Bill from Princess - can't get explanation what it's for

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Jan 6, 2015
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#23
Bullet points and brevity usually work better. Something like:

Subject: Invoice(s) for $2125​

"On November 25th, 2017 I received a bill for the above amount. I immediately requested invoices and three (3) weeks later I now have invoices for the following:

$aaaa for a Japanese/English translator
$bbb for flowers send to me
$ccc for "communication"
$ddd for a “hospitalization handling fee”
I understood that the translator was to be provided by / paid for by the cruise line and feel I should not have to pay for this. I did not request flowers and assume they were a good will gesture. It seems a little odd to send me flowers and then charge me for them. Again, I feel I should not have to pay for those."​

And then you can add whatever you like about the two remaining charges, but if they are small, you might offer to pay that amount.
 
Dec 19, 2017
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#24
Thank you VoR61. I'll take that into consideration and play around with the letter. The communication charge is about $40 but I'm pretty sure it's from them calling to see how I was doing. The hospital management fee is just under $600...small in relationship to entire bill but when I have no idea what it means it's mainly irritating. I just can't offer to pay for something when I've no idea what it's for. It sounds to me like some relationship between the cruise line and the hospital. When I left I paid the hospital my entire bill. Thanks again! Will work on the letter more before I send it.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
5,890
5,970
113
San Francisco
#25
Thank you VoR61. I'll take that into consideration and play around with the letter. The communication charge is about $40 but I'm pretty sure it's from them calling to see how I was doing. The hospital management fee is just under $600...small in relationship to entire bill but when I have no idea what it means it's mainly irritating. I just can't offer to pay for something when I've no idea what it's for. It sounds to me like some relationship between the cruise line and the hospital. When I left I paid the hospital my entire bill. Thanks again! Will work on the letter more before I send it.
Sandy, I would open the email with something like "I am requesting your help in resolving ....." And be sure to close with grateful thanks for the assistance. Since these people are bombarded with communications and your situation is complex, I like the bullet-point approach from VoR. I'd allow 2 weeks for the first email to receive a response, due to the holidays.

I predict that you will be the main topic of conversation in the Exec Dining Room when they realize that someone sent you a bill for what was supposed to be an internal invoice. With any luck, they'll send you a voucher to apply to a future cruise! I'll be eagerly awaiting an update once this gets settled.
 
Dec 19, 2017
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#26
Tried to tighten it up:

Re: invoices for XYXYXY

Dear Ms Black:

On November 25th, 2017 I received a bill for $2125.69. Having no previous knowledge of this bill, I immediately requested invoices. Three weeks later, after contacting three different departments via email and phone calls, I now have invoices* for the following:

Amounts are approximations, yen to dollars

$1500 for a Japanese/English translator - The doctor on the Diamond Princess told me the translator would be there to help as needed and provided by the cruise line. No one told me I would be paying for his services. I was under the impression that he was a part-time employee of Princess and paid by Princess

$29 for flowers sent to me - the card signed by my translator and Princess personnel

$43 for "communication" - goodwill calls from from Nicholas Kessell of the Carnival Australia Care Office?

$575 for a “hospitalization handling fee” - what is that?​

I am surprised to receive this bill for what appears to be internal invoices. Please clarify the details of this invoice.

Thank you.

Sincerely,
Signature
*Invoices attached to this email
 
Dec 19, 2017
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#27
Ahhh, posted at same time jsn55. Will re-edit!

Boy, I hope you're correct that this will be a topic in the exec. dining room and it'll be resolved in my favor!
 
Last edited:
Dec 19, 2017
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#29
Thanks, VoR61.
Ok, minor adjustments and then I'll let it sit...how about the italics I added?

Re: Invoices for XYXYXY

Dear Ms. Black,

I am requesting your help in resolving a bill for $2125.69 that I received on November 25th. Having no previous knowledge of this bill, I immediately requested invoices. Three weeks later, after contacting three different departments via email and phone calls, I now have invoices* for the following:

Amounts are approximations, yen to dollars

$1500 for a Japanese/English translato
r - The doctor on the Diamond Princess told me the translator was provided by the cruise line and would help as needed. No one told me I would be paying for his services. I was under the impression he was a part-time employee of Princess and, as such, paid by Princess

$29 for flowers sent to me - the card signed by my translator and Princess personnel

$43 for "communication" - goodwill calls from from Nicholas Kessell of the Carnival Australia Care Office?

$575 for a “hospitalization handling fee” - what is that?​

I am surprised to receive this bill for what appears to be internal invoices. Please clarify the details of this invoice.

Thank you so much.

Sincerely,
Signature
*Invoices attached to this email
 
Last edited:
Jan 6, 2015
1,877
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#32
I wanted to add some perspective that may be applicable here.

First, though, I think your request for additional detail is both reasonable and wise. Until they provide that, you have cause to withhold payment (IMO).

