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What were your best and worst consumer experiences this week?

By Rita R. Robison

Which consumer happenings cheered you this week and which ones made you want to scream or weep?

Here are my best and worst consumer experiences this week:

My best: Seeing the Occupy Wall Street movement in my community


When I went over to TCTV, I heard from one of the producers that people were gathering in Sylvester Park in solidarity of the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations.

HealthcareOn my way home, I stopped by. I saw about 40 people crowded around two members of the Washington State Patrol. The park is owned by the state of Washington so the state patrol provides law enforcement there.

The group broke up, and an announcement was made about their agreement. People would be allowed to spend the night without a 14-day permit. The power would be left on in the gazebo. The Food and First Aid tents would be allowed to remain. No more tents could be put up, but people could sleep under tarps on the lawn or in the gazebo.

Jobs Not CutsPeople then began a process to govern the protest. Facilitators and a timekeeper were chosen. People took turns saying what they’d like to see on an agenda. Many of those that spoke had issues they wanted covered such as health care, corporate greed, and jobs.

99 %The meeting started with announcements. One woman brought musical instruments, so she wanted to know which instruments others had with them. The state patrol had indicated all music needed to stop at 9:30 p.m.

All in all, it was an orderly process.

Tax LoopholesAround 45 degrees, it was really cold. Some people brought their children. One was crying.

I agree with those in the United States and around the world who are protesting against the greed of Wall Street. I applaud the thousands of people who are gathering in a peaceful manner to make their voices heard.

My worst: Low-quality customer service at a medical supply store

When I went to a medical supply store to make a purchase, the clerk who helped me didn’t do a good job. She looked up my insurance and said I’d have to pay for the items because I hadn’t met the $2,000 deductible yet.

I about had a heart attack. Had my insurance suddenly changed so that my deductible had been increased to $2,000?

Fortunately, it was 4:50 p.m. I called my insurance company. I found out that the $2,000 the clerk saw in the computer was another number. It tracks how much I have paid out of pocket. When I’ve spent $2,000, then my insurance company pays 100 percent of my medical bills instead of 85 percent.

I went inside and made the purchase. I only had to pay the co-pay, not the full amount.

Copyright 2011, Rita R. Robison, Consumer Specialist


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