Client care at its worst and best…..
I have two beautiful black labradors, George and Jack. To say I adore my boys is a slight understatement! They’ve been in the office with me at Ralli, my colleagues ask about their welfare like they would my children! George is the older of the two and when I got him in 2011, he was insured with the Kennel Club. I got my second dog Jack, in 2012 and he was insured with Petplan. It made sense to have both dogs insured with the same insurer, and as Kennel Club always took their time paying out, I put both dogs with Petplan, as I’d heard good reviews about them.
During the initial call I explained that George had had Xrays to his limbs as I’d noticed a slight problem, but the vet couldn’t find any medical condition that would explain this. I explained this fully on the telephone to the guys at Petplan and was told it was fine, and the policy was in place with no exclusions.
I found out just before Christmas that George has Patella Luxation (dislocated knees). I was devastated. My poor boy isn’t yet 2 years old and he needed serious surgery, on both hind legs. The surgeon warned that the surgery was going to be very expensive and suggested I check the cover on my policy….. that was when the fun started……..
I asked the first man I spoke to whether or not they had the tapes of the initial conversation when I bought the policy. The explained they kept all tapes and I suggested that they might like to listen to it then, as I’d be sending in a large claim very shortly. I was called back and told that I had given them the information about George’s history and there had not been any exclusion on the policy, but once my claim form went in, it would be rejected on the grounds of pre-existing conditions. I was so worried about George that I didn’t bother to argue the point at that stage. I didn’t see the point, if push were to come to shove, I had a great commercial litigation team behind me at Ralli, I was sure they’d help me.
So, to cut a long story short, I sent in the claim form, it was rejected. I telephoned them, several times each time speaking to a different person, each time going over the same things and getting nowhere. George’s second operation is due and I’m still £2,000 out of pocket from the first operation (not that I care about that, I just want my big boy to get better). After over an hour of utter nonsense, I lost my temper and asked for the name of and to speak to the Chairman or the MD. I was given his name but told that I couldn’t speak to him, as he didn’t take calls from customers. What???? I couldn’t believe what I was hearing! Didn’t speak to customers? I put myself in their place and thought, “What would I do?” I knew that if I had an irate client on the telephone, I would never, ever, tell them that they couldn’t speak to our managing partner or our compliance officer.
At this point, I had just about had enough. I use Twitter, Linkedin and Facebook and decided to take to Social Media, just to vent my spleen. I asked the question of the insurance company “Why won’t your Chairman speak to me?” Within five minutes, I had his mobile number, he had pulled over in his car to take my call. This was on Friday evening.
On Monday evening, he called me to let me know he had finished his investigations and the claim would be being paid.
Now, that is what I call client care. He didn’t actually give me anything I shouldn’t already have had, he simply listened to what I had to say, reviewed the paper work properly (no doubt dished out several harsh words!) and resolved the situation to my complete satisfaction. There’s lessons for all in there.