So I spent a great deal of yesterday afternoon on the phone with the friendly - if hapless - folks at Turns out, one of my "Grandmothered" Anthem clients may be eligible for a subsidy, which means the (dreaded) Marketplace. We'd already picked out a plan, now we needed to enroll her.

Since her December renewal triggers a Special Open Enrollment, we were looking for a December 1 effective date. She's actually pretty fortunate: as I explained to her, it's not yet Open Enrollment season (that starts this coming Saturday), so there were likely only hundreds, perhaps thousands of folks vying for coverage at any given time today. Come the weekend, and especially next Monday, that will swell into the millions.

And yet, well, what you see at the top of this post is what we encountered multiple times. So we took their advice and called the toll-free number.

And spent the next two hours (really!) speaking with a delightful young lady named Destiny (last name withheld because she isn't the problem). Like us, she was unable to successfully access the system; in fact, she had to ask for my client's information several times as the system gobbled it up and spat out error message after error message. If it spat out anything at all (she was experiencing more hang-time than Michael Jordan).

Ultimately, we had to bag it (my client had another appointment, as did I) and we'll pick up again in the morning. We did ask Destiny if there was a better time to call, and she assured us that the call center is open 24/7, and one time's as good useless as any other.

And remember: this is the off season - still think they'll be up for the real deal?

I'll let you know how it goes today...