Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Today I was up for it: tackling my insurance companies, and cleaning the litter boxes. These tasks have a lot in common. They both require wading through loads of crap with only a burning resolve to clean things up, and a strong stomach.

After a good night's sleep and a dark cup of coffee, I tackled BCBS of RI and MA at the same time. There were endless automated questions, evasive perfunctory answers by listless and/or condescending representatives, quarter hours on hold (good time to empty the dishwasher, fold the laundry, check e-mail), missing records, misinformation leading me in circles. But like a dog with a bone, I never let up. I know that scent:the rotting carcass of bureaucratic avoidance, and it makes me pursue them even harder. They have evolved diabolical means of denying claims, not making good on their end of the deal. The time, paperwork, and manpower they waste in delaying, is costing us all. One hour and one supervisor later, I got my due. After that, cleaning the litter boxes was a walk in the park.

DON"T GIVE UP. Insist on your due. Line up your paperwork, take names, dates, and phone numbers. Go over people's heads. Ask to speak to supervisors. Hold their feet to the fire and DON"T take no for an answer. This will pay off 90% of the time.

I'm tired now, but strangely exhilarated.

Good night--
and stay tuned!


  1. I used to work for a company that operated help desks. We knew exactly how much time (down to the second) a rep could spend on the phone before it began to cost the company more money than it was worth. Once past that time limit, reps were trained to concede what they needed to concede, within reason, to get the customer off the phone. Wait them out. You get better results. And if you are a help desk rep, and Joyce Kulhawik calls you, save yourself some time, concede immediately.

  2. This is fantastic--I had no idea there were actual strategies in place for "concession" --so waiting them out is the BEST idea. I have often wondered why all of a sudden I'd get what I'd wanted. Like the time a company neglected to send me a re-imbursement for something and said I was going to have to wait another 4-six weeks. When I said that was unacceptable, they said, "OK. we'll fedex it to you overnight."HAH. And I thought they were just afraid of a bad review!!
    Thanks for commenting!!