Thursday, December 10, 2009


Nothing going on except for flag football.
I am not even watching TV anymore. This is bad because I love watching TV. It is mindless. It helps me decompress.
If I do I put the TV on, I am asleep in about 10 minutes. I think I am getting old.
Okay I have a couple of short stories that I will turn into a blog.
One is about a patient.
Nice guy about 70 years old.
I did a bunch of restorative to the tune of $1000.
Then he is missing his posterior teeth on the lower. I went through all his options, and he decided implants were not for him.
I told him that I am not a big fan of the traditional removable partials. #1 because I don't do a lot of them. #2 is because I am an aesthetic guy and I don't like putting in clasps where you can see them. I told him that people say they don't mind and when they get them they wish they didn't make that decision. (Now I don't want all the removable guys ticked at me, that's just how I feel. Partials are fine.)
He said he wanted one so I told him I would come to a compromise with him. I decided to do a cast Valplast partial. So we would make a framework and the teeth and clasps would be in Valplast.
So I made the partial. Well it was easy to say, but not easy to do. I sent the framework back because I was not happy with the fit. So this first step took a long time and a lot of visits.
I finally was comfortable with the framework. We did the framework try in and bite registration. Then we did the wax-up and the processing.
We delivered the RPD. I was thrilled. He didn't like it. I adjusted it and he said he would try it.
He came back in two days and said, "this is not going to work."
Hmmm. Well let me do some adjusting. I am sure I can make this fit good and make you happy.
I can't remember but I think he let me adjust it and came back the next day.
He said, "This is not going to work."
I was a little disappointed in the lab and the way that they did the partial. I don't do these very often, but I can tell sloppy work when I see it.
Maybe, just maybe I said out loud, "I hate this lab and this is for sure the last time I am working with them." (I know this is a big no no but what can I say, I did it.)
He suggested, "why don't we try a different lab?"
Okay, I was thinking to myself, "He is not completely pissed, he is willing to do what it takes to do this."
I said, "Okay, let's do that"
I spoke to the new lab man and told him my dilemma. He was willing to take this case on.
We used the same metal framework. We decided to scrap the Valplast because it is hard to adjust. Quite frankly, I was thinking I just wanted it to be comfortable for this man. I started to lower my expectations because I just wanted him to be happy...not me.
I went through the next five steps again. I pulled the framework in a impression. Bite registration. Wax-rim. Teeth wax try-in. Then another wax try-in to make the occlusion perfect. The processed teeth came back, and I was thrilled when I put them in. The second process went so much smoother.
One problem. He wasn't happy. You know the kind that is shaking his head the second you put it in. Kind of like last time, it was the "this isn't going to work" shake.
I told him that sometime partials don't feel perfect the first time you put them in. I did some adjustments and he said, "Well I guess I will try them."
The next day or the day after he called and asked to "speak to me".
I was think to myself, "Son of a #$%!@*, you have got to be kidding me."
So we sat down and talked. I look over and he has the teeth in a ziplock in his shirt pocket. Now for you non-dental people...this ain't good.
He said, "This thing is not going to work."
Now I am a The Customer Is Always Right kind of guy. I take the posture of I will do whatever it takes to make this work even though I have done most of it already.
I told him that usually it takes time to get use to something foreign in your mouth, and I didn't think he was giving it time to work. If he does wear it, then we adjust it and he gives it another chance.
He was convinced he gave it enough time.
I told him that I am willing to do whatever it takes.
I asked him if he didn't mind me sending him over to my dad (down the hall) and see if my dad could see something I didn't see. He said, "No, he wasn't interested in that."
I said that I could refer him to a prosthodontists and see if he could make this thing work. He said he wasn't interested in that.
I said, well then if you want to get teeth in the back and you want to go away from the partial you can get two implants and I will give you the $1700 credit toward the abutments and crowns.
No he wasn't interested in this.
He said, "I don't want anything. I like you. I like your office. I want my wife to come here. I just don't want this partial and I want my money back."
Now usually this would be no problem. But what are we talking about here. I have probably seen him, and I am not exaggerating, 15 times.
I have paid the labs (between the two of them) $721.50.
So it is not as easy as giving him his money back. I told him this and I told him that I wanted to think about it and I would call him.
I thought about it and I thought about it. I wanted to give this guy his money back and rid myself of him, but I couldn't get passed all the work I did all the money I paid and how this guy was impossible.
So I called him and I told him that I was willing to give him back all his money minus my lab bill.
So I told him I would give him back almost a $1000.
He said, "What?" he goes on to say, "I am sitting here looking at a $2700 credit card bill and you're only going to give me back a $1000?"
Well of course I said, "Well let's not forget that you had a New Patient Exam with X-rays and you have 5 new beautiful fillings."
A couple of times as I was trying to explain how much I have spent on this. Time and money. And he would even go on to say, "Yes, I recognize how hard you worked and how you really tried and were doing everything you could and you have to be paid for your work."
But something was not computing in his mind.
He went on to say, "Someone is getting screwed here."
I could feel the steam building up in my head.
Remember I am still The Customer is Always Right kind of guy.
So I told him, "I am starting to hear a theme here. You were not happy with the first partial, you were not happy with the second partial, you are not happy with me giving you your money back. I am starting to think that it doesn't matter what I do for you, you are not going to be happy."
Then he is like, "No, no, no. I am not that kind of person."
Uh, well, yes you are.
Then he says, "Just send me the money and that will be that."
I said, "Okay."
Well, I guess he had time to think about it. So he called me back.
He started again with the, "I have a $2700 credit card bill to pay and you are only giving me back $1000."
Calgon take me away.
What the hell can I do for this guy?
I can hear his wife talking to him in the background. And we are going round and round.
We were getting ready to hang up and I could still hear his wife. So I said does your wife want to say anything, he said "she is saying something about getting a lawyer but just send me the money" and we hang up.
Oh, I was having such a good day.

