You’ve just been diagnosed with or are being treated for a really serious medical condition. It’s one of the most physically and emotionally draining periods of your life. But you have access to wonderful, caring doctors and nursing staff who are committed to your healing and wellbeing.
Except there is a hiccup with your medical aid on pre-approval for treatment or settling of a bill post-surgery.
You decide that, instead of calling your medical aid company, it’s better to go directly to their offices.
If you’re a member of Discovery Health, you will likely end up in one of their walk-in Discovery stores with its open-plan spaces and consultants ready to guide you through Discovery’s “incredible range of products and their unique benefits”, as the company’s web site boasts.
Here, in full view and earshot of any other medical aid member or the public, you’ll be expected to conduct discussions with one or more consultants about your very personal and private business.
The shops have clearly been dreamt up by some gung-ho hipster marketer who believes that trying to sort out a query on a recent surgical procedure is akin to sliding yourself into a franchised eating booth for the family’s weekly supper treat.
I’m not a Discovery Health member but recently sent a complaint to their honchos about what I regard as the offensive setup in their shops.
This is what Wilene Collins, head of marketing for the Discovery Store, said in reply: “We will address your concerns and ensure that we offer our clients the opportunity to have sensitive information discussed in a closed environment.”
Seriously, you will offer your clients a choice between discussing sensitive and confidential information in a public space or a closed environment? You believe that on this issue, your clients need a choice?
But Collins’ response is exactly what Ellen Roseman wrote here http://blog.ellenroseman.com/?p=825 about businesses which fob off customer complaints, that “some people just get a brush-off because they can’t reach corporate managers who take such input seriously. And even if they do, they’re given vague assurances about having their complaints reviewed.”
I’m guessing that the Discovery head honchos never have to sit in an open-plan booth explaining why their doctors have proposed a certain treatment plan or why procedure X preceded procedure A in the accounting timeline.
I’m guessing restoration of their body and soul does not get discussed in public spaces.