Report: #281947

Complaint Review: Geico Insurance (Auto)

  • Submitted: Tue, October 30, 2007
  • Updated: Sun, June 22, 2008
  • Reported By: Santa Monica California
  • Geico Insurance (Auto)
    One Geico Blvd.
    Fredericksburg, Virginia

Show customers why they should trust your business over your competitors...

GEICO has a policy of securing new clients via unethical business practices.

My story with Geico Insurance happened in Los Angeles, California. When my auto insurance was up for renewal Sept. 26, '07, and because the company I was with (Mercury) had raised it by $50. per 6 mos period, I decided to shop Geico. It was Sept. 8. As I had trouble getting a quote from the website, I called the 800 number and got their representative.

As she gave me the quote she noted that I had had a speeding ticket. I said yes but that I had gone to traffic school for it and the ticket had been dismissed. (And the reason one goes to traffic school is so that your insurance costs will not go up of course.)

Her quote for 6 mos was $100. less than Mercury's - potantially a savings of $200. a year for me. I told her that was great, go ahead and sign me up to start on Sept. 26th, when my 6 mos policy with Mercury would be up.

She immediately convinced me not to wait but to start with Geico the next night at midnight (Sunday), with a call to my insurance agent on Monday morning to cancel the remaining time on the Mercury policy, who would refund me the balance of my payment to them. I paid her the full six month's quoted amount on the spot.

A week later I got mail from Geico - it's a good thing I didn't just throw it out as bulk mail - and there was no letter, just a bill with a new balance due - they were adding $300. to my six month's fee! I called and spoke to their rep who said it was because of the ticket, but if the ticket had been dismissed just get them the report to that effect from the DMV and they would stay with the original quote.

She gave me her Fax number to send the DMV paperwork. I went the next business day and got the paperwork, which clearly says the ticket was dismissed, and sent that via FAX to her, including the best phone number to reach me at. She called another number however and left a message saying that
1) she only vaguely recalled our conversation (she actually said that ! and apparently they make no record of their service calls); but
2) the paperwork wasn't good enough, as the ticket has to actually disappear (be erased) from the DMV record to qualify for the price quoted. (And the DMV tells me that will not happen for 3 years.)

SO - the original sales rep knew the price she quoted was going to be changed in all likelihood and that is why she pressured me to cancel Mercury in advance of the expiration of my six month policy. And who knows what the second rep thought when she sent me to the DMV.

I called once more, but their underwriters refused to lower the price at all.

Theta girl
Santa Monica, California
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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 10/30/2007 02:47 PM and is a permanent record located here: 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. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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#1 Consumer Comment

Traffic school myth

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

Advising that you went to a traffic school is pretty much an admission of receiving the ticket.

Unless you were found not guilty or it was dismissed in court, it will usually be on your mvr and charged for by an insurance company.

Many people think that because you go to a traffic school or are put on probation, it does not count.

Basically it comes down to the probation or traffic school being caused by the ticket you did receive. If you did not receive a ticket, it was dismissed, or you were found not guilty, you would not have had to go to traffic school, probation, or pay a fine.

Traffic school is to remove the point or points from your license. After a certain amount of points, they will suspend your license. Points on your license and points in terms of insurance are two seperate things.
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#2 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Guys here is the deal

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

Taking a class only removed points on your license for the DMV. In no State will that effect your insurance rates with any and all companies ever!

Some insurance companies will look at that but these days 97% will not consider that you took a class. It may help you license but not your insurance period.

Also you must have been flying (IE: Driving like a bat out of---) to warrant going to the class. IE: 6 point violation like reck driving or exceeding the speed by 20+ or at least 15+ if not you should never have taken the class.

I am not sticking up for them just saying no one should waste their time or money for the class to clear their DMV report. Only a judge can do that, and no one will for a class. you will only get points from the DMV back to your license. If an insurance company runs your MVR and it shows up guess what they will charge and underwrite for that. It sucks but hey its true.

As a consumer I understand your complaint and you never worked in insurance so you do not understand. Also the sales person may have mislead you or allowed you to fill in some mental blanks on your end if they did thats sad but it happens everywhere. Several years ago the sales goal for an agent at GEICO was 40% meaning 4 out of 10 callers to their toll free line had to be sold and closed for them to keep their job and be considered good at it. Consider how you called in on a whim and you can see the stress that puts on their staff. So some people make bad calls, say something wrong or let you get the wrong idea, so they can meet the goals. I made them for many years with that company but left and I now work in another unrelated field. Luckily I was able to do that without playing games with words, misleading anyone or worse. But I was a rare person, there and I would be rare in any sales environment.

