Follow-up to Bally’s Sales Rep’s Slimy Tactic

In what may be the fastest response from a company ever, someone from Bally’s Total Fitness saw my tweet about the Bally’s sales rep blog post just hours after I put it up, and in a comment on that post, asked me to have Dee e-mail him with details about the situation. She did so, and later that day was on the phone with customer service explaining what had happened — that originally, a previous sales rep at our local Bally’s had told her she would be eligible for a free year of membership at the end of her multiyear contract, since she’d gotten a fellow co-worker to also sign up. When she went to collect that freebie year, the current Bally’s Total Fitness staff members told her there had been no such promotion, and that the original rep had (allegedly) lied to her about it.

While Dee had gotten 3 free months as “compensation” for what the staff told her was misinformation, after talking to customer service, she was told that it WAS a valid promotion at the time. And they awarded her the year she was entitled to — giving her a full 15 months of Bally’s membership, free of charge!

In the end, it seems that no one knew what the hell they were talking about.

I love it when companies rectify their mistakes. Too bad it takes a public forum (thank you, Internet) to get their full attention.

Doctors’ Offices Overcharging for Co-Pays

In the past few years, I’ve had interesting experiences at the numerous doctors’ offices I’ve visited while managing my and my daughter’s health. I’ve discovered that a number of times, we’ve been charged too much for a co-pay, or charged the co-pay in instances when one wasn’t necessary at that visit.

For us, a primary care visit merits a $20 co-pay; a specialist visit is usually $40. So If I see my primary care physician, it’s likely I have to cough up the 20 bucks; if it’s the endocrinologist, it’s $40.

Our health insurance company sends statements via mail every time it processes a claim, and it shows when a co-pay should — or shouldn’t — be charged for each particular visit. Thanks to these statements, I’d previously learned that my ob-gyn annual checkup is considered well-care, meaning there’s no co-pay payment required. And any other visits to the ob-gyn are only $20. But I’d been told to pay $40 per visit to this doctor, each time (excepting prenatal visits).

A few days ago, Baby Frugalista’s pediatric ophthalmologist sent us a check to return our last $40 co-pay — the follow-up visit didn’t necessitate another co-pay. Bless them — $40 is nothing to sneeze at! But I had to show my ob-gyn’s office staff that my visits there should only rate a $20 co-pay. They finally switched it, but I didn’t get a refund for overpaying a few times.

Don’t get me wrong — I’m grateful that we have good health insurance coverage at a (fairly) reasonable price. But you’d think the front-end staff would know when a co-pay applies, and when it doesn’t. Especially since we have a major health insurance carrier (Blue Cross Blue Shield).

Have you ever taken a look at your health insurance statements to see if you’re being overcharged for your co-pays?

Tostitos Dip Caused a Bloodbath at Our House

It was a comedy of errors in our household Monday night, at two different times of the day. But both instances stemmed from one seemingly innocuous jar of Tostitos Southwestern Ranch Dip.

The dip is a favorite among us and our friends (and a certain co-worker who loves it as much as we do). It’s a staple at get-togethers and BBQs, and I buy it for the house every once in a while.

So when I went food shopping on Monday afternoon before work, I picked up a jar of the tasty stuff, since it was on sale. It’s not cheap, at $3, but I figured, “What the hell?”

What the hell, indeed. That little bastard drew blood — twice.

The Rundown

While I was on the late shift at work, a frustrated Mr. Not-So-Frugal messaged to me say he couldn’t get the jar open. I told him to suck it up and do the old run-it-under-hot-water trick. I didn’t hear anything more from him about it.

When I got home around 2:30 a.m., I went into the bathroom and found the tube of first-aid ointment out. I didn’t think anything of it because I’d used it before I left for work, and I figured I had just left it out of the medicine cabinet.

Then, I made my way into the kitchen to see if Mr. NSF had indeed gotten the Tostitos Southwestern Ranch Dip jar open. I found it in the fridge, but it didn’t appear to be open. I grabbed it, and using my left hand (which is stronger than my right, despite me being left-handed), proceeded to try to unscrew the lid. Next thing I knew, I felt a sharp pain in my ring finger and jerked it away from the jar. Upon closer inspection, I found I had somehow sliced all the way across that finger, like the papercut from hell.

Never mind the fact that THE JAR WAS ALREADY OPEN. (EDIT: I meant that Mr. NSF had finally opened it by running it under hot water. He DID NOT hit it with the side of a butter knife/spoon/fork to get it to open.)

Trying not to faint (I’m a big, big baby when it comes to seeing my own blood), I managed to get back to the bathroom and get a tissue to put some pressure on the bleeding. Once that finally stopped, I grabbed the first-aid ointment and a Band-Aid. I went to throw out the bandage paper in the wastebasket, which I suddenly discovered was full of blood — bloody tissues, Band-Aids and just dripped-on blood.

I then realized the bastard Tostitos jar had gotten Mr. NSF, too.

But since he was sleeping, I couldn’t ask him exactly what happened. Upon further inspection of the glass jar of dip, I saw not one, but TWO chipped areas under the lid. I have no idea how they got there, since if you dropped the jar (which we didn’t), the lid would theoretically protect that particular area from chipping. There were no scuff marks on the lid, either, indicating that it didn’t receive any damage. I think the glass was damaged during the manufacturing process — I can’t see any other way for it to have occurred.

I woke up when my husband got up for work in the morning and we had a good laugh about the damage we’d sustained. He actually cut two fingers and bled more profusely than I did, but we agree that my cut is deeper and nastier-looking. His one cut looked more like a puncture wound, which is probably why he bled so much.

Of course, with my first-aid training , I knew to keep pressure on the cut and elevate my hand above my heart until the bleeding stopped. Mr. NSF, apparently, couldn’t be bothered to do that, which prolonged his bloody adventure.

I plan to formally complain to Tostitos’ parent company, Frito-Lay, because this entire incident shouldn’t have happened — even though in retrospect, it’s pretty funny that Tostitos caused a bloodbath at our house.