The true value of your own agent
I recently concluded ( I HOPE ) a very rocky relationship with a cable/internet provider. I signed up for new service and was told that the monthly charge was going to be about $110. When my first bill arrived the charge was closer to $200. I called the customer service phone number found online and was passed around from one representative to the next. After the call was completed, I was told that my bill would be adjusted but the lowest they could go was about $135 per month.
I also learned during this call that in addition to cable television and internet service, I was signed up for a home phone line which I did not order and did not want ( too many taxes and fees etc. ) During the course of my year of service I had to constantly call them to point out that my bill was inaccurate and needed to be adjusted. They would usually agree with me and say everything was fixed but the next month the same issue would appear again.
I cancelled the service in February of 2016 and there was to be a refund of about $65. About a week after cancelling the cable company took out more money from my bank account which was setup for the auto pay option. I called and again was told that this was in error and I would receive a refund check. I also turned in 3 cable boxes and a cable modem at the local store after cancelling the service.
Fast forward to June of 2016 and I notice that this company has gone ahead and taken out $108 from my checking account??? I call them again and am told that I am being charged for failing to turn in my cable modem. I produce the receipt showing it was returned and am told I the charge will be reversed. Then in July I keep receiving emails telling me my account is past due and that I still owe them money. Unhappy, I call again and finally get the representative to reduce my account balance to $0. She then transfers me to the finance department to schedule the mailing of my refund check. Of course, the person in the finance department says I have a zero balance and will not be getting a refund check. I end the call and have been keeping my fingers crossed that they will go away and stop bugging me for more $$$$.
The main point of the story is that I was essentially at the mercy of this large corporate conglomerate. There was no one person or agent that I could call to discuss these problems I was having. As an insurance agent, the above example represents the value that I bring to my own client's. I am here to help not only sign up for a policy but also make sure that customers are being treated fairly. When problems do occasionally come up, I will make every effort to right the ship on the client's behalf. My experience above with the cable company took up about 15 hours of telephone time, caused me a lot of grief and ultimately cost me hundreds of dollars in extra costs that were not part of the sales pitch to get me to sign up.
Make sure that you use an insurance agent when shopping for insurance. Going without one really is not saving you any money and might be a decision that you will regret if things do not go as according to planned:)