Allianz giving us a runaround

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Oct 5, 2017
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#1
We had a minor fender bender last summer in a Hertz rental. Although it took time, phone calls, and paper trails., Hertz charged a reasonable amount and Allianz agreed to pay for all of it and within a few months, all was settled. Except... we had sent Hertz a $50 administrative fee, incorrectly assuming this was our responsibility and not part of our Allianz insurance coverage. In fact, Allianz did also pay the administrative fee (nice.) Hertz had assured us via phone call that we would be reimbursed the $50 if there was an overpayment. Instead, they refunded Allianz the $50. Allianz agreed they had received the reimbursement check for this $50 and agreed to reimburse it to us. Except, they haven't. Several phone calls later and several broken promises from them, and they now claim they will have an examiner call us within 48 hours to settle this. I have lost all trust in their follow-through and believe they are purposely giving us a runaround. I know we probably lost the $50 that Allianz will most likely keep and just want to warn others to NOT pay the rental agency any damage costs until the insurance has finished settling with them. If Allianz makes good and reimburses us the $50 they agreed they would mail, I will update this post. Thank you.
 
Likes: jbb
Jan 6, 2015
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#2
I suggest that escalate this to Allianz in writing.

* IMPORTANT: when you reach out to the corporate level *
Do not use inflammatory language - be polite and professional
Do not attach files - their email system may discard your email before anyone reads it
Do not start with the CEO - begin at the lowest level in our company contacts shown here: https://www.elliott.org/company-contacts/allianz/
Present a brief summary (list) and give each contact one (1) week to respond before escalating to the next level
 

Carrie Livingston

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Jan 6, 2015
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#3
@JStan we have a post that gives you a guideline of how to compose your email. Scroll down the page about halfway down and you'll see "How to write a complaint to fix your problem." Please use @VoR61 's advice and don't attach anything or send emails to everyone at once. If you start at the top, there's no where to go. Good luck. It seems like a simple fix but those always seem to be the hardest to fix.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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#4
Another tale of incompetence. Thanks for posting this, JStan, so people can be aware in the future. Those of us who remember the days when people DID THEIR JOBS always sigh reading stories like this. Everything needs follow-up now, everything. Polite, patient and persistent is the only way a consumer ever gets anywhere. I'm ashamed to admit that sometimes I walk away from a smallish amount like this, just out of sheer laziness. Maybe I blame myself for not supervising the little rascals constantly.
 
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Oct 5, 2017
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#5
I suggest that escalate this to Allianz in writing.

* IMPORTANT: when you reach out to the corporate level *
Do not use inflammatory language - be polite and professional
Do not attach files - their email system may discard your email before anyone reads it
Do not start with the CEO - begin at the lowest level in our company contacts shown here: https://www.elliott.org/company-contacts/allianz/
Present a brief summary (list) and give each contact one (1) week to respond before escalating to the next level
Thank you. I have everything documented, including names and numbers of those I've spoken to. I will give the latest contact one week to resolve.
 
Oct 5, 2017
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#6
Another tale of incompetence. Thanks for posting this, JStan, so people can be aware in the future. Those of us who remember the days when people DID THEIR JOBS always sigh reading stories like this. Everything needs follow-up now, everything. Polite, patient and persistent is the only way a consumer ever gets anywhere. I'm ashamed to admit that sometimes I walk away from a smallish amount like this, just out of sheer laziness. Maybe I blame myself for not supervising the little rascals constantly.
LOL Totally true! But they want me to give up. It's more principle than the money at this point. I hate being brushed off and lied to. Really, I thought the company was doing a really good job until this last glitch. I can't say I wouldn't use them again.
 
Oct 5, 2017
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#7
@JStan we have a post that gives you a guideline of how to compose your email. Scroll down the page about halfway down and you'll see "How to write a complaint to fix your problem." Please use @VoR61 's advice and don't attach anything or send emails to everyone at once. If you start at the top, there's no where to go. Good luck. It seems like a simple fix but those always seem to be the hardest to fix.
I think they are counting on it being a smallest amount so they can get me to give up.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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#8
Never forget the first rule of insurance, most insurance. The agent's main job is to deny claims. They are rewarded for this. It's not that they're not nice people, it's the policy of their employer. We the customers need to understand that they're not there to help us. So we have to show them how to help us. The main exception that I've experienced are the people who handle the travel insurance for Chase Sapphire cards. I've had two little issues (under $2K) in the last 5 years, and both were handled almost instantly with no endless annoying requests for "more" information. Quite the opposite of "you get what you pay for", as the travel perks come complimentary with the card.
 