The false pressures of sales careers promote cheating, lying, and worse in sales staff. In some fields it can be very scary how bad people are. However the foundation of the company, and the current owner I feel still truly focus on integrity they just can not look to close since 90% of most sales forces cheat, and play games to survive the job. Sales is not for everyone, and if you are good you can make a solid living with only a high school education, but boy every type of sales I have ever seen is full of cheaters, and worse.

GEICO may well try to eliminate that (more when they consider themselves overstaffed) but their focus is on growth and the bottom line. They area all monitored remotely, supervised, trained, and calls are recorded yet people cheat, lie and worse. It just happens. I still know people that work for the company that I would trust with my life, and I still have them as my insurance company, I just no longer work for them or that industry due to choices of my own.

So maybe less should be said about how bad they are and more about how bad it is that we have a problem with integrity as a society, and that so many sales professionals feel they have to lie and cheat to be successful. Sales people please understand I am not attacking you I still work and train in sales, and have many lifelong friends in sales, I just am thinking out load about something more serious than this consumers complaint.
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#3 UPDATE EX-employee responds

It is not what you think and I do not even like them- but here is the deal

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

Since I was once working for them I can tell you what was happening 99.9% certain.

You were sold by a good sales person on the fact you should buy today verses wait till tomorrow. The connection for the Motor Vehicle report must have been down (very rare these days but it happens as that comes from a vendor that deals with the States) and you must have forgotten your ticket.

If you disclosed your ticket upfront but said it has been withdrawn, you most likely are confused by what the officer says when you get pulled or stopped. Most consumers are told by the State or Local Police person pulling them oh don't worry this will not effect your insurance. That is a complete load of well you know that some say to calm people down. Every insurance company decides its own underwriting practices. (that is why it pays to shop around some) If something appears on your MVR they have to underwrite for it using the same guidelines for everyone, its the law.

GEICO does use a multi level or tier approach to underwriting and placement. First through 4 companies GEICO GENERAL (preferred) GEICO (Government Employees) GEICO Indemnity (Middle of the road) GEICO Casualty (their lowest placement). Now a days they also use levels of placement in most states within those companies. This is always registered and approved by the State in which you live in, nothing slick or underhanded here.

What it sounds like happened in your case is your Policy changed company placement from GEICO GENERAL, or Indemnity to GI/GC mid or lower placement, because of the ticket.

As a potential customer you were balancing on an edge (underwriting wise) and you fell over with your ticket. If it is your only ticket you should get moved up soon if you stay accident and ticket free and if you have good credit 800+ you can shop with other insurance companies and save money now even.

Before you ask yes almost all Auto Insurance companies now use credit as an underwriting factor. They say it is a solid determination of future losses. GEICO was one of the last to start to use it in fact. Farmers for example does the majority of their underwriting by credit which is why they are attacking the Spanish Market which I think will kill em because no credit is better than bad credit and many illegals have no credit file yet need insurance so that is scary stuff for them to try out. Not being a racist jerk just laying out the situation some. Using credit as an underwriting factor to me seems like modern Red Lining legalized. But everyone does it and many companies focus on it almost entirely. If your credit is perfect you will save on every type of insurance, loans, and even get better jobs. Sucks if you have a bad credit history but you need to dispute your credit debts and clean it up.

best of luck to you - sounds like it was your ticket not the company on this one.
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#4 UPDATE EX-employee responds

bait and switch?

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

From what your reporting this is a case of the employee taking your word as solid fact, the agent was taking your side and got burned herself, since you insisted the ticket was removed she rated your policy accordingly, when it turned out the ticket was still there it raised the rate, the error was believeing the customer not bait and switch.

For future referance, the driving school does not remove the ticket from your record it removes the points on the license, this has nothing to do with the insurace aspect. In some states it will also disqualify you for the defensive driver discount with your ins company. It might be best to take the points on your DL and take the class on your own. Also, try not to let the speeding ticket get plead down to a seatbelt ticket, the seatbelt discount is more than a speeding ticket surcharge.
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#5 Author of original report

Did you miss the point?

AUTHOR: Theta Girl - (U.S.A.)

I make noone but myself responsible for my actions, including receiving a ticket.

However, the point is how the business conducts itself, including whether they tell you correctly what you will be charged for their services.

Enough said.
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#6 Consumer Suggestion

And its Geico's fault you have a speeding ticket?

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

You are crazy! It is not geico's fault you have a speeding ticket on your record that will change your rates! Geico is doing EXACTLY what they are supposed to a DMV report and base your driving history off that. If you went to school---to have it removed then you need to check with the DMV why it is still on there. Going to another insurance company WILL NOT REMOVE IT FROM YOUR DMV AND THEY WILL HAVE ACCESS TO IT AS WELL. it is a shame that you are so ignorant to laws and facts. driving school does not make your insurance company "not find out" about a ticket. it just lowers your points on your license.
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