Woman's grieving disrupted by automated calls about deceased mother

Woman's grieving disrupted by automated calls about deceased mother

PORTLAND, Ore. – Elena Foster misses her mother.

“She was a great lady. She loved her family. She was so giving,” Foster said. “She loved to do things for people.”

Her mother, Eleanor, died in December. The calls began just days after her death.

The recorded calls claimed to be from her mother’s health insurance provider, United Heath Care, and the AARP. They asked personal questions for a survey as if Eleanor was still alive.

“For the first ones, I would just sit and cry,” Foster said.

She contacted United Health Care and AARP and told them her mother was deceased. But the calls continued.

“I’m trying to get through the grieving process and it’s just painful to hear someone ask for my mother and she’s gone. Again and again, over and over.”

The calls came as much as three times per week.

The KATU Problem Solvers called United Health Care and AARP. Jerry Cohen of AARP said the survey did not come from them, it came from United Health Care. A United Health Care spokesperson said in an email that the company "regrets the error" and has taken steps to make sure Foster does not get more calls.

Cohen said they made sure her mother’s file was updated to indicate she was deceased.

More: What to do when a loved one dies (AARP checklist)