The Death of Customer Service

Down here in the south, having an insurance agent used to mean something. Your agent used to be your neighbor or someone you went to church with or the spouse of the local elementary school teacher that all your children had in first grade.

Now your insurance agent is more likely to be a faceless stranger – someone you wouldn’t even recognize if they showed up on your front doorstep.

My husband and I have been with the same insurance company for over thirty-one years – THIRTY-ONE YEARS – but we have NOT always had the same agent … all because they keep transferring us to yet another faceless stranger without any kind of notice whatsoever!

Our first agent started working with a different company so our policies were just transferred to someone else within the agency. And then that agent ended up moving away so we got transferred again. And then that agent ended up retiring so we got transferred again.

And the only way we ever even knew we supposedly  had a new agent was when we would suddenly start getting bills and documents from someone we had never even heard of.

No “by the way” notifications. No “thank you” for being a valued customer all these years. Nothing.

And to make matters even worse, this past Friday when I tried to contact my newest agent, I couldn’t even get anyone on the phone. I called my new agent’s number but the automated system said they were “unable to take the call” and I was advised to either leave a message or press 2 for customer service. Pressing 2 automatically transferred me to the main, nationwide, toll-free number for the insurance company – which it turned out, had automated options for filing a claim or paying your bill BUT when requesting customer service, the automated system merely transferred me back to my local agent’s number who was “unable to take the call.”

I couldn’t believe my ears. I kept pressing 2 and requesting customer service for at least five minutes – hopelessly locked into an endless loop of customer NON-service.

Eventually I just gave up. Eventually I just hung up.

Now I realize that on a planet of almost 8 billion people that I am just a number. A nobody. A faceless, nameless customer. But after thirty one years of being a customer of the “good hands” insurance company, this nobody is now taking her business elsewhere.

“It takes months (sometimes even years) to find a customer … and only seconds to lose one.”

— Vince Lombardi