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The Allstate Corporation Message Board

  • chronicwhinercure chronicwhinercure Aug 12, 2001 8:45 PM Flag

    Johnny_Bdog has it right !

    To beleive all the hype on this board put out by the full time members of the Agent Jihad against TC you would also have to believe that a fortune 50 company, whose business IS lawsuits of every type and size (defending and filing them) was either totally ignorant of all the potentially involved law and legal angles to their actions AND purposefully ignored same OR they are all so collectively incompetent that they just cooked this up over beers after golf and decided to to it a whirl ?????? Do any of you cranks doubt that this was not reasearched to the Nth degree before they did it? Do you doubt TC does not have 1,000 lbs of OUTSIDE legal opinion supporting there moves??? IT sounds as if the cranks are the ones who have bought in on the hype of their attorneys who insist they will no doubt knock the snot out of TC after the class forks up a 100k of expense $$ If you think TC picked this fight without doing a lot of due dilligence up front, you are once again operating in a fantasy scenario. As evidenced by ed juckyte's post, you already have the built in excuse that TC bribed or bought a victory when you guys lose.

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    • Agree with your statement on Sears marketing problems starting around 1969 when they attempted to go upscale. Until 1973 you had to wait in line to go up the escalator, then Sears started opening stores in communities like Deerbrook Il and you could have shot a 12 gauge shotgun in the store at anytime during opening hours and not hit a single sole.

      Your examples depicts The Leading Retailer attempting to increase market share and remember we owned Warwick Electronics so anti dumping was natural for American manufacturers; but these are only bumps in the road compared to the declining results of Sears after Telling retired.

      Taking this batan with the enormous lead in sales you described and being overtaken well before the race was completed adds up to mediocrity.

      Best Regards

    • I tried to post a reply here and I think I lost it. I am not sticking up for Brennan, but Sears' problems started long before Brennan. I went to a "Parent Staff School" in 1969 where Jim Button (VP Mdse.) said that Sears new approach was to draw in the "upscale" customers. They hired Eddie Duchins son Peter to play classical piano in their commercials to show how upscale they were getting. They had $10Bil in sales and the next closest was $4Bil for Penneys. I think that opened the door for Kmart and then Walmart.

      Some of the pre-Brennan disasters were:

      Gallerie Anspach (Belgium sub)
      Overbilling
      Anti dumping (Japanese TV's)
      Div 200 Desk elimination
      D store elimination
      South American stores
      Segment accounting (Quadrupled # of VP's)
      Bait and Switch suits

      Two guys between Metcalf and Brennan were Art Wood (lawyer) and Ed Telling (tough guy). I would like to have seen Dean Swift and or the guy that was vice chairman under Telling (was CFO with MDSE background-can't remember his name) have a shot at running things.

    • Sorry I don't have time to visit more often but I have only had time to read a very few of the messages posted here in the past two weeks or so and have not had the time to post. This message re "[computer]input clerks" though is much more intuitive than many may realize. This is, in my opinion, the same philosophy the old Sears guys (Brennan era) used which brought Sears from the most successful retailer in American history to an unimpressive "also ran." When Metcalf (former CEO) left, Sears had one of the most highly trained sales organizations in retail history, especially in major appliances, furniture, home improvements, etc. Sears had spent a good deal of money on training to make it that way and a number of other major appliance retailers tried to copy that model. Even in a "small ticket" department such as hardware, the personnel really knew their product and could properly explain its features/benefits to the customer.

      Then the Brennan era began and the emphasis was on costs. One "trial and error" program after another was implimented (does it sound like Allstate recently?). They tried centralizing cash registers, then switched back. Neither they nor their customers could figure out whether they were trying to be Macys or Kmart. But the most destructive factor I believe was that they believed they only needed "clerks." They cut the pay scale of their full time commission sales people and the best of them left. They refused to hire more career salespeople and settled for part time transient help. Soon the customer could no longer find the sales professional who truly knew the product and the "Brennan Era Sears Management " expected the loyal Sears customer to suddenly settle for some parttime clerk who knew little more about the product than the customer could read for himself or herself on the packageing.

      Sears might survive but the problem with that marketing philosophy in the insurance industry is that the customer knows far less about insurance than he or she knows about a TV, iron, or lawnmower. The average insurance customer usually does not even know what questions to ask, much less the answers, and there is no informative labeling to read because there is no box for the product.

      Retailers might survive with "clerks", but if an insurance company attempts to do so in today's market, though it may also survive, it will probably have to settle for the relatively small market share of a Geico or one of the other Direct marketers (traditionally under 5%). I don't believe Allstate's shareholders would tolerate that very significant reduction in market share (negative growth).

      Unfortunately, I believe that "clerk" philosophy is the only strategy the Brennan bunch have ever used. I am convinced that the road to progress is blocked by their presence on our BOD.

    • Dawg

      When IA rollovers are completed little or no underwriting is done by TC; so a risk that may have several driving citations and surcharges will receive incorrect pricing at ALL after rollover. Once rollover is completed, the IA's offer little growth to All. The President of All p & c has already stated that most of the IA's do not generate enough new business revenues to pay for the computer systems supplied by ALL and that a thorough review of the business relationship is in order.

