Dumber Than A Lamp-Post

, , , | Legal | June 12, 2021

It is a quiet day in the motor claims department of a major British insurance company. A telephone call comes through from a customer.

Customer #1: *Clearly agitated* “Hello, I’ve run into a lamp-post on [Road] in Glasgow, and the lamp-post has fallen over.”

Me: “Thank you, sir. And were any other vehicles involved?”

Customer #1: “No, just mine.”

Me: “Thank you, we’ll just take a few details.”

I proceed to take the normal details for the customer, and the call ends normally. Seconds later, the phone rings again. It’s another customer, of course.

Customer #2: “Hello, I’m on [Road] in Glasgow and some d*** fool has run into a lamp-post and knocked it over on my car and three other cars!”

And this is why you don’t lie to your insurance company.

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That’s DOCTOR President To You!

, , , , | Right | June 3, 2021

It is about 2015 or 2016. I am a licensed insurance producer for one of the major US insurance companies and I take calls from people who are dissatisfied with their policies and/or the service they’ve received from a customer service representative.

In my position, I only speak with those who already have vehicle policies, and I have access to their full profiles and history.

My current caller has a less-than-stellar driving history, so he’s paying more than average for his policy and has recently been in an accident that caused minor damage to another vehicle, for which we have paid.

Me: “Thanks for holding, Mr. [Caller]. My name is [My Name]. May I ask why you’ve requested to speak with a supervisor today?”

Caller: “I own an auto body shop and my guys said there’s $20,000 damage to my car which you are refusing to pay, and my girlfriend and I were injured and you won’t pay our medical bills. I’m a doctor and I know that we’ll both suffer for years. You all need to get your act together and pay what you owe me. That’s what you can do for me, and I’m not taking ‘no’ for an answer again.”

Me: “As my CSR has already explained, the policy you purchased only covers damage and injury to others that you cause. There is no coverage for your vehicle or for injuries to you or any passengers in your car, so you are not entitled to any payment from us. I can quote the cost of adding coverage for any future incidents, but it won’t change the payout for any accident that’s already happened.”

Caller: “I paid good money, and lots of it, for my policy and you are so wrong. I’m a lawyer and I’ll sue. It’ll cost you big time. We’ll see who’s right. I don’t care how long it takes; I have loads of money — millions of dollars — and I won’t give up, so you might as well just pay me now and make it easy on yourselves.”

Me: “Since you are now threatening legal action, I can no longer discuss your situation; you’ll need to speak with a member of our legal team. Would you like to take that contact information, or would you prefer to be transferred now?”

Caller: “I worked in the insurance industry for years and I’m a tenured professor at the local college and teach insurance classes. I wrote the test you took to get your insurance license, and the state insurance people even call me for advice when they run into cases like mine. I know my rights and you’re going to fix this for me!”

Me: “Is [phone number] a good call back number for you?”

Caller: “Yes. Yes, it is. Finally, I seem to be getting through to you how ridiculous you’ve all been. I’ve already verified my address; that’s where you can send the check.”

Me: “I’ve noted in the call history of your policy that you’ve expressed your intent to take legal action, so any further communications will be through our attorneys. I’m disconnecting now; thanks for calling.”

This business owner/doctor/lawyer/millionaire/insurance professional/college professor/bag of hot air was just short of his twenty-first birthday and the insured vehicle was a 1990s era low-end Honda. I don’t know if he ever actually tried to sue.

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As If Moving Wasn’t Stressful Enough

, , , , , | Working | May 13, 2021

Several years before we moved in together and got married, my girlfriend had to leave her student flat and moved into a small apartment. The young couple moving out didn’t seem to be the most organised people; however…

When moving into a new place, it isn’t a miracle to still receive mail for the previous tenant, so my girlfriend contacted them and had them pick it up. However, my girlfriend immediately had the feeling something was off. When the girl arrived to pick up the mail, my girlfriend asked whether they had already registered their new address with the municipality, to which the girl more or less replied, “Registering our address? What’s that?” This did not bode well.

How true her feeling was. Although they apparently did change their address in the municipal registration after this, they never did so on almost every account they seemed to had, so mail from insurance, banking, and everything else kept being sent to her address instead of theirs.

Most of it seemed to change after quite some time, except for one. A very famous company, which provides insurance for roadside assistance and traveling, kept sending in letters reminding the guy that he still hadn’t paid his fee. At some point, my girlfriend got worried about the idea of debt collectors showing up at her door, so she decided to call the company and explain that they needed to contact the guy in some other way. 

Obviously, the system of such an organisation is not made to change the contact details of a customer based on the complaint of a third party. What happened afterward, however, was really incredible. Some weeks later, my girlfriend received a phone call from the company, who wanted to speak to the guy about his outstanding fee. Taken by surprise, she stammered, “What? N… No, he doesn’t live here.”

Only after hanging up, did she realise that she had been called on her mobile phone. The only way they could have gotten the number was from her own call. That’s right. She used her mobile phone to call the company and tell them he had moved out of the address and she had moved in, so somebody thought it made sense to put in her phone number as his.

How someone thought this would make sense is beyond me, especially since the rules of the company should actually prevent this from happening. Some random people being messy with contact details is bad enough. Professionals doing it is unacceptable.

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Was Medicare-less About Getting That Card

, , , , , | Right | May 10, 2021

I overheard this exchange while waiting in line at the pharmacy.

Pharm Tech: “Sir, we weren’t able to fill this as we don’t have your current insurance on file.”

Customer: “It’s Medicare. I have Medicare.”

Pharm Tech: “We need to see your insurance card to be able to fill this. We don’t have anything from you or them about this.”

Customer: “I don’t have a card. But I’m on Medicare. I should automatically be on it.”

Pharm Tech: “Sir, you need to contact them. If you don’t have a card or statement from them, we have no way of knowing anything about your policy and we cannot fill this without insurance.”

Customer: “But it’s automatic. I don’t need a card!”

He continued to complain as he walked away, saying he didn’t need any proof because it should be “automatic.”

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Their Only A-Gender Is Hate

, , , , | Right | May 7, 2021

Usually, my call centre is an amazing place to work. It’s near some beautiful natural surroundings, the architecture is very pretty, and my coworkers rock! Our callers are usually okay, too, but we sadly do get some nasty pieces of work occasionally. I’m nonbinary (which my company is really cool about) and I’ve politely asked the customer not to call me by a gendered honorific and politely explained that I do not wish to discuss my gender with strangers. The call has gone very smoothly until this:

Me: “Well, if there’s nothing else, I’d like to wish you a great day!”

Caller: “Yeah, I hope you have a horrible one.”

Me: *Small stunned pause* “Oh, dear! I’m sorry… May I ask what went wrong?”

Caller: “Yeah, you’re a f****** weirdo, dude! Get me your manager!”

The customer went on to rant for quite some time at my total teddy bear of a boss upon transfer. It turned out that he had just gotten out of a thirteen-hour workday, but that is no excuse for bigotry.

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