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.
But service reps for Healthcare.gov in the US 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 centre 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.
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]