by Structured Settlement Watchdog®
Allstate is supposed to be the "good hands people", but since they stopped writing structured settlements in 2013, they have apparently outsourced certain customer services functions to the Philippines, presumably to save money, with questionable benefit to consumers. Unfortunately, while the outsourced staff mean well they are uninformed, That lack of knowledge is needlessly scaring people who have Allstate structured settlements.
One woman who I spoke to two weeks ago did not receive her April 1, 2015 payment on time. The woman called the original writing agent, who was at Ringler Associates at the time, and then me as the Structured Settlement Watchdog®. We all spoke to several purported Allstate call center representatives in the Philippines who were not only clueless, but gave out inaccurate information, the most critical of which was first the falsehood that she was not entitled to any more payments and after overcoming the first hurdle, an indefinite period of time for the late payment issue to be resolved, which needlessly caused concern for the annuitant. I was on the phone with the annuitant and heard it with my own ears! Eventually through multiple escalations I was able to get to the Allstate legal department in Illinois.
I was able to determine through a review of documentation that the issue was a human clerical error in a data entry into Allstate's systems, when the contact was issued many years ago. Within 24 hours from that point the situation was resolved. and was relieved to find someone who, though re-purposed, used to work in the Allstate structured settlement department and WAS able to get the job done to fix the clerical error. Thank you Becky!
What led me to write this blog is that today April 16, 2015, a mother of a child who had structured settlement funded with Allstate Life Insurance Company in 2004, who is turning 18 in shortly, wrote:
"Allstate had me calling all over the place yesterday/ this morning only to tell me that they did not have (name of son) in their system. I found a different number for Allstate and was able to get the necessary information re: (son's) annuity. Thank you for your willingness to assist me".
What the heck is going on with Allstate? How these customers were initially handled by Allstate representatives in these recent customer service situations IS NOT the way to do business. It's a strange coincidence that two of the worst abuse cases involving structured settlement factoring that I have seen involve Allstate structured settlement annuitants. In neither of the cases did the annuitant contact the Allstate AFEN unit.
Insurance companies who discontinue lines of business must do a better job of communicating with customers after they do. Don't underestimate how an unsatisfied customer in a discontinued line can affect your reputation. Nobody likes to feel abandoned.
If you have an Allstate structured settlement and you have experienced any customer service issues of the variety described above, you are not alone! Please contact the structured settlement broker you worked with or you can contact me. I will do my best to help you or help find someone else in the industry who can.