A Seattle pottery business received as many as twenty calls a day from Maryland Obamacare shoppers trying to sign up on the state’s exchange when the exchange website accidentally listed the company’s phone number instead of the exchange’s number.
The glitch began directing calls to Seattle Pottery Supply in October and occurred so frequently that workers would joke “is this Maryland,” KOMO-WA reported.
Maryland officials, who have now fixed the “programming error,” didn’t know about the glitch until the Baltimore Sun broke the story January 18:
“At first we were consoling them, but we actually can’t say or do anything to help,” said Lunz, adding that she can’t begin to estimate the cost of her 1-800 bill or the hours spent on the phone. Those are the least of her troubles anyway. “The emotional drag, I don’t know how you put a time or dollar figure on that.”
The calls started in the fall, after Maryland’s site that failed the day it launched was repaired enough for people to begin navigating through it. As more people reached a page where a technical problem made it impossible to select a provider, more people called Seattle Pottery Supply.
“It got worse when the push was really on to get people signed up,” Lunz said. “We’re keeping our sense of humor about it. We just feel so bad that so many people are having so much trouble. They’re so frustrated.”
Watch the video above for the full story and interviews with Seattle Pottery Supply employees.