Are Voles and Moles Eating Your Profits?
Penn Treaty's reply was the tackiest, sleaziest mailing I have ever received from a public company in 40 years of studying direct mail.
How Not to Keep a Customer
The mailing arrived stuffed into an envelope with two glassine windows. The letter was on classy stationery and personalized. But it was stuck to the flap glue, so when I tried to extract it from the envelope, it ripped.
The torn letter failed to address my request for two-year coverage instead of unlimited coverage. Rather it was a form letter saying that my original check was being returned (which it was) along with an application for approval to have the original policy reinstated.
The four-page application was this foul, muddy thing that was disgusting to look at, impossible to read and printed on a slant by a cheap photocopy machine. It made me feel dirty.
Quite frankly, it was the kind of a mailing you might expect to receive from the business office of a publicly funded nursing home supported by Medicaid, where catatonic residents in filthy bedclothes are sitting around in rusty wheel chairs amidst the reeking odor of bodily wastes.
The torn letter asked me to fill out this cruddy application and return it with my check for $586.26--the amount I would have to pay for the original policy, not the new two-year policy, which I requested and presumably costs less.
My immediate reaction was that if this was the best Penn Treaty could do on the front end for a customer who had already paid thousands of dollars, what kind of service would I receive at the back end--if I became ill and needed home care?
I was revolted.
Needless to say, I did not fill out the application and send in my $586.26.
Rather I kept this appalling effort for my files as a prime example of how not to treat a customer.