Below is my letter of awakening to Combined, unfortunately written before I found this web site. I believe it says it all.
May 14, 2008
To: Laura Burghy, Amanda Morrison, Nate Sites, Becky Potts, Adam Manning and Dominic
Re: Reject the Offer for Employment
I write this letter with deep regret and disappointment. I feel that the time has come to end our agreement to sell and/or market your products and services. I have made this decision in review of all that has transpired since my initial interview. I believe that it would be in the best interest of everyone to share this Feedback with you as my experience has been anything but Usual and Reasonable.
First and Foremost, I was initially interviewed on Tuesday, April 8, by Nate Sites.
The interview process took approximately 4 hours while I answered many questions and completed some sort of test. Upon completing the interview, I was invited to go on a Demo the following day (Wed. April, 9th) from 9:am to 5:pm, with Amanda Morrison where I would learn more about Combined Ins. procedures while at the same time allowing the Company to get to know me better. The Ride-Along went well and I witnessed a day in the life of a Combined Insurance Representative. Amanda was then, as she has been from day one, a very professional and outstanding person who always speaks with optimism in all facets of life.
On Thursday, April 10th, I was asked to meet with Becky Potts (for about 1 hour) to discuss moving forward with some additional training. Becky offered me a position with CICA and asked me to return the following day (Friday the 11th) to meet with Nate Sites to complete the New Hire paperwork, which took about 2 hours. Nate had advised me to prepare myself for an intense regiment of learning as he made the necessary arrangements to get me enrolled at the Hondros College for the required in class training to become licensed in the State of Ohio.
Nate further advised me that Combined Insurance would pay for everything and I would have to pay for nothing. In regards to the 3 day (20 hour) Classroom portion of the requirements for employment, Nate said, Well provide a hotel room for you in Toledo to make it easier for you if youd like? And by this time I was aware of the 2 weeks additional training in Chicago that would come after I was Licensed, So I replied, Well, since Ill have to be away from my Wife and family for 2 weeks in Chicago, then I guess Id better just drive back and forth to Class, that is, If thats OK? Nate said sure, No problem. And I then asked about subsidizing the cost of my gas while driving round trip each day to class. Nate replied, Sure, No Problem Ill talk to Becky and well get that together for you before you leave. The total mileage was 198 miles each day for 3 days, and then 192 miles to Maumee to take the State Exam. (786 total miles)
I reported to Hondros College on Wed; April 16th through Fri; April 18th thus completing the required 20 hours needed to take the Exam. I was told during the initial interview by Nate Sites and Becky Potts that I should expect to be in class from Wednesday through Friday and then be prepared to take the State Exam on Saturday and be prepared to leave for Chicago on Sunday the 20th. This would have placed me in Chicago from Monday the 21st through Friday May 2nd. If everything had of unfolded within the expected time frame then I would have reported to work on Monday, May 5th and received my first paycheck on Friday, May 9th. But, unfortunately things didnt happen quite that way.
I came to realize that someone had lowered the standards of acceptable protocol by hiring Anna the Crazy Girl in the Northeastern Market. I was completely humiliated by Annas profound careless and reckless behavior while in class at Hondros. This particular situation was documented by Bill Melvin, (Class Instructor) and me. I believe that this girl completely disrupted the learning process for everyone in the class. (Attached youll find a draft of the Anna Ordeal which I was instructed to provide by Hondros College for Hondros College) As you read that particular draft, youve got to ask yourself what would happen if that document were to fall into the hands of Homeland Security. Someone will have some explaining to do. It makes me wonder if anyone other than me cares with deep compassion about the reputation of the Company they work for and Represent.
Apparently, as per Nate, the schedule at the Testing Facility was full until Tuesday, April 22nd At this point I realize that Im already behind in my timeline to make it to Chicago and then back on time to finally get a pay check by May 9th as originally agreed. Well, I actually failed part of the exam first time around, to my surprise, and had to return to Maumee on Thursday, April 24th to take the Exam again, which I Passed Im confident that I would have passed the State Exam the first time around IF I could have had a more Professional atmosphere to learn in. Im positive that Mr. Bill Melvin as well as the Hondros College Administrator will both agree that Anna did in fact disrupt the class room environment for everyone. I later learned that Anna was in fact recruited by Dominic who is the District Manager for Combined Insurance in Ohio.
