Doesn’t Know Any F-Words

, , , | Right | October 14, 2018

(Because we work with Americans, as well as many international clients, we get a lot of interesting people. The best way to get any information to prospective clients is through email. This is one exchange I had with a prospective client.)

Me: “All right. What I can do is send you all the information you are asking for through email, and CC an agent so that she may answer any questions you have.”

Client: “Okay.”

Me: “All right, what’s your name?”

(The client spells out his name slowly, using the “B as in ‘Boy’” thing.)

Me: *inwardly* “Thank goodness! I don’t think I would ever understand him.” *outwardly* “All right, and your email?”

(The client begins spelling out his email using same technique, then says:)

Client: “F as in ‘Edward,’ at [rest of email].”

Me: “Um… Okay, just to make sure I have this down correctly—”

(I begin spelling out the email and put extra emphasis on the F.)

Client: “Yes.”

Me: “Okay, I will get this information to you by the end of the day.”

Client: “Thank you!”

(It ended up being an E. I don’t blame him, though; an F is just an E without a bottom!)

Ensuring That Insuring Is The Law

, , , , | Legal | October 10, 2018

(I work in a call center for a large insurance company. Two things are important to know: first, just because I am not in an office talking face to face, it does not mean that I know less than other agents; I had to pass the same test and get the same licence they did. Second, for those who don’t know, Maryland has some of the stricter insurance laws in the country. They fine you per day you don’t have insurance on a car that is registered, coming to about $2,500 per year per car, with no maximum. They also usually aren’t willing to allow you to even start paying on the fine until you have insurance again.)

Customer: “I just got back from MVA [Maryland DMV] and was trying to renew the registration on my car, and they told me that I have a fine to pay because of you guys.”

Me: “I’m sorry to hear that. Let me see if I can find your policy and get this sorted out for you. Do you have your policy number or phone number?”

(The customer gives me his phone number and I try to find a policy for him. Eventually I do, but I find a problem right away.)

Me: “Sir, is it possible that you have the policy under a different phone number?”

Customer: “No. That is the only phone number I have ever had.”

Me: “Okay, well, I found a policy that you had with us, but it cancelled two years ago.”

Customer: “Is that why you are fining me?”

Me: “No, sir. We are not fining you. The state of Maryland is probably fining you for having a vehicle registered and not having insurance on it.”

Customer: “How the h*** would they know?”

Me: “All insurance companies that operate in the state of Maryland are required to report when policies start and end on vehicles.”

Customer: “So, you told them to fine me. You guys are going to pay this fine, then. Why was my policy cancelled in the first place?”

Me: “The policy cancelled due to non-payment. And we don’t tell the state to fine you; we can only report your insurance status with us. For all we knew, you reinsured elsewhere.”

Customer: “Well, I didn’t. So, you guys are going to pay off my fine and tell MVA that I have insurance so that I can drive again.”

Me: “We won’t pay the fine for you — it is your responsibility to keep insurance on your car — but I can try to get you reinsured with us.”

Customer: “NO! I don’t need your g**d*** insurance. I let that policy cancel because I realised how much I’ve paid in insurance over the years and never had an accident. I don’t want to be a part of your scam anymore. Just tell the state I have insurance so that I can drive again. And pay my fine; it’s your fault, anyway.”

Me: “You want us to pay $5,000 for you and lie to the state for you so that you can go back to breaking the law?”

Customer: “I’m not paying for your scam anymore! You do what I say!”

Me: “We are not doing that. Have a nice day.”

Hopefully Stress Therapy Is Also Covered

, , , , | Healthy | October 7, 2018

(My daughter requires glasses to see, so we go in for our regular eye appointment in November. Everything goes well until it comes time to pay for the appointment and glasses, at which point the staff inform me that my daughter’s vision insurance has already been used this year, and therefore won’t cover her new glasses. Confused, since her last appointment was fourteen months ago — definitely over a year — I head home to contact our insurance company to get things straightened out.)

Me: “I’m trying to figure out why my daughter’s insurance has been marked as used this year. Our last appointment was in September of last year, fourteen months ago.”

Insurance Rep: “Oh, we have an appointment on file from January of this year, so her insurance has already been used.”

Me: “But we didn’t have any eye appointment in January. Something’s not right here.”

Insurance Rep: “I don’t know what to tell you. You had an appointment in January, so you have to wait until next year to use her insurance again.”

Me: “And I’m telling you her last vision appointment was September of last year. We didn’t have any January appointment. Your records are wrong.”

Insurance Rep: “Give me a moment to check.”

(She puts me on hold for a while as she looks into this.)

Insurance Rep: “I don’t know what to tell you. You used her coverage for an appointment in January at a clinic in Missouri.”

Me: “We live in Georgia. We haven’t been to Missouri in the last year, let alone for a vision appointment. Who was the appointment for?”

Insurance Rep: “Oh, [Male Name, nowhere near my daughter’s relatively unique name].”

