Thursday, February 19, 2015

Excessive Corporate Inefficiency

This afternoon I got a call from the Essentia Health Fitness Center that I have not made the annual payment for use of the facility.  We never received any notice that this was due.  Last year we were told at the reception desk, and we were able to pay there.

This year, the phone call was my first notice from anyone, Essentia, Medica, or Silver&Fit.  The administrator said we had to pay Silver&Fit directly.

Now the fun begins.

I called the 800 number for Silver&Fit.  I was told by the pleasant recorded voice that there was a very long wait.  Have you seen anything in the papers about this like you’ve seen about MNSure’s wait times?

I went to the Silver&Fit website.  When I began the registration process, it knew my address and phone number just from my name, but then efficiency disappeared.

I had to enter my birthdate in a specific format; the format was not described next to the box. I was asked to select a security question and give the answer.  I clicked “Next” and then I was told how to enter my birthdate.  But then it would not go any further until I selected a security question again.  It showed my answer, but it wouldn’t show the drop-down list again.  It said I needed to select a security question??

I gave up and started a new session.  I ran into similar problems again.  On the third try I found the form for paying by money order.  No form for check or page for using a credit card.

I gave up on that and sent an email of dissatisfaction.  At least there was a link to do so.

I went to the Medica website and managed to find a form for paying by check.

So we each filled out a form, wrote our checks, and put them in a single envelope.  That will probably screw things up at Silver&Fit.  One of us will be credited with another year’s membership and the other not.

With Congress screwing up the Postal Service, it will probably take more than three days to arrive at Silver&Fit, two more days to get to a clerk to open the envelopes, and two more days for Silver&Fit to notify Essentia Health.

It is not the form of an organization, it’s the personnel and management.  Good and bad of these are found in both government and corporations.

BTW I went to St. Louis County Auditor’s License office last week to renew my driver’s license.  The longest part was filling out the form.  Somebody waited on me right away, had me sign the form, took my money, gave me a copy, and asked me to step over to the eye exam device and the camera.  It took me longer to take off my coat than to have my picture taken.  And all this was done with cheer and courtesy.