JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Florida Blue's iconic building can be seen from a distance in downtown Jacksonville. The company has been a picture of confidence in the changing insurance industry. But that confidence was shaken to many this week.
"It was just scary," said Lynne Blackman.
Blackman's confidence in the insurance giant was been shaken by a computer glitch.
"My account was negative $2,000," said Blackman," all I did was paid my premium."
Blackman is one of 9,500 members whose bank accounts were impacted by a Florida Blue computer glitch.
In her case the computer hit her bank account 48 times.
"Then the NSF fees started piling up," she said, "they drained my line of credit as well as my overdraft protection."
Monday night Florida Blue tried to correct her problem with yet another mistake. It added $33,000 to her account and quickly corrected it, but it failed to take her insurance premium and now she doesn't know if she is covered.
"I can't get an answer from anyone," she said.
Technology experts say the Florida Blue faux pas is rare in the IT industry.
"The idea of such a wide scale error is definitely pretty rare," said Phillip Graves,"but it is something that I expect will happen more and more as things become more automatic."
Graves runs Antisyn, a cyber security and IT services company.
"Every consumer has to decide, does the convenience of automatic payments outweigh the risks of one day them making a mistake?' said Graves.
He said unfortunately when a computer makes a mistake it quickly becomes a big mistake.
"When a person makes a mistake they make a mistake once or twice," he said, "when a computer makes a mistake it can repeat itself an infinite number of times."
Blackman said after this experience with online payments, she is now having second thoughts.
"It is very scary," said Blackman,"I am thinking about going back to checks."
Florida Blue spokesperson Toni Woods provided the following information regarding the problem and how Blue is working to resolve it:
· Based on our analysis, approximately 9,500 Florida Blue members had payments withdrawn from their bank accounts multiple times over the weekend.
· Within 24 hours of becoming aware of the issue, we initiated charge reversals for all impacted members. Some members have already seen refunds reflected in their accounts. Other refunds are currently being processed by members’ financial institutions. We expect those refunds should be completed by most banks within the next few days; in some instances it may take slightly longer.
Banking Fees/ Credit Impacts
· We are working directly with banking institutions across the state. We have notified them of the issue in an effort to have all late charges and associated fees removed from these members’ accounts. However, if members are charged banking fees surrounding this issue we will reimburse our members for these charges.
· We will work on an individual basis with any member who has concerns about adverse impact on his or her credit.
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