      I will agree with your comment about the use of credit scoring; but will respectfully disagree on the time line that this endeavor will last ad infinitum. Since only 30% of the potential customers will get the best rate, All has redefined its market by excluding 70% of the available market and that will continue to provide negative growth.

      Some facts of life in my day:
      Wrote 4 new policies for average of $1,600 in premium and one life policy. Lost 9 policies due to credit scoring on renewals with total negative premium loss of $7,350. Seven had no claims with All. Two went to State Farm and saved $450.00 on auto. Three went to Nationwide and saved $610.00. Both State Farm and Nationwide use credit for risk selection; but neither base their rate on available credit history.

      This industry has a history of self destruction with inappropriate pricing to obtain market share and the old Jaffe curve still reflects wild swings based on the industry attempts to reinvent itself after these cycles produce poor results. Credit rating will run its course and lack of growth and Insurance Commissioners will bring about its demise.

      Best Regards

    • A great post ! It's people like you that keeps me optomistic about the name brand . Our customers want to deal with people who care . That's what keeps them customers , and helps for refferals . One size does NOT fit all . >The adjusters we are breeding today are input clerks. < As always...Justafriend

    • that an IA is only looking for the cheapest market. They are looking for a stable reliable market that delivers the promise. Also credit scoring is here to stay. Over 90% of the P & C companies use it on HO & Auto. You don't have to like it but it is here to stay and PL Underwriters will be few and far between IMO. This is industry wide not just ALL. The players need to adjust to the "facts of life". HAGD.

    • Agree with your post and TC has moved towards this imput clerk mentality in all phases of operations. TC has CIC and Internet channels to sell its product, RMBC to evaluate the submissions, One processing center in Roanoke to handle all imput and a new Customer Service center in Diamond Bar to attempt answering all questions related to customer service. Now Claims is moving to a world class claims encyclopedia system that requires more time to cross foot conversations than it does to handle the claim.

      The personal touch for effective customer relations has been put on the back burner, with Financial scoring more important than driving history or prior claim activity. We have a helter skelter approach to the marketplace with Parts and Labor, Substandard markets, rate progression, slanted A signs disappearing on the horizon, an IA market that will never be interested in helping All grow; only parking business with TC until another better rate comes along, and Top Management that would rather communicate with the field via e mail that is at the height of their mediocre careers.

      People count, and all employee and producer group need to be held accountable when they are given processes and procedures that work. When TC quits putting out DUDS for the new way into the future, TC will return to performance levels we can all be proud of; but that will require getting rid of a few top level DUDS.

      Best Regards

    • I know how deep the discontent runs, but are you serioulsy comparing termination for theft or sexual assault to your "conversion" experience ? Perhaps you should replace the cannonade with a windmill ?
      ##########################################
      First, You have NO idea how deep the discontent runs. Continually I am amazed at its depth myself. This river is deep and wide.
      Couldn't help but wonder if you or the other "agent bashers" have even read the complaint at www.allstatecase.com You might learn a thing or two about what agents have been through and about the management you defend, unless.......you already know firsthand.

      I was responding to a comment that one had to be guilty of egregious things in order to be fired at Allstate. 6500 agents were guilty of nothing except having a contract that Allstate wanted to break. All 6500 of them, 93% who were over age 40 were fired. It can be called a conversion until the cows come home. THEY WERE FIRED! They were fired to avoid the cost of benefits. They were fired to abrogate contracts that Allstate management did no longer want to follow. They were fired ostensibly for the simplicity of having one agent contract? Today there are more agent contracts than ever before.

      I also read what your alter ego said about nuisance suits. Time of course will tell on this one. Any time a government agency undertakes to sue a corporation for what that govt. calls illegal actions, I would pull up short of calling it a nuisance.

      Of course Allstate IS a powerful organization. We agents only have right and the US government on our side.
      Barleycorn

    • Didn't mean to say "will never take ownership..." Should have said "will be difficult to take..."

    • I didn't intend to continue our diologue however...#1: You posted an explanation/apology for your assault on long term employees. I considered what you said, accepted it and moved on. #2: You inquired when the company has fired employees for job performance. From where I can personally see, 4 adjusters in 5 years out of a group of roughly 100. #3: You now re-mention the lack of dedication of some employees to their jobs. This actually reaffirms my points. Your opinions, of course, are formed by your experiences - as are mine. The long term employees I know still think that adjusting is a PROFESSION that requires being able to read and understand a dozen contracts (policies), being able to communicate assurance with/to the public whether it be the high school drop out with a water loss or a physician who thought he could "beat the light." We understand that we never talk to anyone unless they have a problem (claim) which is often vented at the adjuster. We read every word on every page of 4 inches of medical bills as they are submitted from a claimant's attorney looking for a defense for our customer. We look at claims as they come in the door and ask ourselves "to whom do we owe a duty and what is that duty on this claim?" The adjusters we are breeding today are input clerks. And because of this change in the method of handling claims they, as a group, will never "take ownership" of the job nor personal pride in their performance. THIS, my friend, is what breeds mediocrity.

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