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  1. #1
    chiquitafl is offline Junior Member
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    Dr Charging for Services not Rendered

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? Florida

    I had to schedule an appointment for a test to be done at a doctor's office. I called to schedule & they said I had to pay the $100 for the service in advance, which I thought was odd. I gave them my credit card number & it was charged that day (they didn't put a hold on it & let the charge go through on the day of service or anything). So, I've paid for a service I haven't received.

    On the day of my appointment, my mother ended up in the hospital. I called and apologized up & down & explained this was completely out of my hands, and that I had to reschedule. They tried to tell me I would lose the $100, and have to pay ANOTHER $100 to reschedule! I argued with them & asked them to be reasonable, and they told me if I brought in something proving my mom was in the hospital, they'd not charge the second $100.

    First off, can they even do this, regardless of whatever the patient's reasoning is? Obviously, since they made the exception for me, it's within their power to not be douchebags.

    Secondly, how can they charge for a service never rendered? I have no contract with them. They never explained anything about a cancellation policy, nor did they indicate when I set the appointment that I could lose that $100 in any way. This seems very, very shady to me, and I would like to know what the legalities are with regard to this.

    I appreciate any help & am glad to answer any further questions. Thank you.
  2. #2
    ecmst12 is offline Senior Member
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    What type of test?

    Do you have insurance?
  3. #3
    justalayman is offline Senior Member
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    On the day of my appointment, my mother ended up in the hospital.
    They never explained anything about a cancellation policy, nor did they indicate when I set the appointment that I could lose that $100 in any way.
    did you ask about their cancellation policy? I can't remember a medical office I have been to in the last couple of years that didn't post their policy somewhere obvious within the greeting or waiting area of the facility.

    Did you sign anything for the tests? Have you read all you were given thoroughly to see if there was anything concerning cancellations?


    and: did you ask them to show you where they provided their cancellation policy they want to enforce? That would be the easiest way to get an answer.
  4. #4
    Zigner is offline Senior Member
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    The EASIEST way would be to show the requested documents (if they exist)
  5. #5
    chiquitafl is offline Junior Member
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    I've never been to the office

    Everything was done over the phone... I've never stepped foot in their office. They never informed me of any cancellation policy. Where I feel it differs from a cancellation policy is that the $100 is for the SERVICE provided... I had to pay it in advance. Meaning when I went to the office, there would be no additional fees. So I'm paying for SERVICES that I haven't received yet. When I had to reschedule, they told me I'd lose the $100 I paid (so, I guess they're turning it from a service fee to a cancellation fee... they can't modify a contract like that, can they?) and I'd have to pay ANOTHER $100 for services if I rescheduled. It just seems really crooked.

    By the way, the documents DO exist, but I don't feel I should have to go through this at all. My mother's condition is one that is best kept private, and is frankly none of this office's business.
  6. #6
    Zigner is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by chiquitafl View Post
    By the way, the documents DO exist, but I don't feel I should have to go through this at all. My mother's condition is one that is best kept private, and is frankly none of this office's business.
    You have ALREADY disclosed that she was in the hospital. The documents you present do NOT have to say anything about WHY she was there.
  7. #7
    chiquitafl is offline Junior Member
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    I understand that...

    It's a freaking mental hospital, though. It's just very private and I guess my point is that regardless of the patient's "excuse", I'm wanting to know if what they're doing is legit.
  8. #8
    Stevef is offline Senior Member
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    You agreed to pay $100.

    The service provider agreed to provide services at a specific time.

    That's the entire agreement. Unless there is something included in the agreement, then the only agreement in place is that you agreed to pay $100 and the service provider agreed to provide the service at the specified time.

    The service provider has done nothing to alter the agreement. There is nothing in the agreement that says if you breach the agreement you will receive a refund.
  9. #9
    justalayman is offline Senior Member
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    I had to schedule an appointment for a test to be done at a doctor's office. I called to schedule & they said I had to pay the $100 for the service in advance, which I thought was odd.
    well seeing as you have never been to their office and as such, are not an established patient, I don't see anything odd at all.

    I gave them my credit card number & it was charged that day (they didn't put a hold on it & let the charge go through on the day of service or anything). So, I've paid for a service I haven't received.
    and?

    I argued with them & asked them to be reasonable, and they told me if I brought in something proving my mom was in the hospital, they'd not charge the second $100.
    well, they did give you an easy way out. If you don't want to accept that, it is your choice.

    First off, can they even do this, regardless of whatever the patient's reasoning is?
    depends on what their stated policy is.



    Secondly, how can they charge for a service never rendered?
    well, they simply issue a charge to your card and viola` charges and no service rendered.

    For gosh sakes, it was anticipatory. If you had had the test, this would make no difference to you.

