My Mistake of Taking the Cheap Way Out
You get what you pay for. Who hasn’t heard that saying? Still, we do not appreciate these words enough sometimes.
I recently had an experience that made me reflect on this timeless truth. The email notification stated “your policy has expired due to non-payment”. Hmmm. I had to investigate. My homeowners’ policy should be paid by my credit union so something must have been missed. This meant I must use my precious lunch hour calling the credit union, and then the insurance company, to find out what had happened.
When I moved into my current home 5 years ago I discovered it was a challenge to insure. It was built in 1868, and apparently not every insurance company is willing to take on the risk of a home that old. Those who were willing to insure it tended to have a much higher premium. I did what I thought made sense at the time - I searched for the least expensive option. It seemed to go against my values but cheap sounded good at the time. I chose a company that I would only be able to reach via phone or online because they were the least expensive. It also meant that I wouldn’t have an agent, someone I could count on to assist with situations like these. Nope, it was all on me… but it was worth it to save money, right?
Those who know me best know how much I value my time. Life is short; we should do the things we enjoy as much as possible. Calling both my bank and insurance company, going on hold, then accidentally getting hung up on (which meant I had to call back, start the wait all over again, and re-explain why I called), is not a good use of that oh-so-valuable time. In the end we reached a resolution and the people were pleasant, but after using my lunch hour to figure this out, I returned to my desk.
This desk is at a service company where we do not have voicemail, where we answer every call within 2 rings, and where our culture is infectiously pleasant and uplifting. Something was off with this picture. A lot of my time is spent speaking with customers about how our experience is worth the higher cost - because I truly believe it is! I could only wonder, ‘Was I getting what I paid for with my insurance company?’ Yes, I paid the cheap price and I got cheap service.
What are your values? What is important to you? Do your actions reflect those beliefs? These are questions I pondered and ones you should as well. Work with those whose principles align with yours. After this experience, I encourage you to reevaluate your relationships and ask yourself if your values are a good match.
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