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Beware of free ice cream

By Angel Dennison
Posted Sunday, August 24, 2008

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Pittsboro, NC - As soon as people stop employing questionable tactics to sell stuff to older adults in Chatham, I’ll stop posting. Thanks Gene, for making it possible for our community to share info.

A company called Southeast Community Care called and wanted to serve ice cream at both our senior centers. Said they work with seniors, etc.

Southeast Community Care sounds friendly enough, right?

A rep came to the Pittsboro center, set up the table, etc. I left the room for a few minutes and during that time she requested that everyone who wanted ice cream complete a form that asked for name, address, and other personal information including phone number. Then she handed out “guides” for Medicare supplemental insurance and a large number of logo & promotional items. And ice cream.

No, I did not let her leave the building with the personal info. Her “guides” are in fact Arcadian Health Plan brochures for a Medicare supplemental product.

No one needs to meet with individual insurance reps to receive info comparing insurance products. The NC Seniors Health Insurance Information Program provides ALL the info, not just what any one agency wants to compare.

Before you buy - heck, before you even give your name and phone number, call Evelyn at the Chatham Council on Aging at 919-542-4512 for an appointment.

Insurance reps cannot make unsolicited cold calls. We have seen first hand several downright sneaky tactics to get contact information under the guise that it will then be an acceptable “appointment” to contact the senior. One tactic involved a sales rep just walking around in a neighborhood, talking to folks and ending up with personal contact info. I think this ice cream story takes the cake, though.

So, the moral is: beware of free ice cream.

Angel Dennison
Executive Director
Chatham County Council on Aging
PO Box 715
365 Highway 87 N
Pittsboro, NC 27312

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Beware of free ice cream