A Massachusetts-based insurance company found themselves on a post-holiday naughty list of 10,000 senior citizens in the wee hours of Tuesday morning.
What was so important that it warranted waking the weary 65+ year-olds from their slumber? Why, automated flu-shot reminders, of course.
Tufts Health Plan promptly issued an apology to those who received the phone call. The reminder was scheduled for a 3pm-5pm window Tuesday afternoon but accidentally occurred twelve hours earlier. Spokeswoman Sonya Hagopian relayed Tufts’ regret for the sequence of events to the Patriot Ledger:
It’s unfortunate that it happened and I would just want to issue a complete apology to all those who received a phone call. I’m sure it was jarring to be woken up like that and it certainly was not our intent.
The robocalls were a reminder for Tufts Medicare Preferred HMO plan enrollees over the age of 65 to get their flu shot, included in their coverage. According to Hagopian, the “very sparingly” used auto-reminder system was used to successfully execute a similar call a week ago without any issues.
As expected, when you call 10,000 seniors at an ungodly hour of the morning, you’re bound to get some return calls. Numerous customers, including Jack Sullivan of Plymouth, called the company to inquire why the call was made so early.
The senior investigative reporter for Commonwealth Magazine and former editor of the Patriot Ledger, Sullivan said the representative asked if he wanted to leave a phone number so someone could return his call. “I told her, no, but can you give me the number of the president so I can give him a call tomorrow morning?” he said.
Hagopian said the insurance provider is making every effort to reach out to those affected by the error. If nothing else, maybe this has raised some sleep awareness?
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