Friday, November 16, 2007

Power Struggling through Life...

There comes a time in life, that when you know someone is taking advantage of you that you MUST put a stop to it. It's really the reason they invented divorce. In my humble life there exists someone that takes advantage of me and never looks back, just does it. I refer to my insurance broker, who for the purposes of identification I will refer to as Fast Eddie, not his real name.
I was an automobile dealer here in the great state of Arizona and for years. I happily was insured by Farmer's Insurance and everything was fine. One day I received a registered letter stating that Farmers was no longer insuring car dealers and to look elsewhere for coverage, enter Fast Eddie. Fast Eddie was a smooth talker and I was happy to give him my business, just to eliminate the problem of replacing Farmers. Although I never really trusted Fast Eddie, I went with him and also when other car dealer friends of mine asked, I would refer them to Fast Eddie, as well. Because Fast Eddie benefited from my referrals, he came to me and thanked me for the business, and reminded me that it is against the law for him to thank me buy offering me money. I totally agreed with him and never had that in mind, however I certainly wasn't going to turn him in to the authorities if he bought me lunch, but that never happened. As the years went by, I never heard from Fast Eddie all year, until it was premium time. Then he would use his insurance charm and insist on getting an appointment whenever was convenient for HIM, in spite of how inconvenient it was for me. He would use things like telling me it's deadline time and if he doesn't get my check in, they'll cancel me. I remember one year he came to my house right after I had the heart surgery and literally pushed the pen around my check for me, in order to get paid. He left without a thank you or a get well card or a smile.
I think it was last year that I noticed that the bill had an unusual charge on it for $205 that said "Policy Service Fee". Did my policy need servicing? It was good that my "policy" got service because God knows I didn't get any! This insurance would cost me about $5000 a year and frankly, I don't think I sent 5 customers out on test drives this last year. It scared me when I realized how much each test drive was costing me! I called Fast Eddie and complained about him charging additional revenue for nothing. He casually explained that he MUST charge that fee, it cannot be waive, as it is for the company to hire an outside entity to come to my lot and inspect it. Then he laughingly said, and for "Green Fees". I reluctantly allowed him to get away with it.
This year I never even heard from Fast Eddie, so I called him and was told he was in a meeting. That meeting must have lasted 10 days because at that point he still hadn't returned my call. Then I got a message from a lady named Holly saying it was time to renew my policy. I returned her call and left her a message that there is no need to speak with me, to just send me the policy and I'll send her a check. The following day, the Fed Ex truck pulled up in front of the house and the driver approached with an envelope. I never even got to the door when I heard him pull away. In that thick Fed Ex envelope was the policy application and there it was bigger than life, $205 "Policy Service Fee". I internally combusted!
As our illustrious President Bush once said, "Fool me once, shame on ....... oh never mind!" I'm NOT letting him get away with it again. I called and spoke with Holly and complained about the charge and she said, "Oh everyone pays that". As if that made it okay. I told her to either waive it or I was going to rethink doing business with them and hung up. I didn't hear back from them, so I called the little lizard today.
I called Geico Insurance today and actually spoke with the little lizard, at least he sounded like him. I insured the 2 cars that I drive on a regular basis for 6 months for less than $300. Today I am a happy camper...

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