Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Apria Healthcare---A company with a cold,cold heart.

Yesterday in the mail I received a bill from the Apria Healthcare Corporation, in the amount of $35.01, billing for a full month of rental of the oxygen unit that the LP had been using for the better part of two years. The billing period was for the month of November (the month just past) billing me for the rental period beginning Nov. 8 . My initial reaction was that like most companies the billing office had not been notified that the said rental equipment had been returned on Nov. 11Th, (The LP having passed on on 11/06, two days before the start of the billing period in question), and that the said bill would be prorated for the four days that the equipment was in my possession before being picked up by the Apria service.

So wanting to resolve the bill, I of course called them to confirm the above, confident that it was an oversight , and the bill would be adjusted accordingly and I could complete the closure of that account.

I called, the 800 number referenced on the billing, and the phone was promptly answered, I explained the reason for my call, and was efficiently transferred to the billing dept, and the individual that answered was polite and knowledgeable, she was quick to pull up the LP's account, confirmed that the bill in question was what it was. I politely explained, that the LP had passed on the 6Th, that I had contacted them on the 10Th and said equipment was picked up on the 11Th, and she confirmed that was indeed what the record showed, but then she quickly and efficiently told me that SHE did not have the authorization to prorate the billing for the four days of the billing period in which I had possession of the equipments, and then she kind of muttered, that she was fairly certain that most bills were never prorated, but she would transfer me to someone that had the authorization to do so------I was on hold for the better part of 25 minutes, waiting for that individual.

Finally I was talking to a real person and not a recording telling me ad nauseum that all representatives were busy but that calls were being answered on a first come first serve basis, with bouts of inane Muzak between these announcements. I went through the same drill as the first and was once again told their records agreed with my own , but to bad the equipment was received four days AFTER, the start of the billing period, and NO they would not prorate the bill accordingly.

Here we have a situation, where a loved one has passed on, those that remain behind now must deal with not only their immediate loss, and grief, but deal with funeral arrangements. Had I made getting his equipment back to Apria the top priority, and put off dealing with the disposition of his mortal remains, I could have avoided this problem. I didn't know the Apria Corporation could care less about my grief and from their perspective getting the money was of paramount importance. Their policy of billing for an entire monthly period, and not prorating a bill due to a death makes --------Apria Healthcare Corporation, a company with a cold cold heart.

Well it will be a cold cold day before I allow another penny to go that Company. I would caution all my readers to avoid Apria like the plague, and hope that those who read this will caution all their friends and relatives of this companies greedy policy.


  1. You may as well warn us to avoid all of the bastards in the medical business. They all have cold hearts in my opinion.

  2. Un fortunately they are the only ones out there for medical equipment. Did you know you still have to file taxes for the deceased person? I have to filed for two years from Agnes dealth because of probate.

  3. Yeah, that sounds like the cold corporate attitude I sincerely hate with all my heart.

  4. Unfortunately you will face the same from all the companies. When my mother died, I had to pay $200 to Verizon to cancel her cell phone account. I had bought her a cell phone 6 years before and personally paid the bill promptly every month, but a year before she died, she needed a new phone, which they sold me at a discount in exchange for a 2-year contract. When I asked that they waive the cancellation fee because my mother couldn't very well use the phone from the grave, they declined because although the account was in my mother's name, the bills went to me. GAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!! And as you say, this was the last thing I wanted to deal with on top of my grief.

  5. Also, when my father-in-law died, we had to fight his insurance company over whether an ambulance trip he took was "necessary." It was the trip that took him to the hospital where he died two days later.

  6. And people wonder why we talk about the *good old days* when common sense and compassion prevailed.
    Sorry to hear that this has happened to you Gary.

    Bear((( )))

  7. I'm sorry you have to deal with the a--holes out there that seem to lurk and prey on our greif. When I called to cancel my mother's credit cards they asked the date of her death. When I told her the date the lady on the other end yelled at me because the card had been used the day before she died! I said, "Yes, she was ALIVE then" My mother had insurance on her credit cards in the event of her death they would be paid off by the company. (don't think they have that anymore..lol) My mother was a Home Shopping Club Addict....and had spent quite a bit on there the week before she died.
    Whatever happened to compassion for your fellow human being?
    I like to think what goes around comes around...

  8. I just don't understand how companies can operate this way. I'm so sorry you had to deal with this ridiculous situation. It's sad, just sad.

  9. Gary, call Kaiser and tell them about your problem and they should handle this for you. If you don't want to I will call for Jerry. I know they can't bill a dead person and I quite sure that they cannot bill Medicare for those few days. Let me know what Kaiser says. Apria does a million dollar business with Kaiser and I don't think they will want to fight over $35 bucks. You may want to ask Kaiser for the phone number for Medicare to report how you are being treated. That will give both Kaiser and Apria diarrhea. Medicare by law has to follow up with any complaints and I am positive that they don't want them reviewing their records. My advise, as one who has worked in health care, is that the threat of or calling Medicare about care or any concerns sends shock waves to those departments involved. I love a good fight. Love, Mel

  10. Oh Gary, how awful...such a sad but true commentary on present-day corporations.

  11. It's always about the almighty dollar. How awful they don't prorate. For $35 they should just right it off and I'm sure they could. I know when my father in law passed away, we had called 911 and an ambulance responded. Well he was already dead so they didn't do anything for him. 3 days later we got a $300 bill for the ambulance. It's ridiculous how many companies take advantage of our grieving periods.