Reading through your descriptions of the injury, two things stand out: you were halfway around the world and away from regular medical care plus the injury was significant (again IMO). Given that, it seems to me that the translator and the hospital services have more than a minimal value. By way of comparison, I paid $2,000 for an MRI once to confirm a previous positive (good) diagnosis.

Only you can decide what value those services are, but I encourage you to be thinking about a number with which you would be comfortable should they insist you pay. This is beneficial, I think, while you are waiting for their response.

And glad you are doing well ...
 
Likes: jsn55
Dec 19, 2017
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#33
I understand. I have thought about it. The translator's English was not very good, but he did come through...slowly, after his full time day job. The charges for his travel alone seemed exorbitant to me...$300 for 6 visits & I did not even request one of them. He came to visit the last day to pick up the two pillows I was 'given' as they wheeled me off the ship. He planned to return them the next time the ship was in port. Hourly translating charges were $286 per hour - yikes! I would not have called him after the first day if I knew I would have been charged. It would have taken longer to get my questions answered via the translator apps on our cell phones but I would have managed. Obviously, I'm still irritated by this bill. We paid low 6 figures - a real dent in our retirement - to fly me home because of Princess Platinum's insurance refusal. I find it difficult to cough up more...but do think about it.

Believe me, I'm glad I'm doing well, too! Thank you
 
Jan 6, 2015
1,877
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#34
I understand. I have thought about it. The translator's English was not very good, but he did come through...slowly, after his full time day job. The charges for his travel alone seemed exorbitant to me...$300 for 6 visits & I did not even request one of them. He came to visit the last day to pick up the two pillows I was 'given' as they wheeled me off the ship. He planned to return them the next time the ship was in port. Hourly translating charges were $286 per hour - yikes! I would not have called him after the first day if I knew I would have been charged. It would have taken longer to get my questions answered via the translator apps on our cell phones but I would have managed. Obviously, I'm still irritated by this bill. We paid low 6 figures - a real dent in our retirement - to fly me home because of Princess Platinum's insurance refusal. I find it difficult to cough up more...but do think about it.

Believe me, I'm glad I'm doing well, too! Thank you
Understood. For future travels, here's some travel insurance information:
....
Travel Insurance is Complicated. Because there are so many coverages and restrictions, I highly recommend you speak with a travel insurance broker prior to purchasing. They know what to ask (that you and I don't) in order to steer you toward the right coverage for your needs. Here are some of the available coverages to consider:
  • BASIC policies (or "lite" as they are often labeled). These offer limited coverage for trip cancellation, trip interruption, travel delays, and baggage issues. But too often they fail to meet the needs of travelers due to their restricted coverages (i.e., covered reasons). COMPREHENSIVE policies can cover one or more of the following for a nominal cost:
  • Cancel for Any Reason. Covers 50-75% of your non-refundables depending on the policy
  • Cruise Cancellation. Covers non-refundables not purchased through the cruise line
  • Employment Layoff. Being unemployed is hard enough without a failsafe for trip costs
  • Financial Default. Covers when a travel provider is no longer in business
  • Emergency Medical Evacuation. Costs can be in the tens-of-thousands!
  • Hospital of Choice. Without this you are transported to the nearest facility
  • Pre-existing Medical Waiver. Covers conditions that insurers decide is "pre-existing"
  • Primary Medical. Places the insurer first in line for claims. Eliminates the need to file with your own insurance.
Be aware that no single policy will cover every possible reason for cancellation at 100%, and that there are time restrictions (e.g., signing up, cancellation) with every policy ...
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
10,621
11,210
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#35
The most important piece that many people don’t think about is emergency evacuation. A typical evacuation is about $72000. Many policies, such as cruise line only have minimal
amounts- $25,000.

The highest policy I have ever seem is from Travel Insured. They have 2 policies with up to $1 million in emergency evacuation costs, including getting you back to the US with an escort.

However the more coverage, the higher the cost. If you ate under the age of 70, a third party policy of often less expense with much higher coverage. Once you hit 70- then the supplier coverage is usually better priced- but comes with a trade off of lower coverage.

Most of our clients 70 or over just say “Give me the Supplier coverage” when they hear the price difference but don’t always look at the coverage. My wife complains every time she has to buy insurance for me - even though we have an annual policy it’s not enough coverage depending on where we are traveling.
 

Patina

Verified Member
Dec 22, 2015
1,170
1,943
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#36
@sandy2001 I am with @jsn55 on this one.....I believe the invoice is an internal invoice and should never have been sent to you. No one in their right mind would send you flowers then charge you for it! Most companies need to allocate their costs to certain 'clients'....think attorneys, architects, etc. But that doesn't necessarily mean the client is actually billed for the costs. I think your letter is well written and outlines your questions clearly. I have faith you will have this resolved soon!
 
Dec 19, 2017
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#38
And, basically, Lisa Black blew me off. I received a reply today that simply said:
Dear Mrs. Robinson,

For all inquiries regarding medical charges please send an email to medicalrecords@princesscruises.com.

