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To think I shouldn't have to pay for the missed hygienist appointment

(108 Posts)
quittinaeete Sun 03-Mar-19 18:52:14

My dentist sent me an appointment reminder by email with the wrong date and I added it to my phone calendar.

They sent out a correction just via email an hour after this and I didn't read it. They have my address and phone number but didn't get in touch.

So now I've missed an appointment and they've charged me £120 for this, I did have an appointment a few days later and paid £120 for this. But they've sent an invoice by post.

Aibu to think they made a mistake and should have made more of an effort to inform me?

Arowana Sun 03-Mar-19 18:54:04

How long between the email and the appointment?

quittinaeete Sun 03-Mar-19 18:55:48

7 days

HarrysOwl Sun 03-Mar-19 18:56:23

£120 for a hygeinist appointment shock

But yeah, I think I'd phone and use my nice voice to explain and hope they waived it.

Hairyporker Sun 03-Mar-19 18:56:42

Just forward on the email and say you will not be paying.

quittinaeete Sun 03-Mar-19 18:58:02

It was a double appointment, but thanks I do want to ask them to waive it

PinkiOcelot Sun 03-Mar-19 18:59:25

Their mistake. I wouldn’t be paying it.

£120 for hygienist appointment seems very steep!

Fantababy Sun 03-Mar-19 19:00:20

£120! shock

HaventGotAllDay Sun 03-Mar-19 19:03:21

You can try and ask them, but they might refuse seeing as they did, quickly, send you a revised email.

quittinaeete Sun 03-Mar-19 19:05:59

Was a double 1 hour, but they've already made models of my teeth and in the middle of several treatments so sadly can't even change dentist

exLtEveDallas Sun 03-Mar-19 19:06:58

You didn't read an email for 7 days? Why on earth not?

I think you are in the wrong here, sorry. They corrected their mistake within an hour. By not attending you have effectively 'lost' the hygienist £120 when they could have passed the appt to another client.

The hygienists at my dental surgery are sub-contracted so if I don't turn up they don't get paid.

Livedandlearned Sun 03-Mar-19 19:08:37

I had to pay for a "missed appointment" for being 5 minutes late, because I couldn't find a space in their car park and even though they have no obvious cut off time, say ten minutes.

She called in the next patient and I paid £20 for fuck all.

This was years ago and I'm still angry!

Livedandlearned Sun 03-Mar-19 19:09:15

Sorry OP that wasn't helpful

Joebloggswazere Sun 03-Mar-19 19:14:32

£120!!!!! Wtf is wrong with your teeth??? grin

quittinaeete Sun 03-Mar-19 19:15:20

I never read the email. They pile up and the dentist sends lots of automed ones so don't read everyone.

In my line of work an email to correct a mistake would not be sufficient

quittinaeete Sun 03-Mar-19 19:16:03

Don't even ask Joe!!!!

Ha live feel free to vent, I understand!

cardibach Sun 03-Mar-19 19:30:11

I get a lot of emails too. I would definitely have read one from my dentist when I knew I had an appointment coming up. I think YABU to have missed the appointment and TheyABU for charging £120 in the first place.

Heatherjayne1972 Sun 03-Mar-19 19:38:22

That time was allocated for you
The hygienist is likely self employed and would have missed payment for the missed appointment
It’s standard to charge if patients don’t turn up
It’s the patients responsibility to be there at the right time and say
Reminders are only a courtesy

ilovesooty Sun 03-Mar-19 19:38:43

Was the email a reminder email for an appointment you'd originally arranged?

exLtEveDallas Sun 03-Mar-19 19:39:35

In my line of work an email to correct a mistake would not be sufficient

But that's neither here nor there. People make mistakes, if they hadn't emailed you then they would be at fault. But they did, and it really isn't their fault that you are happy to let your emails pile up. What would you have wanted them to do instead?

