Do Your Actions Back Up Your Slogans? USAA, You Listening?
4/7/14 UPDATE: After much pushing, pulling, complaining and otherwise refusing to take NO for an answer, USAA has confirmed that our car is just bodywork repair and not structural and they've agreed to repair! It'll take some time to get the parts and do the repairs, but the car will ultimately be returned to normal. Thanks for all the support!
Some of you know that we've been involved with a battle with two insurance companies since a semi put it's right front tire into the side of our Miata March 12th. Bar-Nunn Transportation and their insurer Great West Casualty are employing the ever popular DENY, DENY, DENY tactic despite all the evidence I can provide that their truck did indeed glance off my car while I was sitting still. Since the trucker didn't stop and I don't have an independent witness to collaborate my story and the Ohio State Highway Patrol accident report I filed immediately after, Great West is throwing logic out the window and essentially calling me a liar.
At the same time I've been having an extended battle with my own insurance company, USAA. USAA members since 1985, we've always had high expectations from them and they've always lived up to those expectations, at least until now. But the last two plus weeks and counting have been tortuous. The amount of lost time spent arguing my case over something that would seem to be simple is ridiculous. That once your case gets thrown into the Total Loss Department you've found a very polite version of Dante's levels of hell. Decisions can't or won't be reversed.
The series of events that has led to this point of frustration?
A blindside email notification that our car was "totaled" for what looks to us like cosmetic damage. The only functional problem is I can't open the door from the outside, only the inside handle works.
Followed by a complete inability to properly value our very limited edition car adds to the frustration. Three valuation attempts by CCCone later and we still can't get proper valuation. Cars that aren't limited edition called "comparables". Sorry, no, that doesn't work.
An option we paid $1500 for at purchase is now only valued at $87. I get depreciation (we're real estate agents, we know the drill!), but $87 is a joke for a fiberglass hardtop with heated rear window that sells for well above $1000 currently. And the rationale that it's an "option", so has no value? I guess for other cars, upgraded engines, heated seats, and all the rest have no value either, right? A base version of the car is worth the same as the super tricked out version at the dealership. Funny how those dealers can charge us $20k or more to go from base to tricked out for what are "options".
I've learned more about repair cost vs. vehicle valuation ratios than I care to know. I know the phone number of the Ohio State Department of Insurance and have learned from them.
I know how the salvage title process works and it irritates me to be told I'd have to take a salvage title to get my car repaired. Thanks for stigmatizing my ability to sell my own car in the future.
And I know that once your insurance company decides for you the disposition of YOUR car, the rental car coverage is suspended even when you're not in agreement with the decision.
I also know that even though proper disposition for our car can't be done without TRULY knowing the worth of our car, that doesn't stop USAA from making decisions about our car.
I also know that what the customer wants doesn't matter.
I also know I can't go buy a similar car for the payout I'm being offered.
I also know that because there MIGHT be hidden damage, USAA doesn't want the liability to repair, but they're perfectly fine with me taking the car on a salvage title and passing the risk on to me.
I also know that my insurance company has been fine with collecting premiums for a car reported as a limited edition car, but now that it's time to pay accordingly...well that's another story.
I also know just how irritating it is to get email after email signed off with "Thanks for trusting USAA with your business".
That even though my car is "totaled", it's driven just great for the last week since suspension of the rental car coverage, it just looks ugly!
I also now know it's not really about us, but about them.
And I also know that when I got their annual 2013 Members Report in the mail yesterday and the biggest words on the cover were "BUILT ON TRUST", well I know my sense of trust for USAA has been violated.
When the slogans don't match the actions, when the customer is the one being penalized, and we are no doubt being penalized, when the big picture of customer goodwill is lost, don't talk to us about Trust.
USAA, you've got my contact information on file if you want to actually do the right thing. I'm tired of having the same conversations over and over.
If we treated our real estate customers the same way we've been treated, we'd be out of business within weeks. Fortunately we haven't forgotten it's about customer service and not metrics.
Navy Vet, Annapolis Class of 1985, and one VERY dissatisfied customer
P.S. for our real estate agent & Navy friends, retweets, reblogs, Facebook shares are appreciated