I had a conversation with Nate Sites on Monday, April 14th about the travel expenses that we had agreed upon on April the 11th. I explained to Nate that I would just drive to and from Class each day rather than stay in hotel and be separated from my family any longer than I had to. Nate said OK, and he informed me that he would call Becky Potts and get me a gas card. After that conversation Nate called me right back to inform me that he had spoken with Becky and that she was sending a gas card in the mail today and that I should receive it in a day or so. Well, I checked the mail on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and again on Saturday and there was no gas card. I called Nate to ask him if anything had changed. Nate advised me that Becky had forgotten to mail it and that she was going to give it to Amanda so that Amanda could get it to me before I left for Chicago. I did receive a call from Amanda on the following day and she said that she did in fact have my gas card. I met Amanda in Lima and she did give me an envelope with 2 gas cards which I found kind of strange. I observed that the envelope addressed to me had been opened, and there was a letter inside to me from Becky that read, Allan, sorry I didnt get this to you sooner. I simply assumed that Becky had sent me 1 gas card and apparently Amanda had taken it upon herself to buy me another one for 50.00. Becky Potts had quoted to me on Thursday the 10th that Combined Insurance was very generous in covering expenses such as Travel Allowance. While the standard amount for Travel Allowance in Ohio in 2007 is .52 cents per mile, Becky explained that with the high cost of gas that the Combined Insurance standard was .56 cents per mile. I was confident that the decision to move forward in pursuit of a career with CICA was in fact a good decision that would prove to be financially rewarding as any career move should be. But when I calculated the miles that I had put on my vehicle along with other maintenance costs and eating expenses, well.I was already in debt. At this point, I have already spent around $278.00 in gas and food just to get my License. And I was not even breaking even. I had lost money not to mention that I had invested at this point nearly 100 hours with 0 pay. Not only am I not making any money but Ive accrued nearly $300.00 in debt. The time had come to evaluate where I was and where I was going with Combined Insurance.
I called Amanda Morrison to express my concerns and to ask her if I could just start to work right away and consider going to Chicago at a later time when my finances were better. Amanda said, I know its not really fair but youre almost there! Just hang in there and when you get back from Chicago youll be earning a minimum of $500.00 a week for the first few weeks and soon after that youll be in the $700.00 to $1,000.00 a week range. Well, by now.Ive got so much money and time invested in this endeavor that I simply couldnt afford to quit so I made a decision to push forward. I already had reserved a 2 week time period on my calendar to go to Chicago and I was told that I absolutely would not have to spend a dime while I was there as Combined would pay for everything.
I was supposed to leave for Chicago on April 27th, but no one called or emailed me my flight plan and I could not reach anyone by phone. Nate called on Monday and Laura emailed my flight plans and I finally left Celina, Ohio for Chicago, Illinois on Monday, April 28th. If these things had of been taken care of on time and I had of left Ohio on Sunday as was originally planned, then my wife would not have had to miss work to take me to the airport and my daughter would not have had to miss school to ride. Now two weeks behind schedule, (with no pay) I still believed that Sunny Days were just ahead. I arrived at the Toledo Airport at 3:30 on Sunday Evening. Keep in mind that the time line for this trip was 1 hr and 10 minutes. My flight was scheduled for departure at 5:15 which would explain why I went 2 hrs. early allowing enough time to get through security before the flight leaves. I went through the whole security procedure and waited on the plane, my flight was supposed to takeoff at 5:15, at around 5:30 I learned that my flight had been delayed because of bad weather in Chicago. So I went back out to smoke a cigarette and then went through security again. While waiting at the check-in at the United Terminal, the stewardess informs us that due to the fact that this was a short flight that beverages wont be served. And also, Im sorry to tell you that our restroom is out of order so if anyone needs to go to the restroom, you should go now. I was allowed to board the plane at 7:50. The plane taxied out to the runway only to sit for 35 minutes, apparently still due to bad weather in Chicago, finally we take off! When we get near the OHare, the pilot informs us that were not yet cleared to land due to bad weather. So we circled Chicago for about 30 minutes before we landed at around 10:05pm. Lucky for me, my son lived in Chicago and was happy to pick me up otherwise I wouldve spent around $59.00 for taxi fair to get to Prospect Heights, where I would be staying at the Wyngate Inn. I left my home in Celina at 1:pm arrived at the Wyngate at 11:30 CST (12:30 EST). I was kind of upset that it took me almost 12 hours to get there by plane, when I could have driven the same miles in only 5 hours.
I was required to report to the front of the Wyngate at 7:20 am to board the hotel shuttle with all the other new recruits where we were driven approximately 1 miles to the AON Building, who had apparently purchased Combined Insurance Company recently. After checking in with security in the main lobby we were instructed where to report for class. A large group of almost 30 people had gathered in one small room to begin the CICA sales training. I soon learned that now ACE Insurance Company has purchased AON who owns Combined. So I am really not sure at this point who I work for. I really dont have too much to say about the sales training itself, my main motivation while I was there was lunch break and cigarette breaks. Above and beyond that each day Adam Manning our sales trainer required us to attend an 8 hour class and then to do about 2-3 hours of study and 2-3 hours of role play leaving very minimal time for rest or eating. Each day I began to notice that everyone was yawning from lack of sleep and all of us had blood shot eyes. Every single person there appeared to be 110% committed and dedicated to completing this course and getting back to our homes where we could start to work. By Friday evening I was completely delirious and I could not help but notice that everyone else appeared to be the same way. Except for a couple of girls there who were sucking down energy drinks like they were going out of style.
