Friday, March 27, 2009

In Which She Loses It...


I just got off the phone with Melvin from Allstate Insurance. Mel-vin. Melvin is a major dork.

The reason for my call was that for an entire week, I have been unable to reach my local insurance agent. I have left several messages and have also been told by a terminally perky recorded voice which doubtless sports a voluntary blond side-ponytail to call back during regular business hours, which is exactly what I thought I was doing. Today I did a drive-by and the agency door was gated, so perhaps they are a casualty of the economy and failed to inform their clients, which in itself does not engender confidence.

I called the company's 800 number and explained to Mel-vin that since Flip is no longer driving, we need to make changes in our auto policy. We have never been informed that Flip's license was revoked, but presumably it was since by law, his doctor was required to report his condition to the DMV. (This also happened three years ago; the DMV never informed us of his changed status and he drove for eight or nine months without a license. When we finally found out, Flip took a written and driver's test to get it back. He decided not to fight it this time because he had a hard time passing the written test then.) The situation is ironic as he is one of the best drivers in San Francisco, a city where bad driving is a creative art form.

I assumed that our premiums would go down with only one insured driver, but Allstate seems to follow a Lewis Carroll kind of logic which allows them to charge us MORE if there is only one driver.

"Married people get a better rate," Melvin intoned, "because it shows a certain degree of responsibility."

Responsibility THIS, Melvin. I thought I was being responsible by informing them that I was now our only driver.

"So I'll do better if I leave him on the policy even though he's not driving?" I said.

He repeated his one pathetic line. It was apparently the only one he knew. "Married people show a certain degree of responsibility." I really despise pomposity.

Does this not seem a tad archaic to you, to say nothing of discriminatory? A baldfaced policy of sticking it to those who for whatever reason are not married. This is offensive in so many ways that I could catalog them alphabetically, chronologically or haphazardly. Take your pick.

I responded that Allstate was not the only show in town, and that I would be happy to take my business elsewhere. And I will. But I wish I could stick pins in that blowhard Melvin first, and watch the weasel pop.

29 comments:

citizen of the world said...

That is a appalling. First of all, you aren't getting divorced, just no longer paying to unsure a non-driver. But secondly, oh my God! I'm irresponsible because I'm not married? My great driving record and employed status aren't enogh. And I'm here to tell you, I've worked with many horribly rresponible married people. Argh. That really yanks my chain. I had no idea I was paying higher rates because I'm single.

RED MOJO said...

Apparently All Gays are irresponsible! Not to be the one who always cries "poor me", but once again all the preferred people get a break at the expense of the shunned! Married people also get a break in taxes, in golf club memberships, federal benefits, not to mention all the wedding presents...and who do you think pays more so they can pay less????
It sounds like business as usual to me.

Avril Fleur said...

So being married is more responsible than being single? Sorry, I do not understand that logic AT ALL!! Dumbasses!

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Citizen,

This is so illogical and unfair that it defies reason.

To say nothing of the fact that having two people on a policy doubles the chances for someone to screw up.

Mojo,

That's right. Gay people are not allowed to marry, but then they are punished for not being married.

This is as logical as someone murdering his parents and then pleading for mercy on the grounds that he is an orphan.

Fleur,

It's blatant discrimination and makes no sense whatsoever.

Mel-vin was a really smug dumbass, too.

thailandchani said...

Mel-vin is an idiot! Being married shows more responsibility?

Apparently he's never heard of gay people. Besides that, is he aware of the divorce statistics?

I say this, of course, as a single-by-choice female who considers that choice to be quite.. um... responsible.



~*

Warty Mammal said...

The phrase which comes to my mind is "Kafkaesque".

So nice of the DMV to keep you updated on your husband's status, as well.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Chani,

Such idiocy persists because nobody questions it. It's total BS, and if enough people would stop supporting such companies, they would be forced to change their despicable policies.

Warts,

I first wrote that Allstate's "logic" was "like something out of Franz Kafka or Lewis Carroll" but decided it was superfluous, and removed the reference for which there was no illustration in Google Images.

As for the DMV, they informed Allstate that Flip's license had been revoked 3 years ago but didn't say why; I only learned of it when I renewed our policy and noticed that the premiums had jumped drastically. Yet nobody thought to tell us then or now. Very nice indeed.

nick said...

The problem seems to be that Melvin is just a powerless underling with no discretion in premium-fixing who can only follow the policies laid down by his bosses. If he tried to be flexible, he'd probably be out of a job tomorrow.

The idea that married couples are more responsible is obvious baloney. Who makes these insane pronouncements? As you say, walk away and find a more rational and helpful insurer (that is, if they exist).

the walking man said...

The best pin Hearts is removing your business from them, forcing them to put up the Hearts was here sign.
You know I have been through the mill as far auto relayed injuries go and I only have one word for you

AMICA...the absolute best full line insurance company I have ever dealt with, The people on the phone, if they don't have an answer at their finger tips always have gotten back to me as soon as they had the CORRECT information. And they actually make you believe they care about your concerns.

The claims rep who handles my injury medical stepped right up to the plate and never refused or hemmed and hawed over any doctor recommended treatment.

I highly recommend that you consider them.

furiousBall said...

there is just no way to begin to explain all the wrong of this wrongness. crikey

meno said...

