You’ve probably seen the leggy expert come on t.v. and warn you of catastrophic potential bills if your car were to break down. She makes a case, showing you the amounts you might pay for those problems.
You might even nod your head as she makes a good point that during this poor economic time, you can’t afford to have to make major repairs to your vehicle.
She then goes on to explain how this product, Endurance, will make it better by paying for your car to be fixed without you having to pay the sky high costs of those repairs. So, since I own an 11 year old mini van, I decided to give it a whirl. I went to their website in order to get a quote.
Immediately, however, I ran into a problem.
I don’t know about you folks, but every time I run into a company that refuses to give me information unless I put information into their system, I have a bad experience. I don’t like, being a salesperson of 20+ years, hard sells. I am intelligent and can make up my own mind. You can make a close on me, but try it with a sledge hammer – I balk and will almost certainly walk away.
However, since I felt the need, I decided to risk putting my information into the blanks and sending it in. Briefly I hoped that after putting the answers they required in, I would actually be re-directed to a screen with choices and I would be able to see a quote right there.
No – unfortunately ::sigh:: I got a call. And boy, was this one a humdinger. I expressed my discontent, politely, telling the person I was hoping for a simple online quote. I must have offended the person on the other end of the phone. He proceeded to explain, almost condescendingly, how they used to have a computer quote system, but invariably that the customers would pick out the cheapest quote which somehow wasn’t right for their vehicle. In the example he provided for my Dodge van, he told me I might somehow mistakenly get an insurance package for a 95 Dodge Neon instead of a 2001 Dodge minivan and that if I had a claim after paying for this bad package that the claim wouldn’t be paid for.
I asked him if that wasn’t a problem with their system, since I had had to put in my vehicle information. I was baffled by the approach he was taking.
He explained to me that he was there to help me winnow it down past the 50 some odd choices and help me make my selection for me. In other words, it sounded like, there weren’t choices, but he had *A* plan that he wanted to sell me and that he would guide this horse to water to make it drink.
When I asked him about choices, he repeated that there were many. I asked the price range – he stated 1200.00 to 4000.00. When I inquired as to which plans he was going to be recommending, he told me that the 4000.00 plans weren’t “correct” for my vehicle – but in order to winnow this down, he would need my VIN number.
One thing – understand it wasn’t just that I felt I was getting a weird response, but it was the tone of voice as well. According to what this person was seemingly telling me – they had many insurance companies that would make an offer. Somehow, the companies were either stupid enough to offer the wrong plan because I had told them what they needed to know about make, model and year. Or maybe it was they were stupid enough to sign the wrong plan and then go whoopsie when someone filed a claim. Or maybe it was the fact that these companies just wanted my money and who cared if I picked the wrong plan.
So I questioned things. It seemed to offend the telemarketer. But, if a company is getting the same response from people on the phone, don’t take it out on the person asking questions – change something on the company end to show people you’re listening. I didn’t get understanding – I got dripping condescension.
I don’t give out info that I feel people, especially people I don’t know and in this age of people stealing identities, don’t need to know. If you can’t give me a quote off my car info, knowing full well if I don’t disclose the correct information like having been in a wreck, that my claim will be invalidated in most cases, then I don’t really need your service.
Stating that I didn’t wish to get that, I was interrupted several times by “I understand sir” very abruptly and told good night brusquely. You could feel the icicles. I hung up.
After that, believe it or not, I got an email stating that they were sorry they hadn’t been able to reach me and that they were trying to get in touch with me.
I simply replied that I would be writing an article about my experience, take me off the calling and emailing list or I would report them for spamming and I was seriously wondering if I shouldn’t contact the insurance board of my state to examine the company’s tactics.
The next morning I got another call from another representative whom, I must say, I was polite yet stern with. I repeated my complaint, requested I be removed and that the next call I got had better be from a manager who could take care of the situation completely.
About 45 minutes later, a Nate Cizek called me back, stating that he was the sales manager for Endurance.
We had a pleasant conversation, with Mr. Cizek continually apologizing for his employee’s bad behavior. Having been in sales over two decades, this is a situation no one finds comfortable on the manager’s side of the call, and yet he handled it with good graces.
Several times I was offered a gas card to fill up my tank, which wasn’t the point of the call, as I mention to Mr. Cizek. I told him that, in my opinion, not enough people take bad service or bad product to task, allowing bad companies or individuals to continue to run people off the road, treat PAYING customers like dirt, treat people making inquiries like they are stupid or what not.
He readily agreed, and we went on to talk about what had happened on the phone call, with Mr. Cizek apologizing profusely throughout, and re-offering the card as a way of saying how they were sorry. He agreed that this person was way off base with his approach and inaccurate about his information and how he explained things to me. He stated that there was obviously a training issue and that he would track this down, follow up on it, possibly to termination. He has stated he will email me with any follow up as his investigation into who did this continues.
At the end of the conversation, busy though he might be, he took the time to answer questions about my vehicle and a quote, which I didn’t take him up on. Not because the product is good or bad – but the cost in my case for a three year contract with exclusions would have been almost as much as the repairs that I would have to pay for the contract. I understand it is a high risk insurance pool they are building – I just didn’t see the need equating to a purchase at that price.
Moral of the story: If you have a problem with Endurance’s people on the telephone, Mr. Cizek would be the gentleman to speak with. He was polite, friendly and able to ameliorate my anger at being treated rudely when I was calling to SPEND MY MONEY at their company, at least to some extent.
Problems like this can be solved if you reply in a cool headed manner and explain in a logical and concise manner, without heat, what happened. Some of the folks on the bottom of the heap don’t necessarily care about whether you like them or not because they don’t look at the big picture of their company’s health and your happiness – but they care about heat from above.
Work with us – we’ll be glad to try to help you have an outcome similar to this. Send in information – the more and the more organized the better. We’ll be glad to talk with you and the company that you had problems with and attempt to get an answer for your issue.
We don’t charge for this. It’s time the consumer fought back. Time for the people who work for a living who don’t have a problem showing you their disdain or that they are having a bad day to realize that there are consequences for their actions. Don’t let them get away with blowing you off or blowing up at you for no reason. Rudeness doesn’t get their company your business, but will get a polite, measured reaction that will show their boss what an ass they were.
Hopefully we get updates on this situation. Mr. Cizek told me he’d be posting this in his sales room as well to show folks that you better treat everyone like gold – you just never know who you have on the other end of the line.
And no – I never took the gas card.
Thanks to thinkblytheco.com for the pic!