Me: “That’s not my daughter.”

Insurance Rep: “Oh. Let me look into this some more.”

(She puts me on hold again.)

Insurance Rep: “Okay, so, it looks like that vision clinic put the wrong patient information in when they filed his appointment.”

Me: “So, this is going to be fixed, and my daughter can get her glasses, right?”

Insurance Rep: “Unfortunately, it’s going to take six weeks or more to correct this error.”

Me: “But that puts us in next year, and my daughter needs her glasses.”

Insurance Rep: “I’m sorry, but that’s the best we can do.”

Me: “Even though it was your company’s mistake?”

Insurance Rep: “I’m sorry. Perhaps you can work something out with your vision clinic in the meantime?”

Me: “Fine.”

(Luckily, the vision clinic is at least willing to work with me on a reimbursement plan that will allow us to get the glasses now and have the insurance company cover the cost once they finally get around to fixing the problem without it applying against the next year. But aside from our insurance company not realizing that an adult man in Missouri is not my 10-year-old daughter in Georgia, the real gem is what happens when my husband calls the insurance company for a follow-up.)

Husband: “So, how can we be sure this doesn’t happen again next year?”

Insurance Rep #2: “You’ll just have to call in every now and then to make sure her insurance hasn’t been used yet.”

Husband: “You mean you don’t have anything in place to make sure that my daughter’s insurance doesn’t get accidentally applied to someone else’s appointment in another state?”

Insurance Rep #2: “No, sorry.”

Husband: “So, you’re making us do your job.”

Making This Whole Process Overdrawn

, , , , , , | Right | October 4, 2018

(A policyholder has recently purchased an insurance policy and chosen the monthly payment option with payments withdrawn automatically from his checking account.)

Me: “Thank you for calling [Company]. [My Name] speaking; how can I assist you today?”

Customer: “My name is [Customer], and you people have really messed up, and I’m mad! You need to fix this right now!”

Me: “I have your policy information pulled up and would be glad to help in any way I can. Please explain what has happened.”

Customer: “I’ve only had my policy a month, and you’ve already taken another payment from my checking account. Why did you take more money? I already paid for my policy!”

Me: “You purchased the policy just over a month ago, and your payments are due each month on the same day as your policy started. We submitted the request on [date], as per the agreement. What seems to be the problem?”

Customer: “My checking account is now overdrawn, and it’s your fault. I didn’t give you permission to take any money!”

Me: “Actually, you did. When you signed up for insurance, you paid for only one month of coverage, agreed to monthly payments, provided the routing number and account number for your checking account, and signed a form agreeing to the terms for electronic payments. You were also provided with a schedule, and we sent you email reminders of the date and amount both ten days and three days prior to the withdrawal, even though we are not required by the contract to do so. It is not our error that your account is now overdrawn, and there is nothing I can do to fix it.”

Customer: “Yeah, yeah, I get all that, but why did you take money from my account?”

Me: “Because that’s the way monthly automatic payments work?!”

Customer: “F*** you!”

Just Type In That I Drive A Scooter!

, , , , , | Legal | August 23, 2018

(I’m working in customer retention for a major automobile insurance company. This caller has threatened to cancel her policy because she doesn’t like the price, so she is transferred to me.)

Customer: “I need you to reduce my premium. I was transferred to you because the person I just talked to wouldn’t do it and he said you could. You can start by changing my address from [Inner City Area] to [Residential Suburb] where my sister lives, because she pays less for insurance there.”

Me: “Have you relocated to that address?”

Customer: “Of course not! I don’t want you to change where I live, just the address for my car!”

Me: “Your insurance cost is based in part on where your car is kept for greater than 50% of the time, so the address won’t be updated.”

Customer: “I also need you to change the description of my car from a 2-door to a 4-door, and the year to [a few years’ older].”

Me: “Have you changed vehicles?”

Customer: “No, but I know it costs less to insure an older car; just change it!”

Me: “The insured vehicle will also not be changed on this policy.”

Customer: “Why does everyone keep arguing with me and asking so many questions?! I already explained to that other guy that I know what I’m doing. Just make the changes; he said you could help me!”

Me: “Your car’s Vehicle Identification Number indicates the year, make, and model and can’t be overridden. Our rates and rating factors are filed with the state department of insurance and have been reviewed and approved. All of the information used to rate your policy, including your address, the location of your car, and the vehicle insured need to be accurate to be in compliance. I am not going to falsify information; by asking me to do so you are requesting that I be a party to insurance fraud. If I were to participate, I’d risk losing my insurance license and my job, and face the possibility of a hefty fine against myself and my company. Now, I see your were provided a review which did result in an additional discount added, which will save you [amount], and I can take another look to see if anything was overlooked.

Customer: “It wasn’t enough, and nothing’s really changed. I just want to save more money. Just do your job and make those changes for me; it’s not like I’m asking you to do anything illegal!”

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