I do sympathise, £120 is a lot of money and I would be horrified to receive such a penalty. But it's probably a lot of money to the hygienist as well, and they did correct their mistake in a very timely fashion.

(FWIW my hygienist charges £35 per 20 min appt which I find expensive - but it's an expense I have to swallow as gum disease is no laughing matter)

CantStopMeNow Sun 03-Mar-19 19:40:17

They sent out a correction just via email an hour after this and I didn't read it
So for 7 days you didn't check your email - your own fault.

In my line of work an email to correct a mistake would not be sufficient
This isn't your place of employment and it has nothing to do with how you do things at your place of work.
The email method of communication worked as you used it and booked in the (incorrect) appointment.
Therefore it makes sense to keep using the preferred - and working - method of contact.

My dentist sends reminder text messages a week or two before the appointment.
They only charge £24 to see the hygienist as well.

ilovesooty Sun 03-Mar-19 19:40:29

It seems it was. In that case the original appointment should already have been in your calendar. I think you should pay.

Heatherjayne1972 Sun 03-Mar-19 19:40:35

Btw I’m a hygienist and if people don’t turn up I get £0
I have a mortgage to pay !

Fraxion Sun 03-Mar-19 19:41:18

Shocked at £120 for a hygienist appointment. My dentist is private and it's nowhere near that cost. I have a dental plan which covers it though. YABU at missing the appointment.

FriarTuck Sun 03-Mar-19 19:44:20

Was the email a reminder email for an appointment you'd originally arranged?
This ^^. If it's only a reminder you should have had the original details correctly recorded and could either have ignored the reminder or read it and rung them to check which was correct.

greendale17 Sun 03-Mar-19 19:53:15

*They sent out a correction just via email an hour after this and I didn't read it*

So for 7 days you didn't check your email - your own fault.

^I agree. You should pay up

Purpleartichoke Sun 03-Mar-19 19:56:24

They sent out the wrong info. At that point they needed to reach you in person to make the correction. I would refuse to pay.

quittinaeete Sun 03-Mar-19 20:09:33

But if people are charged for missed appointments exactly the same surely you are paid for missed appointments?

Where are you to get an appointment for £35? They are all £60-65 around here!?

No I check my email all the time, but the emails from the dentist stack up in Gmail. I don't always read every single one. I imagine if there's been something important people would call or request by email a confirmation that isn't been received. It isn't enough to just send an email and assume it's been read imo. Very different to a phone call

StinkyCandle Sun 03-Mar-19 20:09:55

why on earth do you have an email account if you don't read the emails?

In these days and age, an email is enough - you should have told them to delete your email address in the first place.

quittinaeete Sun 03-Mar-19 20:11:10

Email isn't enough at any place I have worked, could easily be sent to spam or someone locked out of their account.

ilovesooty Sun 03-Mar-19 21:09:46

But you knew about the original appointment? This was merely a reminder. If you knew the arrangements for the original appointment you'd have known the first reminder was incorrect.

AintNobodyHereButUsReindeer Sun 03-Mar-19 21:12:11

Sorry I'd say you were in the wrong here. They emailed within the hour to correct their mistake and you didn't bother to read it so I think you should suck it up and pay the fine and learn an important lesson.

TORDEVAN Sun 03-Mar-19 21:23:40

If you originally made the appointment then I think YABU. I would have put it in my calendar then and called them to double check the wrong date.

If you didn't make the appointment then yes I think YANBU and they should have called to check you got the correction.

Barrenfieldoffucks Sun 03-Mar-19 21:48:40

Quite often if an email comes in from the same address fairly quickly in Gmail it adds it to a kind of stack, and it is easy to overlook.

Equally, if it has the same subject line, as would probably be the case with system generated appointment emails I can fully appreciate why the OP may have assumed that it was a double email, already dealt with.

In this instance I'd expect the surgery to waive the fee.

