Letter From a Jilted Customer

Going through an old e-mail account this morning, I came across this gem I wrote to Belair Direct last fall after my repeated calls failed to resolve my issue, which was that my address needed to be updated, and they didn’t seem to be able to handle that.  Since the internet is for the free exchange of information, and maybe I can save someone the unpleasant experience of dealing with this company, I’m unleashing it on the blog.  Some personal details cleansed, of course.

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Hello,

Over the last year, I have had a number of problems with your company, and I do not feel as though I am being taken seriously as a customer at all. If you look into my account history you will see a series of complaints filed around January this year regarding a collision dispute, where you tried to tell me that being rear-ended while making a left turn is somehow my fault, but this is not what I’m writing about.

Problem #1: I called on Aug. 28 this year to create a new auto policy, since I had separated from my wife and moved to a new address.  I have the e-mail and the temporary slip indicating my new policy number and new address.  I was given a new quote and agreed to purchase the new policy.  I received the e-mail notification that the old policy () had been cancelled, but I never received a notification about my new policy ().  I didn’t think anything of it at the time since I had my temporary slip.  I called today to update my address again since I have moved again, and found that my first address was still listed on my policy, and the CSR I talked to today couldn’t find a record of the address change in your system.  Why then do I have a temporary slip with the proper address?

Problem #2:  I received a quote on my new policy that was based on the address that I had provided, or so I thought.  When I updated my address today, my annual premium nearly doubled. If I do an online quote through any number of websites online (can’t do one through yours because I’m already a client) the quotes I receive are over $500 less than the rate I was given today.  Care to explain?

Problem #3: I tried to log in to your website to review my portfolio.  When I click to register, the website indicates that my online portfolio is already activated.  I have no idea what the password is.  I try to fill out the password recovery form with my current policy number and my driver’s license number.  The website indicates that my license number is invalid. I have entered , which IS my license number.  I have it right in front of me.  So if this number is wrong, exactly what license number is on my portfolio?

Problem #4:  Belair will not update my tenant coverage because my new apartment building is a “high commercial risk” because it’s “too close to a commercial area”.  What the hell does that mean?  If I live in the city I can’t get insurance?

Do I even have coverage right now?  Am I paying you for absolutely nothing?

Greg Burrell
gburrell@.com

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Belair responded within a day that they would call me on Monday to discuss. When they hadn’t called by Tuesday, I cancelled my policy. They also fought me on their 30-day new policy guarantee, saying they were going to charge me almost half the value of the policy for early termination, which took another few hours of angry calls to sort out. Now I have a much less expensive policy which includes tenant coverage, and actual customer service.

Caveat emptor.

About Greg Burrell

Greg is an accountant, cyclist and political observer living in Toronto, Canada with too many cats.
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