STUPID IS THE NEW NORMAL – Marilyn Armstrong


My motto and I really should remember it more often

For the past couple of days, I’ve been dealing with the customer service for the medical plan I was trying to join. I spent — LITERALLY, NOT KIDDING — four hours on the phone yesterday until the battery on my phone died. It has never died before. Ever. In like five years. It’s not a cell phone.

They couldn’t answer a simple question, they gave me wrong answers, transferred me to the wrong departments, but to be fair, they didn’t disconnect. A miracle indeed. At the end of the conversation, I said: “SEND ME BACK TO BLUE CROSS!”

And then and there, I switched back to my previous medical provider. Because if this was before the plan had even gone into effect, it was going to be like the year I spent with Fallon when I needed to see a medical oncologist and the person on the Customer Service line told me there were doctors listed, but not their specialties.

“So how do you list them? Alphabetically?”

My doctor’s (not this doctor, the doctor before the last doctor) dimwitted secretary sent me to a cancer surgeon and when I called her back and explained that I don’t need a surgeon, I need a medical oncologist because I had cancer and what I need NOW is a checkup. I went with that company for a year and never actually got the checked.

Then came Blue Cross and life got better. This plan would have saved me around $150 a month which is a good deal of money, but I was pretty sure it would also ruin my life. I can’t do it anymore. I cannot spend the rest of my life fighting with customer service to just answer a simple question. I’m too old, too tired, too beat up.

I’ll pay the money. Just let me have people who answer the phone and know what they are talking about. Please!

And for all the comments I haven’t answered and posts I haven’t read? I swear to you I have spent about 9 hours over the past two days straightening out my medical plan — well, OUR medical plans. I’m exhausted. And I’m running out of birdseed again.

Categories: Customer Service, Marilyn Armstrong, Medical, Quotation, Sayings and Platitudes

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26 replies

  1. We just finished doing that. It sucks the life right out of what’s left in your ‘mature’ body.


  2. I wondered where you were yesterday. You must have been mentally and physically exhausted after what is an entire workday just talking to people on the phone. I get impatient if I get put on hold for half an hour.


  3. It’s the same here.we had a plan. it was actually a GOOD plan, with nice and intelligent customer service personnel, and the bills were paid correctly if not always within 30 days. Of course, that company is no longer available in Oklahoma. We have two choices. Medicare from the govt with all associated “gap” insurances, or one provider with a semi-good plan..BUT….no rx. overage. If you are like me, with zero disposable income, then you don’t pick the rx gap insurance, can’t sign up for medicare RX because you have another provider and have to possibly be fined for no rx coverage at tax time. I WISH I had bc/bs. I used to. I loved it. Ok does not have it.


    • I really DO understand. We lived with Medicare on its own for almost a decade. Hard to remember, memory not serving me as well as it used to! If you are living on a lot enough income, I think you CAN get Medicaid to kick in. Best place to ask? Local Senior Center. They always know everything about senior medical services. The subject of medication gives me a stomach ache.


  4. Are there any consumer advocates there? Seems to me you need a little more clout. These incompetents need to be exposed.


  5. It’s not nice to laugh, is it, even though I totally commiserate with you? I’m terrified of the day my husband stops working and I actually have to shop for medical insurance.


    • Blue Cross isn’t the cheapest, but they do NOTHING but deal with medical insurance and they are VERY good. But even on its own, Medicare is very easy to deal with. They are open to queries, take all the time in the world to answer questions and if you choose to add an additional payment that pays for everything that Medicare doesn’t cover, although we lived with JUST Medicare for 10 years and even though we are rather poor, they never made our lives more difficult and they have superb customer service. Don’t be worried, but be alert to the choices available. Every state has different available options. Check them out. Annually, because they change from year to year. I think there’s a whole website on Medicare designed so you can see the differences from column to column. If that doesn’t work for you, you can call Medicare and they will walk you through each possibility and sign you up — ON the phone — for whatever you choose.


  6. Oh my! I would have done the same thing!!


    • I know that every customer service department has a few dummies. But what I heard through her inexperience is that this was going to be an HMO with tons of paperwork and no freedom to go to a doctor that isn’t part of their “group.” Been there. Done that. Saving money would be great, but not at the cost of what remains of my sanity!

      Liked by 1 person

      • These people are trained to divert and misinform, or just not tell enough so that you will understand what’s actually being offered. They’re also counting on our advanced age making us the “dumb” ones. Just like members of congress who don’t have to suffer the same problems of health care that we average citizens do.., we could ask if these “customer service” people have ever had to face themselves, or colleagues with our same problems.., and how the “run-around” answers had affected them? After all, they too will be old, and in need of clear answers, one day.


        • Most of them have two big issues going against them: They are very young and they haven’t received sufficient training. They work for entry-level wages and companies don’t bother to train them. This almost universal with a few exceptions. Amazon is one, any place that sells cameras is another, and Blue Cross is three. Oh, and Audible makes four.


      • Correct!! I’m the same!!


  7. Love your motto.


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