Bloggee Sun 03-Mar-19 21:51:47

I think you are in the wrong here too. You’ve literally been ignoring emails. Lesson learnt

quittinaeete Sun 03-Mar-19 21:56:57

Thanks Barrenfieldoffucks, finally someone that understands how Gmail works and gets it!

The email was even hidden by default with the "show quoted text" link, if you know what I mean with that also?

altiara Sun 03-Mar-19 21:58:03

But it was a reminder! You booked the original appointment so should’ve known when that was. I don’t think they did well, but surely you booked the appointment and noted it in the first place.

quittinaeete Sun 03-Mar-19 21:58:19

Yes the subject line was all the same generic "confirmation email" so it was on the stack and looked like a dupe

melj1213 Sun 03-Mar-19 22:04:33

OP YABU - you provided them your email for communication, they used said email to communicate their error and give you the correct details as promptly as possible. The fact you didn't check your email for a week is not their problem.

The email was a reminder, so surely you had the original appt already in your calendar? So when they emailed a reminder with the wrong details (which you should have known were wrong when there was nothing in your calendar), why on earth would you not query it, or at least read any emails that came from the dentist on that same day/day or two after?

AlaskanOilBaron Sun 03-Mar-19 22:05:35

Have you sent a nice email explaining your confusion?


Dear Practice Manager,

I relied upon your first email, overlooked the second and I'm terribly sorry to have missed my appointment. As a gesture of goodwill, could you reschedule it just this once?

Barrenfieldoffucks Sun 03-Mar-19 22:15:35

I love Gmail and the app very much, but have missed emails in a stream for this reason.

I would speak with them and explain. If they didn't mention it when you were in a few days later it may be a system generated invoice that is easily cancelled on explanation.

Barrenfieldoffucks Sun 03-Mar-19 22:17:14

Yes, that's how I have missed emails sometimes...the mysterious 'show quoted text'. I don't understand why an email I have already read is showing as unread and then days letter discover there is another email in the stack and that is what is showing.

endevo Sun 03-Mar-19 22:22:36

I think it is gmails fault, their emails are annoying when they do this!

Bloggee Sun 03-Mar-19 22:28:20

If you know gmail does this then you are still at fault. You choose your email provider and you know how it functions

ourkidmolly Sun 03-Mar-19 22:30:31

No they should have repeatedly phoned you when you didn't respond to correction email. It's their error, they need to reimburse this self employed sub contractor paying a mortgage.

Chlo1674 Sun 03-Mar-19 22:32:26

I think they should have followed up the email with a phone call. I get loads of junk emails on an almost daily basis - hardly anything else so I quite often don’t check my emails for several days. I would always expect to hear about emails via phone /text it’s much more likely that you would have seen it.

StoppinBy Sun 03-Mar-19 22:33:07

Our dentists and doctors send a text message if you don't reply with a 'y' to say that you got the msg and that you will be attending then they call you.

I actually feel that seeing as they initially made the mistake they should have called you to confirm the actual appointment date, they also had opportunity at the appointment you attended to say something which they didn't so I feel they are responsible here for waiving it if it is a once off missed appt.

Chlo1674 Sun 03-Mar-19 22:33:11

* hear about appointments

PineapplePower Sun 03-Mar-19 22:39:00

YANBU corrections should be very clearly signalled in the subject line; if it was generic confirmation email heading then it’s bad practice and very easily overlooked.

ComeMonday Sun 03-Mar-19 22:43:34

OP still hasn’t said whether she booked the appointment in the first place, before the first confirmation email. If that’s the case she IBU.

quittinaeete Mon 04-Mar-19 08:52:47

YANBU corrections should be very clearly signalled in the subject line; if it was generic confirmation email heading then it’s bad practice and very easily overlooked.

Thank you for some common sense - that is often lacking on these MN threads where people berate you for not being perfect.

*Our dentists and doctors send a text message if you don't reply with a 'y' to say that you got the msg and that you will be attending then they call you.

