• Report: #153354

Complaint Review: AFLAC

  • Submitted: Thu, August 11, 2005
  • Updated: Sun, November 14, 2010

  • Reported By:Seattle Washington
AFLAC
aflac.com Seattle, Washington U.S.A.

AFLAC Ripoff Fradulent and Useless Service Seattle, WA Nationwide

*Consumer Comment: Read carefully, Pete

*UPDATE Employee: I'm With You, Dawn!

*Consumer Suggestion: Possible Miscommunication

*Consumer Suggestion: Aflac worked for me

*UPDATE Employee: P.S. re: Blame your agent

*UPDATE Employee: Blame your agent

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What a nightmare! Here is the synopsis.

My representative Lisa Breland was absolute garbage. When she sold me on the supplemental insurance coverage, she did not tell me that I was ineligible for the short-term disability coverage I wanted; until after she signed me up for the accidental injury coverage. When she found out that I had been hospitalized within the last year she sped into her close and walked away with the paperwork I had already signed when I was under the impression that I would have both areas covered.

Immediately I felt that I had been scammed. I tried to use the coverage once after hurting my back and my doctor looked at me like I was from another planet. My doctor's specialty is Sports Medicine and he had never seen an AFLAC accidental injury form. The form confused him and he filled it out incorrectly. Aflac sent a partial payment. At this point I was convinced that not only was the company and my personal representative crooked, but the coverage is useless if doctor's can't understand the claim form.

Lisa of couse had told me that the claim process was a cinch and she would help me with my first one. Though when I called her for assistance she did not return my call.

My next contact to Lisa was to cancel. I e-mailed her and received no response. I then called and got a hold of her in person. She said that my e-mail was not enough to cancel and I would have to fill out an official AFLAC cancellation form. I was a bit annoyed because I felt like she was dragging her feet. I told her to send me the form and I would return it immediately. I did not want to see another automatic deduction come out of my paycheck. (They had arranged for the premium to be taken out of our checks via my employer) She e-mailed it to me, I signed it and faxed it back to her.

At this point I thought I was in the clear. Not so; the next paycheck I received had the AFLAC deduction. Irate I called Lisa back and told her that I was still being charged. She claimed to have never received the cancellation notice. I resent it and kept calling and e-mailing, trying to verify that it had been received. Finally my call was returned. Not by Lisa, but by her new assistant RJ. He said he had been brought on because Lisa was receiving a lot of complaints because she couldn't handle her caseload. Relieved to have a sympathetic voice on the line, I told RJ that I wanted to cancel. I sent the cancellation form to him and he called to confirm that he received it.

But no, it couldn't be that easy. A month later I noticed the AFLAC deduction was still being taken out of my check. I called RJ and asked what had happened. He said that while he had received my cancellation notice but it could not be processed because we were currently outside the open enrollment period (PS most of the year is outside the open enrollment period). RJ hadn't bothered to call me and tell me that my request could only be processed if I had a note from my HR department on company letterhead excusing me from the coverage. He didn't attempt to contact me at all, just sat back and let that deduction keep on coming out of my check. RJ was as crooked and useless as Lisa.

At this point I stormed into my company's HR office and told my co-worker what I had gone through. She stopped AFLAC from taking any further deductions from my check and faxed them the permission slip they required to excuse me from my optional and supplemental insurance coverage. I told my HR contact that I wanted a refund dating back to when I had originally started trying to cancel the coverage with Lisa Breland, 3 or 4 months prior.

My HR contact pursued this and I received a letter from AFLAC's customer service department last Friday telling me that they didn't owe me a dime, because they cancelled the policy as soon as they got their "official notice". I tried to call the customer service department to explain the way I had been treated, but since I had no policy number to enter (because it had recently expired) and I wasn't interested in starting a new policy...no one would talk to me.

AFLAC is absolute garbage. Employers, please do not let these con artists solicit your employees. AFLAC has nothing to offer your staff but scams and headaches.

Dawn
Seattle, Washington
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 08/11/2005 01:51 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/AFLAC/Seattle-Washington-98148/AFLAC-Ripoff-Fradulent-and-Useless-Service-Seattle-WA-Nationwide-153354. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
0Author 6Consumer 0Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Consumer Comment

Read carefully, Pete

AUTHOR: JoyceKingGA - (United States of America)

She didn't say Aflac was "absolute garbage", but rather said her representative, Lisa Breland, was "absolute garbage", which in her situation was the truth, as it is in mine with Matt Boeshore.  I'm wondering how all these unqualified agents are being hired to represent this reputable Fortune 500 company.  Let's face it--if there are this many agents acting unethically within one company, then something is wrong!  Aflac needs to be called out and help responsible for this.  Everything you said Pete sounded just like the spiel Mr. Boeshore gave me when I said I wanted to cancel.  Makes me think you guys are brainwashed.  It's all the customer's fault, right? 
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#2 UPDATE Employee

I'm With You, Dawn!

AUTHOR: JoyceKingGA - (United States of America)

I've read your complaint, Dawn, and I am in a similar situation.  I also read the rebuttals, and those are the first positive things I've heard anyone say about Aflac.  Apparently there are thousands of complaints.  I am one of them. 

