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Frank de Graaf
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How Outsurance got it all wrong

07 February 2014, 12:26

The world these days is full of “Hello-Peters” – people who will use the slightest opportunity to hurl abuse at a company via its call centre agents, shop assistants, Facebook page or online forums. Unfortunately these are the clients for whom companies will bend over backwards to assist the moment they start jumping up and down, yet in reality are of low value to the company.

“Hello-Peters” will never be satisfied, and will jump at any opportunity to tell others how bad your company is – even after receiving a replacement item,  a full refund, and a gift voucher. And what’s worse than that? No one listens to them anyway. When is the last time you waded through the drivel spewed in broken English on to assist you in making a decision on a product purchase? Quite possibly never. You are either smart enough to make the decision on your own, or smart enough to source genuine, objective reviews from people who know something about the product. This could be industry specific websites, colleagues, or even friends who are dealing with the same company.

Enter me and my former insurer – Outsurance. I was what you call an “active supporter” of Outsurance. I have always admired the way the company is run – from their client service right through to the way they train, empower and give wonderful opportunities to their staff, as well as the community projects they run. But most of all I love the pointsmen. My insurance policy was small – a Citi Golf and a Laptop (everything I own), but I always referred anyone who asked about insurance, and a number of colleagues signed up on my referral.

Then came the day of the car accident – a relatively minor incident where a Telkom bakkie drove into the side of the vehicle, leaving a broken axil and thus a car that needs to be towed. Like anybody else, I phoned my insurance company to ask what to do, and how I should go about being towed. My vehicle was only insured for fire, theft and third party – which does not include towing services, but with the launch of their new app and marketing campaign, Outsurance offers roadside assistance to anybody, to demonstrate the necessity of having such a service included in your policy (a fantastic marketing campaign in my opinion).

Yet this is where an entire campaign falls apart. In the exact words of the agent: “I’m sorry Sir, we cannot assist you with towing as you are already an Outsurance client.”

“I’m sorry? Do you mean that if I was not a client of Outsurance you would have towed me for free?”

“Yes Sir”

And that ends years of support for a company – the moment you realise that they sat down in a boardroom and decided to give the middle finger to their existing clients and focus solely on acquisitions.

Outsurance – for a company with that has already accomplished so much, and the ability to do so much more, you really got it wrong this time.

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