I'm sorry, I don't understand English.

About 2 months ago, I had my right wisdom tooth removed at Ace Family Dental Care.

Procedure went okay, dentist was a pleasant chap, if a bit... odd. And then off I went on holiday for 2 weeks.

Fast forward to the present - checking my mail last night, I find that the dentist was reimbursed for the surgery from my Medisave account over 2 months ago. Their standard operating procedure is to have the patient pay upfront, and then reimburse them by cheque once the payment from Medisave has cleared.

I understand that they may have called while I was away in Australia.

What I do not understand is why there was no further follow up, no information, no NOTHING, with the staff in charge simply sitting on my cheque and ignoring it.

The best part? When I called to enquire in person, the moment I demanded an explanation, the woman who answered the phone more or less immediately passed me to her colleague, who then pretended not to be able to understand English - only, and I must stress ONLY - when I questioned her about the handling of my cheque, or lack thereof.

This is sad as up till now I'd had a very good impression of the clinic, which this handling, or lack of handling of my cheque has tossed down the drain.

Obviously, taking the complaint seriously, rather than pretending not to understand English, and passing me between various people in a show of utter irresponsibility, is something that isn't done in this place.

I'm glad I don't have any more wisdom teeth.

And lest you think I am being unreasonable, this is the 21st century, in Singapore. Can't get someone on the phone? Send an SMS. Follow up with an SMS. Follow up with another damn call. Follow up with my email, which they have.

But no, sit on the cheque, and wait till the patient/customer calls to yell, then pretend not to understand English.

That's the way to do it.