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Old 09-30-2010, 12:51 PM   #61
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We had a similar issue with USAA a year ago. My wife skidded on ice and hit a snowbank and had a small dent on the front bumper of the car. She called and asked a question about it and found out that they recorded it as a claim (she was very clear she did not want to make a claim just as you had). She fought with them for over a month (she is tenacious) and they ultimately removed the claim but we had originally had been told (as you had) that it was "impossible".
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Old 09-30-2010, 01:05 PM   #62
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So, I guess my call to USAA will start "I have a friend who has a policy just like mine. He said XXX wasn't covered, but I told him it is. Who is right?"

Their information gathering procedure should be explained briefly in the recording you hear while on hold. If they've got time to advertise cruises and mortgages, they've got time to tell you that any reference to a possible claim during a conversation may be treated as a claim and possibly increase your rates. Heck, it might increase the number of callers who hang up before getting a representative on the line, allowing them to reduce personnel costs.
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Old 09-30-2010, 01:44 PM   #63
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Every policy holder has a secure pin number ID that you have to give to discuss your policies.
I don't have a secure PIN ID. I merely impress the USAA agent with my extensive knowledge of my personal data such as SSN, birthdate, first pet's name, and other commonly-stolen ID-theft information.

I can't tell you how many times I've had to hand the phone to my spouse, ask her to positively ID herself so that those people would discuss our question with me (in addition to with her), and have her ask me "What's my secret question again?"
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Old 09-30-2010, 03:39 PM   #64
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I don't have a secure PIN ID. I merely impress the USAA agent with my extensive knowledge of my personal data such as SSN, birthdate, first pet's name, and other commonly-stolen ID-theft information.

I can't tell you how many times I've had to hand the phone to my spouse, ask her to positively ID herself so that those people would discuss our question with me (in addition to with her), and have her ask me "What's my secret question again?"
They ask for your "account number" as well as your phone "pin" (SOP). If you don't have them handy - they ask you all the pita questions to insure that they are indeed talking to "you" as verified by your answers to those questions (set up originally for positive ID). You either have your account number/pin handy when you call, or go through the pita questions - your choice. This allows them to pull up your account on their computers to discuss your concerns.

If they're a worker bee and value their job - they CYA and document every call. This protects them from being the lucky one who gets fired when a caller IDs you as the person that gave them previous advice that's not documented. Face it - they don't know who you are and follow exactly what they're instructed to do with every call. Calls are recorded, and monitored by supervisors - not a scenario where you would want to give advice "off the record".

This scenario is followed by all financial/insurance companies. It's for your protection as well as theirs (even though not all of us like it)
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Old 09-30-2010, 04:07 PM   #65
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Yesterday afternoon. The manager repeatedly admitted that they screwed it up by processing an inquiry as a claim and not "educating" me that what they were starting to do constituted initiating the claims process -- and said he was trying, but they won't budge on it (he said "can't" but that's a lame excuse).

In other words, "our mistakes are our customer's problems."

He got someone who is a manager in the department dealing with policy services and she insisted that state law makes this a non-event, even in the event of a real future claim or two. (I couldn't get them to put that in writing.) Still, I feel they dropped the ball by starting a process I didn't want to start.

Am starting to look at other options, though I'd likely have to move my umbrella if I did so. And it might be chopping off my nose to spite my face.
Now is the time to ask to speak to the manager's boss. They can fix it, you are talking about basically a data input error.
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Old 09-30-2010, 04:15 PM   #66
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So, I guess my call to USAA will start "I have a friend who has a policy just like mine. He said XXX wasn't covered, but I told him it is. Who is right?"
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Originally Posted by fritz View Post
They ask for your "account number" as well as your phone "pin" (SOP). [...] It's for your protection as well as theirs (even though not all of us like it)
Much as I appreciate your tutorial on insurance-company customer-service practices and their benevolent concern for my own welfare, I think I'm gonna stick with SamClem's approach...
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Old 09-30-2010, 07:14 PM   #67
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Much as I appreciate your tutorial on insurance-company customer-service practices and their benevolent concern for my own welfare, I think I'm gonna stick with SamClem's approach...
Well, there's the easy way, and then there's the hard way - to each his own
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