We’ve just finished writing a lengthy letter to Freedom 55, owned by London Life, describing their widespread incompetence. I’ve CC’d a number of people within the organization, including the CEO, who has the unlikely name of Raymond L. McFeetors.
I’ll spare you the tedious details, but suffice it say that Freedom 55 Financial did their very best to prevent us from giving them our money. They wasted our time with a half-dozen calls and a face-to-face meeting. They failed to explain their byzantine organizational structure. I received calls from no less than three different organizations–Freedom 55, The Cooperators and Benefits by Design. Worst of all, they advised us to cancel our previous insurance before our current plan was approved and in place.
I know that insurance companies are a racket, but Freedom 55 Financial exceeded my expectations in bureaucracy and general ineptitude.
UPDATE: Because people keep asking for it, here is the letter of complaint we sent. I’ve anonymized it using names of characters from The Sound of Music. Enjoy.
Dear Ms. Schneider,
On Monday, July 25th we spoke about Baroness Laderhosen Inc’s extended health and disability benefits, which had been unsatisfactorily dealt with before our account manager, Rolfe Von Trapp, left for holidays on Friday, July 22nd.
As I explained on the phone, myself and my colleague, Sister Berthe, met with Mr. Von Trapp at your Vancouver offices on Thursday, July 5th to sign final documentation. Furthermore, we gave Freedom 55 a cheque to sign-up for a Freedom 55 extended health and disability plan for Baroness Laderhosen Inc. At that time we were told that everything was in order and that our health plan would begin on August 1st. Mr. Von Trapp advised me at that time that I should cancel Baroness’s existing extended health benefit plan with ManuLife.
Despite knowing from the start that two of the three Baroness employees are married, Mr. Von Trapp called me on July 12th to say that because of the “high family content” we would have to complete medical forms. This delayed the process and Mr. Von Trapp then left on holidays without informing us whether our medical benefits would start on August 1st. In fact, they will not start on August 1st and we no longer have coverage by ManuLife, so we are without coverage.
Our experience with Freedom 55 has been unsatisfactory in the following ways:
* When I signed up with your competitor, ManuLife, all that was required was one form and a 10-minute phone conversation. Conversely, Mr. Von Trapp set up far too many meetings, called me at least five times and required a face-to-face meeting to initiate the benefits plan. As a small business owner this process took far too long and took away from time I could spend with my own clients.
* From the start of the process, Mr. Von Trapp was aware that myself and my business partner, Herr Zeller, are married and so should have had us complete the proper forms before telling us that everything was in order and advising me to cancel our current insurance. By not doing so, he further inconvenienced us and put our insured status at risk.
* Mr. Von Trapp should not have left for holidays without advising us that we would not be covered on August 1st due to his administrative error. He assured us that we would receive an answer regarding our status before his departure. We did not.
* Ms. Schneider told me on Monday, July 25th that this was Freedom 55’s problem to solve and that a new representiative would sort out the problem for us.
* The new representative did call us; we were then contacted by Benefits by Design who told us that our benefits would not start on August 1st. No one from Freedom 55 followed-up with us to find out what had happened, or to apologize for the time that we spent tracking down this information after Mr. Von Trapp left on holidays.
* We were forced to deal with three different agencies–Freedom 55, The Cooperators and Benefits by Design–through the course of this debacle. The relationship between these organizations was never made clear to us, a fact which only compounded our confusion and frustration.
We now have no health coverage for this month and will not be using Freedom 55 for our benefit plan, or recommending Freedom 55 to anyone. In fact, we will go out of our way to describe your organization’s incompetence to our friends and family, and encourage them to spend their money with your competitors.
Please return my cheque along with a written letter of apology. Having spent far too much time on this matter, I do not wish to be contacted by phone by any representatives of Freedom 55. All further correspondence is to be by mail.