Thursday, 25 February 2016

BUPA pooper

BUPA your service sucks.

A few years back the British based international healthcare group BUPA took over the health insurance company I belonged to for all my adult life.

A couple of weeks ago BUPA wrote to me advising that it was time for my 24 month eye examination. It invited me to make an appointment either by phone or online. The online instructions appeared simple and clear;

  • Step 1 Visit
  • Step 2 Click the 'Book and Appointment' link and the follow the steps

I followed those steps precisely nominating my appointment time at the Bondi Junction Optical Shop - the very shop referred to in BUPA's letter to me - from a schedule on the online site of half hourly times which commenced from 9am on the date I selected.

Within seconds I received an email from BUPA Optical Bondi Junction thanking me for my appointment request and continuing as follows;

'The team at Bupa Optical Bondi Junction look forward to serving your eyecare needs and will be in touch via phone or email to confirm your appointment.'

Twelve days later, with no email or phone contact from BUPA, I called into the Bondi Junction shop to confirm my appointment. The staff member checked and told me they had no record of my request; notwithstanding the email confirmation.

How can this be? Well, this is what she told me.

  • The online booking system is not a 'live' site.
  • The shop does not receive the data entered online.
  • The times shown in the online site are not the actual times available for appointments but the hours the shop is open. (This comment makes no sense since the site lists half hourly slots.)
  • Although the shop opens at 9am (or perhaps it is 9.30, that was not clear to me) eye examinations are not available until 11am.
  • Earlier time slots for examinations are only available on Saturday hence are very popular and have to be booked far ahead.
  • Her final advice was to book examinations by contacting the shop directly, not online.

Why, BUPA, do you send letters out inviting online booking when the online system is not active?
Why, BUPA, do you refer members to an online site that has appointment slots that don't exist in reality?
Why, BUPA, do you send email acknowledgements of online appointment requests when those requests die in cyberspace unrecognised and unknown to your shops?
Why, BUPA, do you not have eye examination timeslots that your working members can attend outside of their working hours or that your members can attend with minimal disruption to their work arrangements?

Why, BUPA, should I continue my membership with your organisation?

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