A customer called to ask the details of a particular policy. Turns out that his property was not suitable for the policy in question, so I explained this to him and gave him the details of a more suitable cover. He then decided to ask me whether the policy would change if he bought it.
Did he think I was lying to him? If he bought a policy that didn’t cover certain items would we cover them if he had called to claim? Do policies miraculously change from one thing to another when you purchase them?
The answer is no on all accounts.
I can’t lie about what is and isn’t covered. That would be blatant miss-selling and I’d be in very serious trouble. So would the company. And if we say that something isn’t covered then it isn’t. Simple as that. You can buy the policy and try to claim but you won’t get anywhere. Especially when our calls are recorded so we have it on record that we told you.
Oh, and don’t buy it on the internet. It still won’t change.
Just how hard is it to listen to what I am saying? It appears to be extremely difficult for some people. Take a customer that phoned me a few days ago.
‘I’ve had a letter from you about the plumbing and drainage cover. Well, I’ve already got this cover. So why are you sending me a letter about it?’
‘You haven’t got the plumbing and drainage cover Mr…, but you do have the cover on the fresh water supply pipe. That’s a different cover.’ I told him.
‘Yes. That’s right. The cover I’ve got covers the internal plumbing.’
‘No it doesn’t. The one you’ve got covers the outside fresh water supply pipe. The plumbing and drainage policy covers the internal plumbing and the sewerage system. It’s £…’
‘So I’ve got the internal plumbing covered.’
‘No. You haven’t.’
‘What’s the price for the sewerage pipe?’
‘£… for the first year introductory cost, and the current second year price is £…’ I answered.
‘So it’s £…for the first year and £…thereafter.’
After about ten minutes I managed to get through to him.
Or how about a customer that phoned in today.
‘What type of property is it, Mrs…?’
‘It’s in the middle.’ She told me.
We’re now coming up to the end of this financial year at work. This month has not been as busy as it normally is this time of year. I reckon it’s the calm before the storm though. There are mailings going out and they’re pushing certain types of cover this next week, so I’m expecting it to get mega busy. After all, the company wants to get as much in as possible before the end of the financial year.
We’re normally run off our feet and ripping our hair out until the end of April, then it begins to get a bit quieter.
There have been many changes in the company over this year, including the levelling out of the salaries and a bit of restructuring in the higher levels. It will be interesting to see what happens next year, although those of us who are long time employees are not looking forward to the new salary bands that have been put in place. It’s made many of us feel that the work we have put in is disregarded. So I hope that they put something in place to show us that our experience and knowledge is actually appreciated for a change.
Yes, it will be interesting.
A guy called asking to take out cover. He came through on a particular line for a particular cover we do. The customer then proceeded to give me the reference for a completely different cover. It didn’t throw me. I merely double checked the reference and proceeded to set up the policy. I reached the price details and the customer then proceeded to tell me that he had a different price on another sheet of paper. After some questioning it appeared that he had received mailings for two different covers at different prices covering different things.
I pointed this out to the customer and explained the difference between the two policies. However, the customer was having none of this. Why? Because he had received the mailings at the same time.
‘You may have received them at the same time,’ I told him, ‘but they are different policies. They are called different names and are different prices.’
‘Yes, but I had them on the same day. And this one is a cheaper price so why are you charging me the more expensive price?’
‘Because you asked me to set up the other cover. Why don’t you read the letters first and then decide which policy you want? Then you can call us back.’
‘But I received these on the same day!’
What I really wanted to say was: ‘Just because you had them both at the same time doesn’t mean they are the same fucking policy! They cover different things. If you actually read them you would see that. It’s not rocket science. You don’t need a master’s in brain surgery. If they have different names and different prices they are OBVIOUSLY DIFFERENT COVERS you dumb bastard. Do I really need to explain the difference again? It’s very simple. They cover different things. That’s why they are different prices!’ However, I managed to keep my cool and was very polite at all times.
I decided it would be best to take a walk away from the desk after this call.
The panic is still on this week. Customers ringing in their hundreds to get their boilers and pipe work covered. Nothing like leaving it till the last minute. When the really cold weather gets here it’ll be people who still haven’t got cover ringing for emergency jobs. So the panic will continue well into February next year.
I’m still knackered. That will probably continue well into February next year as well.
I’ve managed to refrain from smashing a colleagues head into the brick wall. Whether that continues into February…we’ll just have to wait and see.
Xmas is almost here. That won’t continue into next February. That’s a definite.