Tuesday, January 08, 2013

It was the browser

We have a flexible spending account with our company-provided health insurance that we access with a VISA debit card that gets pre-loaded at the first of the year.

However, our card is frozen because Anthem Blue Cross-Blue Shield can’t keep good records and there were four transactions from 2012 they needed additional documentation for.

Consequently, Maria spent at least two maddening, frustrating hours trying to get this sorted out online and also to find a way to be reimbursed for eye exams we both had on Saturday and new glasses for her and new contacts for me.

The sticking point was that the insurance company’s software didn’t function properly. It wouldn’t upload her documentation and it wouldn’t print out a form for her to fax to the company.

The customer service girl was friendly and patient, but it was becoming inescapable that there was a problem with their software.

(Oh, by the way, I don’t think it’s any accident that insurance companies have really obnoxious and overly loud music on hold. I think it’s designed to get customers to just say, “Fuck it!” and hang up.)

Our desks are side-by-side in our upstairs office and I sat through the whole ordeal to give sympathy and whatever support I could manage.

Finally, I opined that the problem could be that the insurance company software doesn’t play well with the Firefox browser Maria uses.

At my suggestion, she fired up Internet Explorer, logged into the insurance company site and, voila!, everything worked fine.

The takeaway: If your PC can’t get a website to behave like it should and you’re using Firefox or Chrome or some other non-Microsoft browser, try it with Internet Explorer. All of this stuff is written for IE and Apple’s Safari and works better with those commonly used browsers.

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