I was so pleasantly surprised, I was nearly lost for words. But only nearly. I said to the 12-year-old-sounding clerk, Vered, over the phone: "Really?! That's great! Why hasn't anyone bothered to tell me?"
As you may or may not recall, while we were celebrating with family at the Tapatio Cliffs Resort in Phoenix, AZ, I got a dreadful nosebleed and had to be taken to the Mayo Clinic . Everything was hunky-dory, and at the end of the procedure, described in all its gory details on this blog, we were asked to shell out US$300 as a down-payment, and we'd get the full invoice in the mail. Which we did, in due course. A mere US$1,634, minus the down-payment.
We're quite conscientious about issuing travel insurance before our trips abroad. So we downloaded the forms, did the paperwork and sent it to Israeli insurance company the Phoenix (total coincidence, I assure you.) After what seemed like a longish time, I called to ask what was happening. Now, the prepubescent-sounding girls who comprise the call center are sweet and polite once you get through to them. The trick is to get through. An absolute Kafkaesque experience, only Kafka's protagonists didn't have to contend with automated recorded menus and automatic answering services, or else Kafka would have written another nightmarish story, I'm sure. A girl called Malki said my claim was being handled. Weeks later, without any notice from Phoenix Insurance Co, I discovered that the initial sum ($300) had been deposited into my bank account (minus a reasonable deductible.)
More weeks passed. Again, I went through a nerve-racking, hair-pulling rigmarole in my attempt to find out what happens next. I didn't want the Mayo clinic to think I was ungratefully and ungraciously ignoring their bills; nor did I want to pay them if the insurance company was going to, which I feared it wouldn't. I mean, I expected to be told to pay first and be reimbursed later.
Imagine my surprise, then, when Clerk Vered – buttonholed after a thunderous intervention by someone less soft-spoken than I – said the balance of US$1,334 has been paid directly to Mayo!
"Now," I plan to say to the Pooh-Bahs at Phoenix (Ramat Gan, not AZ) "was that so difficult? So why didn't you write to tell me? Why keep it a secret and make me extort it out of you?"
Stay tuned for more (non-bloody, non-financial) adventures.