Next story,
I was in Atlanta last Saturday. In the FanFare event before the SEC championship game there was tables set up for a silent auction. Now to me silent auctions are ALL for charity. The tables were filled with autographed memorabilia. I got all excited. I am a sucker for charities, and I am a sucker for autographed Gator stuff.
I went straight up to a Percy Harvin jersey and put a bid on it.
As I was leaving the table I asked the attendant what charity the money was going to. He said this is not for charity.
So they are having a silent auction to benefit the memorabilia company. Are you kidding me?
So I was walking away and I was thinking of erasing my name but I realized that I was the first bidder and what are the chances that I would be the only bidder. There was still half a day and someone is bound to out bid me.
Well I get the call yesterday saying I won the damn thing.
I had to break it to the guy that I would have been happy to pay but I thought it was going to a charity. I would be happy to buy it if he was willing to work with me on the price.
I told him I would have to bring all my son's x-mas presents back if I was going to buy him this jersey. He said he was not willing to budge on the price. I said, "Thanks, but no thanks."

Last one,
I want to get my wife a David Yurman bracelet for Christmas. "Want" being the operative word. I have been looking. So I went on e-bay yesterday. The first item was a bracelet for $50 and it was up in 45 minutes.
Wow, so I put my bid in for $55, what the heck. Now this bracelet would probably retail for about $600. So of course I thought the price would go from $55 to $555 in the last 10 minutes.
Just in case I e-mailed the seller. I asked if the bracelet is real.
I had a patient and when I came back to my computer, she had written me back and said it WASN'T. Only one problem...the auction was over and I had WON.
So I am pissed.
I now have a bracelet that I don't want.
Let's go back. I got to ebay. I type in David Yurman bracelet and this is the first item up.
After this is all over I look at the title of her item and it was this...
David Yurman .05 perfume with a free gift of a bracelet.
So she was selling the perfume and giving the "knock off" bracelet as a free gift.
It was a total con.
I wrote here and told her my story. I told her I was looking for a bracelet and I had no idea it was not real. I felt a little mislead by the whole process.
I told her I didn't want it but realize I am obligated to buy it but do I have any recourse.
She wrote me back and was very very kind.

Hi There,
I completely understand and I'm sorry about the confusion. There are a lot of people out there who can't afford the real thing so I give them a chance to own a similar item for way less. I would never think of tricking a buyer, that is why I put in my listing that the free item is not a David Yurman. I will retract your bid and all will be fine. Thanks again,

My faith in people restored. I wrote her back telling her I applauded her integrity and I appreciated her letting me off the hook.
What a week.
I hope yours was better.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well you win some and you lose some with partials. That Happened to me the with one of the first partials I made. From then on the first thing I tell someone is that the partial will basically suck and they won't like it. I also tell them most people get used to it after 2 to 3 months and but some don't. I show them what one looks like and then ask them if they still want it or not.

Sounds like you need to read the fine print with your auctions. LOL


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