    I have no contract with them.
    well, actually, you do.


    They never explained anything about a cancellation policy, nor did they indicate when I set the appointment that I could lose that $100 in any way. This seems very, very shady to me, and I would like to know what the legalities are with regard to this.

    I appreciate any help & am glad to answer any further questions. Thank you
    .so, bottom line: what do you want to do?

    You can get your money back (at least based on what you have presented). If they will not refund it, file a dispute with your credit card company.

    If you do not want to show proof of your moms situation, then you are relegated to paying again or claiming your money back and not having the test performed.

    so, what do you want to do?
  10. #10
    barry1817 is offline Senior Member
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    medical

    Quote Originally Posted by chiquitafl View Post
    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? Florida

    I had to schedule an appointment for a test to be done at a doctor's office. I called to schedule & they said I had to pay the $100 for the service in advance, which I thought was odd. I gave them my credit card number & it was charged that day (they didn't put a hold on it & let the charge go through on the day of service or anything). So, I've paid for a service I haven't received.

    On the day of my appointment, my mother ended up in the hospital. I called and apologized up & down & explained this was completely out of my hands, and that I had to reschedule. They tried to tell me I would lose the $100, and have to pay ANOTHER $100 to reschedule! I argued with them & asked them to be reasonable, and they told me if I brought in something proving my mom was in the hospital, they'd not charge the second $100.

    First off, can they even do this, regardless of whatever the patient's reasoning is? Obviously, since they made the exception for me, it's within their power to not be douchebags.

    Secondly, how can they charge for a service never rendered? I have no contract with them. They never explained anything about a cancellation policy, nor did they indicate when I set the appointment that I could lose that $100 in any way. This seems very, very shady to me, and I would like to know what the legalities are with regard to this.

    I appreciate any help & am glad to answer any further questions. Thank you.
    I would call your credit card company and tell them that the fee for the service was never provided. That puts the bill on hold and makes the office have to explain and defend billing for a service not provided to your credit card company.

    Once you get the charge reversed I would then use that to file a complaint with the licensing board for this person, using billing fraud as the issue and the fact that your credit card company reversed the charges for a procedure that was billed but was never done.


    The only out the doctor has is if he billed this as a broken appointment. Can't bill for what he didn't do.
  11. #11
    lealea1005 is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by ecmst12 View Post
    What type of test?

    Do you have insurance?

    OP... the above questions are important need to be answered.

    Quote by Barry:

    Once you get the charge reversed I would then use that to file a complaint with the licensing board for this person, using billing fraud as the issue and the fact that your credit card company reversed the charges for a procedure that was billed but was never done.
    It's not that unusual for a Physician to require a deposit for a procedure/testing before being seen. Filing a complaint with the licensing board is a little extreme at this point.
    Last edited by lealea1005; 06-02-2010 at 03:11 PM.
  12. #12
    chiquitafl is offline Junior Member
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    Ok...

    Thanks to everyone for their helpful responses.

    ecmst12: It's called an FCE. It's a test to determine where your pain is, narrow down what may be causing your pain, and helps determine your level of pain, amongst other things. This office is the only one in the area that provides this test, so it's not like I had an alternative, and I am required to have the test done by my primary doctor in order to move forward with treatment options. And no, I do not have insurance.

    Stevef: Ok so just to be sure I understand this logic... I can demand my clients pay $1,000 for website maintenance prior to any work being done. I schedule the work for a specific 5-day period, letting the client know those are the only 5 days the $1,000 covers, as I have other clients scheduled in. There is no paperwork signed and no written contract. When their site goes down during those 5 days for reasons out of their control, I have every legal right to tell them they're screwed, and if they still want the work done, they'll have to pay another $1,000 next week when I can provide services?

    Or let's say a restaurant charges me $100 when I make a reservation, and that $100 covers everything (food, drinks, tip, etc.). I'm side-swiped by a semi on my way to the restaurant & end up in the hospital that night. When I call to explain what happened & to reschedule, they can keep my $100 and charge me another $100 if I want to reschedule?

    If this is the case, then I guess I conclude that what they're doing is bad business & unethical, but they're within their rights... which I feel is ridiculous. I might as well start charging people for services I know they'll never get, simply because I can. (not that I ever would... I'm just sayin')

    justalayman: You're coming across like a dick (not that your arrogance allows you to give a crap) so I prefer to discuss this with the other people who are trying to be more helpful. I never said anything about not accepting the fact that they want me to provide documentation proving my mom was in the hospital. I indicated that I'd rather not if I don't have to, because it's a private matter, and I wanted to know if what this place is doing is legit. I've made it very clear that I am only curious as to what the legalities are regarding their style of business. You have no reason to be condescending with regard to the credit card charges, other than to behave like an *******. I gathered it was okay to ask general legal questions on this site. How I choose to handle it after discussing it here is irrelevant. The answers should still remain the same. So, you've been most unhelpful. I really don't have any desire to discuss this further with you in particular.

