I don’t hesitate to bring poor customer service into sharp focus with a service provider, and with the wider world, if necessary … so it seems that I should also equally underscore excellent service! I had just such an experience recently with my former commercial insurance broker, Christie-Phoenix, part of Arthur J. Gallagher Canada, and former underwriter, CFC Underwriting.
It started with me leaving them because I’d been able to secure a better deal through a professional affiliation. My broker with Christie-Phoenix, Ted Stelck, was very helpful all the way through the process, first getting me competitive quotes, and then once I’d decided to leave, ensuring I was properly covered during the transition. I wound up changing firms only 20 days into my new annual policy, and eventually an invoice trickled in for coverage during this period. To my surprise, it included a minimum charge of 1/3 of the annual premium, instead of a pro-rated charge based on time covered, as is the case with e.g. home or auto insurance.
I raised my objections regarding this heavy minimum ‘administrative’ levy with Ted, who passed it along to his CFC policy counterparts, who confirmed that this was how the charges had to be. I got him to ask again to see if they would make an exception, but to no avail. The CFC policy people pointed out that the fine print on page thirty-something allowed for this. Annoyed, I finally woke up and contacted the CFC customer relations people through Facebook, where I described my situation and displeasure. I had an email and phone call within 24h from a Gillian Harvey requesting that I kindly provide her with a full description of the situation. Gillian listened attentively, and made it clear that, while the policy allowed for the ~1/3 premium fee, she totally understood my annoyance as a customer, and pledged to do something about it. A day later, I had a letter wiping the whole fee, and also covering the broker’s fee, as a gesture of goodwill.
Nicely done, Christie-Phoenix and CFC Underwriting – way to make it right!! I’ll now consider this situation as an example of a good outcome when the rubber hit the road. I’m also publicising this so that my circle of contacts can appreciate that you provided good customer service even when you’d lost the business. In my books, this is a great example of putting the customer first, and like most people, I strive to give my business, and kudos, to companies that can demonstrate their understanding of this concept.