Blame the agent?  My agent, Matt Boeshore, was just like Lisa, unable to handle his work load.  After signing me up in a rushed, ten minute period at the end of my lunch at work, he was gone.  He never bothered to explain anything to me, never gave me or sent my anything about what I signed up for, how to file a claim, nothing.  I shouldn't have to ask for these things to be provided to me.  I signed up for a service, it's up to them to provide good customer service and make sure their customers know how it works.  It seems if we are going to blame the agents, then Aflac has too many bad agents to put the blame on, so what does that say about the company?  They can't or won't hire good agents who are capable of handling the workload and do their job professionally. 

I fell on hard times and needed the extra $102 a month that they were taking out.  When I sent him an email asking how to go about canceling my policy, he took his time responding and then told me he would work with to find a policy that works for me, totally ignoring the part about how I want to cancel.  When I emailed him back telling him point blank no, I want to cancel, so hit the cancel button on my policy and end it,
he had the gall to tell me I was being demanding and unprofessional, and HE didn't appreciate it!  Well, I don't appreciate bad service! 

If the agents are to blame, then Aflac needs to do some serious reworking and get agents in there who see these people as valuable customers, and not a quota, not a number, not money in the bank.  I am offended by the way these agents are treating the customers. 

I am going to jump through the hoops to get my policy canceled, and we'll see how long it takes before no additional money is taken from my paycheck.  But with as many complaints as I have been seeing, Aflac needs to take stock in it and do something to fix it.

Count me among those who have had a horrible experience.
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#3 Consumer Suggestion

Possible Miscommunication

AUTHOR: Heather - (U.S.A.)

Dawn:

I know you're quite upset at the moment, but please try not to hate me for what I'm about to say....

I head up the HR department for my company and handle all of its benefits. So, I can speak with great authority on how AFLAC benefits need to be cancelled.

Your company is enrolled directly with AFLAC. Your company pays the monthly premium to AFLAC, deducts this premium from employee paychecks, and is responsible for notifying AFLAC of cancellations.

I understand you expressed a desire to cancel your policy directly with AFLAC, however, unless you notified your HR prior to cancelling with AFLAC, your company would be unaware and would have continued their payroll deduction (and would have forwarded that deducted amount to AFLAC), thereby AFLAC would have continued to get a message that conflicted with your wishes.

I'm not saying that AFLAC does not share in the blame, but in the future you need to speak to your HR benefits administrator any time you want to make changes to your coverage. They in turn can immediately adjust your payroll deductions and submit the proper paperwork (or help you fill it out).

P.S. Your benefits administrator should also be available to mediate any claims problems like your partially paid claim.
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#4 Consumer Suggestion

Aflac worked for me

AUTHOR: Al - (U.S.A.)

It is very unfortunate that you got a bad AFLAC rep, it happens with every insurance type company. However, I have found that their type of insurance is useful. I had the accident and short term disability, and when I fell at home and got a hernia, both policies paid out to the tune of $3500 dollars within 2 weeks of submitting the claims forms.

That aside, since your AFLAC was purchased through what is called a 'cafeteria plan' and was being directly deducted by your employer, you should've been able to cancel the deduction directly through your HR dept, and they should've been able to provide you with the cancelation forms (although I never seen one or needed anyone to fill it out). I know this because I have been in a hr position doing payroll.

AFLAC bills the company monthly, and when you pay the bill you can add/drop employees, but you do not get partial months. So when you cancel, you are canceling for the next month, so the deductions won't end until the end of the covered month. As for your doctor not filling out the forms.... get another doctor... those forms had nothing to do with his practice and he should have had no reason not to, you may want to complain to the medical board, there is ususally a 3 year statute of limitations on that. Good Luck.
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#5 UPDATE Employee

P.S. re: Blame your agent

AUTHOR: Pete - (U.S.A.)

Dawn:

About this doctor who couldn't fill out a claim form...

The form contains seven questions.
1.) doctor's name
2.) doctor's address
3.) doctors phone number
4.) doctor's fax number
5.) the date he examined you
6.) his diagnosis
7.) were you hospitalized? (yes or no)

That's it. My kid could fill it out. Maybe even my cocker spaniel. :-)

Pete
Long Island, NY
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#6 UPDATE Employee

Blame your agent

AUTHOR: Pete - (U.S.A.)

Dawn:

I'm sorry that you've had a negative experience with AFLAC. However, your comments about "AFLAC being absolute garbage" and your plea to employers to "not let these con-artists solicit employees" are somewhat irresponsible and unfortunate.

As an independent agent representing AFLAC, I know for a fact that AFLAC is among the best and most responsive companies in the world. I have seen people's lives changed and actually SAVED by their decisions to invest in a disability plan or a cancer paln through AFLAC. I would hate to think that your misdirected comments would result in people not being permitted to make a decision about their own well being.

You are a victim of a bad agent. Pure and simple. AFLAC was sandbagged by contracting her, just as you were. This same girl could now be working in a restuarant, and probably wouldn't wash her hands after going to the bathroom. It is unfortunate, but true. Sometimes, people who work for companies are neglectful. However, this doesn't mean that the company is bad.

This agent should have made you a priority, but didn't. A simple letter by you and your employer stating your desire to cancel WOULD have been sufficient. AFLAC did cancel your policy as soon as they received your request.

Dawn, by all means, you should file a complaint against the agent with your AFLAC regional office, and even the insurance commision in your state. This woman has sullied your opinion of a truly wonderful company. That is really too bad.

Pete
Long Island, NY
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