As I type this, there is a package containing $15 in random change on its way to the office of my former dentist, and I cannot wait ’till it gets there.
The dentist, of whom I had been a patient for about four years, is charging me $15 for copies of my records.
During the four years I had been a patient, I never had a wait time shorter than 35 minutes. Add to that her staff “forgetting” to get a permanent crown made for me (twice!) and the fact that I moved to the other side of town and you could see why I wanted to change the person who I pay to stick their fingers in my mouth. Last year, the Civee started going to a dentist a few blocks away from us, suggested I try him out and I figured a clean break from Dentist #1 was necessary. I called Dentist #1, asked them to send my records to Dentist #2 and thought that was that.
Until I received a bill for $15, which Dentist #1 claimed was for copying the X-Rays, standard procedure in her office. It wasn’t the amount, but the fact that she was charging me for this that kicked my stubbornness into high gear. I am not an anti-dentite. This is all about the principle.
I sent her a kind letter saying her office never said they would charge for the records and that I’m legally entitled to a copy of my records free of charge. She responded saying there’s a state law saying they can charge (nevermind the fact that federal law supersedes state law), and I dismissed her letter until we received a second notice.
At this point, the Civee urged me to pay so this wouldn’t affect our credit history. I agreed, but would do so in my own manner. My own manner being the least convenient, but legal way short of sending the money in McDonald’s bucks. So I went to the bank, asked for $15 in change, packed it up tightly (along with a note asking for a receipt–I resisted the urge to write ‘Keep the change, ya filthy animals’ on the note as well), took it to UPS and sent it off. While filling out the packing slip, I didn’t list anything under the contents, but under the declared value, I put $15.
So is going through the work of paying a bill in change (not to mention paying the cost of having that change sent) a pointless exercise? Maybe, but it makes me feel a lot better. Unless one of those coins is a double-die Denver mint penny. Those things are worth a fortune.