? SO we have been horseing around for MONTHS and her review will come up soon, and she will have to have a docs evaluation report from her doctor, BUT she does not HAVE a doctor. So circular.

    Sadly I have tried taking her out of the county, to the city, but they ask up front for an address and OFTEN we get told- sorry you are not in our service area.

    SO I also found out our county has a new clinic for low income----HA! finding out their hours has been the best kept secret- and if they are not open, noone answers phone at all nor does voicemail answer, and it's location is not listed in phone book. I FINALLY reached them this morning, had to leave a message. They JUST called back....well, they ARE a low income clinic BUT they do not accept Medicaide!!!!! and they also do not know who will.

    For goodness sakes this is RIDICULOUS!
    And whats up with this Medicaide not being accepted! (well, I DO understand- Medicaide reimburses slow and low)
    Sure I have people judgeing us cuz she has it..pointing their finger at us, but dang it is not worth the paper it is written on! Yes, I HAVE called our state rep----several times...he always refers me back to the clinic. Or passes me off to someone who does not answer a phone.......

    UG. SO WHERE AM I SUPPOSED to have her SEEN? Yeesh she gets soc sec disability becuz duh she is disabled------her continuing to get bens is dependant on her being in treatment-----her treatment is needed to have any HOPE of EVER approaching anything "better" But noone will accept her as a patient. PLUS she DOES have VERY high blood pressure, she is a stroke waiting to happen.......and ER keeps saying you MUST get this treated. (altho they will not treat it, and they will not give us a doctor name who will)

    UG and ACK!
    whew! (deep breathe)
  8. Star*

    Star* call 911


    Try this - it helps really - beacuse it's what doctors' offices are used to.

    You call - Get the answering machine or voice mail for a nurse.

    Good afternoon This is Dreamer LIttledreamofme
    It is Friday March 15, 2008
    I am calling for (appointment, nurse, )
    Please return this call to my home at 555 555-1212
    Today between the hours of 12-2AM or between the hours of 6-8PM
    I have errands to run and these are the only available times I have.
    If you can not call to speak with me please be give my answering machine a courtesy call today to let me know you at least received my message and the time, day as this is an important call to me.
    If I do not receive a call back from you today I will expect a call from you Monday March 16th between the hours of 8AM-8:30 AM
    Thank you
    Dreamer Littledreamofme, 555-555-1212 - SS#, Date of birth.

    Then write it down - the time you called. The date you called. Keep a pad by the phone, it helps to keep the calendar and a pen by the phone, and a piece of paper, maybe a copy of your insurance card.

    When they call you back between the hours that you give them - keep it short - or write out your concerns and ask if you can mail a copy of what you need to their office - write down the address and BE SURE TO SAY - AND WHAT is your name? THanks.....

    Hope this helps. My doctors office actually the first time I did this called me during the times I gave them because it irks me to no end to sit and wait for a call. THe nurse told me what time THEY return calls in the afternoon so I said that was good to know - I'll arrange my schedule accordingly -

    I do not do - call me on the cell phone for doctors appts -

  9. dreamer

    dreamer New Member

    Hey cool! NOw why didn't I think of that- give them a timeframe for returning my call? GOOD IDEA!

    I give cell becuz darned surgeon- yeesh, he KNEW I was at RMH and waiting for something from him before we could leave..yet he kept calling my house, and was getting mad when I was not home to answer- even tho he knew very well I was where he was.....(becuz home was 5 hours away and HE did not want me to go home) Nevermind I GAVE them my cell......they STILL called home.
    Becuz I have to head out to so many docs appts so early, I gave in and begin giving my cell becuz lots of times I would get TO a far away appointment and find out they tried to call my house while I was en route to tell me it was rescheduled (by them)

    Yes, I do keep paper, pens (plural) calender at my house phone and on telephone call day I do try to stay right home, and try to not be doing things that would make it difficult to grab the phone, --but how many hours od I wait? LOL.

    So I had 9 calls to start this morning, 6 got handled by 7 PM. (I began at 9 am) 1 is entirely unresolved with no ideas how to continue, and 2 will be continued to tomorrow. <sigh> And of course it never failed-I went pee, and phone rang. I nodded off next to phone, it rang and startled me, LOL. Another time I was on with one call and another came thru. 2 calls generated 4 more calls between those 2....where I had to leave MORE voicemails.
    and of those 4, 2 caalled back to refer back to where I originally called.

    Yeesh. I think I need a degree in telephone calling or something.

