Lousy Service And Privacy Violation
I purchased a home in June of 2006. Several years later, as I was doing some yard work in my front yard, a neighbor – who identified himself as Gary - ran from across the street to offer some assistance. During his short visit he said to me, ‘I work for State Farm Insurance. When you moved in I wanted to see who you had insurance with so I scanned your name & saw that you were already with State Farm’. I thought this was unusual, as I did not authorize him to ‘scan’ anything and this was my first encounter with this man. I did, however, tell him that I was not satisfied with my current State Farm agent. Gary then told me that he worked for an agent in (Olmsted Falls, Ohio) and he then suggested I switch everything over to his office. Although I agreed to the transfer of agents, I still felt uneasy about the fact that he looked something up without my authority or knowledge. I felt this was an invasion of my privacy.
On June 10, 2011, I viewed my credit report with Experian online. I noticed that my credit report was viewed by ‘LexisNexis/StateFarm’ in March of 2011. I thought this was unusual, as I did not authorize such an inquiry. So I contacted my State Farm Agent to question this. I received the company voice mail and I specifically stated that I wanted THE AGENT to call me back. Although I specified this, within 5 minutes Gary called me back. Gary said ‘what can I do for you?’ Since I did not expect Gary to call me back and my issue was pertaining to Gary, I simply said “I just wanted to know how much I am paying in house insurance per year because I am shopping around”. Gary then said to me “you are paying $512 a year”. I thanked him and we hung up.
I then called the agent's mobile number and spoke to him directly. I went into detail about the first incident that I had with Gary in my front yard. I told him that I was concerned because I saw that State Farm has viewed my credit report in March of 2011 without my authority. The agent explained that there was ‘absolutely no way’ that State Farm can view my credit report. I then asked him if his office had access to Lexis Nexis and he stated ‘absolutely not’. He again told me that State Farm ‘never’ looks at existing customers’ credit reports. He asked for me to send him a copy of my report to prove to him that State Farm looked at my report. I agreed and then we hung up.
Nearly 15 minutes later, I received a call from the agent. He was now in defense-mode, as his tone was now that of anger and he was now acting as if he were an attorney. The agent said to me, “State Farm reviews your credit every 3 years”, which is now a contradiction to his initial statement that State Farm ‘never’ looks at existing customers’ credit reports. The agent insisted Gary ‘wouldn’t do such a thing’. I then reminded the agent, once again, that Gary admitted to looking up my personal information after moving in to my house. He said to me “look, what you think of Gary as a neighbor is none of my business”. I then reminded the agent that my first encounter with Gary was unusual, as he (Gary) was discussing my personal information (that he had already looked up) for the sole purpose of selling insurance to me as a benefit to State Farm. The agent then said to me, in a sneaky little voice, “ohhhhh, but that’s not what you said the first time! You said that Gary said that he ran across the street and told you that he ran your credit report! Now you’re giving me 2 different stories!” I said to the agent “I didn’t say he ran my credit report the first time he came to me, I said he ‘scanned’ my name, without authority” – however he did this, I do not know. But, in March of 2011 State Farm reviewed my credit report and I wanted to know why. The agent then said to me, “No, you said that Gary ran across the street and told you that he scanned your credit report, now you’re telling me something else. And see, here I called Gary and told him what you said & now you’re saying something else!’’ (as if to ‘trick’ me). The agent certainly is not a good listener, as I never stated this to him (and it doesn’t matter anyway, my privacy rights were STILL violated!). I felt like I was arguing with a 10 year old child. The agent is clearly unprofessional. He also made me feel as if I were on trial and I told him this. The agent then said to me, “let me ask you this, why did you ever come to my agency?” (as if he were suggesting I was a problem client simply because I was not satisfied with the service I received from my first agent – of nearly 20 years). I responded “because I was not satisfied with the way my last agent handled my claim”. Jared then said to me, “look, you are certainly free to take your business elsewhere”. So I am.
I have been a State Farm customer for about 23 years. State Farm has very poor customer service. I am now going to file a formal complaint with the Attorney General of Ohio due to my privacy rights being violated. I am now in the process of transferring my auto insurance to Progressive. I have already had a much better experience with them. I am currently looking into transferring my home to another company, as well. Once I have transferred all of my possessions to another company, I will never go back to State Farm again. My daughter has already transferred her new auto to another company due to Gary’s unprofessional behavior (a separate incident). I am going to encourage as many people as possible to switch their insurance to Progressive – all due to the lack of concern, privacy violations and unprofessionalism. ‘Like a good neighbor State Farm is there’? What a JOKE.