NC woman spends more than 7 hours on hold with Blue Cross Blue Shield

Source: WBTV

INDIAN TRAIL, N.C. (WBTV) – There’s a new song on repeat inside Stephanie Nelson’s home, but it’s not one you would expect.

“That ping ping, just makes me want to punch somebody in the face,” Nelson said.

Nelson is talking about the hold music that plays over and over as she waits for a representative from Blue Cross Blue Shield North Carolina to answer.

“I have a tendency to wake up with a song in my head in the middle of the night, so this one’s probably going to traumatize me for a while,” Nelson said.

When WBTV visited Nelson Tuesday afternoon, she had been on hold for hours – nearly five to be exact – trying to work out her BCBS insurance policy that’s somehow disappeared.

“I went on late last week and I have no coverage on the website,” Nelson said.

She says after going back and forth with the company since November, she was told her 2016 policy was confirmed in December. Now, no one can seem to find any record of it.

“I don’t know if I want to drive anywhere because if I get in an accident, I’ve got nothing,” Nelson said.

Nelson isn’t the only one frustrated with the company. Since January 1, thousands of North Carolina customers have been assigned the wrong plans, found their bank accounts over-drafted or had their ID cards canceled.

The company blames changing affordable care act deadlines and a new customer service system.

The company’s CEO released an apology.

The difficulties that many of our customers who purchased their own health insurance faced this week are unacceptable, and we are truly sorry for this experience. I was able to speak personally to several customers and understand the hardship this has caused. Although less than 1% of our 3.8 million customers in North Carolina have been impacted, ONE is too many.
Several factors have come together to cause the backlog, including changing deadlines during open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act and our company’s transition to a new customer service system. We are experiencing customer call volumes 400% – 500% higher than last year, which has strained our systems beyond the extra capacity we had planned for this busy time of year. For comparison, our average peak call volumes are 20,000 per day. But on Monday we received 137,000 calls, another 67,000 on Tuesday, and similar trends the rest of the week.
I want all of our customers to know that we’re working around the clock to address the situation – bringing in more staff, expanding customer service hours, and enhancing our website’s capacity.”

But Nelson says the only thing she may have to expand is her phone plan. When all was said and done Tuesday, Nelson spent seven and a half hours on the line with Blue Cross Blue Shield trying to work out the issues.

“You’re asking for a lot of money and you now expect me to run out on my phone minutes? No,” Nelson said.

Nelson believes BCBSNC may have finally figured out the issues, but she’s not too confident.

If you’re experiencing issues with your BCBSNC policy, the company suggests you visit You can also call them at 1-888-206-4697. They’ve extended their hours to 7 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday. There’s also an option to have them call you back if you’re unable to wait.

Finally, BCBSNC encourages customers to visit local branches to work out any further problems.

Copyright 2016 WBTV. All rights reserved.

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