Wednesday, September 17, 2008

A Customer Service Story (Part 2/3)

Previously I posted about my customer service experience with 21st Century Insurance, and I sent an email to their executives demanding some reasoning [click here to read that post]. But before I sent that email, I looked for other auto insurance companies.

The Customer’s Actions
On my end, not wanting to be without insurance, I spent the next hour or so hunting down a new insurance carrier. Being a marketing guy, I sifted through the junk mail bin and saw an unopened letter from a local State Farm agent. My wife had State Farm before we got married, and had no problems or claims, so I gave the agent a call on a Saturday afternoon (this was about 15 minutes after hanging up with the 21st CSR). Unfortunately, it rang through to voicemail, and at that point I didn’t bother leaving a message. You snooze you lose. Perhaps that is a problem with their business model of having individual agents (though I’m sure their service is much better because of this).

Next I went online to probably the usual suspects. I knew I didn’t want to go through a broker, because my experience in the past is that I’ve ended up with some small-time company that may not be solvent enough or responsive enough in the event of a major claim. So I got quotes from Progressive, AllState, and Geico. Progressive and All-State were slightly lower than what I was previously paying at 21st, but within 10%. But with Geico, I really did save 15% or more on my car insurance! In fact I saved 35%. So I signed up and paid for a new policy. It was actually quite easy to switch.

What happened Next? Read Part 3...

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