I actually feel that seeing as they initially made the mistake they should have called you to confirm the actual appointment date*
That sounds like a great system, just sending an automated message without having a response isn't sufficient imo.

No they should have repeatedly phoned you when you didn't respond to correction email.

Totally agree, that's what I do at work

I think they should have followed up the email with a phone call. I get loads of junk emails on an almost daily basis - hardly anything else so I quite often don’t check my emails for several days. I would always expect to hear about emails via phone /text it’s much more likely that you would have seen it.

Exactly, so many automated emails - I think some of the people here that are critical for not reading every single email are being very unpractical.

Barrenfieldoffucks Mon 04-Mar-19 09:12:45

Ha, so because Gmail is a bit odd sometimes I should read every personal email twice, including clicking through each message in the previous message chain just to be sure that a professional service provider hasn't made a cock up? Righto. 😂

FriarTuck Mon 04-Mar-19 09:19:47

My dentist sends a reminder text & that's it. I'm an adult - I've booked the appointment & noted it down. The reminder does just that - it reminds me that I've already booked something. If it said a date / time different to what I'd recorded I'd check with them. But I'm not expected to tell them I've received the reminder because I've already consented to be contacted that way and with that consent comes the expectation that I'll ensure I check it and tell them if I stop using it.

fascicle Mon 04-Mar-19 09:22:34

Was a double 1 hour, but they've already made models of my teeth and in the middle of several treatments so sadly can't even change dentist

More reason to check e-mails?

In my line of work an email to correct a mistake would not be sufficient

In any line of work, sticking an appointment in the diary is a given, surely? In which case you would already have had correct date and time noted.

I would have thought a text based system for communication would be more effective on the dentist's part, but no reason for you not to read the e-mail. The charge seems very high relative to other practices, which presumably makes this more of an issue.

moreismore Mon 04-Mar-19 09:24:38

I work in private healthcare and you’d get a polite warning for first missed appointment, a part-charge for the second and full charge for the third. In these circumstances we would accept it was our fault. It may be that the invoives are automated? Or just done from a big list, I’d be surprised if they didn’t waive it when contacted.

TedAndLola Mon 04-Mar-19 09:33:13

YANBU. They made a mistake that made misses appointments very likely and the onus was on them to make sure you knew it was an error.

They should certainly drop the charge.

GottenGottenGotten Mon 04-Mar-19 09:53:35

If I make a mistake or need to change a clients appointment, and I do not hear from them, I make damn sure they know. I'm follow it up by text or a phone call, if they don't reply to say they've received the message.

If they turn up at the wrong time, I don't get paid, so I make damn sure they know.

I don't think YABU.

StinkyCandle Mon 04-Mar-19 10:11:03

Email isn't enough at any place I have worked

I don't know where you work, the rest of us manage with emails - especially when you deal with clients in very different time zones, or when people are just too busy to chat on the phone all day when an email would do!

In any case, the original reminder was by email, so it makes perfect sense to send the correction in the same way! It you have seen one, you should see the other. It's only a reminder, you should have had the original appointment written somewhere in the first place.

Ask them to use another method of contact for you next time.

As a gesture of good will, because it's partially their mistake, they should only charge you half for the missing appointment. They are running a business after all, so they should make a gesture.

DGRossetti Mon 04-Mar-19 10:16:23

(Misses point slightly) I wonder who would win if it went to court ?

I also wonder if it would have made a difference if they had posted the correct details, rather than emailed ?

If a contract can be verbal, then emails can form contracts, surely ?

What if they had called and left an answerphone message instead, and the OP hadn't listened to that ?

StinkyCandle Mon 04-Mar-19 10:22:13

Pretty sure it makes a difference because it was a reminder, immediately corrected and in the same way, not the original appointment.

outpinked Mon 04-Mar-19 10:24:21

I wouldn’t pay it and would find a new dentist if I had to. It was most definitely their fault.

