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Amica Is The Real Deal

In my quest to escape the unreasonable policies of MetLife insurance (see previous post) I decided to give Amica a call. I had seen their advertisements on television which featured their customer service awards and happy, satisfied customers.

I’m not the type to be taken in by a lot of promises and am usually doubtful regarding advertising in general. There’s just so much incompetence and deception out there that it’s hard to trust anyone these days.

So I dialed up the contact number from the Amica website and was connected to a friendly woman who was eager to help me. I could tell she was here in the U.S. and not in an overseas call center. The quality of the call was good and her accent and use of English left no doubt that she was here in the U.S. and even closer than I expected.

She began to gather my information and when I reached the part where she asked me what town I am in, I asked her if I should spell it for her. I’d have to say that 99% of the time, the answer is ‘Yes,’ but this time, she said, that I did not have to, and that she was familiar with it. That aroused my curiosity because we live in a small town that is not well-known beyond the local area.

When I asked her where she was located, she told me she was in Concord. Not only was she in the United States, she was right here in New Hampshire. Extra points to Amica for that one!

I must have spent at least 30 or 45 minutes on the phone and the Amica rep was a pleasure to deal with. She could not have been more helpful, friendly or patient.

The best part was when she quoted me an annual auto insurance premium of around $950. A substantial savings compared to MetLife. I was shocked due to my previous experience when I tried to get a quote that would beat or at least match MetLife previously. It had seemed impossible.

I was beginning to think that the claims made during those Amica TV commercials might actually be the truth!

friendly-customer-serviceI then asked her about my homeowners insurance, since I knew it was possible that I may get a discount by insuring both auto and home with them. That was indeed the case and she worked up a quote for me that was close to $100 above my homeowners policy from MetLife. However, combined with the auto policy, it was still a nice savings compared to MetLife.

I told the Amica rep to go ahead and start the process. I had found my new insurance company and was relishing the thought of my next task. Calling MetLife and telling them not to bother renewing my policies.

Once again I dialed up MetLife and waded trough the automated menu system that is so standard these days. After punching a number of buttons on my phone, I was finally connected to a person.

Once again I noticed the poor quality of the telephone connection and again, I was connected to a fellow with a Hispanic accent, but not the same one as before. I was beginning to think that I was not talking to someone here in the United States. You know, that country where MetLife is headquartered and probably does most, if not all of their business. Just where was the MetLife call center?

I told the gentleman of my intentions to cancel my policy. As expected, he asked if I would tell him why I was cancelling and I explained my displeasure with my attempt earlier that day to simply remove my oldest son from our policy since he no longer lives with us. He came back with the usual scripted response about how ‘sorry’ they were to see me go, etc. He then asked if he could put be on hold so he could start processing the cancellation.

A short while later he came back on the line and informed me that I was all set and my current policy would not be renewed. He then said "Is there anything I can do to convince you to stay with MetLife’? or something to that effect.

My answer was a simple and direct ‘No.’

He did not push any further. I thanked him for his help and mentioned that I thought our phone connection seemed a little weird and asked if he was in the United States.

‘No, Costa Rica,’ was his response. I told him I had heard that it was very beautiful there. He responded by saying the weather was nice and we ended our conversation.

So, in this case I end up with a win-win-win situation. Not only did I get to tell MetLife what to do with their policy, I got a better rate on a new policy and did it through someone who was sitting about an hour’s drive from my home as opposed to another country.

This early in the game it may be premature for me to make a glowing recommendation on behalf of Amica, but thus far, my experience with them has been outstanding.

Note to MetLife: Don’t make it hard for customers to do simple things like remove vehicles or people from a policy. Sure, I know with insurance you have all kinds of risks you are worried about and a legion of lawyers that are tasked with crafting your anal-retentive policies. But here’s the deal:

Let’s play devil’s advocate and say I was lying when I said my son moved out (for the record: he really did move out) and was just trying a sneaky way to save some money. Then, my son gets in an auto accident. Well, guess what? Deny coverage and don’t pay for it! Pretty simple if you ask me. I would clearly be a liar and clearly be at fault under those circumstances, and would (or should) be subject to some kind of legal penalty.

If I don’t pay to insure it, you don’t cover it. What is so damn hard to understand about that?

Anyway, back to the today’s lesson for the likes of MetLife. We, as customers of the insurance industry have a lot of choices, and an industry that is extremely competitive to boot. I think I could build a substantial bonfire with all the ads I have received in the mail or in magazine and sales flyer inserts from Geico alone!

It might be a good idea to make things as easy as you can for your customers and not make them jump through hoops for reasons that don’t make sense to us. Some of us don’t like jumping through hoops and are more than happy to ditch you in favor of another company.

Sure, for a huge company like MetLife, losing one customer may not be a big deal, but in this economy, I think one customer is more important than it used to be and you just lost one yesterday. That’s $1400 or so that MetLife won’t be collecting next year.

Note to readers: Please wait for my next post on overseas call centers before anyone decides that I am a racist or that I don’t like Costa Ricans or Hispanics or people from India or the Philippines or whatever.

Comments

Comment from marianne
Posted: September 3, 2010 at 10:44 pm

Well, maybe you are racist. You have the right to go to whatever other company you want to, but leave our nationality out of it.

Comment from admin
Posted: September 3, 2010 at 11:13 pm

Oh, grow up!

If you only knew how sick I am of hearing that same, tired old excuse for just about everything. I don’t know how much news you hear about the goings on here in the U.S., but the whole “racist” thing has reached a point where every issue (illegal immigration, for instance) that involves people with different ethnic backgrounds eventually involves someone calling someone else a racist.

Martin Luther King said it best: “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation were they will not be judge by the color of their skin but by the content of their character .”

Oh and by the way, I don’t know how things are in Costa Rica, but here in America we have freedom of speech and I’ll say anything I want to say about Costa Rica or any other place. If you want to find a place to rant about real racism search for some sites with words like “Aryan Nations” and you’ll have your hands full.

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