Likes: Yul Ullu
Oct 5, 2017
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#9
Never forget the first rule of insurance, most insurance. The agent's main job is to deny claims. They are rewarded for this. It's not that they're not nice people, it's the policy of their employer. We the customers need to understand that they're not there to help us. So we have to show them how to help us. The main exception that I've experienced are the people who handle the travel insurance for Chase Sapphire cards. I've had two little issues (under $2K) in the last 5 years, and both were handled almost instantly with no endless annoying requests for "more" information. Quite the opposite of "you get what you pay for", as the travel perks come complimentary with the card.
They honestly surprised us by paying the Hertz administrative fee. But then Hertz, quite purposely I suspect, reimbursed Allianz instead of us, knowing we wouldn't get our money back. I suspect any time you don't buy the car rental insurance though the car rental agency, the car rental agency is going to make things difficult for you. I would think Allianz would want to help us to trust them, as your card company has done for you. They are playing dumb. Problem is simple... both we and Allianz paid Hertz's administrative fee. Hertz had promised to reimburse us if this happened. They didn't. Allianz has promised, twice, to reimburse us the money Hertz reimbursed them. They have not and are playing dumb. Thank you for the addresses you all have provided. I will follow up with these next week, one at a time. Politely, and in writing. I don't expect to hear back. They have not followed up on any of my phone calls.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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#10
They honestly surprised us by paying the Hertz administrative fee. But then Hertz, quite purposely I suspect, reimbursed Allianz instead of us, knowing we wouldn't get our money back. I suspect any time you don't buy the car rental insurance though the car rental agency, the car rental agency is going to make things difficult for you. I would think Allianz would want to help us to trust them, as your card company has done for you. They are playing dumb. Problem is simple... both we and Allianz paid Hertz's administrative fee. Hertz had promised to reimburse us if this happened. They didn't. Allianz has promised, twice, to reimburse us the money Hertz reimbursed them. They have not and are playing dumb. Thank you for the addresses you all have provided. I will follow up with these next week, one at a time. Politely, and in writing. I don't expect to hear back. They have not followed up on any of my phone calls.
The longer I'm on this earth, the more I realize that incredibly simple little issues like this don't get fixed because nobody will just put down their phone, finish their manicure, stop flirting with the guy on the next desk, take responsibility, research the problem, and solve it.
 
Oct 5, 2017
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#11
Agreed. Good help is difficult to find, especially in customer service. And why would anyone check up on their work if they are helping the company by NOT sending a reimbursement check. The question is, what can consumers do about this? We are at their mercy and they know it. Although my problem is currently with Allianz, it is clear from reading this website that the problems are everywhere with most companies. We have little recourse because there isn't a company with good customer service to be found. Is there?
 
Likes: jsn55

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
8,949
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#12
Agreed. Good help is difficult to find, especially in customer service. And why would anyone check up on their work if they are helping the company by NOT sending a reimbursement check. The question is, what can consumers do about this? We are at their mercy and they know it. Although my problem is currently with Allianz, it is clear from reading this website that the problems are everywhere with most companies. We have little recourse because there isn't a company with good customer service to be found. Is there?
Don't despair, JStan, there are companies with good CS out there. I see the main challenge is that we don't know how to FIND THEM. When it comes to airlines, it took me several years of hearing positive things about Delta to finally make them my #1 choice. And they've proven me right twice already in the last year with their excellent CS. That will go a long way. Chase Sapphire cards have superlative CS. Amazon is fantastic; apparently you have to know how to approach them, as I've learned on this forum. If you have top status with Hilton Honors, they'll do anything for you. I think there are all kinds of companies who will never give good CS ... and non-credit card travel insurance companies rank right up there on that list.
 
Likes: Pixie Pie
Jan 6, 2015
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#13
What gets lost in the discussion about "good customer service", I think, is the consumer responsibility for the interaction. Some examples from my own:

Thank you for taking my call​
I am in need of assistance with (vs. "I need my . . .")​
I want to be sure I understand (vs. "I don't think . . .")​
I'm looking at your website which says (vs. "That's not what your website says")​
I appreciate your help today (at the end of a phone call or email)​
Adding a few dollars to your tip (servers have told me it makes a difference)​
No you've answered all my questions (response to "Is there anything else I can help you with?")​

