A Real Life Catch-22
I recently received a phone call from Blue Cross for my son William. The call was fully automated—recordings and voice recognition. It asked if I was William. When I replied that I was not, it asked me to take a message for him. The message was that he was to call a specific phone number.
I passed the information on to William, who is a student at the University of Chicago. He called the number from his cell phone—and was informed, I assume again by a robot responder, that he had to respond from the phone number that the original call had gone to—my home number in San Jose.
He reported the result to me. I called the number. The robot asked me if I was William. I replied that I was not. It asked if I was representing him. I replied that I was. It told me to tell him to call the number and hung up on me.
I called the general Blue Cross number, eventually got through to a human being, and described the elegantly impossible situation that I had encountered. He put me on hold, checked the situation, then informed me that the call was for a survey and he could and would remove William from the list of people being surveyed. I pointed out that the same problem would occur for anyone else being surveyed who was not living at the location of his home phone number and suggested that Blue Cross might want to alter the way they did their survey. My guess, from his response, is that it won't happen.