It happened to me once with the dentist, they tried to fine me for missing an appointment but transpired they had sent the reminder text to my old number despite having my new number on the system 🤷🏻‍♀️. I didn't pay the fine, they waived it.

phoenixrosehere Mon 04-Mar-19 10:24:59

I’m on the fence really.

They did send an email, however they could have also sent a text or called you about it. They made a mistake and assumed you saw the email they sent after. Most people can get many emails in an hour period depending on what they are subscribed to and emails can end up in junk mail without anyone realising it.

I think they should have waived the fee considering the mistake was on their end and they could have sent a text and/or called (left a voicemail). We get text messages and letters in the mail with the NHS. When private, we get a letter/card and a phone call.

DGRossetti Mon 04-Mar-19 10:31:06

I wouldn’t pay it and would find a new dentist if I had to. It was most definitely their fault.

For £120, it would be worth chasing through court ... which is why it would be interesting to know the exact position legally. Although I have a memory that the claimant has to demonstrate their loss hmm.

Sirzy Mon 04-Mar-19 10:31:54

So you made an appointment so knew the time

They sent a reminder out with an error but they corrected that within an hour.

Not their fault that you didn’t note the appointment initially or only read one of their emails.

They made one mistake and corrected it immediately. Your mistake was not noting the time initially and not opening the later email.

GregoryPeckingDuck Mon 04-Mar-19 10:32:54

Email isn’t a reliable form of communication. Given that it was their mistake they should have made more of an effort to rectify it. I expect that if you call them up and explain what happened they will waive the fee.

flitwit99 Mon 04-Mar-19 10:32:55

I often don't read reminder emails if I already have the appointment in my diary. I would look at the title and that would be enough to remind me.

But it seems here you didn't have the appointment written down until the reminder email came in. So for that reason yabu. You should have written it down at the time. Then you would have either not bothered reading the reminder and turned up at the original (correct) time, or you would have noticed the date was wrong and contacted them to find out what's going on.

MsMightyTitanAndHerTroubadours Mon 04-Mar-19 10:40:31

i would have presumed the second email was an error/repeat of the first as it was received in such short order

I think they should accept it was their error entirely, at least they should have changed the email header, or left a voicemail.

DGRossetti Mon 04-Mar-19 10:48:10

Email isn’t a reliable form of communication.

Neither is first class post - but it's accepted in court ....

Han2029 Mon 04-Mar-19 11:12:44

I can see where you're coming from OP, I know my doctors surgery have a system where I am that they will send you a reminder via email and if it has been the wrong date they will phone you to let you know they've sent the wrong date and to confirm the right one.

Obviously the difference with dentists is that hygienists are mostly self employed and so with the amount of people that make and miss appointments, if nobody had to pay for missed appts then the hygienist would be left out of pocket.

Your situation is a genuine mistake though because they've sent you a reminder with the wrong date, it's not that you've just decided not to go to your appointment.
Although, even though it is a pain they've sent you the email and not phoned to follow up and let you know, it is just a courtesy of the dentist to send you a reminder, it isn't a requirement of them. My dentist doesn't send reminders, when I make the appt I have the responsibility of remembering when it is.

I would say that in this situation both you and the dentist surgery are to partly to blame, they should have followed up and checked that you got the email however, you should also have known your original appointment date and when you got the email phoned to check with them which one was correct.

I would say maybe to go to the surgery and explain in person that it wasn't that you just didn't turn up or couldn't make the appt and it was because you got that email in and maybe ask them to note on file that your preference of contact is by phone or text or whatever and not by email (I do agree that with the amount of spam emails they do build up and it's not always practical). Hopefully as it was a genuine mistake on both parts they will understand and waive the fee on this occasion.

Is this the first appointment you've missed?
I could understand them saying no to waiving the fee if it was a regular thing but when it's just this once and you've explained to them why they will hopefully waive the fee for you!

