The State Farm insurance company is spending millions of dollars on TV dramatizing the difference between State Farm and a certain unnamed insurance company that makes you call a toll-free number to report an accident. The guy in the ad with his car up a phone call calls his (former) agent, Jessica, and says that while it took only 15 minutes to switch insurance companies, it take a lot longer to get some help.
As a State Farm customer for many years, I’ve appreciated the fact that I really could call my local agent and get help pronto. We had a little accident a few years ago and called the agent’s office at ten minutes to five. Presto, all was taken care of.
Well, guess what.
Another accident occurred today. Not our fault. The other driver was clearly at fault. The police responded and took a report. On getting home, I called our friendly neighborhood agent, who really is friendly and really does live and work in the neighborhood.
Things have changed.
The agent told me I had to call a toll-free number in Charlottesville, where State Farm’s Virginia headquarters is located. A new company policy, he said. We had a nice chat, but in the end I had to call the number. After the usual annoying delays, a real person came on the line and took my report. She said someone would get in touch after their investigation of the incident.
While is exactly what that unnamed competitor (Geico) would say. For 15 percent less.
So the clock is running, State Farm. How long will it take for you to investigate and get back to me so we can get the car fixed? And how long do I wait until I take 15 minutes to save 15 percent with Geico? And who approved this new policy right in the middle of an ad campaign that clearly implies you can call your agent to solve these problems? Somebody should fire that man.
UPDATE: I talked to State Farm on Friday. As of late Monday, the “investigation” had gone nowhere. After I called to find out what was going on, State Farm finally contacted the other party (also a State Farm customer) and authorized the repair work. So I am not happy but not quite annoyed enough to switch. Not yet . . .