Dave Rice 8:30 a.m., Dec. 13
Here are some very easy Dialing For Dollars Tips that will save you BIG BUCK$ and also reduce your billing frustration. When it comes to settling bills, (and lots of other things) "let your fingers do the walking", instead of getting frustrated talking to a bunch of unhelpful folks whose names you can't remember later on.
I suggest that everyone improve their phone and computer skills so that they are able to keep a clear record of who they talked to, when they talk to them and ALSO who that person's Boss is and what their contact information is. That sets the stage for moving rapidly up the food chain, which usually provide restitution in a timely manor. Once the folks you are talking to realize that you are taking careful notes, you will get MUCH FASTER service and MUCH LESS run around...
Use you computer's address book and start a new "contact" for each "problem", so that you can immediately refer to your notes when talking to someone. Input the date first, then what was said to you. This method allows you to see the latest comments at the top of the "notes" section of your "Contact" entry and if need be, you can copy and paste any part or all of your notes to a Word document or another "Contact" if for some reason you need to. I use the format of year, month day as it make sorting my record files much easier. Before anyone "caves in" they should ask others for assistance and or use the internet to find out if what is happening to them is "Right"... If you don't know, call and keep asking for a Supervisor, until you are educated about what is fair!
Your address book entry would look something like this:
Contact Name: Hospital Bill (10-08-01) Work phone #: 619-123-4567
10-08-05 Spoke to Mr. Know (ext. 998) about what Ms. Wrong said about my bill. He will look into my Billing error and call me back tomorrow BEFORE NOON. His Boss is Mr. Big (ext. 999)
10-08-04 Spoke to Ms. Wrong (ext. 989) about my over charge, she was not helpful. Her Boss is Mr. Know (ext. 998)
10-08-03 Spoke to Hospital Billing (ext. 988) about my double billing. I got transferred to Ms. Wrong (ext. 989) and left her a DATED voice message to call ASAP.
Be firm and ALWAYS demand a time and date for their return call; if you feel that they are being evasive, ask them what are their working hours because you'll call them just before quitting time - Folks do not like to be kept on "a leach" so they will take care of you to get you "off their back" (Great analogy for all dialers)...
When folks that you are talking to apologize ,"Ask them what THEY did to apologize for", and then tell them that you want SATISFACTION, not apologies, and if they can't take care of that, then please transfer you to someone that can, But FIRST get their Boss's name and their number before they transfer you, in case they disconnect you... Don't get mad, redial and then smile as you get even!
It is alway polite to suggest that if they can help you NOW, you'll be interested in talking to their Boss AFTERWARD, so that you can give them kudos for their great service.
This same method can be used to keep tract of anything so you do not have to clutter your mind or desk. Here are a few examples: auto mileage/repairs, doctor notes/meds, home repairs, appliance serial # / "history", new purchases/warranty info).
If you sync your cell to your computer, you then have access to all your "Contact" notes on your phone! Be sure to not add any info that might need to be protected (if your phone gets lost or stolen), if you do not use a strong password to gain access to your phone
Let me know if you would like me to add some more Tips
Please share any Tips you might have with US!