Recently, a lady called ‘Samantha West’ from Premier Health Plans Inc. called TIME magazine reporter Michael Scherer on his cell phone and suspiciously refused (or was unable) to deviate from a suspiciously scripted sounding conversation – even when Mr Scherer asked point blank if she was a robot.
But, while insisting multiple times she was herself was ‘a real person,’ something about her bright, engaging voice didn’t sit right with the Times reporter. Since then comments regarding similar experiences with the mysterious Samantha have been steadily cropping up on internet chatrooms, almost all complaints regarding the ever-persistent Miss West.
The reporter called back the number, which has since been disconnected, and repeatedly asked: ‘Hey are you a robot,’ requesting she say the words ‘I’m not a robot.’ Samantha responded indignantly, with a coy laugh, saying ‘What? No. I am a real person,’ but as much as he pushed she never said the words ‘I’m not a robot.’
Her replies to other simple questions could of been clear giveaways, for example when Scherer asked ‘what vegetable is found in tomato soup?’ she said she didn’t understand the question, and when quizzed as to what day of the week it was yesterday, she complained of a bad connection.
Her goal? To ask a series of questions about health coverage such as ‘Are you on Medicare?’ and then transfer the call to an actual person to close the sale.
Is health insurance company Premier Health Plans Inc.is using a high-tech robot telemarketer to harass potential customers and attempting to pass the charming female voice off a real person?
Finally, the TIME reporter was able to find the name of the company but, when they called for a comment, the spokesperson denied the use of robots. ‘We don’t use robot calls, sir,’ they said, before promptly hanging up the phone.
In the chatroom, people complain about the incessant calls from the agency, which apparently sells life, health and dental insurance.
‘A friendly sounded (sic) woman on the other end claimed I requested health insurance information,’ writes one person. ‘She doggedly refused to deviate from her script.Twice I hung up on her after trying to engage her in conversation.’
After TIME’s story, the website, premierhealthagency.com, was taken down and the phone number was no longer being answered.
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Health Insurance Company Premier Health Plans Inc. Using Telemarketing Robots?