Married people show a certain degree of responsibility?

Ha ha hahh ahahaha hah. *snort*

You know, like Britney Spears and Brad Pitt and twelve other people that i know personally.

Bullshit!

seventh sister said...

It seems to me that not being married may, in some cases, be the more responsible thing to do. how many people have you known who wanted to be married and professions that keep them away from home all of the time? or who want to be married and want to screw around all the time or have some other 'need' that cannot be met in a monogomous relationship but try to be married anyway and just hurt people. Wouldn't it be more 'responsible' to stay single? Not to mention gays, as RM stated. Insurance companies do that because they can. Why don't you shop around for another company? We have been very happy with GEICO. They don't seem to care if we are married or not. Besides which, you ARE married so you should get the discount anyway.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Nick,

"A rational and helpful insurer" sounds like a contradiction in terms.

Of course Melvin is an underling, probably a bot, but I lose respect for those who mindlessly parrot the company line. It's a little quirk I have.

Mark,

Do you write Amica's PR? Thank you for the tip - I don't know anything about them but I'll check it out on your recommendation as I know that you've had more than your share of injuries.

Van,

Seriously. Wrong. CRIKEY!!!

Meno,

I was shocked that any company subscribes to such 50's idiocy and gives preferential treatment to the married when the most responsible thing many people could do is NOT marry.

Sister,

Marriage is a socially acceptable way to hurt people if one is so inclined, while some of the most devoted and yes, responsible couples I know do not have that piece of legal paper. I knew there was a "good driver" discount, but had no idea those good drivers had to be married. It's absurd, offensive and now that I know, I cannot in conscience support such policies.

Cecilieaux said...

Melvin is probably Indian or a Slav or an impoverished Irishman who has a script with few possibilities in a crowded call center with even a lesser future (which is why I advocate revolution).

On a more practical note, I have decent experience with GEICO.

comfortandjoy said...

Dear Melvin,

Married people are more likely to fight in the car.

Love,
CJ

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Cecil,

What can I tell you -- I have a prejudice against canned scripts and do not tolerate their purveyors gladly.

We've used Geico in the past and should consider them again, even though they have stupid commercials.(The cavemen are even worse than the gekkos. Do people really think it's cute to be condescended to?)

Can women be curmudgeons? If so, I think I have a good chance at it.

CJ,

Listen: The sound of one woman laughing.

Have you been auditing my marriage? I knew something was up with the back seat but couldn't angle the rear view mirror just right.

Molly said...

Morons, obviously, are taking over the world!

The Fool said...

Eegad...insurance folks...line 'em up with the lawyers (I know, that's not fair to all of them, but...). Such (un)logic is so absurd...uniquack at its finest. Take your business elsewhere, Heart.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Molly,

Oops. Too late. They already have.

No fool,

Except that lawyers are trained in logic while insurance people are steeped in illogic.

I wonder if all the Melvins tell their UNmarried clients that they are irresponsible. That must be very good for business.

Maria said...

Try State Farm. We got a wonderful deal there on our cars and house.

And I gave up on figuring out the Mels of the world long ago. I especially hate it when someone gives me an explanation of something and when I question it, they repeat it, as if I am dense.

The CEO said...

It's really hard to know which is more vile, insurance companys with their insane policies, or Congress with their insane policies, such as the marriage penalty in the income tax code making it more expensive for two people to be married and filing as opposed to being two single people. Then these same congresspeople lecture us on family values. I guess the insurance companies saw a chance to make a buck. The damn vultures.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Maria,

Yes, and they repeat it LOUDER because surely that will make me understand what didn't make sense in the first place.

Logic is becoming obsolete. It is the appendix of our brain and serves no purpose but to make trouble on occasion.

Monty,

If they would at least be consistent in their illogic, I might still disagree but it wouldn't be quite so kafkaesque. They are absolutely vultures and the only consistency is their unerring greed.

Jocelyn said...

I have a good friend who's in marriage counseling because her husband has this habit of having affairs.

More responsible, indeed.

I would like to call Mel-vin with some swears. Would you like me to?

Also, the voluntary blonde side ponytail line cracks me up, hugely.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Jocelyn,

Your friend's husband has a particularly nasty little habit there.

And I think that Melvin and his ilk should all responsible themselves until it hurts.

On a limb with Claudia said...

We have Progressive. They are really wonderful and have indeed been there when we've needed them - at a fraction of the cost.

Fuck Allstate.

Um.. Red Mojo? Married people actually pay more taxes....

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Claudia,

Thank you for the tip. I have offers from several companies, including Progressive, which I've been collecting in a folder for about a month.

I just need to make the time to do the homework, as frankly, I've been procrastinating.

Wanderlust Scarlett said...

I would highly recommend State Farm.

;o)

Just sayin...


Scarlett & Viaggiatore

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Scarlett,

As it happens, Geico struck out with me yesterday when I finally decided to deal with this, and I called State Farm. It was closing time so the agent is going to call me back right about now, when I had told her I'd be home. Their rates were no better than Geico's but the agent spoke to me like a real person w/o spouting rhetoric, and that makes all the difference.

Thanks for caring!

Wanderlust Scarlett said...

Well, you know I've got to stay true to my red and white colors.

;o)

S & V