Travelling Through Life…making changes as I go

Customer Service Expectations

on March 15, 2016

I think every one of us as consumers have expectations when it comes to customer service.

When dealing with businesses we have a level of expectation when dealing with the people. 

I recently had an experience with an insurance company for housing insurance. The agent that I dealt with last year has apparently left the company. I had another agent who took over her portfolio reach out to me. Upon receiving the paperwork that needed to be reviewed and signed I had questions. I was shocked at how the paperwork was incomplete. If I am paying money to your company and your agency is earning a commission on my policy, I expect a completed form. The new agent she had left areas blank. I tried calling her for 2 days and not once did she answer or return my calls. That didn’t make me happy. In the afternoon of day 2, the agent still had not returned my calls or answer her phone. I am all too familiar with companies not forcing their employees to update their voicemail. I ran into that earlier in the week with another company.

With being unable to reach her, I spoke with the receptionist. She was extremely unhelpful. She was unable to transfer me to someone that COULD answer my questions and find out why the paperwork was incomplete. She was unable to get the agent on the line. I was beyond irritated. So I demanded to speak with the manager. Of course there isn’t one. I complained a bit more and magically she said the owner could speak with me. The lady disconnects me and later the manager calls. I tell him my issues and he makes excuses for the agent.

On Friday I scan the signed paperwork over to the agent. In the email I ask for her to confirm receipt. Several hours pass and no response. I email again and she finally replies stating that she put it in the file but it’s not binding until it is paid. I respond letting her know that I am 100% aware that the policy isn’t binding till it is paid and from my understanding, the payment is due on Monday can you please confirm. Of course she doesn’t respond to my email, nor does she respond to my follow up email. At 15 till 5pm her time I called and left a message. No response.

Today I awake and no email from her. Payment is due today and she didn’t have the courtesy to respond to my emails from Friday. I tried to call to provide payment and got her voicemail. Several hours passed and I didn’t receive a response. Irritated I called and got her voicemail again and opted for the operator. I asked if the agent was available and the operator said she was in the office. Few more hours passed and I still didn’t have a response. Obviously she doesn’t care that the payment is due today and her inability to respond could make my policy lapse. I took it upon myself to call the underwriter for the policy and see if they could accept payment. Hallelujah  they could! I provided payment directly to the underwriter since I was unable to speak with the agent.

What irks me is my policy can’t be renewed without going through an agent. Should I have to deal with this next year I will find a new agent that works with this underwriter company. I find it personally unacceptable that someone who is a “Personal Lines Account Manager” is that useless at responding to emails and/or returning calls in a timely manner when in the office. While I understand 100% that you have other customers, it is completely unacceptable that you are unavailable to answer questions regarding incomplete paperwork that you want me to sign. I find it unacceptable that you can’t respond to emails and or voicemails in a timely manner. Thus possibly making a customer miss a deadline.

I have worked in customer service in different aspects and fields. Guess what. Customers wait till the last minute at times. Customers will have questions if paperwork is incomplete. Customers will expect a response to an email or phone call in a timely manner. Customers don’t like having to babysit their issue. While what is important to me isn’t important to you. You better damn strait be able to provide service to get business again and not see a customer irritated. I know this by working for a major bank and dealing with customers that had millions of dollars in business with us. Our customers had loans, deposits and deadlines. We had to make them feel as if they were #1 whenever they had a question, issue or concern. I have also done this with other businesses I have worked where the customer may only be a $10 customer. You don’t know if they are rich or poor but they deserve to be treated with courtesy and respect.

Sadly this insurance company has missed the mark. They don’t seem to grasp customer service. From the agent I was dealing with to the receptionist all the way to the owner. It is evident that the owner doesn’t care when he can’t even answer questions.

While I am concerned that they will try to lie and do something to my policy I am somewhat comforted by the fact that my new friend Tina at the underwriter’s customer service will vouch for me since I voiced my concerns to her about the agent being unable to respond. And I wanted to make sure I met the EST time zone deadline.

What are your expectations for customer service?



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