On Wednesday Adam Manning passed out per diam to all new recruits. When it was my turn to go out Adam asked for all persons from Ohio and he gave each one of us $200 each which was exactly what Becky Potts told me I would receive basically $20 a day. Adam asked me not to say anything to anyone else about how much money I had received. I felt like there was something dishonest in his tone of voice so I questioned a few people from other states. I found out that most of the people there only got $60. The only meals that we had during the day was the hotel breakfast and the $5.50 cafeteria voucher for the AON cafeteria, the per diam money was for us to eat at night. When I heard how much the others had received the first thing that came to my mind was, thats alot of BS. The only place for us to eat in the evening was Burger King on one side and McDonalds on the other. When we all went in there to eat the people who only got $5 per night had to pay the same price for their Whopper that I did. I felt bad for those less fortunate than me at that time. One gentleman in particular who had a prosthetic leg smoked, like I do, I bought him cigarettes at $7 per pack cause he was a nice guy. When I originally took this position I was extremely motivated about it due to my past experience with Combined. I was most enthused about the Chicago portion because it had been a life changing experience for me. By Friday evening I realized that this was not the same company and that W Clement Stone would have rolled over in his grave if he saw the way his company was being trained now.
Due to circumstances beyond my control I did not attend class on Saturday morning and my wife drove from Ohio to pick me up. I spoke with Adam Manning at around 8:15 Saturday morning and explained to him that I would be leaving class. My wife picked me up around noon, after briefly visiting my grandchildren, we left Great Lakes and drove home in less than 6 hours. The following Tuesday I spoke with Amanda Morrison in regards to going back to Chicago to complete the training. I emphasized with great concern that I did not feel that I needed to return to Chicago to work for this company. I explained to her that what ever additional information I needed I was sure that I can learn it here at home, she told me that this was not possible, that I had to complete the training as it would cover Health Care and Cancer Insurance. I then informed her that I have way too much time and way too much money invested into this company all for no pay at this point. I simply could not and would not push it any further because I am out of money. Amanda told me that she was going to speak to Dominic, the Ohio district manager to see what she could do. On Wednesday May 7th Amanda called me back and offered me $300 to go back to Chicago and complete the course, I accepted. I explained to Nate on Thursday that this time my son would not be able to pick me up at the airport and I would need $60 for taxi fair he said he would speak to Laura and get back to me. I received email confirmation on my flight to Chicago on Friday the 9th. I spoke with Nate on Friday to confirm that I had received my flight plans and he also had a package for me that my wife picked up from him in Lima. I approached my weekend knowing that I would be away from home all next week with no money because Amanda was to drop the check off to my wife on Monday. Saturday and Sunday rolled by with not another word from anyone from Combined Insurance. I left Celina with my wife Sunday at around 1:30 pm to go to Toledo, arrived at the airport around 3:45 only to find out that the flight was currently delayed for at least 2 hours. So went ahead and checked my luggage in and proceeded to take a cigarette break before going through security. By 4:30 we learned that the flight was cancelled until 6 am the next morning. So, I gathered my things and we went back home. Shortly after arriving home I received a voicemail from Nate that was left at 6:11 pm advising that the flight was cancelled and that he would get me a hotel in Toledo, but by then I was already back home. So I just spent 5 more hours and another $45 in gas on Mothers Day for nothing.
I spoke with Nate on Monday morning and advised him that I had missed my 6am flight because there was no way I could drive all the way back to Toledo, my wife had to go to work. He said sorry about that let me talk this over with Amanda and see what we could do. I talked to Amanda shortly after that and explained to her that due to financial constraints and the high cost of gas I was just unable to return to Toledo this morning. My wife had to work, someone has to make money in my family and I do not have the gas money. I asked her if it were possible for her to get that $300 for me before I tried to board the plane again. She replied that she had to talk to Dominic to find out what to do. Today as I close this letter it is Wednesday the 14th of May and I have not heard a word from Amanda Morrison, Nate Sites, Becky Potts, Adam Manning, or even Dominic. So I close in saying that I have just left Amanda Morrison a voicemail informing her that I have officially declined and or rejected any positions at Combined Insurance Company to sell and or market any and or all of their products and services.
After about 250 hours I dedicated to Combined, and $500 personally invested to work for Combined, I only received $300 in gas cards and per diamyou do the math! Basically, I paid $200 to give you 250 hours of my life. We all do dumb things this was mine and apparently I am not the only one search Combined Insurance on www.ripoffreport.com
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