Friday, March 30, 2007

Lost in the phone tree

I had a nice run-in with an insurance phone-tree maze today. I number of months ago, I switched my medical coverage to be on the same plan with my husband. I put my new insurance card in my wallet and haven't thought much about it since.

I'll be traveling internationally soon (no, not to Africa) and need to get my prescriptions filled for malaria pills and the ever-so-important, cipro. I ventured into my local drug store. Found some new sunglasses on the way to the pharmacy counter, and we all know that good (as in: cute) sunglasses are an absolute requirement for a big trip. I waited patiently in line. My interaction with the hurried pharmacy lady went well and I handed her my insurance card. Rejection. Apparently, that card is only for the actual doctors office and I should have another card for prescriptions. I had no idea what she was talking about. Actually, this is a work expense, so I don't really care if I have to pay for the pills, but this is the type of information that is good to have figured out before you ever really need it. I left my prescriptions there and told her I'd come back tomorrow - either will full payment, or a prescription insurance card. Seriously, I've never heard of that.

I called the insurance company, and after following the maze of their audible phone tree, I talked to an actual person who told me that our prescriptions are handled through CareMark, and she gave me their phone number. What is CareMark? And why do I not know what she is talking about???

I called CareMark, and then I got stuck in their audible phone tree. I went in circles. There were no options to speak to a representative. I love the answers on the phone tree...the machine tries to sound so understanding. If you make a mistake it says, "My mistake...try again." It asks for my account number, and I enter a random set of numbers (since I've never heard of CareMark), just hoping that will let me talk to a person. Machine says, "Hmmm...that's interesting. I can't seem to find that number."

It's all really funny until I wasn't so entertained any longer. It just got irritating. Instead of saying "order status" or one of the other options, I just said "LET ME TALK TO A PERSON!!!" And guess what the machine said? "OK... I'll transfer you to a representative now. Have a good day." Emotional outbursts are common and expected, to the point that it is an unscripted option. Nice.

I started laughing (audibly) and wondered how that registers in their phone tree. Note to database: customer is mocking our robotic script.

PS - I did find out that we (as in our household) do have a prescription card, but I swear I've never seen it. I found it in our special "card keeping notebook"...which is where we keep membership cards that we don't currently need. The card only has hubs' name on it, but apparently it will work just as well for me.

1 comment:

Keziah said...

That's hilarious!