Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Terminal hold

For my job I bill Medicare insurance as well as other insurances for durable medical equipment.  

Medicare recently switched some of its software for our electronic claims.

Today I called 6 times before actually getting into the queue.  The first 5 times I kept getting a recording stating that they were "experiencing a high volume of calls"and that I may find it necessary to try my call again at a later time.  Then mysteriously my call would end.  The sixth time I finally got through and felt like I had just won the lottery only to be on hold for 35min and still not getting a human but getting a lovely recording that claimed she was sorry for the wait and that someone would be with me "momentarily".  Yeah right.  I had a couple of other calls to make so I hung up.

I called back about an hour later.  Repeating the above process but this time I had a plan.  I was not going to give up.  I had my co-workers ready to "babysit" my phone if I needed to take another call, go to the bathroom, or any other important work duties.  I then proceeded to sit on hold for 1hr and 38min.   Yes, one hour and thirty-eight minutes!

I had two questions to ask.  The first one was fairly straight forward for the EDI guy.  He said he would email me the instructions on how to fix my problem and that they were very easy to follow.  That's good because Im not computer savvy.  

My second question was "procedural" not "technical" and therefore he would not be able to help me.  But lucky me, he could provide me with the phone number of the office to call that could assist me.   The time it took to answer my questions took 2min and 15sec., a far cry from the 1hr and 38min that I had spent on hold.  

And what did have to look forward to, Oh Joy!  More hold music.  Im thrilled.  Lets just hope that the changes that I made by following the email worked and that all my claims actually went through!


Mark J. said...

If it makes you feel any better consider this: If it was an "800" (toll-free) number, it is quite possible THEY were paying for the minutes. :-)

The Lovely Wife said...

I considered that while I was on hold, thinking "gee, glad I'm not paying for this call". It however, only made me feel marginally better.

Reverend Ref + said...

There's also some information somewhere that shows people will stay on hold longer if The Beatles are playing.

I hope you had decent music.

The Lovely Wife said...

Does elevator music count as "good music"? It wasn't country so maybe for you that was good. But it also wasn't Styx.