    Barry1817: Thank you very much for your helpful response. I will take that into consideration. I don't plan on going that route unless they demand I pay another $100. If they choose to be reasonable and provide the services for $100 as originally agreed upon, then there won't be any problem. I really just wanted to know if a business can do what they're trying to do. You've been most helpful

    lealea1005: Although I've never heard of a doctor requiring any type of deposit prior to service, I don't doubt that it happens... it's just that this isn't a deposit. It's the full charge for services. That's why I feel what they're trying to do is wrong.

    I'm thinking it might be a good idea to contact my primary doctor and let him know what's going on. Considering he sends a ton of patients to this crooked business, I'm sure they have a close working relationship, and he can probably get them to lay off of me, and just provide the damn services I paid for. The only reason I decided to come here was to see if anyone knew of the legalities regarding charging for services in advance, and never providing those services. Thanks again to all who were helpful and polite.
  13. #13
    justalayman is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by chiquitafl View Post

    justalayman: You're coming across like a dick (not that your arrogance allows you to give a crap) so I prefer to discuss this with the other people who are trying to be more helpful. I never said anything about not accepting the fact that they want me to provide documentation proving my mom was in the hospital. I indicated that I'd rather not if I don't have to, because it's a private matter, and I wanted to know if what this place is doing is legit. I've made it very clear that I am only curious as to what the legalities are regarding their style of business. You have no reason to be condescending with regard to the credit card charges, other than to behave like an *******. I gathered it was okay to ask general legal questions on this site. How I choose to handle it after discussing it here is irrelevant. The answers should still remain the same. So, you've been most unhelpful. I really don't have any desire to discuss this further with you in particular.
    .
    sorry you don't like reality. and in reality, you are apparently the dick. I gave you straight forward answers. I even told you how to get your money back. What an ingrate you show yourself to be.

    Although I've never heard of a doctor requiring any type of deposit prior to service, I don't doubt that it happens... it's just that this isn't a deposit. It's the full charge for services. That's why I feel what they're trying to do is wrong.
    they do this because they have been screwed by too many people, especially those without insurance, so they charge upfront. What is your problem with comprehending basic business practices?

    Thank you very much for your helpful response. I will take that into consideration. I don't plan on going that route unless they demand I pay another $100. If they choose to be reasonable and provide the services for $100 as originally agreed upon, then there won't be any problem. I really just wanted to know if a business can do what they're trying to do. You've been most helpful
    I see you prefer answers where the poster coddles you and give you very premature advice. Reporting to the licensing agency? for what? you don't even have a conclusion to the situation yet.

    Ok so just to be sure I understand this logic... I can demand my clients pay $1,000 for website maintenance prior to any work being done
    Yep, it happens every day in all sorts of businesses.

    When their site goes down during those 5 days for reasons out of their control, I have every legal right to tell them they're screwed, and if they still want the work done, they'll have to pay another $1,000 next week when I can provide services?
    and this happens all the time as well. If you contract for services for a specific day and it is your fault they cannot be completed, what makes you think the other party should suffer?


    Or let's say a restaurant charges me $100 when I make a reservation, and that $100 covers everything (food, drinks, tip, etc.). I'm side-swiped by a semi on my way to the restaurant & end up in the hospital that night. When I call to explain what happened & to reschedule, they can keep my $100 and charge me another $100 if I want to reschedule?
    absolutely if they have given proper notification. Why you didn't show up means nothing. It is what is the known contract that matters.

    There is no paperwork signed and no written contract
    Never heard of a verbal contract? Obviously not.

    If this is the case, then I guess I conclude that what they're doing is bad business & unethical, but they're within their rights... which I feel is ridiculous.
    Oh well, then go to another provider... Oh wait, you can't. You just learned a very valuable lesson: when you the only party in town, you can treat people like crap and get away with it.
    Last edited by justalayman; 06-02-2010 at 08:30 PM.
  14. #14
    chiquitafl is offline Junior Member
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    Thanks again

    Just wanted to say thanks again to those of you who were helpful here. I appreciate it, and I plan on visiting the site again, should I have any legal questions in the future!
  15. #15
    Darras-Law is offline Junior Member
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    Un informed cancellation can be sued

    As you did not step in their office and everything was in advance for the service they would offer so they need to inform prior cancellation of the policy and should not charge again as you have already paid for service have not got. Of course, the day of your appointment your mother condition was very bad so might be you have received any call or any information and generally one is not in good state to remember. So before you sue make sure to recall and cross check. They cannot cancel any policy without informing you. If they are doing so you can claim.

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