Saturday, September 24, 2011

If you treat me like a number I'll behave like a human!

Why would any company let a member and long term customer worth $1,000s of dollars to them every year try out the opposition for $70?

Yet that is exactly what the Royal Automobile Club of Victoria (RACV) did with me recently. I have a full range of personal and company insurances held with the RACV. Upon contacting them to set up a new policy for a company asset I was informed that only my company business mattered in terms of this new policy.

Technically the RACV consultant was correct even though she informed me that she could see all of my information, both personal and business on her screen. When it was clear that 'nothing can be done' I reluctantly searched for contact numbers from the RACV's competitors.

When I then contacted a competitor I discovered that not only could they beat the price that I had been quoted by the RACV but they were able to beat it by over 25%!

The reason that I was even talking to a competitor was because the RACV was not able see me as a human being. Rather I was two membership numbers. One for me as a private person and the other for me as a company. Despite their admittance that they understood the individual 'me' and the 'company me' are one in the same they refused to provide me with the same level of 'discount' that I normally receive as an individual.

The actual dollar figure I am talking about in this example is $70. If the 'normal' discount that I receive was applied to this new policy, my new policy would have been $70 cheaper than I was quoted. I know that it isn't much, but it is the principle of the matter that counts. In one experience I very quickly went from being a human with a long term relationship dating back to 1986 to two sets of numbers. When I explained that it seemed crazy to me that the RACV was happy for me to speak with their competitors for a matter of $70 which could potentially lead to the defection of policies worth $1,000s of dollars over the next 12 months, the consultant, while sympathetic told me that there was nothing she could do.

Upon going to their competition, in this case AAMI I was provided with a quote that was more than 25% better than the price quoted by the RACV. 25%! Can you believe the difference? I couldn't. So I accepted it.

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