A happy Holi to all my friends here and Women’s Day greetings to women readers.
I am going to share a real life experience which happened yesterday. And I am mentioning the name of the company since I had a similar expense from this company on another recent occasion.
My medical insurance policy was due for renewal. I had bought this policy from ICICI Lombard 2 years ago. The person who came to do the necessary paperwork came from the ICICI Securities team. Now I had purchased the original policy for about 22k. The premium notice carried the same figure. The notice also gave me the option of moving to a higher benefit plan for a higher premium. The notice did not carry any information on what benefits this higher plan carried.
So far so good. This point on, the questionable practices of ICICI surface. The ICICI Securities person informed me that she was informed by the ICICI Lombard sales person that the company has stopped accepting the earlier premiums, and that only premiums with the add on benefits were being accepted at renewal. The premium for the additional amount was around 4000.
It was only after I challenged this real hard, that the ICICI team members conceded to accept a cheque with the same premium as before. And that too, with the condition that I would know the final outcome on the morning of the last payment date of my policy.
Now these are either unfair practices from ICICI Lombard or an over zealous salesman trying to fleece an extra amount from his customer. If I pose this issue to the company, they will of course clarify that there is no such diktat from the company. They will say this because they know that if they ever accept this, I will go to IRDA with an official complaint.
This incident made me think back. Have I ever tried this stunt in my career as a sales person? I think not and I surely hope not. I am glad I have never underestimated my clients. Customers are getting more and more aware and knowledgeable. A single breach in trust can forever destroy the customer for me. So I cannot and should not dare to imagine that the customer knows nothing, and hence try to fool him. Maybe a sales COMMANDMENT here – Never Underestimate Thy Customer.
But now, the other side, and the more important side of the story, for it is a brother salesman whom I am questioning here. What made the ICICI Lombard sales person behave like he did? What were the pressures and compulsions on him? Was it the pressure of targets? Or was it the attraction of earning extra commissions? I will write about this separately. Readers are welcome to voice their reactions or comments before that.