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Limbo

including wills and probate
UncleEbenezer
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Limbo

#222679

Postby UncleEbenezer » May 18th, 2019, 11:47 am

What can/should I do from here?

A few weeks ago, I tried to buy an NHS prescription prepayment. Starting at https://apps.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/ppcwebsales/patient.do , go to "buy now", and give them details page by page. A bit of arithmetic tells me that a year's payment gets me 6 instalments, ditto a second year, after which I hit 60 and apparently qualify for free prescriptions.

It then takes me to their payment processor, where after I've entered my creditcard details the system generates an error (of the kind that should be seen by developers of a system, not end-users). It offers a "cancel" link, but that just generates another error. At this point I know neither whether I've been charged nor whether my certificate is on its way.

I head off to my pharmacy (where they know me) for my regular prescription. I explain the situation and ask them what I should do, they trust me and give me it free of charge.

A few days later I still have no certificate from them, but I see my creditcard has indeed been charged £104. So I try contacting them through their contact form https://contactcentreservices.nhsbsa.nh ... ontactForm . This partially works, though the "date of birth" field prevents my entering anything!

A couple of days later I get an email reply. It's quite badly malformed, but I spot a human-written portion asking for my date of birth, to which I reply.

My reply gets returned as undelivered. With a lot of diagnostic information appropriate to a developer, not an end user. It has been in a mail loop, passed around among many servers at outlook.com - presumably the NHS's service provider for this mail. I infer that the NHS's contractor has botched their own configuration.

Evidently this NHS system is too broken to use. I'm reluctant to try the 'phone: I need to watch my blood pressure, for the same reason I need the prescriptions. I decide instead to try and draw a line under it, and raise a dispute over the creditcard payment with my bank. I can instead buy the prepayment in person at my pharmacy, and backdate it to the prescription I already have.

But my bank seem in no hurry to resolve the matter. It's now three weeks and the matter remains open. The time window for backdating a prepayment is closing. With two separate processes going nowhere, what do I now do?

k333
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Re: Limbo

#223186

Postby k333 » May 20th, 2019, 3:18 pm

This sort of thing just should not happen, and whenever I have made a card payment online it has always been clear about when the transaction has gone through. To be doubly safe though, I always use the card with what I imagine to be good customer service.

- K

swill453
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Re: Limbo

#223210

Postby swill453 » May 20th, 2019, 4:49 pm

k333 wrote:This sort of thing just should not happen, and whenever I have made a card payment online it has always been clear about when the transaction has gone through. To be doubly safe though, I always use the card with what I imagine to be good customer service.

In most cases (with railway ticket machines being one of the few exceptions) I can open my credit card app on my phone and immediately see the transaction as "pending".

Scott.

BobbyD
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Re: Limbo

#223591

Postby BobbyD » May 22nd, 2019, 9:58 am

UncleEbenezer wrote:But my bank seem in no hurry to resolve the matter. It's now three weeks and the matter remains open. The time window for backdating a prepayment is closing. With two separate processes going nowhere, what do I now do?


It took me 10 months to get my credit card company to settle a section 75 claim, and by the time they'd investigated themselves, awarded me compensation, and paid for an independent inspection report it cost them twice the value of the claim.

If you are concerned about your blood pressure, and you can borrow the £104 from your future self I'd sort out a slip with your pharmacy and concentrate on ensuring that the error and your attempts to rectify it are well documented, which is another sound reason to stick to email when dealing with both the NHS and the bank.

The pharmacy might also be able to supply you with valid contact details for your complaint.

UncleEbenezer
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Re: Limbo

#223903

Postby UncleEbenezer » May 23rd, 2019, 10:21 am

Update: I have a letter from my bank. They've raised the dispute with the NHS clowns and will refund my £104. There's also a caveat: the NHS might try to re-debit me: I'm not clear what the situation is if that happens.

I'm now out of time for backdating a new annual prepayment, which seems to leave that last prescription in limbo. Looks like I might just have to argue good faith and their cockup if they come after me for it.

Ho, hum.

Peanutte
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Re: Limbo

#229820

Postby Peanutte » June 16th, 2019, 6:59 am

Some time ago I was speaking to a pharmacist who worked for Boots. (I know his wife - it was very much off the record.)

He said that loads of people do not pay for their prescriptions when the staff are pretty sure that they should - they just tick the box and sign. He said that he had never known of a case of anyone being caught.

I asked what is the penalty if someone is caught and he said they would just have to pay the prescription charge.

I don't know if this is strictly true. But when you think of the millions of prescriptions that are processed every day, the task of trying to cross reference every prescription to the patient - who may have a prepayment certificate, or may be on some benefits or dependant on someone on benefits, or pregnant or have certain illnesses, be over 60 or under 16, or still in full time education. Apart from the age criteria - how would 'they' know?

I think you would be pretty unlucky if your one prescription was identified.

Dod101
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Re: Limbo

#229822

Postby Dod101 » June 16th, 2019, 7:13 am

Does no one have to produce the pre payment certificate to the pharmacy and are the pharmacy not supposed to be the gatekeeper? I agree that that would not be very practical but I am pretty sure that the pharmacy occasionally asked for my late wife's certificate.

Dod

redsturgeon
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Re: Limbo

#229828

Postby redsturgeon » June 16th, 2019, 8:12 am

Mrs RS is a pharmacist and what happens is that it is not the pharmacists job to check everyone who signs the box to say they are exempt. The prescriptions are sent away and a random check is carried out and if an individual has signed incorrectly then they are potentially guilty of fraud and action can be and has been taken.

John

vrdiver
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Re: Limbochrome, so

#229831

Postby vrdiver » June 16th, 2019, 8:28 am

Uncle,
This sounds like a good use of your local MP. Book an appointment at their surgery and take a printout of this thread (or at least your opening post). If you have any more evidence, e.g. screenshots, then these would be good too.

Explain both the technical issue and stress that it has caused you, and what you want as a resolution to the problem.

I'd also keep a copy in case some NHS bod decides to question your original prescription.

If you are feeling brave, you could try the online system to get another certificate, or you could ask your pharmacist to help you through the process. For some sites it matters which browser you use (e.g. some work on chrome, some don't etc.) so you could also try with a different browser, or mention to your MP / pharmacist which browser you tried to use.

If you do try again, screenshot each error. As you expect it to fail, it should be a calmer experience next time around ;)

VRD

didds
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Re: Limbo

#230071

Postby didds » June 17th, 2019, 8:47 am

Dod101 wrote:Does no one have to produce the pre payment certificate to the pharmacy and are the pharmacy not supposed to be the gatekeeper? I agree that that would not be very practical but I am pretty sure that the pharmacy occasionally asked for my late wife's certificate.

Dod



I am "on the books" with two local pharmacies with my exemption certificate. I had to produce it when i did so - and they have some trecord somewhere of its expiry date because when it was renewed I had to show them the renewed card etc .

didds

RandomWords
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Re: Limbo

#231767

Postby RandomWords » June 24th, 2019, 4:37 pm

At the risk of attracting opprobrium from the board for thieving from a cash-strapped NHS, I received a notice of a £100 penalty for ticking the pre-payment box when I had inadvertently allowed the PPC to expire. I ignored it, and they never followed it up. I've since renewed the PPC twice with no questions asked (and now I pay by DD so it gets renewed automatically).

RW


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