Thursday, August 23, 2007

medibank's "impressive" customer service

about a month ago, i sent an anonymous request to medibank private via their website, requesting a specific document:
Date: 27/07/2007 1:17:08 AM
Subject: Claiming, Benefits, Waiting Periods

Hi, I'm after a copy of the "Schedules of Contribution Rates, Benefits and Specific Conditions" referred to in the fund rules. I can't find this on your website. Please either email me a pdf copy (if one's available), or let me know where I can find this information online. Thanks.

to which i got this immediate autoreply:
Thank you for your enquiry about Claiming, Benefits, Waiting Periods made at

Due to the large number of enquiries we receive via email, we will aim to respond to your enquiry within 3 business days. If your enquiry is urgent, please contact us via [blah blah blah]

and so i waited...

(3 days later) and waited...

(3 weeks later) and waited...

then yesterday, i got a reply which was blank...

and today, after almost 4 weeks of waiting, i got this:
Thank you for contacting Medibank Private.

Please find a document on our general conditions attached.

which, of course, wasn't what i requested at all! i even wasted a few minutes opening up the attachment just to check that the information i wanted wasn't buried in there somewhere.

why is it so hard to read a simple request and offering a tailored response?!

ironically during my period of waiting i had been contacted by a medibank private representative wanting to sell me an upgraded cover, and i took the opportunity to ask about the benefits information i was trying to track down. she told me that medibank doesn't give out that information in general, but if i had a specific item number i wanted to check on, i could always contact them to find out the benefit payable for that item. seems to me to be a somewhat convoluted process, especially given that at least one other major fund is happy to tell you up front what they'll pay for a whole range of benefits.

either way, i fail to see how good customer service has been achieved. i wasn't overly impressed with the face-to-face service i got at a retail branch recently either, but that was unrelated and is another story...

Thursday, August 09, 2007

counting to five

i started blogging 5 years ago, and every year about this time i say something (more or less) about this anniversary and another event that happens at about the same time every year.

i joined facebook 5 days ago, and have probably gotten (at a guesstimate) more birthday greetings, wishes and virtual gifts via that site than via any other medium combined. maybe i should call this the year of the facebook birthday...

- - - - -

i'm still undecided as to whether or not i actually like facebook. it's certainly very good at sucking up lots of your time, with a plethora of trivial activities with which one can whittle away hours and get no meaningful return. on the other hand, it has been surprisingly effective at reconnecting me with people from my past, with whom i've largely lost touch. snap comparison with multiply (which i realise doesn't have the same aims, but it's another social network type site where i have an account):
    • length of membership: at least two years, but more actively for the last 1.25
    • total contacts/friends to date: 28
    • length of membership: 5 days
    • total contacts/friends to date: 69
spot the difference...