And more. Nothing is guaranteed, of course, but I watch and listen for reactions to gauge the effectiveness of my efforts. I believe that good consumer behavior often elicits good service . . .
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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#14
You are 1000% right, VoR. I approach every CS experience optimistically. Well, most of the time. If I've been on a phone tree/on hold for 15 minutes, I might tell the CS rep that I'm annoyed with the system ... but know it's not his/her fault. I (try to) ooze graciousness, as in your examples. SUCH a small change in attitude and huge difference between stating something negative and saying "I'm reading ....". "Perhaps I didn't register that information, can we go over that again?". And my favorite: EMPOWERMENT. "Is that something you might be able to help me with?" "Do you think there's anything you can do to help me?" I learned this all at my daddy's knee. That man could get anyone to do anything, anytime. I like to think of the CS rep going home happy that s/he solved my problem and I expressed my gratitude. How could it hurt? Thanks for bringing up this very important point.
 
Likes: VoR61
Jan 6, 2015
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#15
So that I am not misunderstood, there are situations in which I have to become a little more firm. Often, this involves what I conclude is "over-the-top" behavior by someone. When appropriate, my "firmness" takes place in a phone call, which is important in understanding my approach.

For what value this holds to the readers here, the following is what these conversations look like:

"Thank you for taking my call. What I have to discuss with you is both difficult and delicate, so I need to first explain what I am not looking for. I do not wish for anyone to be terminated or disciplined in any way. Rather, the purpose of my call is to inform XXXXX of my experience because I believe that it crossed a line and hope that it is not representative of XXXXX overall. On XXX YYth, I ..."​

For me, this sets the tone I want to set, which is, "Such-and-such happened and affected me deeply, and I thought you should know." In every case, I have sensed that my comments are well-received and that they intend to take corrective action. And I come away at peace, knowing that I did not request any punitive action. I only share a name when necessary, and I refuse any offers of compensation for that individual's actions, as that dilutes the message I wish to send. Always the high ground.

And no, I am not perfect with this, but it is my first and top priority . . .
 
Likes: jsn55
Oct 5, 2017
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#16
Interesting turn of events. Hertz has hopped on board (after I sent an email.) They admit they sent the refund to Allianz in error and have been in touch with Allianz to “rectify” this. They asked for 3 business days. Will keep you posted if anything happens...

And thank you for all the advice. I generally am a polite person and try to start fresh with each new contact. But it is DIFFICULT to not lose patience when you are just spinning your wheels with a company. But yes, I will try to remain calm and polite. After all is said and done, I do plan to write some reviews. Should someone choose to help me and make this right, the reviews could still be positive for both Hertz and Allianz.
 
Likes: Patina
Oct 5, 2017
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#18
Why would Hertz decide to pay Allianz rather than you? It's $50 out of Hertz's pocket either way.
My theory is they want us to buy insurance through the car rental company rather than Allianz. I imagine someone at Hertz saying, good luck getting your money back now! I could be wrong - Hertz did admit this was a mistake, as did Allianz. But they are certainly NOT helping and indeed seem to be very good at stalling and playing incompetent. I know I should just let them keep my money. It's a small amount in comparison to bigger problems. It's just the principle of these big companies not following through on promises. I do wish to say that, although it took MUCH work, lost forms by both companies, multiple contacts to get needed information (like policy numbers,) they both did eventually follow through with a reasonable charge for the damage, and the claim was indeed paid. For that I am grateful.
 
Jun 11, 2016
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#19
I had a similar experience with Allianz earlier this year involving a travel insurance claim. They would ask for the same information multiple times (even when it was visible in their online system), promise a response in a specified number of days and then ignore their own deadlines. I wasn't smart enough to use Elliott's contacts but eventually emailed the General Counsel saying that I needed someone to make a decision or I'd have to contact the regulators. Lo and behold, I got a call the next day asking a few simple questions and the claim was approved on the phone and I was asked if I needed the check sent by courier which wasn't necessary.
 
Oct 5, 2017
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#20
We heard back from Hertz, who have claimed to have contacted Allianz. They were told a check would be sent to us within 48 hours. I am not holding my breath on this. Note - I DO have multiple names and "operator numbers" at Allianz as I have been documenting this all along. Will this do any good? Is there really such a thing as "contacting the regulators?" I don't think I would escalate this particular complaint to that level, but it would be good to know. In the meantime, I'll give them another week (since they are mailing a check in 48 hours - ha ha,) and next, a (polite) letter will go to the first person on the contact list from this website. Thank you all! It's been nice to vent, if nothing else gets accomplished. I hope someone else can benefit from my experience.
 
Likes: jsn55