There was a time in the not too distant past of this country when too many big companies thought that they were so powerful that they didn’t have to listen to the needs and complaints of their customers, and they didn’t. We all remember Ma Bell’s unofficial slogan of “We don’t care, because we don’t have to.” But those times are gone, and some of those big impersonal organizations and the narrow minded bean counters who run them need to get that message. The rules have changed.

Most regular readers know about the recent burglary and vandalism we suffered, and the runaround we have been getting from our insurance company. Their attitude was pretty much “take a number and stand in line, we’ll get around to you when we feel like it.” In the past, what could a little guy do? Just bend over, grab your ankles, and brace yourself for the screwing that was about to take place. But not anymore.

Just as Colonel Samuel Colt’s Peacemaker revolver was called the “great equalizer” in the late 1800s because anyone, young or old, strong or weak, could use them to defend themselves against outlaws and marauding Indians, today’s great equalizer is the internet.

No longer does a mistreated customer have to suffer in silence at the hands of large companies who care about nothing but their bottom line. With just a few postings on an internet forum, they can tell the whole world what’s happening to them, and let the court of public opinion decide the matter for them. And while those big outfits don’t give a tinker’s damn for what you and I may think individually, when their nasty little tricks are exposed to the entire world, and the complaints and e-mails start rolling in, sometimes they do sit up and take notice.

For days after we filed our claim, the insurance adjuster ignored us, and our own agent refused to even speak to us when I called to ask them to intervene on our behalf. But once the story got passed around the internet to a few RVing forums, and other customers of the same companies realized that there, but for the grace of God go them, they started contacting the company and their own agents telling them they were going to take their business elsewhere.

We all know what they say about sh&$ rolling downhill, and once it did, the turnaround in attitude on the part of the claims adjuster can only be defined as the difference between night and day. Suddenly there is nothing he can’t do to accommodate us. As for our agency, they apparently finally received enough pressure from folks who had read about our problems to realize that this isn’t going to go away, and now they too are suddenly calling me to offer their help. Of course, the fact that their first contact was fourteen days after the crime was committed means it is much too little, much too late.

Am I happy that we are finally getting some action? Sure, but I’m even more pleased to see the power of the internet demonstrated. We may still be a bunch of Davids going up against the Goliaths of the world, but the stones we can put in our slingshots have gotten a hell of a lot bigger!

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19 Comments on The Rules Have Changed

  1. John Pontsler says:

    It could be that they have discovered what a influential individual you are in the RV industry and that caused a change of heart. No matter what, I’m glad to hear that things are finally turning around for you.

  2. Joseph Jones says:

    Hey Nick, I guess I’ll have to get you to writs about our roof catastrophe so we will get some satisfaction. We are looking for a QUALIFIED shop to replace the roof for the third time in less than two years.

    Hope to see you guys next week.

  3. Martin says:

    I wish it were as a simple solution as you write, to obtain satisfaction to our real or perceived wrongs inflicted upon us. Unfortunately the majority of us do not have a well read blog or platform in which we can express our grievances such as yourself.

    If it were so simple as to use the internet to obtain solutions, the courts would not have months and years of backlogged cases.

    Glad it worked for you – guess I have get to get a multitude of blogs on a variety of subjects and start a number of journals – if I were just smart enough.

  4. Dale Pace says:

    Well, Nick, I certainly will be watching to see how this plays out. I hope they follow through and do take care of you. As I understand it so far, however, it’s just words up to this point. I hope they didn’t think that they could pacify you with a few encouraging statements, only to continue to drag out the saga. Keep us all posted, as I know you will. I’m still waiting to see if Escapees make any move as they should.


  5. Wanderin' says:

    Remember Ralph Nader before he became involved in politics? He was an advocate for the consumer. Perhaps, you’ve just found yourself a new money making venture …. another RV blog exposing bad customer service and rip-offs. You know we need one.

  6. Dale says:

    We are with National Interstate through Dougherty in S.D. (right next to Alternative Resources). When we needed assistance they were right there with us. I know your agency had a good reputation. Sorry to see that they blew it! Maybe Escapees should review whether they should be considered “experts” on their forum site.

    Glad to see that the situation is improving!

  7. Dennis Murphy says:

    I recall that when you first mentioned that they were dragging their feet on your claim I had the thought, “They don’t know who they are messing with!” Turns out I was right.

  8. Kay F. Brown says:

    Good for you guys! I thought maybe your background and the powers of publication would be able to jar them just a little bit. Don’t blame you for changing companies though. DH said to tell ya that the Insurance is no better than your Agent!To me, all of their words are one thing. The check in hand…for the entire amount owed is what talks.

  9. Doug says:

    I agree with everything written above. Insurance companies can make a claim feel like you have been robbed again. The only reminder that I would like to make is that what you write on the Internet can be considered libel if it is not absolutely 100% true. Do not get emotional and exaggerate the “facts”. It could be used against you.

  10. Rex says:

    Insurance companies are the lowest form of life on this planet. Seven years ago I was in a horrific wreck, head on with a Mack truck. After I got out of the hospital and was at home, my agent who was a “friend” of mine and my family and who had had many meals at my family’s dinner table, stood in my living room along with a low life bastard of an adjuster and blatantly lied to me. They said that since I missed the drunk that pulled out in front of me that they were not liable, would not pursue the drunk (who was caught) and would not pay a dime. I had to sue my own insurance company to get the sorry scum to pay off.

