Comments about ‘Peeved patient proud of penny protest’

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Published: Monday, June 6 2011 11:00 a.m. MDT

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Kearns, UT

Grow up. You want to be treated like an adult, act like it. Buy some coin sleaves, roll them up, place them on the desk as payment. Don't walk in with a handful of pennies, and toss them all over the desk. Complete disrespect.

If I'm the doctor, I send him a bill for processing fees for the extra time it took to clean up his mess after he threw a temper tantrum at the doctors office. Can you imagine the kids in the waiting room, acting more adult than this guy was!

Salt Lake City, UT

This is some great publicity for both this clinic and the police department. I foresee some customer service training in their futures!

liberal larry
salt lake City, utah

I just got a bill from a consult with my (ex) orthopedist and he charged the insurance company $2700.00 for a 20 minute exam! At his billing rate $25.00 would buy about 11 seconds! This guy should just pay the 25 bucks and count his blessings.

Logan, UT

Get a lawyer and sue the Doctors office for wrongful prosecution. Then sue the cops for not having a brain to tell the Dr's office these are frivolous charges.

Hooper, UT

I've dealt with all manner of difficult customers in my day...this one is cut and dried for me...

rather you run a medical clinic or a wal mart...if a guy gets mad enough at you to take the time to count out 25 Bucks in pennies...I think it is painfully clear YOU failed...not the guy who dumped the pennies.

It is legal tender, and it appears as though he did nothing more than drop his money on the counter...his happened to be coins. Waste of time to pursue this...

You folks at the clinic...drop the charges, you already look like COMPLETE and TOTAL hacks.

American Fork, UT

Isn't there legislation in place governing how much of any given denomination anyone is required to accept? I suspect there is. I used to deliver mail to a traffic court. Often people, probably angry with the process, the system, the courts, or just guv'mint in general, would send in payments of pennies in heavy, ugly boxes requiring much postage. The clerks would write 'return to sender' on every one. I used to just laugh at this; no point was proven but a few of us got some exercise.

Ogden, UT

I would send it certified mail, return receipt requested, then if it was returned I would have proof that payment was rendered, and refused! Ball in your court!

Ricardo Carvalho
Provo, UT

There are usually two sides to every story. I am amazed that Basin Clinic is not coming out with their side of the story - probably afraid of the backlash of putting potential misinformation into the public arena. It will be interesting to see what the witnesses had to say once this hits trial.

Overall, I would have to say, however, that Basin Clinic have acted stupidly in this case from a PR perspective. Their way of handling this incident is inconsistent with the friendly, family oriented image they convey on their web site. A PR savvy clinic would have laughed about the incident and admitted that it was a clever way for someone to express a disagreement and that they harbored no hard feelings. Instead, they have acted consistently with the way the disgruntled patient has painted them - with hurt feelings and arrogance.

metamora, IL

Speaking as an office manager for a small private medical practice, this issue simply should not have escalated to the point where this man would feel so frustrated as to act in this manner. Admittedly, it is always the people who owe a $10 or $25 or $50 co-pay that never seem to get around to paying. But whether this fellow had paid in December, as he claims, or not, it's a only $25. My guess is that this amount is less than one tenth of one percent of the annual gross revenue of the clinic. It just isn't worth worrying about.

South Jordan, UT

Penny man, penny man, penny man, penny man, penny man, penny man.....
You speak for many of us who get frustrated with poor customer service issues as well as billing and insurance problems. Thank you penny man for taking a stand!

mountain man
Salt Lake City, UT

Huray for penny man. Get serious police department. It is not a crime to pay your bill in pennies.

Boise, ID

Don't feel sorry for the office staff. They don't count the pennies; they just put them in a bag and deposit them along with the other cash into their bank. The bank has a machine that counts out the coins in seconds. I would be peeved too if I had to pay $25 TWICE! Serves them right to get 2500 pennies!

However, if the office DID count out the pennies and waste all that employee time I'd fire them for being imbeciles!

Salt Lake City, UT

Wow a patient that actually tried to pay for services rendered??!! This office should take the pennies all the way to the bank!

Ogden, UT

Come on. Make a hero of this guy?

Give me a break.

City, Ut

So in another Des News story today, the two state employees who were guilty of publicly releasing "the list" of confidential information just get probation--but this guy gets a $140 fine???

Salt Lake City, UT

Wow, looks like public sympathy is definitely weighing on the side of Penny Man. Basin Clinic had better have a very good explanation and quickly get it out to the public, or (the better solution) quickly acknowledge their poor handling of it. The new goal: no patient/customer should ever be so provoked by staff that he would go to the trouble Penny Man did, however immature he may be.

The police may want to get out of this as well. I'll bet they never dreamed it would make the Salt Lake newspapers . . .

Ogden, UT

Go penney guy!

Floyd Johnson
Broken Arrow, OK

No case law in Utah, but in a 1997 Ohio case (State v. Carroll) the court ruled an organization was not required to take pennies as payment. The Court concluded: "It defies logic and common sense that this Congress intended such a wooden and broad application of the statute beyond the control of the payee regardless of the circumstances." The Court reasoned that the clerk could "provide a reasonable procedure for the place, time and manner of accepting fines consistent with the efficient operation of the clerk's office."

The appropriate response to a disputed bill is to mail a letter. "Dr. Smith I have reviewed my last statement. It appears that payment owed for services rendered is $X, and $X have been paid on my behalf. Please review my account and advise me of your findings."

Exactly $25 is likely an insurance co-pay that the patient owes. Patient is wrong that 1)he did not owe the money 2)that the clinic is obligated to accept payment in pennies.

The intent of dumping 2500 pennies is to cause a disruption and a nuisance. The charges against him are reasonable.

Grow up, play nice.

Provo, UT

MOS was 71331: He didn't dump them on the floor. They can[t make him go anywhere else if his primary doctor is in that clinic.

w bountiful, ut

Last year I went into a surgical center for a serious procedure. At the admitting desk, I presented my insurance card and ID along with an itemized firm quotation from the doctor and the center outloining my exact fees for the procedure. All of this was done in advance to be certain there would be no surprises upon arrival for the procedure.

The clerk filed the paperwork and asked me for an additional payment of $1,320.00. I politely showed her on the quote where that amount was shown by the insurance company as 100% covered. She still demanded payment, which I reluctantly paid.

Six months later, I received a check from the center for @1,320.00, with the explanation of the overpayment. No apology. While glad to have the money back, I rolled my eyes at how blatantly and incorrectly the clerk had ignored the evidence in fron of her.

Don't ever believe clerks don't make errors. I cannot believe the "penny" guy was cited for conduct. Get Larry the Cable Guy, "Only in America".

The only thing worse than stupidity is making other people pay for it.

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