My last blog was about the egregious customer service received from USAA after being a loyal customer for 25 years. When I changed auto insurance from USAA to Geico, along with my new policy was a cover letter about the Fair Credit Reporting Act, indicating I had received a higher price based on the claims loss history or driving record. A consumer has the right to receive a copy of this report by calling the LexisNexis Consumer Center, and after doing so, has the right to dispute the findings. I was a little perplexed by this since I had no claims for 10 years and a perfect driving record – in fact, the last ticket I received was in 1991 and it was thrown out when I appeared in traffic court (Knock on wood that this continues)!
So about 10 days later I received the report from LexisNexis. The driving record was totally clear but the claims history included something very odd. It stated that there was a possible claim on December 28, 2012 at my daughter’s old apartment building near South Michigan Avenue and Roosevelt. The claim involved one Larry and Wanda Mitchell on the 26th floor and a Lexus RX 300. I thought this was truly odd for several reasons:
- My daughter’s moved to NYC on August 1 and her lease ended on November 2. While I had been down there frequently to move stuff out gradually, I had not been back down there since Jeff and I moved out her remaining belongings on October 28.
- I just returned from NYC on Christmas Day and have proof that I was not downtown on December 28, 2012.
- How could I have possibly done damage to their vehicle when I was nowhere in the vicinity and my daughter who had not driven in 4 1/2 years was in NYC?
- I asked my daughter if she knew Larry and Wanda Mitchell and she said no.
- If indeed there had been a claim against me, wouldn’t I have been notified by USAA?
I called LexisNexis following the instructions on the report to dispute a claim. This is by far the worst customer service I have EVER received. The LexisNexis rep was indignant, insolent, nasty, and combative. It was like talking to a brick wall that would not budge. I explained this in what I thought were very logical terms that pretty much mimicked my bullet points above. She completely missed the point, stating that they include claims for a seven-year timeframe and these are based on potential address matches. She was very insistent on this point. So I responded that if this was true, the fact that my daughter lived in a highrise building with more than 400 units would theoretically link us to ALL auto insurance claims matching this address in a seven-year period. She said no, I was wrong and my daughter or I must have been involved in some incident with the Mitchells. This rep never learned the adage that the customer is always right. How does this make any sense? If the claim date had been during a time that my daughter actually lived there with the slim possibility that I was visiting her at the time, that might make sense.
I find it interesting that the report states that you have a right to dispute anything therein, but this woman refused to listen to me and argued with me until I was ready to tear my hair out. I mentioned that I could submit proof that neither my daughter or I were in Chicago on the purported date. After about 15 minutes of arguing with this blockhead, she abruptly told me to hold on – she came back and said she would submit my dispute and I would receive a letter indicating their findings after completion of their investigation within 30 days. Big surprise – it has been longer than that and I have not heard another peep from them. The moral of this story is that an individual’s pocketbook can be negatively impacted by these inaccurate reporting processes. And in some cases, far worse, as was televised on 60 Minutes recently. Good luck trying to get one of these errors resolved.
May 20 Addendum
Isn’t ironic, don’t you think? I held off posting this article for 3 weeks, thinking I had allowed enough time to transpire without a word from LexisNexis. And what was in today’s mail? A revised claim record that now shows a potential claim from Allstate, but all other details including the name and address of the purported party involved have been removed. Does this mean anything in regard to my insurance premium – I highly doubt it, but at least I received some satisfaction.