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Obamacare Customer Service Told Everyone To Reset Their Passwords

Illustration for article titled Obamacare Customer Service Told Everyone To Reset Their Passwords

We've all done tech support for family members and it tends to start basic. Did you restart? Have you ever downloaded updates ever? Why are you trying to buy WD-40 from Amazon Japan? And often it's as simple as resetting a password.

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But service reps for Healthcare.gov relied a little too heavily on that trick this week. Support staff at the Obamacare call center were given the wrong script and repeatedly told callers that passwords had been reset and needed to be changed. A Department of Health and Human Services spokesperson told CNN on Friday that, "A wrong script was provided to call center representatives. It's been corrected. The wrong script was read for only a short time — just this morning." But Ars Technica reported about password resets on the site on Tuesday.

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It's unclear whether some passwords were actually reset. Ars reported that reps also told customers whose accounts didn't appear that they would need to re-register under modified names because the ones they had originally chosen never made it to the database and were therefore in a permanent authentication holding pattern. Getting the whole nation on one healthcare website is a pretty daunting IT challenge, so it's not surprising that there are bugs. All the more reason to make sure everyone at the helpline has the right scripts. [The Consumerist]

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DISCUSSION

chaosaffect
Chaosaffect

Better than what happened to me. They just told me to "Keep Trying".

Here's the THIRD conversation:

[12:54:57 pm]: Thanks for contacting Health Insurance Marketplace Live Chat. Please wait while we connect you to someone who can help.

[12:55:04 pm]: Please be patient while we're helping other people.

[12:55:35 pm]: Please be patient while we're helping other people.

[12:56:07 pm]: Please be patient while we're helping other people.

[12:56:40 pm]: Please be patient while we're helping other people.

[12:57:12 pm]: Please be patient while we're helping other people.

[12:57:46 pm]: Please be patient while we're helping other people.

[12:58:19 pm]: Please be patient while we're helping other people.

[12:58:50 pm]: Please be patient while we're helping other people.

[12:59:24 pm]: Please be patient while we're helping other people.

[12:59:55 pm]: Please be patient while we're helping other people.

[1:00:27 pm]: Please be patient while we're helping other people.

[1:01:01 pm]: Please be patient while we're helping other people.

[1:01:33 pm]: Please be patient while we're helping other people.

[1:02:06 pm]: Please be patient while we're helping other people.

[1:02:36 pm]: Please be patient while we're helping other people.

[1:03:09 pm]: Please be patient while we're helping other people.

[1:03:41 pm]: Please be patient while we're helping other people.

[1:04:13 pm]: Please be patient while we're helping other people.

[1:04:44 pm]: Please be patient while we're helping other people.

[1:05:05 pm]: Welcome! You're now connected to Health Insurance Marketplace Live Chat.

Thanks for contacting us. My name is Darnesha. To protect your privacy, please don't provide any personal information, like Social Security Number, or any other sensitive medical or personal information.

[1:05:21 pm]: Darnesha Hi, how may I help you?

[1:05:33 pm]: Benjamin Hi.

[1:05:52 pm]: Benjamin I've been trying to log on for 24 hours and it keeps telling me my Information isn't valid even though I got an email confirming my account.

[1:06:39 pm]: Benjamin And at no point in this conversation should you tell me to keep trying.

[1:06:52 pm]: Benjamin I've done that for a full day. It's obviously not working.

[1:08:19 pm]: Darnesha I apologize for the inconvenience. You may also call Health Insurance Marketplace Call Center at 1-800-318-2596 they can assist you with filling out the application over the phone.

[1:08:51 pm]: Benjamin I just want to verify that my account is there and it's your login system that's messed up.

[1:11:37 pm]: Benjamin Yay. More waiting.

[1:12:41 pm]: Darnesha Sir I apologize for the inconvenience. At this point we're working hard to get the system fixed so that you can get coverage.

[1:13:02 pm]: Benjamin Generic reply. I want a SPECIFIC ANSWER. Is my account in the system?

[1:14:02 pm]: Benjamin Please answer me truthfully. Is the entirety of your job right now to tell people that you're working on the problem and to keep trying? I understand the huge demand that's being placed on your servers, but I need to know if I'm wasting my time.

[1:17:31 pm]: Darnesha I do not have access to look that information up for you, I would suggest you try accessing your account at a later time.

[1:18:28 pm]: Benjamin Wow. That's the longest 'Yes' I've ever seen. You truly are a worthless drain on government resources. They furloughed the wrong people. There should be a Park Ranger sitting in that chair instead of the drone I'm currently have a non-conversation with.

[1:18:55 pm]: Benjamin Good job. Go take another break, I'm sure you earned it.

[1:19:07 pm]: Darnesha Do you have any other questions that I can help you with?

[1:19:40 pm]: Benjamin I am absolutely astounded at the depths of idiocy you have sunk to.

[1:20:54 pm]: Darnesha Sir, I will be happy to help you with this situation as it pertains to the Marketplace. However, if you continue to use this type of language I will have to disconnect this chat.

[1:21:25 pm]: Benjamin Help? How have you provided anything that even remotely resembles help?

[1:21:46 pm]: Benjamin Please enlighten me. What help are you actually able to provide.

[1:25:14 pm]: Darnesha I let you know what your option are at this time, if you wanted to proceed in the process of filling out your application you can call the Marketplace call center or keep trying to access your HealthCare.gov account. Anything else I can help you with?

[1:26:10 pm]: Benjamin "Anything Else" would suggest you actually accomplished something.

[1:26:53 pm]: Benjamin Thank you SO MUCH for wasting yet another 20 minutes of my time.

[1:27:17 pm]: Darnesha You're very welcome.

[1:27:29 pm]: Darnesha Have a great day.