Allstate Screws Up, Costs Me $100

Joseph says Allstate is sticking him for more than $100 in unwarranted charges because he was so bold as to switch his policy over to a new car. He says none of his arguments have convinced the company to correct the charges and the bill has gone to collections.

His story:

My name is Joseph and I’ve been an Allstate customer for over two years. During my two+ years with Allstate, I’ve been pretty happy with the service and prices that the company has provided. However, over the past few months, my faith in the company has been significantly reduced due to a mistake on the company’s part that has now cost me over $100.

It all started when my wife and I got rid of her Hyundai Elantra. We decided to go with something a bit larger and more luxurious, so we bought a Honda Accord. Right before we purchased the vehicle, we contacted Allstate about getting a new policy to cover the Accord. They gave us our quote, asked us if we wanted to just alter the old policy to remove the Elantra and add the Accord. We informed them that I would also need to be added to the policy because the vehicle was registered in my name (we have separate policies). They informed us that in this case, we would not be able to use the existing policy, a new policy must be generated. So, we get a quote for $111. They get all of our paperwork in, verify everything, and get set. Buy the car, love it, sell the old one. The Allstate representative informed us that everything with the old policy would be taken care of.

One month later, we get a bill for $256. I call Allstate, who informed me that I am not a member of the policy and therefore am not permitted to be provided with any information from it. My name is clearly on the policy. Allstate declines to assist any further. A day later, my wife calls. They inform her that the bill is correct and that there are no issues. She asks them to explain the substantial leap from $111 to $256. They inform her that they cannot explain this. She begins arguing with them, they hang up. A week later, I call back. I get the same response — I’m not on the policy and cannot be provided information from the policy. A few days later, my wife calls back. They yet again tell her that the bill is correct and they cannot explain the jump.

Finally, at this point, a month has gone by. I call Allstate again and this time have to get rude with the outsourced customer service representative in order to get any information. The rep finally provides me information, informing me that the policy we previously had was updated to include myself and the new vehicle. The way the premium system works, you have six months to pay off your premium amount. We had been four months in to a six month premium cycle when the Honda was “added” without our consent to the policy. Because of this, the premium shot through the roof. We were then responsible for paying the difference. So basically, instead of paying off the premium in six months, we were told we would have to pay it off in two months. I immediately terminated my policy. The agent on the line told me that my policy had already been terminated due to non-payment two days after the bill was late. He told me that i would receive a bill in the mail asking for the rest of the payment, but to not worry about it because he would take care of it.

Two weeks later, the bill arrives. I ignore it.

A week later, bill #2 arrives, informing us that we must pay the amount. I called Allstate, who informed me that I am responsible for paying back any difference I owe Allstate.

A week later, bill #3 arrives. I call Allstate again and spend two hours on the phone explaining the situation to a supervisor. The supervisor continues to inform me of why this has occurred. He does not offer any assistance for the fact that we are forced to pay money because of Allstate’s decision to change our policy without our approval or consent. He informs me that he can send the issue over to a Customer Support Specialist, who can contact me once reviewing the case. We do that.

A few days later, I have a voicemail sitting on my phone. I work from 8 to 5 in a secured, classified environment that I am unable to bring a cell phone into. The voicemail is from the specialist, who informs me that I am required to call back and talk to her and that her hours are from 8:30 to 4 Monday through Thursday. So basically… I must contact her in a 7 1/2 hour period throughout the day, and cannot contact her on Fridays, when I am off.

Two days later, my bill is in collections.

At this point, I’m being forced to pay the collections agency or suffer a substantial impact on my credit score. Allstate still refuses to talk to me. I’ll no longer pay Allstate for anything and am severely disappointed in the company’s policies.

If you’ve succeeded in getting Allstate or another insurer to correct a billing snafu, how did you pull it off?