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This is a question Dodgy work ethics

Chthonic asks: What's the naughtiest thing a boss has ever asked you to do? And did you do it? Or perhaps you are the boss and would like to confess.

(, Thu 7 Jul 2011, 13:36)
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I can't believe I didn't think of this earlier
I have worked in insurance for almost three years. Started part time to pay my way through my degree and went full time to save for my Masters, and a couple of weeks ago walked out on the job.

The company I worked for is one of the biggest insurers in the UK. As far as call centre work it's one of the better ones but the phrase 'Call centres are where the soul goes to die' still applies.

Now the company I worked for decided it wanted lots more car insurance customers so put out a huge marketing campaign with big discounts. Previously our clients had mainly been middle-aged, full no claims careful sorts. Now we had masses of freshly passed teenagers and serial car crashers.
'Oh Noes!' The big wigs go. Everyone is claiming on their cheap policies and we are losing money. Their solution? Something called a 'targeted renewal'. It basically means that the IT team go into certain policies and change the discount code. This four digit number changes the rating on the policy and dials it way up so as soon as the renewal gets generated the price is massive. Customer says 'Eff off I'm not paying that.' and the company gets rid of a customer it doesn't want.

This I hated with a passion because whenever you make a change on a policy it generates the standard 'Thank you for your recent request to change your policy...' letter. The IT team inevitably forgot to stop all the letters so I would have lovely people calling up asking why their policy has changed when they hadn't done anything. A very difficult thing to explain when you refuse to lie.

Another side effect was if you change a policy very close to the end of the year it stops the automatic renewal. So say you have 4 policies with us. They all renew automatically and have done for the ten or so years you have been with us. You are happy with this arrangement and the service you receive. We'll call this person Mr A who I had the pleasure of speaking to. One of his cars had the dreaded 'targeted renewal'. He was lucky in that it only went up to £400 (and I have seen much higher). His automatic renewal gets stopped and a letter is sent saying he must contact us. His problem? He is in India for 3 months while this is happening. Mr A returns from India to find his car insurance has lapsed. It's too long to accept the £400 quote so new quote it is. I feel for the guy and hunt for every discount I can give him. The price the computer gives me? Over £2000 now (once again, not that unusual).
Have you ever tried to argue with someone when you completely agree with them? It's not easy. I went to every manager I could and called anyone I could think of to try get this £400 price. Got told no as he had fair warning with the letter (which he had no chance of receiving in time). My argument of 'He's auto renewed for years and it's our fault it didn't go through.' was largely ignored.

I just wanted to scream at the guy to take his cars and leave this company. I have seen the opposite of this where people blatantly ignore their renewals or forget to tell us about their 3 speeding tickets. I have no problems being firm with someone when they are in the wrong. I struggle when an innocent person gets taken advantage of over a bullshit system error which is the companies fault.

I'm not cut out for insurance but trust me when I say there are call centre workers who are desperate to help you. I used to be one of them but am thankful every day I made it out of there, finished my degree and am now starting my Masters.

(, Tue 12 Jul 2011, 18:09, 8 replies)
If you're that desperate, then leave.
I know it's harsh, I've typed similar before on here and been told that, but if you work in this kind of environment you're a robber. The reason companies carry on this shit is because they pray on the poor to help them fuck over people.
Seriously -- mug old ladies or something, it hurts less people.
(, Tue 12 Jul 2011, 18:33, closed)
In response
See first line ^^
(, Tue 12 Jul 2011, 18:52, closed)
Yes, sorry, more a response to anyone working for scum like that.

(, Tue 12 Jul 2011, 19:30, closed)
I agree
there certainly are those who exploit people. Some workers would love it when they got one of 'them forreners!!' on the phone because so long as they read their script word for word they could sell someone whatever they wanted. There is nothing in the FSA guidelines for the company in making sure the customer speaks enough English to actually know they are buying something (so long as you read the script and they say yes). They were just free sales. That made me very sad but not everyone was like it. Unfortunately the people who care about doing their job right are the ones getting screamed at by angry customers. The workers that didn't care just fobbed them off.
(, Tue 12 Jul 2011, 19:59, closed)

Pray for, Prey On.
(, Tue 12 Jul 2011, 21:35, closed)
I pray on the poor.
I kneel on a beggar in church.
(, Tue 12 Jul 2011, 22:02, closed)
I imagine (if you've seen the film)
that you'd rather identify with Mr Incredible's day job...
(, Wed 13 Jul 2011, 16:43, closed)
That's not far off actually.
I was too moralistic/cowardly to do anything outside of the rules myself so resorted to telling friends in person what to do when their renewals were due (including the direct internal office numbers for discounts). Also had hour-long arguments with team leaders when I thought someone deserved compensating. Loved taking complaints because then I could actually help someone who really needed it.
I really did care about doing the job well to the point where when the car in front of my bf's crashed I was out by the side of the road comforting, getting the kids bottled water from the shop etc. Turned out she was insured with us (like I said, it's a BIG company) and thankfully no injuries so I called the office phone and asked for the claim log number and spoke to emergency recovery to get the car towed. Also explained what would happen in the process of getting her car sorted and what she needed to do. She was very grateful and I really felt useful that day.

.....the guy that crashed into her seemed stunned at her insurance company being on the scene in 30 seconds.
(, Wed 13 Jul 2011, 21:16, closed)

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