- Posted October 22, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Obamacare: Your story
Exchange sadly run by idiots.
Sorry about the big photo; the site wouldn't accept my report unless I uploaded something.
I can't log into the web site. I set up my account in August, whatever advantage that was supposed to give me. Evidently my password isn't one of my normal ones; the rules for setting one would knock the hind end off a horse. Evidently also I set up the security questions with a little bit different answers than I thought I did. Honestly, how to answer what was your niece's name when you have only nephews anyhow.
I called the call center late Monday afternoon.. First of all, they all told me that the site, or parts thereof, are down for two days, beginning 2 PM Monday, for maintenance. The public has not been told that and there is no notice to that effect on the web site.
All but one of the half dozen customer service people I spoke to lacked heads. Most tried to tell me that my very specific error messages in response to whatever I tried last to get into my account, are "the glitches" and not an actual problem with my account, and they wouldn't even try to help me get into my account. One young woman went off for 20 minutes to research how to fix my lack of answers to the security questions issue; she never once asked someone else. Finally a 2nd tier supervisor told me my account needs to be "unlocked". Noone's efforts to unlock it or to send me a password reset have worked, because they can't get into the system. About half just told me the system was tossing out my security question answers because of "the glitches", though it isnt doing that to anyone else.
This afternoon I stopped by the local enrollment assistance center, but all they could do was call the call center, and the best they could do from that was get me an appointment to talk with someone on the Advanced Recovery Team in 2 days.
They did tell me that they have been successfully enrolling people in the successfully offline system all day long, even though the call center's efforts to unlock my account consistently fail, and also that their own director had to go to extraordinarily lengths to fix it when she couldn't get into her account.
One other thing, just a hint that people can use; as of last night and this morning, the entire site would not work at all in Firefox, but it works fine in Chrome. I noticed that the enrollment center was using Chrome. That sort of thing is caused by IT people too smart for themselves. They are using very advanced features that won't work properly in some browsers. They need to use basic features that will work well in any browser, outdated browsers, outdated computers, and whatever.
I am an Enroll America volunteer, and I'm also counting on the insurance to be able to get proper care for my chronic diverticulitis. Noone could want this program to succeed more than I do. But by the time the complete idiots who put this together get it together, I think most people are going to have decided, forget about it, I'd RATHER pay a $95 fine than spend all of my time, 24/7, for weeks or months, dealing with this. The volume of people still trying to get into that site speaks to the desperation for access to health care in this country, but I think alot of people are just going to say the hell with it. I do laud the people at the enrollment center this afternoon who patiently did their best to help me navigate the call center to solve my problem, without once defending the program. However, I really don't think I can in good conscience try to talk anyone into trying to use this system in its current condition. I think interesting anyone in enrollment at this moment can only do more harm than good.
There was a Saturday Night Live episode, where the character who played Tuvoc on Star Trek Voyager, played a very Tuvoc-like Obama, at a Senate hearing, while everyone else, including a sulky Hilary Clinton, acknowledge him as our next President. I laughed and laughed at the unfortunately accurate characterization of President Obama's personality. Unfortunately, this man and his staff would make far better decisions if they were humans, instead of Vulcans. They are just not able to recognize that people passionately care about what so deeply affects them, and they also underestimate peoples' capacity to decide it isn't worth it. This results in wrong decisions about what people will do and how people will feel. My favorite statement from the last few days has to be the often repeated statement that people who are frustrated and angry at spending our lives trying to get into that web site, just need to "chill". And have you EVER met a computer IT person, who can be bothered with people?