From:     Ralph Hassel[SMTP:ralph@usicnet.com]
Sent:     Monday, October 04, 1999 12:33 PM
To:     'SJShult961@aol.com'
Subject:     RE: From a Farmers Agent in Illinois..........

Steve,
Your open letter has been posted on that web site. Let me just make a few comments about your points, all of which I agree are valid.


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Letter from a Farmers Agent in Illinois:
I happened on to this Web Site, full of complaints about our
Company, and just had to respond. I have been a Farmers
agent for many years, and before that was a very satisfied Farmers
policy holder in the state of Michigan. There are a few points I
would like to make.


#1. No company is perfect.


I agree. Every company is only human and can, make mistakes. However I must say that the number of mistakes that were being made every time anything was attempted to be done by Farmers Direct was mind boggling.
I would expect a "professional company" that I am relying on for such an important service to have some level of competency and a system. They seem to be lacking in many areas.



#2. For every unsatisfied Farmers customer, there are hundred's
of satisfied ones.

I'm sure there are. It also may be that a person who doesn't think too much about what they are looking at may overlook "small" items such as dates and mispellings that may occurr more often than reported. But some of the mistakes that occurred while dealing with Farmers Direct were potentially more damaging than a simply typo. For instance, "Forgetting" to add our brand new car to the
policy and the effective date as I will explain below.



#3. Never use a Direct company, always have a trusted agent
in your corner, batting for you.


Agreed. I am back with my agent who is also my friend.


#4. Don't get hung up by an effective date. If you have an agent,
he/she can document your requested date, and then no
matter if a computer screws it up or not, you are still protected.

Protected or not with Farmers is one thing. In Pennsylvania if you have a lapse in insurance of as little as a day maybe less you are subject to a revoke of your license for 3 months on any person whom is insured under the lapsed coverage. Farmers Direct was showing in their records, which they could not change for some ungoddly reason, a 1 month lapse in our families auto coverage. If this information gets back to our state government we will get a letter asking for us to send in our licensees for a 3 month period. YOU try dealing with a state government over an issue like this. I HAVE in the past and it ain't fun, believe me. Now that Farmers Direct is disolved to whom would I direct my problem to if I need someone to contact the state and explain that, "Oh, well we made a typo." Being protected is fine, I understand that, but loosing your license and consequently, your job and possibly your home and due to no tranportation to get to my 38 mile comute job is TOTALLY different. This was our major problem with Farmers Direct if you read the story. Which is why I bought www.farmersdirect.com (now owned by farmers).



#5. It is Farmers Company direction for every agent to provide our
clients a regular review of all their coverage's. If your's hasn't,
request a complete review, today, and you could save yourself
a lot of grief in the future.


If I requested my information from the short period we were using farmers direct I am almost positive it will relfect the same dates. Then what? Should I get all pissed off again? Even John Mitchel of Farmers could not get it changed in the records (although they could delete all of my complains in the log records). I understand your position as an agent. My position as a cunsumer leaves be feeling like I'm fighting with a government that doesn't know it's left hand from the right. I appriciate an thoughts you might have in response.

Thanks for your imput.

Ralph



Please feel free to email me with any responses you may have.
Thank you.

Sincerely,
Steve XXXXXXXX
a Farmers Agent in Illinois
sjshult961@aol.com