Insuring Your Own Failure

, , , , , | Working | December 29, 2020

My daughter has moved out and my auto insurance agent informs me that he can no longer insure her since she’s moved to a different state. My wife recommends an online insurance reseller that we’ve done business with before, albeit for life insurance.

Even though I typically have my — young — adult children handle their own affairs, this is a new situation for my daughter and I don’t want her to get talked into coverage she doesn’t need. Therefore, I put the online quote in her name, but the contact information is for me so I can review it. I receive a follow-up call from Online Auto Insurance (OAI).

Caller: “Hello, this is [Caller] with OAI. Is this [Daughter]?”

Me: “No, this is her father.”

Caller: “May I speak to [Daughter]?”

Me: “No, she’s not available. I’m the one that requested the quote. We’re still reviewing quotes. Your company is one of our finalists, but we need a few more days to decide. We’ll call you back when we’re ready.”

It should be noted that I’m being totally honest; their quote was one of the best.

Caller: “I need to speak with [Daughter].”

Me: “I said we’re still reviewing quotes and we’ll get back to you. We liked your quote.”

Caller: “I need to talk to [Daughter].”

I don’t recall the specifics of what he says, but it is basically, “I’m going to keep calling you until I talk to [Daughter] because she’s the only person I’ll accept ‘stop calling me’ from.”

Me: “You know what? I’m done. You were one of our best quotes, and it was likely that we’d have selected your company. I’ve told you nicely that we’re still reviewing quotes and will be in touch. But you’ve made me mad with your unwillingness to do things on our timeframe, so we won’t be calling you back or doing business with your company in the future. Goodbye.”

Caller: “Okay. Goodbye.”

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Read Until The End – You Can Quote Us On That

, , , , | Right | December 21, 2020

A man is calling about a car insurance quote he says he got online through a price comparison site that he can no longer find a record of. I’ve tried everything to find his quote but nothing comes up.

Eventually, I learn that it was almost five weeks ago that he got the quote, so I tell him it’s most likely not valid anymore as we only hold quotes for thirty days. He gets angry and demands a manager.

Manager: “I’m sorry, sir, but [My Name] is correct. If you didn’t accept the quote at the time, then the price is most likely no longer available.”

Caller: “That’s ridiculous. You’re violating the rules set by the financial conduct authority.”

Manager: *Feigning ignorance* “Which rules are these, sir?”

Caller: *Sputters* “The rules! Where once you’ve given a price to a customer you have to honour it.”

Manager: “Did you accept the quote when you got it?”

Caller: “No.”

Manager: “How long did you think the price was to remain valid?”

Caller: “Until I bought it, of course.”

Manager: “So, if I’m understanding correctly you expected insurance prices to remain exactly the same, forever, just to suit yourself?”

Caller: “You can’t treat a customer like this.”

Manager: “But you’re not a customer. You’ve admitted you don’t have a policy with us, and frankly, there’s not much point in us continuing this conversation as I can do nothing more for you. You can get a new quote online or speak to [My Name] for a quote.”

Caller: “Fine, but I want a discount for all the hassle you put me through.”

Manager: “Hassle?”

Caller: “Yes! I’ve been on the phone now for thirty minutes. I could’ve been doing something else with my time, you know.”

Manager: “That was your own choice, sir, so no, I will not authorise a discount. You could’ve chosen to believe my colleague when she told you the price wasn’t available, but you decided to wait and hear it from a manager.”

Caller: “You people are disgusting. Hiking up the prices and lying to customers.”

Manager: “Sir, rates change for a multitude of reasons, but if there’s nothing else I can help you with, I will disconnect our call here, as there appears to be nothing more I can do for you.”

Caller: “You can help me save money and stop stealing from good people!”

Manager: “Well! Let me help you save money on your phone bill, then.”

Caller: “What, how?”

Manager: *Click*


This story is part of our Best Of December 2020 roundup!

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Don’t. Sign. Without. Reading.

, , , , , , | Right | CREDIT: B007833 | December 20, 2020

Back when PPI (Payment Protection Insurance) was a massive scandal in the UK, I worked in a PPI complaints department for a pretty bad credit card company. This American card company gave cards to those no one else would dare, leading to a lot of bad debts.

If PPI was mis-sold, we would issue a letter offering a refund amount for the customer to accept, sign, and return. Underneath the signature area was a very important statement:

Statement: “If your account is not in good standing, this refund will be used to offset any debt and the remainder will be paid to you within [number] weeks of returning.”

At least eight times a day, I’d have to explain to a customer that they weren’t receiving their refund for whatever amount due to their account being in bad debt status and how we’d reduced their debt for their own benefit as per the instruction under their signature. It was amazing how many customers had already spent their refunds before receiving them and thought that having a payment plan for £10 a month with collections on a £7000 debt meant they were up to date with their payments and should receive their refunds.

Luckily, we were the accounts managers; there was no one to escalate to, and we just held firm until they gave up. I loved that job.

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Sounds Like It’d Be Easier To Just Wait It Out

, , , , | Healthy | November 25, 2020

I help people sign up for Medicare insurance plans and answer questions, whether they’re related to medicare or not, to the best of my ability. This is a memorable call.

Customer #1: “Can you get Medicare at age seventeen?”

Me: “It’s possible, if unusual. If—”

There is a second person apparently listening to the phone on speaker.

Customer #2: “Don’t you need to be sixty-five?”

Me: “Everyone can get it at sixty-five, but people on Social Security Disability can get it earlier, as well as people with kidney failure.”

Customer #1: “So, it can be done before age sixty-five?”

Me: “Seventeen is rare, but it’s possible. There are other conditions that can get it for you early, as well, like Lou Gehrig’s disease.”

Customer #2: “But you don’t really get it before sixty-five—”

Customer #1: “Nuh-uh, he said it’s possible. You lost the bet, so—”

They disconnected the call at that point. I’ve done many things in this job, but I’ve never settled a bet before today.

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An Editor’s Job Security

, , , , | Working | November 12, 2020

When I am working for an insurance broker, one of my tasks is to do daily banking, mail, etc. On the way, I pass the office of a large and well-known insurance company. We used to do a fair amount of business with this company, so I know the people who work there pretty well.

One day, as I walk past, I glance at their window and notice a new poster. I stop and look at it and think, “Hmm, should I say something?”

I am in a hurry to get to the bank, so I go on. On the way back, though, I can’t resist it, so I go in.

Three of the employees I know are in the front office, and after we all greet each other, one asks me what they can do for me.

Me: “Since you are an insurance company, don’t you think your posters should have spelt ‘Insurance’ properly?”

Shock, horror! All of these posters had been sent all over the state and each one — in big, bold letters — had “Insurnance” on them.

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