    The next revolution will be caused by insurance companies. We must get them out of the health care business; meaning if you have insurance and submit a claim they pay it and they can not say you can or can not have a certain test. And if you have some other type of insurance and the premium is paid, all they should ask is where do we send the check.

    I would like to see insurance companies severely regulated and make them do what we pay them for; and that is too pay all claims promptly and without any bureaucratic BS.

    And remember, if you love your freedom, thank a U.S. Military Veteran.

  11. BiLL says:

    We’ll see how are insurance campany handles our “claim” in the spring…That is when we will have the repair done from a major accident in MO. going south for the winter. We will have to repair done at Duncan RV when we head back North in the spring! So far they are telling us that it isn’t a problem but we will keep you posted!! Drove over 2 thousand miles and had reservations at BENSON PALM RV RESORT (TX) and turned away because we had our “GRANDCHILDREN”!!!! Would not recomend this park in ANY way!! The Manager and her workers should even be allowed to deal with the public. And for the OWNER…Money hungry crook!! They would let us stay for a day or two if we would pay the $800.00 monthly fee!!??…They did this to the wrong guy!! All my RVing friends will know to stay away!! We need to thin this sort of stuff out!!

  12. Ken says:

    Glad to see Bad Nick show up on this issue. For a while there I thought he had a change of heart. So glad to see him back.
    My eldest is an Insurance Agent. Her position is that the agent is the only person a client ever sees. She also is looking for repeat business, and knows the ONLY way to get that, is to help the client as much as possible. BTW, her repeat business is out the roof. Sorry you had a bad experience, and sincerely hope your next agent is like my kid.

  13. Roger Schilling says:

    Seems to me that the burglar and the insurance company both underestimated Bad Nick. The thug came away with a busted arm and the insurance company got busted to the world for the way they mishandled the claim. I love it! You showed them all that what’s on the outside can hide what’s on the inside, tiger!

  14. Jane Robinson says:

    I’m glad that we finally have a voice in this world. “We” being the little people who always get stepped on. Your experience gives me hope that the world really may be changing and that the pendeluum is swinging the other way.

  15. Art Johns says:

    At “Insurance Adjusting 101” they teach just two rules;
    Rule One – Take as long as possible before settling a claim.
    Rule Two – Settle for as little as possible, preferably $0.00.

  16. Ron Melancon says:

    Great outcome…

    Look at this issue…same problem..she got the runaround and look at what doing the same thing resulted..she is getting here $40,000 fifth wheel traler fixed..

    Read the commentary..also please note R.V. owners you have an issue with the Blue Ox hitch..

    Or how about the Blue Ox Hitch..first let me apologize for this long entry, but feel it is important to the safety of those RVers, who tow a vehicle. We have been RVing since 2000, so we have about ten years experience on the road. In 2007, we purchased a 2007 Honda CRV to tow, four wheels down.

    We purchased the Blue Ox Aventa LX, BX7445 Tow Bar Class IV (10,000 lb for a 2 inch Receiver) and the Base Plate BX2246 made for the 2007 Honda CR-V. A highly recommended RV dealer in Winnipeg, Canada, installed the towing system, in July of 2007. We had trouble free towing until Sept 2009.

    We were again in Canada, between Vancouver and Kelowna and noticed our car could be seen in the side mirror, which is not normal. We were on an upgrade and going about 40 MPH when we pulled over, We found that the front fascia of the Honda had pulled away and upon further inspection, discovered the Blue Ox base plate had failed. I mean, totally failed, the metal (not the bolts) had ripped, this happened on both sides, where the base plate is attached (bolted) to the frame. The base plate, was now only being held (and also our vehicle) only by the safety cables, which are also attached to the frame, as a safety backup. The metal, where it is bolted to the frame, could now be seen as the fascia, and the skid plate, which normally hides it, had pulled completely away exposing the front end and the failure of the part.

    Why aren’t the people told about these defects…

    and a champion horse lost its life..when a hitch is on my web site..
    September 14, 2009 — 2009 Bayer Select showmanship world champion Wonit Ona RV Version died in an early Saturday morning trailer crash. The gelding, the 2008 all-around amateur high-point horse, was owned by Ronnie and Vickie Kent of Graceville, Florida. His traveling companion, Ill Be RV Radical, who was the 2009 Bayer Select trail world champion, was critically injured in the wreck and is recovering at a veterinary hospital near College Station, Texas.

    The Kents were enroute to California when the trailer hitch broke, causing the accident.

  17. linda says:

    I’m glad to hear that someone finally listened and is helping you out with the claims!! I just wish same thing could be done with our government and their health plan! I was deflated to hear that they passed the health bill.

  18. Allan Webster says:

    I’m glad to see you are finally getting the attention that you should have received the first day you contacted your insurance company. I have the same agency and am waiting to see how you come out. I hope you will be a consumer advocate for others that have to deal with insurance abuse. This could be a good seminar topic for your Arizona Rally.

  19. What can we say! You are finally getting help, but we wouldn’t blame you if you still left that rotten company, just try to find a company that isn’t just as rotten.

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