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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?

DoJo Wed 06-Mar-19 22:29:33

Am I the only one who can imagine getting an email with a date that differed very slightly from the one I had down and thinking 'Oops - I managed to write my hygenist appointment down for the wrong date - good job they emailed, now I can go on the right date.' rather than automatically realising that the first email was sent in error?

fascicle Wed 06-Mar-19 09:13:21

Think lots here were acting as if the dentist and I have an equal relationship, when that's not what a customer to buisness relationship is.

I think a lot of posters - me included - could not understand why you seemed to rely on an e-mail reminder service (whilst not checking all e-mails from your dentist) and don't appear to have diarised the appointment in the first place. If your e-mail service has certain quirks, then you have to factor that in to how you deal wih your e-mails. I don't think this is anything to do with expecting you to have an 'equal relationship' with your dentist.

quittinaeete Tue 05-Mar-19 19:26:24

Thanks I did try it turned off, but I'm a bit to used to it now.

It works 90% of the time and for the dentist would have worked if they sent out an email that was different - either in subject or body. I'll have a tweak with my filters to see if that can fix it

Dauphinois Tue 05-Mar-19 19:13:07

@quittinaeete you can stop gmail doing the weird stacking up thing by going to the setting and switching off 'conversation view'.

I manage a busy gmail inbox at work and find it much easier to deal with emails as they arrive in chronological order, rather than the conversation view that gmail defaults to.

quittinaeete Tue 05-Mar-19 18:04:26

Pretty glad it's sorted without any fuss!

Think lots here were acting as if the dentist and I have an equal relationship, when that's not what a customer to buisness relationship is.

Rather amusingly they have a paragraph on their site saying emails to cancel appointments are not valid and you need to phone.

BeanTownNancy Tue 05-Mar-19 17:51:42


I was going to say, seems a bit dodgy that the dentist could theoretically make a bunch of double-bookings to fill empty slots and then turn around and say that it's your fault for not noticing their error.

JazzerMcJazzer Tue 05-Mar-19 17:36:33

Brilliant! Common sense prevailed.

quittinaeete Tue 05-Mar-19 17:06:45

Turns out it was all a mistake and they apologised profusely and said it was down to a new member of staff.

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.

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.

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?

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?

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.

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.

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

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

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?

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

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

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 Mon 04-Mar-19 15:55:57

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

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?

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 15:13:13

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

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.

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.

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

Did you phone them, OP?

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