Things I learned about collection agencies and the hospital:
- Apparently there is a high level of turnover at these places because it seems that whenever I call and ask to speak to the person I spoke to last time (AKA the person I may not have to tell the whole story to AGAIN) they are not available/off that day/at lunch/just got eaten by a shark.
- Representatives are so uneasy about giving you any information (including their own names) that it seems they are protecting some sort of State Secrets. Maybe I should start working for one of these places undercover and find out what all the secrecy is about. My guess is they just hate their job so much that to think of having to actually talk to the same person more that once is enough to push them over the edge. So, when you ask their name, they will answer with either "Ron" or "Mrs. Jones". (Kinda like the IRS. Have you ever noticed how every letter from the IRS is signed by "Mrs. Jones"?) (OK yes- I have gotten way too many letters from the IRS in my past. That is a whoooole 'nother story.)
- The hospital jacks up their prices so much because they figure the bill will be paid by an insurance company, where nobody will question the separate charge of $732. from the hospital for Emergency Room Visit *AND* $583. Emergency Room Visit charge -billed separately from the doctor. Additionally, the doctor charges $671. for "repairing superficial wounds" (which he did not do, the pimply-faced Nursery School student did) (and not very well-please see application of krazy glue ) AND the biggest smack in the face, a $32. charge for "medical services 10PM-8AM". Who knew the ER doctor charges you extra for making him work after-hours??
- Because these prices are so jacked up, once you call these people to talk about your bill, almost the first thing out of their mouths is "if you pay today with a credit card, we can give you a 60% discount." Which would make almost anyone who is just trying to do the right thing and pay a bill that they rightfully owe to just agree, thank them for the discount and pay it. (kinda like in a 5th Avenue Rug store, where Going Out of Business signs have been up for 10 years and they have a "Special Sale. Only today-big discount just for you". )
- I used to be that kind of person, until I did pay what I thought was the entire bill (with a 60% discount, thank you very much) only to receive another bill from another company for almost the same amount. Turns out, the lady I spoke to misled me into believing this was the entire bill when it wasn't. This is when I turned to my dear, sweet, understanding husband, also known as SuperLawyer!!
- Not even SuperLawyer can get information out of these people. Luckily, the company I have been dealing with are a lot nicer and even offered to send me an itemized bill so I would know exactly what it is I am paying for. Big, mean evil other company, not so much, so far.
- Big, Mean Evil Other Company are no match for SuperLawyer. He will break them, even if it is the last thing he does.