We all know the “truisms” about not buying the first car in production on Hang-Over Monday or the last car off the line Friday since everyone wants to leave work. It is this “tongue in cheek” approach I take to the following…
This is the story of how I got my last hearing aid and the early warning signs I should have paid attention to. (Danger, Will Robinson, Danger!)
Mass Rehab could not find my vendor as a contracted vendor. When they found each other in the world of co-pays, subrogation and funding, they could not seem to figure out who was paying for what and when it would happen. This took … oh, several months. Both of them swearing they could not figure out what was going on with the other. Both parties genuinely good folks.
But since I’d not used MRC as a backup before, I really didn’t pay that much attention. However, I should have known, I truly should have, when for the very first time ever, there was a serious billing snafu about my hearing aid. Now, normally, I get a large stick with bent, twisted, blood-flecked rusty nails in it and club my very excellent (and normally incredibly flexible and customer-service friendly) insurance company into line with it – although I do apply reason first and merely walk softly whilst carrying a large and scary stick.
Only this time – it was an utter mess. Before it was just the insurance company. This time Mass Rehab Commission was in the mix – and once I satisfied myself that they were spot on then another spectre reared it’s ugly head – some sort of 3rd party insurance my vendor allegedly belonged to (the vendor denies). In the end I had to put away the club without bloodying anyone (quite frustrating, considering the level of the row going on) and my vendor ended up having to fight the good fight without my being able to do a thing for them. While I didn’t have to pay the rather large chunk of change, my vendor probably took it in the shorts, which I don’t like as I rely on them over the long-term.
Of course, this entire dust-up took months. About the time things calmed down my new hearing aid’s ear piece came apart in bits. It looked as if Wolverine of the X-Men had been clawing his way out of my ear canal and through the piece. Now, mind you, this was a soft and flexible item – I’d never experienced anything like it before. Apparently there was all sorts of wiring inside and a microphone/speaker assembly as well so when it came apart (in my ear) I was wondering if I could get it all out or if I’d have to have the tech remove all the bits and bobs of it. These were wires the size of hairs going all over the place.(attribution to ass666 for the image)
I was thrilled when my new hearing piece was of hard molded plastic! It fits just the same and I don’t have to worry about it going to bits! And my vendor said I didn’t have to pay the normal $120 fee since it should not have turned into a kit. But I digress with the good news…
A week or so ago the wee little dog reached into my purse, grabbed the hard-sided case and held it for ransom for a treat. It had a couple of tooth marks on it, but that was all. He’s NEVER done that before – no interest in hearing aid at all. In fact, I’ve dropped it on the floor, been looking all over for it, and he has ignored the aid itself.
Then a few days ago I opened my hard-sided hearing aid case and it split in half. I blinked a few times and reseated the cover. Uh-huh…
I ended up in denial. Certainly, it must work. No – it’s dead, Jim. Such an
inconsequential thing, really, but considering the history of this entire transaction (it’s been over a year since my audiogram and the initial decision to upgrade) I am now wondering if there’s a “curse” on this thing. It’s the agencies can’t work together, insurance is messed up, vendor unhappy with financial loss, hearing aid breaks and even the hard-sided holder fails curse which is testing my ability to find a certain humor in this rather perverse set of circumstances which keep returning like my psychotic desk pumpkin. If I believed in such things I’d be doomed.
I do find it fascinating that I’ve never had a spot of trouble with funding before, or huge insurance mix-ups, or rogue 3rd party insurance companies getting in the mix with phantom discounts, or having my hearing bits look as if they’d been attacked by something with big claws. And I’ve never had a case just fall apart as if it had been run over by a car.
I love my Phonak NaidaS, I love my vendor, Joel, I even can say I love working with my MRC counselor. I appreciate that when I called my vendor’s office, laughing, about the “Curse of the Phonak” I was offered a couple of hard cases as soon as I could get by.
I’m now wondering what the next twist or turn I’m going to encounter. Will it start playing random Christmas tunes in my ear come December? Scarrier than Halloween, fer sure.