1)Tried to connect with our local phone company about a simple question, and I was told online that if I wanted the answer I'd have to join the online happy family of phone users. And if I did that our paper copy would no longer be coming in the mail, and all of our business would be done over the computer. Not a chance.
It does seem a very large step to take, just to ask a simple question about a bill item.
2) There was a time when your doctor's office would call to remind you personally about an upcoming visit. Now we are barraged with automated swoopy voice reminders that end with "press one for yes and press two for no". I think it's those strange robotic voices patched together that does it. It's very creepy, like an out-of-sync Greek Chorus.
3) And after the visit (they only remind you three times, isn't that nice) they auto dial you again to THANK you for coming and would you mind taking our quick online survey? Yes, I would mind. click.
4)Annnd two days later they call again to remind you that your next appointment will be in six months...
5) They now call around 5 PM to thank us for visiting their office, and remind us that they are there for us.
6)They call three days ahead of our appointments, to remind us that they will be calling us in three days to remind us...most of this, understand, is robotic, so that you don't dare hang up because you might miss something REALLY important. And sure enough, just as you're settling in to supper, the office calls you to remind you that your appointment is tomorrow, etc etc...and if you do hang up they will call you back so that you can press 2 to end this call.
7) Every doctor's office now has a "portal" that you sign into, with your terribly seekrit password, so you can have a secure way to view your records. If only it worked. They still send you your records through the mail, but I suppose this is a way of ensuring that no one, including you, will be able to access all those records.
8) We share a physician. We each have a portal to his office. However, only one of us can use it, since we also share an email address, and that isn't allowed. Sigh. I suppose it would be even more impressive if it worked at all.
9) The pharmacy also has a Fake Cheery Voice that reminds you that your prescription is ready, but when you rush down to pick it up you get that fisheye look and they say, um, not for a week.
10) My husband had to go into the hospital a while back for a possible problem that he didn't have, and the day after he got home they called to remind him to take his meds and that he had an appt. in a month to see the attending physician. Which he did not have, nor did he have medication to take.
11) They called him again later to suggest he might like to MAKE an appointment and he said, probably not. It's a nearly two hour drive. I don't THINK so.
12) The dentist's office sends an email to me after every visit, asking if I'd like to take the survey. Not really. If you ignore it, they send it again, until you do answer it. They really really want to know.
13). Doctors now have begun massing together in 'doctor's parks' which resemble a warren of badly laid out low income housing. Sometimes ten or more doctors, each in their own separate building, spread out over several acres and unmarked driveways that lead to other driveways. There is, however, only one way in, or out.
I realize that a lot of this is age-related and they want to make sure the old and fuddly don't end up drinking the bathsalts instead of their meds, but still...