When I first signed up for health insurance under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act – aka Obamacare, like many other people, I experienced glitches including outages. Based on my income, I supposedly qualified for Medicaid, which turned out to not be true. I ended up starting a new application in the Marketplace and outsmarted the system by declaring income just above the Medicaid-qualifying amount. In fact, a very competent person I spoke to at my local Medicaid office provided this tip. Apparently, there were several phantom accounts already under my name, so I was forced to create a new account with my maiden and married name. No big deal … my premium was affordable and a huge relief compared to what I experienced the prior year – getting screwed big time by Humana. That is a whole other saga, but in summary, they investigated me as if it I was a witch in Salem, all prompted by an MRI of my neck. I had to fill out pages and pages of medical history which resulted in a declaration of a preexisting condition and out-of-pocket costs of $3,000 for the MRI!
I never would have guessed when I bought postage online and chose to receive tracking at USPS.com that they would be so anal – this is the polar opposite of the service I receive at my local post offices. At the latter, the attitude of most of the clerks ranges from downright surly to nonchalant to inept. At one post office in particular, something is always broken – whether it is one of two Self-Service stations or the one drop box that you are supposed to use if you opted for the Self-Service stations. And the line is nearly always out the door. So I avoid using the counter at all costs and for eBay shipments, always buy postage through them. My older sister’s birthday is on April 6 – the Big 60! So I decided to put together a little birthday package and ship it to her in Boca Raton, Fla. She just told our mom that the postal service is pretty poor down there and that her mail delivery is unreliable at best. She lives in one of those condo buildings with common balconies – kind of reminiscent of cheap motels of the 1970s. So I thought I better play it safe and opt for tracking notices for shipping and delivery. What a freakin’ mistake that was. Unlike the local post office, USPS.com is so anal that I have received a blow-by-blow account of the package’s wherabouts. I believe that I checked off this option for my sister’s email as well. And for some reason, I have received duplicates for every stage of this delivery, so I am already up to 24 emails and this bloody thing has not yet arrived at my sister’s door! I am surprised I haven’t been apprised of the mail carriers taking coffee and potty breaks.
My last blog was about the egregious customer service received from USAA after being a loyal customer for 25 years. When I changed auto insurance from USAA to Geico, along with my new policy was a cover letter about the Fair Credit Reporting Act, indicating I had received a higher price based on the claims loss history or driving record. A consumer has the right to receive a copy of this report by calling the LexisNexis Consumer Center, and after doing so, has the right to dispute the findings. I was a little perplexed by this since I had no claims for 10 years and a perfect driving record – in fact, the last ticket I received was in 1991 and it was thrown out when I appeared in traffic court (Knock on wood that this continues)! So about 10 days later I received the report from LexisNexis. The driving record was totally clear but the claims history included something very odd. It stated that there was a possible claim on December 28, 2012 at my daughter’s old apartment building near South Michigan Avenue and Roosevelt. The claim involved one Larry and Wanda Mitchell on the 26th floor and a Lexus RX 300. I thought this was truly odd for several reasons:
This is a saga that began 25 years ago when my dad told me that USAA was the absolute best auto insurer around and very exclusive. We were living in Chicago at the time and had just acquired our first car – a very old Honda Accord from my dad. Because my dad served in the US Navy, all family members were able to qualify for this insurance. I was happy with USAA for years until they continuously raised my rates without any reason. I had no claims for years, except for two very minor damages caused when my daughter was a teenage driver about 10 years ago. It is my general philosophy towards customer service that three strikes and you’re out.