    I just keep thinking, yeesh, if I WERE SICK..I would NOT be up to all this weirdness.

    I think if I had a job still, and needed a docs note to be out sick, now, I think it might be easier to call in dead, and look for a new job or something, I dunno.

    LOL, I HATE telephone day of the month. It is worse than Bill Paying Day......LOL.

    No wonder I still have not changed my home phone service, either---last 3 times I trie d to get a human so I could do that- I sat on hold approx an hour each time, before giving up.

    Yup, next time, I will leave a timeframe for them to call me back. HOPEFULLY they will honor it. ALTHO since they so seldom sem to have gotten anything other than my name when they return my call- I am a lil skeptical.

    Oh, and I think, the call I made where all I got was non english? I think that triggered something weird-I got one call from Mexico today and 2 calls where the person calling me only spoke spanish. LOL. I wonder if they are as confused as I am?
  10. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful


    Another good trick for voice mail......

    Speed dial.

    Voice mail kicks in when all lines are busy. If you keep hitting speed dial enough, eventually you'll get a person.

    I do NOT leave messages on docs voice mails.

    Another trick. What time does the office open? Call a half hour earlier and KEEP calling til you get a person. Usually you'll get a live one the first time.

    Our County Mental Health is nortious for never answering the phone. Yet I've never left a voice mail. I may leave them irritated, but I talk to a person. lol
  11. dreamer

    dreamer New Member

    I have tried calling too early- they have a service and the person at the service simply says call back at (whatever time) I think humans only answer the phone when it is switched to the service. I think the rest of the time it is answered by voicemail.
    I liked difficult children old psychiatrist, I NEVER called there, not even once, in like 8 years? She was referred to my by email, go figure.....and we did everything by email. LOL.
    Our mental health agency? It is a giant multistory building, with central operator and in order to call ANYONE you have to have an extension..and then the extension gives you voicemail. Their building is brand new, and has multiple layers of security, now-----and you cannot get off the first floor lobby unless someone comes down from upstairs with keys to let you in. I think around here it is becoming the norm for everyone to have voicemail answer calls first....then you say for example----I need to set an appointment..and later some machine calls back and says reception will call you back......drives me nuts.

    Glad most of the calls are done again for now.

    It is no longer easy and simple when someone says- give me a call.
    not at all. KInda sends a message in my opinion, noone really wants you to call for anything, not even to set an appointment. Yeesh.

    wehew, I feel like I worked harder today than on days when I scrub all the floors and mow the lawn.
  12. dreamer

    dreamer New Member

    About email- difficult children old psychiatrist was the ONLY professional we EVER had (to date) that used email for work. None of my kids teachers used other docs, -----noone here. Altho kids teachers also did not return phone calls, and if I wrote to them, they often wound up replying with something that did not even seem to match up with what I wrote to them, but usually they simply did not reply at all.

    SOmething else always catches me off guard. The number of places/people who assume we have fax and copy machine at home. I KNOW a LOT of people DO have it, but...a lot of us don't, too.
    Yes, I have to get in car, drive to town, find a parking space, go into the town mall, go down the stairs, to the back corner...put in my 15 cents and make my copes there.
    For fax, I hafta go to currency exchange and pay $2 for first page...50 cents for each additional page.......and if a fax is coming in for me------there better be a cover sheet with my phone number so currency exchange can call me, altho they usually don't just need to know to go ask if you have a fax.....

    Especially irritates me when it is someplace that KNOWs we have Medicaide..knows we are low income, knows we are disabled with mobility issues---LOL_ but they wanna know do I have a copy machine, a why don't you? Um cuz my kids like to eat sometimes. LOL. Wanna donate one to us? LOL usually then they stop asking and stop looking at me quite so weird.
  13. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful


    I know I'd be ripping out my hair after having to go thru all of that just to make appointments.:faint:

    Travis' pediatrician neuro used to keep in touch via email. He was really good about it. But then, I never had any trouble calling the office either.

    You know, I bet you're not the only one this is driving crazy. Maybe you should start complaining to both the docs and the office managers of these offices. It's more than a bit presumptious of them to assume that their patients have all the time in the world to wait for voice mail to call them back, or even a person, just to make an appointment. Do you ever strike up casual conversation in the waiting room? You could mention it and plant the seed for other patients to also complain. Enough complaints and I bet the system gets changed.

    I don't think what you're experiencing is so much security as cost-cutting. The more voice mail is used and automated systems, the less employees needed which equals more profit.
  14. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I was just grumbling to myself about this. My doctor wanted me to have a bone density test. Fine. They couldn't schedule it that day, would call me with-in a week.