Sincerely,
Princess Cruises
Customer Relations Specialist
customerrelations@princesscruises.com

I am guessing she forwarded my email to customer relations - right where I started last November! So far, I have emailed and talked with customer relations, emailed medical records a few times, talked with guest relations, and emailed Lisa Black, first exec on the list.

Go to the next person in the list, Roger Frizzell,Senior Vice President & Chief Communications Officer, Carnival Corp?

Or should I be more specific with Lisa Black, explaining that I am disputing the charges. For example, the interpreter listed the last 3 days I was in the hospital as me having called him and charged me as such. I didn't, as one of the adminstrative employees of the hospital was back from vacation and spoke excellent English...much better than my assigned translator. She was a great help.

I am so frustrated I could spit. Sigh, that phrase shows my age : )!
 
Likes: jsn55
Dec 19, 2017
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#39
Here's a letter to the next executive listed for Princess:

Dear Mr. Frizzell,

I received a bill on November 25th for $2125.69 stating that if the charges were not paid within sixty days it would be sent to an outside collection agency. Amazingly, I had never received any previous notice of this bill. I am currently disputing it.

Since then, in an effort to learn what the specifics of the bill were, I have emailed and talked with Rula in customer relations, emailed Emily Foote in medical records a few times, talked with Alli in financial services, talked with Angela in guest relations, and emailed Lisa Black, Manager, Customer Relations and Communications to further understand each item.

I question whether I should have even received this bill. I have attached the invoices to this email. Amounts are approximations, yen to dollars:

$1500 for a Japanese/English translator - First, the doctor on the Diamond Princess told me the translator was provided by the cruise line and would help as needed. No one told me I would be paying for his services. I was under the impression he was a part-time employee of Princess and, as such, paid by Princess. Secondly, it appears he charged me for three days when I did not call nor require his services since an English speaking hospital administrator had returned from vacation and was a great help.

$29 for flowers sent to me - I’m paying for flowers when the card signed was by my translator and Princess personnel? I have a photo I can attach to prove it.

$43 for "communication" - according to Emily Foote:”communication between the port agent and the hospital regarding your condition concerning the authorities (ie customs, immigrations, etc)”. This seems reasonable as I was able to leave the country with no problems from customs and immigration.

$575 for a “hospitalization handling fee”
- what is that? No one, not even Emily Foote who has helped me the most, has been able to tell me what this charge is.​

Frankly, I would be happiest if you could make these charges disappear. Thank you.

Sincerely,
Signature
 
Last edited:

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
5,890
5,970
113
San Francisco
#40
Here's a letter to the next executive listed for Princess:

Dear Mr. Frizzell,

I received a bill on November 25th for $2125.69 stating that if the charges were not paid within sixty days it would be sent to an outside collection agency. Amazingly, I had never received any previous notice of this bill. I am currently disputing it.

Since then, in an effort to learn what the specifics of the bill were, I have emailed and talked with Rula in customer relations, emailed Emily Foote in medical records a few times, talked with Angela in guest relations, and emailed Lisa Black, Manager, Customer Relations and Communications to further understand each item.

I question whether I should have even received this bill. I have attached the invoices to this email. Amounts are approximations, yen to dollars:

$1500 for a Japanese/English translator - First, the doctor on the Diamond Princess told me the translator was provided by the cruise line and would help as needed. No one told me I would be paying for his services. I was under the impression he was a part-time employee of Princess and, as such, paid by Princess. Secondly, it appears he charged me for three days when I did not call nor require his services since an English speaking hospital administrator had returned from vacation and was a great help.

$29 for flowers sent to me - I’m paying for flowers when the card signed was by my translator and Princess personnel? I have a photo I can attach to prove it.

$43 for "communication" - according to Emily Foote:”communication between the port agent and the hospital regarding your condition concerning the authorities (ie customs, immigrations, etc)”. This seems reasonable as I was able to leave the country with no problems from customs and immigration.

$575 for a “hospitalization handling fee”
- what is that? No one, not even Emily Foote who has helped me the most, has been able to tell me what this charge is.​

Frankly, I would be happiest if you could make these charges disappear. Thank you.

Sincerely,
Signature
So our contact Lisa returned to work after the holidays and cleared her in-box as fast as possible. Good for her ... she's following the first rule of complaints, "Keep obfuscating and pretty soon they'll go away". While we do see quick miracles here occasionally, more often it's just a slog through the system. OUR first rule of complaints is "Polite, persistent, patient" and we have good success.

I remember a months-long dialogue with Blue Shield about some Rx reimbursements way back when. I had followed their instructions to the letter, but they threw things at my head for months. "My guy" was Jose, he was in LA. He was a very nice man. I am a very nice woman. We had had probably 35 telephone conversations over six months. One day I said, "Look Jose, let's be honest here. You come to work every day to deny claims, that's your job. My job is to obtain reimbursement for my Rx expenses and I AM NOT GOING AWAY.". Two weeks later I had a check. Polite, persistent, patient.