Crabby Old Lady thought spending three days in customer service hell sorting out her various communications needs was the worst it could get - but oh, no. There is another kind of excruciating torment: auto insurance.
If there is a way to insure a car when it is purchased in one state, the new owner is resident in another and moving to a third within four or five weeks, Crabby can’t find it. Well, it is possible, but not without turning cartwheels for which, in the middle of move, one has no time.
- The car cannot be insured in Pennsylvania unless Crabby obtains a Pennsylvania drivers license and, possibly (Crabby can’t remember now after so many telephone calls) a permanent address in the state.
- She can insure it in New York, but registering a car is so time-consuming and complex there is a company that does nothing else but run the gauntlet of obstacles New York requires. It is unlikely the process would be finished by the time Crabby leaves New York.
- The car cannot be insured in Maine until it is registered there, but a permanent address is required which Crabby won’t have for several more weeks.
This list oversimplifies the torture Crabby endured for two full days while speaking with insurance agents, departments of motor vehicles and insurance commission offices in all three states. It has been a nightmare.
Unlike customer service representatives, each of the 15 or 20 people Crabby spoke with about insurance knows their business and the regulations in their state. It is just that the regulations don’t allow leeway for the three states involved. It appears that the concern with Pennsylvania and Maine motor vehicle officials is that Crabby is trying fool them by registering a car there to avoid the astronomical insurance rates in New York City.
It left Crabby to ponder the difficulty people with weekend homes in other states face if they keep a car there as a friend did many years ago. He took a train each Friday evening to Rhode Island where his car was parked in a garage near the train station and made the return trip to New York City by train on Sunday evening.
Crabby told you the many reasons she doesn't like automobiles. This insurance mess is another.
But that fine, little PT Cruiser is at last insured, although the convoluted machinations it has taken to accomplish it are grotesque. It shouldn’t be this hard, and with a society as mobile as ours, Crabby Old Lady sees a large need for uniform and reciprocal auto insurance regulations throughout the 50 states.
ADDENDUM: It is important, when complaining as much as Crabby Old Lady does, to give credit when it is due. Lenovo (formerly IBM), from whom Crabby purchased her new laptop, has provided excellent customer service during her initial questions, through placing her order and in followup calls after Crabby lost all the email confirmations and receipts after her computer crash.
If the machine is delivered in ten or 12 days from now as promised, it will be a singular accomplishment in the world of customer service. If there are Oscars for customer service, Crabby's vote goes to Lenovo.
But don't ask Crabby about the difficulties she is having trying to enroll in a Medicare Part D program. Those folks have invented yet another form of excrutiating torment.