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Thread: Patient doesn't pick up order; what next?

  1. #1
    Rising Star Lori's Avatar
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    Patient doesn't pick up order; what next?

    I have a few jobs that were paid in full or half down but patient hasn't picked up even though I've notified them several times. One was billed to a vision plan. What is a reasonable policy for this situation? I feel if it's paid in full we just hang on to it and hope they come; but one has been her nearly two years and I'm afraid if I donate them and then the patient shows later to get them I'll be in a pickle. Also, if insurance paid their share, do I have to negate the fees?

    What are the legal responsibilities, or the policies at your office? Feedback appreciated. thanks

  2. #2
    OptiBoard Professional OptiBoard Silver Supporter Optical Roy's Avatar
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    We mail to patient if it's been paid and attach a copy of the shipping document to their file.
    Roy W. Jackson, Sr. ABOC

  3. #3
    Rising Star Lori's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Optical Roy View Post
    We mail to patient if it's been paid and attach a copy of the shipping document to their file.
    I thought of that but what if they moved and if you call to verify they don't answer?

  4. #4
    OptiBoard Professional OptiBoard Silver Supporter Optical Roy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lori View Post
    I thought of that but what if they moved and if you call to verify they don't answer?
    Note all phone calls and mailed notifications prior to mailing, as long as you have that then there is not really much they can say. You have done due diligence in attempting to deliver the product. They can get the tracking information you have on file if it gets to that point.
    Roy W. Jackson, Sr. ABOC

  5. #5
    Rising Star Lori's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Optical Roy View Post
    Note all phone calls and mailed notifications prior to mailing, as long as you have that then there is not really much they can say. You have done due diligence in attempting to deliver the product. They can get the tracking information you have on file if it gets to that point.
    Thanks for the response. That sounds like a reasonable plan for the paid in full ones. Do you have thoughts on the jobs with a balance, or insurance paid but they're old, some I've had for 2+ years.

  6. #6
    OptiBoard Professional OptiBoard Silver Supporter Optical Roy's Avatar
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    Nothing much you can do, short of returning to try and get credit, if they do credit, subtract a restock fee and leave the rest on their acct. The insurance ones, there is nothing you can do, as most insurance roll over every 12 to 24 months. If those are zero balance I would mail them also, since the insurance paid their allowance. If the patient owes, back out the order, keep the insurance pay as cost of doing business and trash the lens.
    Roy W. Jackson, Sr. ABOC

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    OptiBoard Professional OptiBoard Silver Supporter Optical Roy's Avatar
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    I would put a 6 month policy in place, let the opticians know and make the patient aware.
    Roy W. Jackson, Sr. ABOC

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    Master OptiBoarder rbaker's Avatar
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    I have a box of undelivered eyewear out in my garage going back to 1970. Some of it was paid in full, some not. I have made provisions in my last will and testement for these glasses go to my heirs when I tip over. In all these years I have never lost any sleep over any of these undelivered jobs but you can never tell.

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    Master OptiBoarder
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    After a year, I brake down the tray. Frame gets demos and back on board and the lenses go in a baggie. Deposit is kept because lenses were made. Insurance is kept because lenses were made. Insurance companies that I have spoken to usually do not re-instate benefits because a patient hasn't picked up. Sometimes they don't reinstate when patients cancel. Depends on the situation. The rest of the balance is written off and there is a large note in their records specifying that they have been notified several times (We call every month and send post cards too after 1 month). IF the balance is paid in full, and they have been notified several times, we will often ship to patient after 9 months or so.

  10. #10
    Rising Star Lori's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rbaker View Post
    I have a box of undelivered eyewear out in my garage going back to 1970. Some of it was paid in full, some not. I have made provisions in my last will and testement for these glasses go to my heirs when I tip over. In all these years I have never lost any sleep over any of these undelivered jobs but you can never tell.
    Love this- thanks for making me smile.

  11. #11
    Rising Star Lori's Avatar
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    Sounds like a good plan, one I'm going to copy. thanks

  12. #12
    Master OptiBoarder DanLiv's Avatar
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    Though we rarely enforce it, we do have a printed 90-day abandonment policy. Anything not picked up by then is considered abandoned, and subject to trash, donation, or return to stock. No refunds or credit given. We require 50% down to start an order, and in such a case of abandonment we accept the 50% to cover costs and write off the balance. That said, I too have a bin of jobs up to two years old. They don't take up too much space so it's no skin off my nose to hang on to them. Once or twice over the years I've dug into that bin and resurrected an old order a customer thought long gone, and that was fun. Also a couple times over the years some people were real jerks and didn't pick up their stuff. Those were a pleasure to recycle. If they ended up inquiring about them, we supplied a copy of the signed policy agreement and a shrug.

    It's good to have policies for all kinds of contingencies in writing, so they can back you up if necessary. But you don't have to enforce if you don't want to.

  13. #13
    Rising Star KrystleClear's Avatar
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    We are a smaller optical, so we can afford the space to hang on to an order for 6 months to a year. If patient doesn't answer or respond to our phone calls, we send them an outreach letter via snail mail or email (or both) letting them know we are trying to reach them to let them know their glasses are here. When a year rolls around, we attempt to reach out one last time with a date that we will no longer hang on to them. We break down the tray and return frames to inventory or to the manufacturer for credit if possible. Lenses are a loss at that point.
    Krystle

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    Compulsive Truthteller OptiBoard Gold Supporter Uncle Fester's Avatar
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    Dan nailed it.

    Another "You can't make this up" dealing with the public optical story-

    Thirty years ago I was working in the city where we had $60 complete simple eyeglsses w/ a 50% nonrefundable deposit required.

    Three months after leaving the deposit in walks a dude demanding his deposit back.

    "Sorry can't do that. You owe the balance. How do you want to pay?"

    "I can't. I just spent the last 3 months in jail over child support."

    "Sorry to hear that."

    "Well- can you give me a refund?"

    "Sorry, still no."

    Frustrated and angry he leaves only to return minutes later with another guy-

    "I'm Mr. Jones lawyer and I demand he get a refund!"

    "Well as a lawyer you know the correct place to make this claim will be in small claims court. Do you have a card so our attorney can contact you to discuss this?"

    They turn and leave never to be heard from again.

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