    3 weeks later I called. No one knew anything about it. "Your doctor didn't give us the paperwork." Yes he did. I saw him.

    Then I got a letter asking me to call because they were trying to reach me and couldn't get through. BS. I called, left a message, got a callback 4 days (and 4 messages) later. They gave me dates they called. I checked the phone and NO calls with no info, no calls I could not easily identify. Not on any of hte cells, or the house phone. I can't call my doctor to complain. He won't get the message.

    I do have a lovely letter complaining about it. Mostly because the person blamed it on a male who answered at 1pm on a school day. Not in this house. She may have "notes" but they are false. And there is NO way to mistake Jess for a boy, even on the phone. Too much soprano in her.

    I hate voicemail. MY voicemail says don't leave a message cause I can't figure out how to check this. But things rarely GO to vmail unless I am driving.

    My reg doctor and the kids pediatrician are in the same office. They hate me. If I get voicemail about an appointment then I just stop in and make the appointment. They are not set up for it, but it isn't my problem. I go, wait in line if there is one, and make the appointment. I also drop off notes for my reg doctor. Mostly because one of her nurses used to tell me horrible things, would not give messages to the doctor, etc.... Also called me and told me things the doctor would NEVER have said - medical advice that just didn't make sense.

    IF she has a hand-delivered message it is in the chart, or else the doctor knows to go hunt down whomever didn't get it to her. She will call me if there is something in the note that she feels needs advice or an appointment.

    This whole voicemail thing is out of control. The dev pediatrician we saw used email, as did the therapist we loved. Both said that with HIPPA (or however it is spelled) they could no longer do email because privacy issues. All our docs now say that they can't do email for this reason.

    dreamer, maybe if you posted on freecycle about wanting a fax you would get one. More and more people are upgrading to new printers with fax machines in them, so the chances of getting one this way are pretty good.

  15. Sue C

    Sue C Active Member

    I don't want to make you all jealous, but I have no trouble getting a live person to make my dr and dentist appointments. Maybe 'cuz I live in a small town?? But my neuro is in the "big city," and even there I get a live person. Have to go through a stupid menu choice thing first, but then I get a person.

  16. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member

    I dont have a problem getting through to most of my docs or psychiatrist either. I may get voicemail if I call at a time the office is closed but if I leave a message they always call me back later that day or the next work day.

    What kills me is the automated calls that come in with no live person on the other end...or option to find that live person!

    Ring ring...

    "this is XXXX and the law says that we MUST inform you that this call is from a debt collection agency and all calls are an attempt to collect a debt."

    (I sit on the phone through all of this speel waiting for the LIVE person to come on the phone)

    "Please call 555-555-1212 to speak to someone regarding this debt. Thank you."

    Sorry, Im not calling someone back who cant bother to call me live. I dont know who they are and I cant figure out what debt it could possibly be!

    Then there was the one that really irked me. I got a call from some debt collection agency...or a supposed one. They asked me to press 1 to speak to a representative. 1. The guy comes on and says something like "How would I prefer to pay this debt?" I answered back...."May I ask exactly who it is you are calling?" AND THEY HUNG UP ON ME!!!!
  17. dreamer

    dreamer New Member

    Susiestar, my last mammo never got done for similar reasons. We played phone tag for 3 months and I finally gave up- at my next gyne appointment I told her what happened, she tried to make the appointment for me, (same building) and she had no luck.....and it all happened all over agin, never did get the darned mammo.

    I live in a small toen, a rural area....not sure whats up with the machines doing the phones except it frees up a need for staff? But it seems to me it complicates everything so bad, like somehow it might actually create MORE work for people? I dunno.
    I have MUCH better luck with the docs in the city (Chicago) - getting a live person. and also getting someone who KNOWs what they are doing and what they are talking about. I find that a bit ironic becuz when I am calling our docs in Chicago- I am dealing with mega sized facilities, and when I am calling local, I am dealing with much smaller facilities. I woulda thought in a small facility, people would know who does what or whatever.

    <shrug> sadly I also find that in the city everyone is far more polite ----even just in general, even just other people in stores etc, other shoppers, the employees, everyone.

    Actually I am very sad to say- I have actually read things people who visit my town and county have posted online.and our reputation is notorious for being rude. and corrupt. and difficult to get what you want, need, seek.

    Ah well, Sunday me and son head back out to the city. back to where live people answer phones and live people talk to you and people are polite, LOL. That might be nice, after all. :)