PineapplePower Mon 04-Mar-19 11:16:37

It may be that the invoives are automated?

I suspect that’s likely what happened. Input changes into software that sends out reminder email; staff discover they did it wrong, corrected it on their end, with an automated email that looks just like the previous one.

If a human had done it, the subject header would definitely have had CORRECTION or something of that nature.

melj1213 Mon 04-Mar-19 11:51:33

I see the OP has been back but just to insult people who think she IBU rather than answer any of the questions.

OP if these communications were just reminders, that means you originally made the appointment. This means that you had the date already and reminders are a courtesy but mainly to stop missed appointments. The onus is on you to clarify when the "reminder" doesn't match with information you already hold.

When they sent the first (wrong) message, why would you not already have the correct appointment details in your calendar?

When you checked the (wrong) date and found there was no appointment why did you not look to see when you did have appointments scheduled and then contact the office to clarify?

The dentist did their part - set out a reminder to an already scheduled appointment and used the provided contact details - in this case email - to correct their mistake as soon as they were made aware. The way gmail sets up their inboxes and the way you organise your emails is not their responsibility, they did their part by sending the clarification email.

TheFaerieQueene Mon 04-Mar-19 11:56:52

If you don’t often read the dentist’s emails, it was interesting that you the one you did read was the one with the wrong appt details.

TriciaH87 Mon 04-Mar-19 12:14:49

It might be worth calling up explaining the situation and because their mistake caused the error but you by not reading it is also to blame offer to pay half.

UtterlyUnimaginativeUsername Mon 04-Mar-19 12:17:20

My dentist's receptionist rings, texts and emails two days before every appointment, which feels like total overkill but I bet they don't get many people missing appointments! It's madness to rely on just email to sort out a mistake like that.

Parttime1 Mon 04-Mar-19 13:00:04

My dentist sends out numerous emails, often close together. If they got a message wrong I think it is entirely reasonable that they make sure it has been received.
What happened when you turned up for the appointment? If you were seen and had your treatment then I don't see what the problem is - they still made the same amount of money confused

DoJo Mon 04-Mar-19 13:41:33

I don't know where you work, the rest of us manage with emails - especially when you deal with clients in very different time zones

That may be the case in your business, but realistically it is unlikely that many people live in a different time zone from their dentist so this doesn't really stand up as an argument in this case.

CrohnicallyEarly Mon 04-Mar-19 14:20:38

A similar situation- I was in a NHS 'overflow' clinic the other day (by which I mean some appointments including mine had been outsourced to a partner organisation, so not the clinic I usually attend). As it was at a different organisiation, the address was highlighted and an extra yellow slip of paper attached to my letter to explain. So I was perfectly aware of the clinic being at a different place.

While waiting I overheard that someone had gone to the wrong hospital because they had been sent a text message reminder naming their usual clinic, so attended there at the allotted time instead, obviously missing their appointment at the overflow clinic.

Despite the stark messages that missed appointments would result in you being knocked off the list back to GP care, the receptionist was sympathetic and did make them a new appointment. Presumably because the patient was very apologetic rather than being angry and blaming the reminder message 100%- after all they should have checked when they got the message like the OP should have known the original appointment and queried the reminder message.

MargoLovebutter Mon 04-Mar-19 14:23:38

They corrected their mistake, you didn't read your email - that was your choice and now you have to pay the price for your choice.

A dental practice is a business, they have to pay their staff. Why should they be out of pocket because you chose not to read their email to you?

I'd feel pissed off too, but I'd also accept that it was my mistake and cough up.

strivingtosucceed Mon 04-Mar-19 14:24:32


If it was a confirmation and not a reminder email, then you'd have a point.

If the correction was days after the reminder, you'd have a genuine shout.

If the email came the day before the original visit, you could argue.

