Health Insurer Apologizes For Robocalling Senior Citizens In The Wee Hours Of The Morning

There’s perhaps nothing more annoying than rushing to answer a ringing phone than to find a robot on the other end. But when that robocall is coming in at three in the morning? That’s an annoyance 10,000 senior citizens went through when a Massachusetts health insurer said it accidentally robocalled customers between 3 a.m. and 5 a.m. this week.

Tufts Health Plan in Quincy, MA accidentally sent out the automated call early in the morning on Tuesday, reminding patients to get their flu shots, reports The Patriot Ledger. The call — targeted to those over 65 enrolled in a certain insurance plan — was supposed to go live from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., which means someone probably didn’t check the right box.

Customers called up Tufts to ask why in the world they were being woken up at such an ungodly hour, and the provider says it’s going to try to reach out to all who were affected.

“It’s unfortunate that it happened and I would just want to issue a complete apology to all those who received a phone call,” a spokeswoman told the paper. “I’m sure it was jarring to be woken up like that and it certainly was not our intent.”

The phone reminder systems is something Tufts uses “very sparingly,” she added, and another version of the call went off without a hitch last week.

“The intent is good, you know, to remind folks to get their flu shots this time of the year. It was just a human error this time,” she said.

A former Patriot Ledger editor who received the call at 4:45 a.m. called up the provider and talked to someone about what had happened. He had a bright idea that would resolve the situation.

“She asked if I wanted to leave my number so that someone could call me back,” he said. “I told her, no, but can you give me the number of the president so I can give him a call tomorrow morning?”

10,000 receive Tufts Health flu robocall between 3 and 5 a.m. [The Patriot Ledger]