Not Much Assurance About The Insurance, Part 7

, , , | Right | May 30, 2017

(At the car insurer I work for, sometimes the rate that we offer for renewal will be higher than our own price on a price comparison website. However, as long as all the details are the same we will match our own prices. That last sentence is key.)

Me: “Good Morning. Welcome to [Insurer], How can I help?”

Customer: “Hi, yes, I’ve received my renewal and gone onto that Meerkat site and the price you’re offering me there is less than half the price as the one on my renewal.”

Me: “I can certainly check that for you, and if you have used all of the exact same information I can match our own price.”

(I perform the usual security checks and get the reference numbers for both their current policy and quote.)

Me: “So, can you confirm for me that all the information you put into the quote is the exact same as on your renewal?”

Customer: “Yes.”

Me: “Okay, so looking here I see that your occupation is different, your mileage is lower, your excess is different, and you haven’t included the accident you were in last year.”

Customer: “Oh, I didn’t think any of that was important… Do they affect the price?”


I Hate Mundays

| Salt Lake City, UT, USA | Right | May 27, 2017

(I receive a call from a member to see if a doctor is participating on her policy.)

Member: “Is Dr. Monday a participating doctor?”

Me: “I can check that for you. Is ‘Monday’ spelled like the day of the week.”

Member: “Yes, it is. M-U-N-D-A-Y.”

Me: “…”

Some People Just Want To Be Angry At The World

| Blackburn, England, UK | Right | May 2, 2017

(I work for a PPI (payment protection insurance) claims company. In the UK, this type of company is not well liked due to several of them having aggressive telephone sale pitches in the previous years. However, I work in the processing part of the company and usually only ever speak to people who are already customers. At this time, I have been working for them for about six months. One day I get this call.)

Me: “Hello, this is [My Name] at [Company]. How can I help you today?”

Caller: “I’ve just been watching TV and a show has just played explaining how awful your company is.”

Me: “Okay, I’m sorry about that, sir. Would you mind giving me a little more detail?”

Caller: *getting more aggressive* “How do you not know about this? They say you cheated a man out of lots of money!”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir. I’m afraid I don’t know of any case like that. However, I can speak to my manager who has been here longer and may know more.”

Caller: *shouting* “Yes, do that.”

(At this point I put the caller on hold and grab my manager, who then takes the call. At this point I can only hear the manager’s side of the call.)

Manager: “Hello, this is [Manager] at [Company]. I hear you have a complaint?”


Manager: “Okay, and are you a customer of ours?”

Caller: *loud screaming heard but cannot be made out*

Manager: “Okay, then, in that case I am curious as to why you have called if you are not a customer yourself and have no knowledge of the people involved.”


Manager: “Actually, I worked on that case myself. The TV show was first aired over a year ago, after the case had been settled to an acceptable end for both ourselves and the client involved.”

Caller: *unintelligible screaming*

Manager: “I’m sorry, sir, but as you are not a customer of ours, not involved in any way with that case, and because of your treatment during this call, I’m afraid I have to end the call here.” *puts phone down*

(My manager gave me a little more information about the case involved. The case was about two years old and during the processing stage a worker had made a simple mistake. This was not something that really changed the case, only made it take about six months longer. Because of this, the involved customers were given greatly reduced fees and were reasonably happy in the end. The only reason the TV show existed was because someone had told the producers and they had interviewed the customers just after they had been told. They were understandably quite annoyed at the time and so it made for a good show. The man who called us had simply seen this, decided we were all the worst people alive, and wanted to shout at us. We assume he had to have looked up the company separately for our phone number (leading to him getting our section of the company and not the sales team). All so he could shout at strangers.)

Playing The Claim Blame Game

| OK, USA | Right | March 31, 2017

(I work for an independent insurance agent. I have one customer that for years has “forgotten” to add her son as a driver to her policy. He then proceeds to have several claims without being listed. This family cost the company $17,000 in claims, most of it happening when he was driving. He comes in one day for help with yet another accident; this one isn’t legally his fault. I’m fairly certain that he contributed to it, but legally, it’s not his fault.)

Me: “I’m glad you’re here! I need your driver’s license number. The company is asking for us to add you to your mom’s policy.”

Son: “Okay.”

(He has a blank look, and hands me his driver’s license. I help him file the claim. He’s fairly certain it’s a total loss. I call his mother.)

Me: “Hi, [Customer], I saw [Son] today and I helped him file a claim on someone’s policy. The company wants us to add your son or exclude him because he obviously owns and drives the pickup on the policy. Let me see what that’s going to cost.”

Customer: “Now, wait a minute; that’s going to cost too much! I can’t pay it.”

Me: *expecting this* “Well, they’re going to non-renew you if you don’t.”

Customer: “Can’t you just move me to another company?”

Me: “Only if we add or exclude [Son]. I know he drives your car and I know he owns the pickup. If I lie on your application it’s a violation of our contract with the carrier and you lying on your application voids your contract and means they don’t have to pay claims.”

Customer: “Well, that’s just ridiculous! How am I supposed to afford these things?”

Me: “Maybe you and [Son] should find him a pickup he can pay cash for and only carry liability?”

Customer: “He works very hard; he deserves a nice vehicle!”

Me: “That’s true, but if you can’t afford the insurance on a vehicle it’s a good idea to not have to work to support a car. Especially at that age. It’s just too hard.”

(He’s 22 with a toddler and a fiancé. He’s no baby.)

Customer: “Are you saying he doesn’t deserve it?”

Me: “No, ma’am. I’m saying when I was that age and my insurance cost my parents a lot because I got into two little wrecks they made sure I only needed liability so our family could afford it. I was working through college. Insurance was the only thing I’d let them pay and I was living on my own. It was just more practical.”

Customer: “Well, I know other families who don’t list their kids on their insurance.”

Me: “It’s not right when they do it either. They get caught and have to do the same thing.”

Customer: “Well, I’ll just find another insurance.”

Me: “You do whatever you have to do. I’m going to have to write his new vehicle on his own policy with his real address and his girlfriend listed on it if we write him. I can’t do it any other way. If you don’t want to pay for him on yours you’ll have to exclude him.”

(Unfortunately, she did not find another insurance company.)

Error: Comprehension Not Found

| The Netherlands | Working | March 16, 2017

(After changing banks I’m trying to update my account details with my insurance company. Because their website is throwing an error about a contract being invalid I decide to create a ticket with their support staff:)

Me: “When I try to change my bank account number the website is giving me the following error: [Error]. How do I fix this?”

Support: “I am sorry to hear you are unable to set up monthly payments.” *insert copy/paste F.A.Q. item on how to set up monthly payments*

(If this was the only time it happened it would be one thing, but fully half of all my tickets ended up being misunderstood. I’ve even asked others to read my requests to make sure the problem isn’t in the way I formulate things, so I guess the reading comprehension of the average support clerk is just not very good? I have long since stopped asking more than one thing per email, because I’m lucky to get a correct answer to the first question but the other questions just get ignored.)

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