If you read the first one and were misinformed, there's no tangible reason why in 7 days you couldn't have become correctly informed by reading the correct appointment details.

bumblingbovine49 Mon 04-Mar-19 14:35:20

I absolutely agree that if they made the mistake about the date, it is up to them to make sure they inform you of the error. That means making sure that you have received the new information

One email is not enough, they should also either make a call or text the correction

In this instance I would refuse to pay the cancellation fee, or at least negotiate on what I was prepared to pay (ie NOT £120

. They bear some of the responsibility.I would argue they bear all of it but even if you disagree with that, they are definitely partly responsible for the miscommunication.

Onceuponacheesecake Mon 04-Mar-19 14:38:46

I'm confused. So if you booked appointment for X day and time, they send a reminder stating y day and time, then sent a correction with X day and time, is that right? Why didn't you notice the difference between X and y? If they can rely upon you to read your email in the first place I can't see why they can't rely on you to read the updated one?

JessieMcJessie Mon 04-Mar-19 14:57:39

Sorry, walk me through this:

1. You made an appointment, let’s say for 14 February. (Did you out that in your diary? If not, why not?)

2. You received an email on 6th Feb saying “just a reminder about your appointment on 15 Feb”. You put your appointment in your diary for 15 Feb.

3. A few hours later, also on 6 Feb, dentist emailed to say “Oops, please ignore that reminder saying your appt was on 15 Feb. It’s on the 14th. Sorry about that!”. You overlooked that email as the header dodn’t Say “correction” and gmail does that annoying thing where sometimes it’s not obvious a new email has been added to the thread.

4. You arrived for your appointment on 15 Feb to be told it was the day before and you’d missed it?

5. You made a new appointment for a few days later, went to it and paid the £120.

6. You then received an invoice for £120 for the missed appointment on 14th Feb?

Is that right? If so, I’d say that YW a bit careless not to diarise the original appt (in which case you’d have noticed the reminder was wrong) but they should have done more to bring the mistake in the reminder to your attention and that any sensible business would waive the missed appointment fee as soon as it became obvious that they had made a mistake along the way, even if they thought they had corrected it.

BlueCornishPixie Mon 04-Mar-19 15:05:50

If you had previously booked the appointment presumably you knew what time it was supposed to be at?

A reminder is a courtesy, it's up to you to remember when your appointment is really. You should have already known when the appointment was, by your own account you didn't read their emails. It's not really their fault that a)you didn't put the appointment in your calender originally and b) you didn't read subsequent emails. If an email was sufficient for the first reminder then it's sufficient for the correction.

Have you spoken to them about it? Did you apologise when you realised you missed an appointment?

I tend to find if there's been a genuine mistake people will phone me and apologise straight away, once they realise. The problem is if we don't charge for missed appointments we would end up losing lots of money, and that's not fair on the practice and it's not fair on the hygeinist or dentist.

HarrysOwl Mon 04-Mar-19 15:06:21

Did you phone them, OP?

BlueCornishPixie Mon 04-Mar-19 15:09:13

The thing is is it's not an email informing you of your appointment, it is simply a reminder.

You should already know the appointment.

If it was an email informing you of the appointment then I agree they should chase it up, if it's the first time you've heard of the time but a reminder I think a follow up email is sufficient.

JessieMcJessie Mon 04-Mar-19 15:11:43

BlueCornishPixie if you are going to have a system of charging for missed appointments (which is fine in principle) you have to be prepared to waive the charge when you cause the patient to get confused about what the appointment time is. If the dentist or hygienist kicks off about losing the fee then they need to take that up with the receptionist who made the mistake. And no, it doesn’t matter if he/she says she sent a correction email- the minute the wrong info went out that made this a case that was different from a normal missed appointment and not one where the policy should be blindly enforced.

JessieMcJessie Mon 04-Mar-19 15:13:13

And *“you should already know the appointment”*- there would be no need to send reminders then!

