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Old 23.01.2012, 16:29
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Doctor refusing to refund "late payment fee"

We recently paid a bill by electronic banking to a doctor, because they sent us a letter threatening a debt collection agency. The bill included a "late payment fee". Under the circumstances we paid it, then queried the situation with our health insurer.

It turned out that they had also billed our health insurer and had received payment.

We requested a refund of the payment from the doctor, which they have now provided (after several weeks of chasing them), but they refuse to refund the "late payment fee" even though this was entirely their mistake.

The amount of the fee is relatively small (22.50), but I very strongly object to their obtaining it through their mistake and by threat.

Any ideas how we can take this forward?

Last edited by newtoswitz; 23.01.2012 at 16:35. Reason: spelling
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Old 23.01.2012, 17:31
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Re: Doctor refusing to refund "late payment fee"

22chf...
give up.
1) YOU have much time to lose
2) Its switzerland after all
3) its bureaucrats, administrative people who don't give a sh1t before/after you would eventually pay...

so swallow your pride, 22chf is nothing here... wrong? Unfair? it will happen often here and you'll learn not to move from 22chf...but only for more money than that! (something a bit more significant).

ps: you've been switzerlanded like many of us, just move on!
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Old 23.01.2012, 17:42
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Re: Doctor refusing to refund "late payment fee"

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We recently paid a bill by electronic banking to a doctor, because they sent us a letter threatening a debt collection agency. The bill included a "late payment fee". Under the circumstances we paid it, then queried the situation with our health insurer.

It turned out that they had also billed our health insurer and had received payment.

We requested a refund of the payment from the doctor, which they have now provided (after several weeks of chasing them), but they refuse to refund the "late payment fee" even though this was entirely their mistake.

The amount of the fee is relatively small (22.50), but I very strongly object to their obtaining it through their mistake and by threat.

Any ideas how we can take this forward?
I'd feel the same as you and would like the money back as a matter of principle.

Who is actually refusing to refund? Someone from admin? You need to take it higher up until you get the result you want.


As I keep hearing, "We don't do it that way in Switzerland".

So do it their way - I'd continue writing the letters and bill them for your time in writing them and for postage. And, let them know this.

Let us know how you get on.
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Old 23.01.2012, 17:47
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Re: Doctor refusing to refund "late payment fee"

Chase them up and don't let up till they pay you. It might be "only 22.50", but it's the principle of the thing. You think they would just let it go if the tables were turned?
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Old 23.01.2012, 17:50
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Re: Doctor refusing to refund "late payment fee"

Deduct it from the next bill ?
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Old 23.01.2012, 17:54
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Re: Doctor refusing to refund "late payment fee"

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Chase them up and don't let up till they pay you. It might be "only 22.50", but it's the principle of the thing. You think they would just let it go if the tables were turned?
Exactly - I bought a camera battery online not so long ago. I paid online as required and it looked like the payment had gone through.

I got a letter saying that it hadn't. So I tried again and it went through (or so I thought).

But it hadn't. And a few weeks later I got a letter from a debt agency with a find demand for the amount and their fee.

An email from the vendor asking why I hadn't paid might have been a nice idea instead and then I could have explained that the problem was their end.

Anyway, it's not nice getting one of these but after some strong words from us (my wife) and a request from us to pay the money (minus the fee of course), into any account apart from the original and it was all settled).

Or so the vendor thought - he's getting damning write ups on any price check sites like the others that screwed up and didn't admit it or apologise.
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Old 23.01.2012, 17:56
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Re: Doctor refusing to refund "late payment fee"

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Chase them up and don't let up till they pay you. It might be "only 22.50", but it's the principle of the thing. You think they would just let it go if the tables were turned?
you're right but it would be already 5.50chf to send the "recorded letter", plus the time to write it, etc, etc...



I hate giving up but sometimes it's just the bureaucratic annoyance for not much at the end...

Then for the ones who wants to lose time and efforts for 22.chf, write to the doctor, copy the proof that the money was paid, blablabla... ask them to refund the late payment fee, and threaten legal action (dont know which one) for that...

Also it would have been easier NOT to pay if you were not sure, but to ask clarifications first... the "late bird awakening" is usually not nice for you.
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Old 23.01.2012, 18:23
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Re: Doctor refusing to refund "late payment fee"

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Deduct it from the next bill ?
I really like this idea. Make it THEIR problem.
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Old 23.01.2012, 18:56
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Re: Doctor refusing to refund "late payment fee"

Quite normal, swiss health insurers don't do partial payments either they just expect you to pay up 6000chf in one go
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Old 23.01.2012, 19:25
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Re: Doctor refusing to refund "late payment fee"

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Quite normal, swiss health insurers don't do partial payments either they just expect you to pay up 6000chf in one go

Change the payment option to monthly payments.
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Old 23.01.2012, 19:55
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Re: Doctor refusing to refund "late payment fee"

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Quite normal, swiss health insurers don't do partial payments either they just expect you to pay up 6000chf in one go
How does that work?

2500 maximum franchise
600 = 10% of the next 6000

Maximum payable in one year 3100 CHF.

Edit: oh, is that your premiums?

For the OP, it's possible that the 22.50 late payment fee doesn't go to the doctor, but rather some agency. If it did go to him, then tell him you consider his account to be in credit, and should you ever use him again (unlikely), you'll deduct it from the next bill. Then, if he start chasing you for it, if it does get to a magistrate, you'd have a better chance of winning.
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Old 23.01.2012, 20:20
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Re: Doctor refusing to refund "late payment fee"

Governement reverted the decission that my foreign health insurance plan was fine and now I need to pay two years of premiums All within 15 days.
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Old 24.01.2012, 12:34
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Re: Doctor refusing to refund "late payment fee"

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Governement reverted the decission that my foreign health insurance plan was fine and now I need to pay two years of premiums All within 15 days.
Do you mean:

On arriving in Switzerland I enquired whether I need Swiss medical insurance. I already have a high level of global cover with a local provider - for which I pay a substantial premium.

Initially the Gemeinde accepted my cover. They have now reversed this decision - 2 years later. I now have to pay 2 years premiums for Swiss health cover. I didn't save this amount even though the documents initially issued said the decision could be appealed.

As far as I am aware - acceptance of non-Swiss healthcare depends on the age of the person. I know of a 55+ yo male who has UK based global healthcare - and doesn't have the Swiss one.
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Old 24.01.2012, 14:41
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Re: Doctor refusing to refund "late payment fee"

Yes Sadly enough this is the case.
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Old 24.01.2012, 14:43
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Re: Doctor refusing to refund "late payment fee"

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Yes Sadly enough this is the case.
Ouch. I would plead poverty and ask them if you could pay it over 6 months or so. It's a helluva lot to ask someone to pay 2 year's worth of Insurance premiums in one job lot. We've often had to do that with back tax bills and they are usually pretty understanding.
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