Just as a bit of back story, last year I worked for a company that was going under. Paychecks were bouncing but the job market wasn't so great around here so it took me a while to jump ship. To try and save myself I ended up canceling my insurance and garaging my car for a while to save money. My car has a loan on it but I checked with my loan company AND the local state government to make sure it was ok that I used the car as a "seasonal vehicle", and both gave me the thumbs up. My credit ended up getting trashed because of the bouncing paychecks anyway, but it's definitely not as bad as it could've been.
Fast forward to spring when I've finally landed a solid job and have cleaned up a lot of my bills (some of which were teetering on collections). I shop around for auto insurance and end up landing on Geico, since I've heard good things.
Then little things start happening:
1.) I opted out of some kind of coverage. I don't remember what, but they said they would send me a form I had to sign to really opt-out. Fine with me! I get the form, I fill it all out (it was pretty lengthy!) and I mail it back. Everything dandy, yes? Except that in a week or so I get a phone call from Geico, asking whether I wanted to opt out of the coverage still or not. I explain that I've sent the form and the rep says "oh we got your form but it's completely blank". I remember reading over the form THREE TIMES to make sure I had filled it out COMPLETELY and signed it, so I find this odd. But the rep says she'll believe me and let me opt out over the phone. Groovy!
...until I get a call a week later from a rep demanding to know if I'm ever going to opt-out of this coverage and threatening to up my rates if I don't make a decision immediately. I try to explain that I've talked to them before but this rep won't have it. They fax me another copy of the form and I mail it in again.
Luckily, that was the last I heard about that.
2.) When I call with a question about my policy the prompt asks me if I'm either active duty military or part of the reserves and I think...hey, I am! I wonder if that gets me discounts! So I punch in the number and get transferred to a rep. I explain that I'm currently in the reserves and ask if that would get me a discount?
Her response, in the most condescending tone I've ever heard in my life?
"Well yeah it WOULD if you were part of our INSURANCE company"
And I admit, I don't know a whole lot about insurance, but she very SLOOOOWLY explained to me that I was part of the indemnity company since I was at "high risk" because of my "history" (AKA, the not having insurance), and my "haggard credit" (direct quote).
BUT, she tells me, if I'm "good", they'll review my history in another 6 months and decide if they want to give me discounts.
This one may not sound that bad, but the tone this woman used with me is usually reserved for troublesome 2-year-olds. I was so embarrassed I forgot why I had originally called and hung up as quickly as possible.
3.) After chatting with a few friends about this last conversation I finally decided that bad credit or not I didn't deserve to be treated like an idiot, and decided I would go with another company instead. I checked with geico to make sure they weren't going to auto-renew my policy and was assured that I wouldn't, then went and got quoted from several companies.
And what do I get in my inbox a few days later? A notice that my insurance has been renewed!
So I call Geico and explain that I need to cancel my RENEWAL. I still had a month left on my current policy (they had me pay 5 installments for 6 months of insurance).
The rep said "you want to cancel your current insurance?"
And I said, at least 3 times in the conversation, "no, I just need to cancel my renewal. I want to keep my current policy, just cancel the renewal"
She fought me on it for a while before she conceded. Then she asks....why am I leaving geico? And I explain that I've found BETTER insurance cheaper elsewhere.
She asks me...if my insurance was cheaper through them, would I stay? And I say sure, I would.
Then she puts me on hold for several minutes.
When she comes back, she says simply "we are actually not prepared to offer you any discounts at this time, have a great day!" and disconnects the phone call with me.
Even though I had a feeling she had canceled my insurance altogether, I was too scared to call back.
It may not be the worst service ever, but I sure did hang up feeling completely stupid every time I talked to them.