BlueCornishPixie Mon 04-Mar-19 15:45:23

Reminders are just a courtesy, they reduce our rates of people who don't turn up however you shouldn't need a reminder to turn up. It's not really up to us to remind you. It's up to patients to remember really. Of course you should already know your appointment! You made it.

If the OP rang and apologised, and spoke to us to explain we probably would waive the fee in this case. It depends though, OP doesnt say if shes actually spoken to them.

I personally think it's not the surgeries fault that OP didn't remember he appointment time in the first place and didn't read communication from the dentist.

JessieMcJessie Mon 04-Mar-19 15:54:32

The OP says that she has been to the surgery since the date of the missed appointment. I imagine the whole issue of the missed appointment was discussed then, in person?

JessieMcJessie Mon 04-Mar-19 15:55:57

I see you’ve totally ignored the points made in my first post BlueCornishPixie.

BlueCornishPixie Mon 04-Mar-19 20:53:29

Jessie have I? I said we might waive the fee? But it is case dependent? Of course there are situations where we would waive the fee hmm

What point have you made? I'm not seeing anything I've missed. I didn't realise I had to reply to you point by point hmm I haven't ignored your post but I think it's fairly obvious from my first post that I disagree with you that the correction email is irrelevant, there's no point rehashing it over and over.

JessieMcJessie Tue 05-Mar-19 07:58:52

Blaming your customers for your mistakes is no way to run a business.

HoraceCope Tue 05-Mar-19 08:02:35

i think they should waiver it
or to be honest, did you not book the appointment in the first place? they simply sent out a reminder?

Racheyg Tue 05-Mar-19 08:49:28

£120.00 is standard hygiene fees for 1hr appointments, or so I thought.

Purplejay Tue 05-Mar-19 09:01:30

I would explain the circumstances and see if they still say you should pay. They may waive all or part.

It is likely that the computer generated this invoice automatically.

I recently joined a new dentist. When I attended my initial appointment there was no dentist to see me (a new one hadnt started yet) but no one let me know. A new app was made. A week or so later I received a letter saying I had missed an appointment and if I did it again I would be taken off the books. I was fuming and they were apologetic but it had been generated automatically as no one amended the system and it just looked like so hadn’t turned up!

No harm in asking.

MariaNovella Tue 05-Mar-19 09:06:14

My dentist uses text and expects me to reply to the text to confirm the appointment. Just sending an email to correct a previous mistake without asking for an acknowledgement makes thus the dentist’s mistake, not the patient’s mistake.

melj1213 Tue 05-Mar-19 10:51:43

Just sending an email to correct a previous mistake without asking for an acknowledgement makes thus the dentist’s mistake, not the patient’s mistake.

I disagree - the OP had the correct information in the beginning, and in the correction. She was given the wrong information once and the correct information twice. Why is it the dentist's fault that of the 3 communications of the appointment time/date the only one she paid attention to is the wrong one?

callmeadoctor Tue 05-Mar-19 10:57:56

But surely OP you had the original appointment in your diary? Why didn't you notice that it had accidentally been changed and check?

Backseatonthebus Tue 05-Mar-19 11:02:05

If you book an an appointment, surely it's your responsibility to turn up on the right day at the right time? The reminder message is just an additional aide memoire. Yes there was an error (which they rapidly corrected), but the responsibility is yours to turn up to the appointment you made.

JessieMcJessie Tue 05-Mar-19 12:58:14

So many people looking at this in a black and white way.

The fact is that the dental surgery made a mistake. They sent out an incorrect email which caused confusion. Whether or not it was reasonable for the OP to have got confused is neither here nor there. Whether or not she should have diarised the original appointment or should have read the correction is neither here nor there.

The existence of the mistake in the reminder makes this situation different to a normal missed appointment. A sensible business does not split hairs trying to blame the customer for not protecting herself from the consequences of its mistake. It just sucks up the lost fee and moves on, keeping the client happy and ensuring repeat business and goodwill.

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