A Cautionary Tale

UnknownYou know that little voice in your head which tells you beware?  Trust your gut…   go with your instinct?  We all hear it at times.  I’ve heard it.  And generally, I listen to it.  But sometimes circumstances intervene and we think everything is fine.  However, things went awry for us when I ignored that little voice.

We carry an international health insurance policy so we are covered both in the states and in Peru.  We pay yearly; in four payments.  In December, I made the first payment as usual without any hitches.  I logged into the bank on-line, provided the coupon number and made the payment to the insurance company.  Easy peasy.

In January, I attempted to do the same.  This time, however, the coupon number was not accepted.  Making the payment on line is important as we live two and a half hours from a satellite office of the insurance company.  I made numerous calls to the insurance agent and the insurance provider, but was not able to resolve the issue.  Meanwhile, the payment became delinquent.

A very good friend, recommended her agent she had been using for 20 years.  When I talked with him, he assured me he could get it resolved.  So, after several frustrating weeks, I signed the paperwork to transfer my business to Franco Pita Reyna.  Franco investigated the situation, and finally suggested I pay him directly.  He would then pay Pacifico directly.

The payments for February and March were made in the same manner.  Each time, he sent me an e-mail confirming the payment to the insurance company.  All was good.  Right?

imagesUnfortunately, my gut feeling turned into sleepless nights, flurry of phone calls, high stress and indigestion.  This has consumed my waking hours for weeks now.

Well, all was not good.  In mid April we arrived at the clinic for Doug’s monthly doctor’s appointment and were denied insurance for non-payment.  I immediately called Franco, who assured me everything was paid and that there must be a glitch in the system somewhere.  He would get it resolved.  Here we are in mid May and it is still not resolved.

Meanwhile, the insurance company voided our policy for non-payment.  We were not notified of this until after the fact.  We filed a claim which outlined the sequence of events in the hopes they would reinstate the policy.

Also, meanwhile, we filed a “denuncia” with the National Police of Peru.  This is a legal claim against an individual or entity which is hand delivered to the offending party.  Franco was “served” the claim and it allowed him five days to resolve the issue before it became a criminal matter.  This time frame has since passed.  It appears there is some leeway in the five day period, as the police are continuing to pressure Franco to pay up.  So far, no criminal sanctions have been put into play.

The insurance company has reactivated our policy provided we pay the premiums.  Franco did make one payment in April, but not the other two.  Therefore, we are liable for those.  Again.  These premiums must be paid by Friday.

The police have given Franco until Monday to pay up before the matter becomes criminal.

images-1Many people have been working on this on our behalf.  I am amazed at their efforts and appreciate them to no end.  My one friend, who initially recommended Franco, has called him daily (sometimes more than once a day).  He continues to say he is close to having things resolved and begs for more time.  Continually.  To all who have been calling him.  I lost patience with his promises long ago.  I cannot fathom why others continue to have faith in his promises and give him more time.  It must be a cultural thing…?

 

images-2We have discovered that Franco has a gambling problem.  He has also pocketed payments from other clients, including our friend who recommended him.

Doug and I plan on paying the premiums on Friday to maintain insurance.  We will also proceed with the criminal complaint.

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