  12. Its not the money Mel, its the principle of them not even in a case of death, not prorating the bill for the period, which to me is really greedy on their part. IN any case the bill has been paid and I am moving on, life is to short to get hung up on the subject.

  13. Gary, when my mom died, the IRS came after me. You can call that unbelieveable horror heaped upon unbelieveable horror. It seems that a few years before her death she had been scribbling and adding on the margin of her form. They checked THOSE numbers and, although she'd made a mistake (not on her form, just on the numbers in the margin)they came after the imaginary (wrong)amount.

    How could I prove anything?

    And the ambulance ride was deemed unnecessary due to the fact she died enroute.

    I guess they meant we could have left her on the side of the road and waited.

    When you even "think" a loved one might be dying, leave their side immediately and start notifying all credit card companies and utilities. Of course, you'll be on "hold" or listening to the "menu" when they die, but ya gotta do what's important.

    So sorry honey.

  14. Gary, I think this is a classic case of "penny-wise and pound-foolish." Apria could have made a friend for life by telling you that OF COURSE they would pro-rate the bill, or, since Jerry passed away prior to the billing date, that they would not charge you at all for the extra month.

    That would be something willing to share with others, right? You'd have given them a lot of good publicity, and it would have cost them less than $40.

    Instead they saved the money by collecting from you, and they're getting $1 million in bad publicity.

    Common sense isn't very common anymore. Not only was their policy cold-hearted, but it's bad for business. What a gang of fools.

  15. No post is three days? You ok Gary?

  16. the managers and people who work in lake forest, ca office are rude, selfish, and cowardly and employ some really dumb, people. stay away from hr, howard the coward is hard at work trying to look busy, but he is too busy breaking the rules. all the sales reps know what a joke it is to work there...they are all looking. good luck idiots!

  17. Amen,
    I've been out of oxygen 9 days and they still won't deliver. The corporate office customer service is a joke. Calling the state help line now

  18. Have you tried calling your local Branch Manager? The Billing Center is centralized in another state and does not over-ride the local Branch Manager. I went through a similar situation with my daughter. The local office was quite nice and corrected my Billing concerns.

  19. I am currently in the process of getting rid of Apria as my oxygen supplier. Horrible customer service and rude uncaring employees. If you call, even during business hours you get an answering service that has to try and contact someone at Apria, usually unsuccessfully. They didn't even show up for two scheduled oxygen deliveries. No phone call, nothing. If you have a choice of providers you should avoid this slack jawed company.

  20. Just wanted to weigh in on the horror that is Apria. Thank goodness my mother will soon be off oxygen and we can kiss this nightmare company goodbye. My heart is heavy for those of you for whom Apria is the only supplier.

    We have been treated rudely and without concern, lied to, left waiting HOURS, told Apria is available 24/7 when they are not...the list goes on.

    When we left the hospital with my mother on oxygen, we were instructed to call Apria immediately and go straight home, as they would be there in less than two hours with her home concentrator and portable O2 tanks.

    Long story short...they didn't show up for 5 (FIVE) hours, by which time my mother had run out of oxygen. And they only delivered when they did because my husband called and absolutely insisted on speaking with the delivery driver. NONE of what we were told by Customer Service concerning her delivery was the truth. The delivery driver was very nice, but completely rushed and overworked. Awful.

    Now getting deliveries for refills is an insane process. One calls and ALWYAS has to wait on hold. When someone does answer, they are rude and well, stupid. I have to repeat my mother's information so many times it's ridiculous.

    There is no way my mother could handle this by herself. Thank God we are here to help her. It makes me cry for disabled individuals who have to handle this company on their own.

    They don't deliver when promised. One has to wait ALL DAY and NIGHT for a delivery, if they even show (no three hour delivery windows here)! And they are by no means a 24/7 operation.

    Once, when they didn't show for a delivery, we were promised a morning delivery the next day, so my mother could go to the doctor. Of course, they didn't show then either. So I had to call and get all indignant. They did show up in the nick of time for us to rush off to the doctor. But my poor mom was so shook up that she failed her spirometer test.

    Now, I called this Friday for Monday delivery. But, oops, so much for their proclaimed 24/7 service! Monday is Memorial Day. My order would have to be "paged out". I was told I would get a call back within the hour. I did not, of course. The call came at 11 PM. When I told the driver I was trying to schedule a Monday delivery, he snorted at my sleepy voice and told me, "Well then, call back on Monday." Right.

    There is no way, with Apria's horrible service so far, that I can trust calling on Memorial Day is going to result in a delivery that same day. I'll certainly try, but...

    We are just gonna have to keep my mother inside this whole weekend and pray we have enough O2 to get her to the doctor on Tuesday. I am sad that she won't be able to visit my Father's grave on Monday, but Apria, through their deplorable customer service is running our lives.

    Not for much longer, I hope.

  21. Apria is the worst most disorganized. Kept sending the wrong walker. Did not come in the proscribed time window. Did not know their own products. Left hand didn't know what the right hand was doing. I ordered from Amazon, got free shipping, and don't have to deal with a bunch of idiots.


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