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I wish I had the time to write a blog just on AARP/New York Life and their awful over 50 life insruance products and service. Since helping a couple of beneficiaries collect claims that AARP had told them they weren’t going to pay it’s obvious a person could work full time with a staff just fielding trouble calls. And now I want to add my own.

In spite of my best efforts my mother caved in to the unmatched branding of AARP and bought a medicare supplement from them. Mom passed away a in October and somehow the automatic bank draft for her premium to AARP didn’t get stopped. I discovered it today and went through a customer service maze that I’m sure would have made a weaker person give up to finally track down someone who would admit that she had a policy and finally admit that they hadn’t stopped payments even though their records showed she was deceased.

I asked the lady I was talking to if they could arrange to refund the unearned premium and was told that they would process that right away and I could expect a refund in 4-6 weeks. I asked why it would take 4-6 weeks and she said because that is their process. I asked her why the process took 4-6 weeks, in particular, what is that would make it take so long since they funds would be going back into my mother’s account electronically. She said she didn’t know but that’s what it took. I asked to speak to her supervisor and got cut off, one of several times. I called back and had to explain my way through the whole thing again including the part where they didn’t see where my Mom had a policy with them and finally got to a supervisor who told me their policy for refunds was 29 days.

I asked what took 29 days and she said that was their standard practice. Again I asked another way, “What is that happens that makes the process take 29 days?” She said that they had to check  and make sure the last payment they took out of my Mom’s account had cleared. I assured her that it had cleared nearly 3 weeks ago and she asked if she could put me on hold. A few minutes later she came back on and asked me how I knew it had cleared and I explained that I had the bank statement in front of me that showed the payment had been extracted from her account and it lowered the balance of the account so it seemed pretty logical that the payment had cleared. I was put on hold again and this time when she returned she said she was able to get an exception to their policy and I would see a refund in a “couple of days”.

I said that seemed to make more sense so was she saying that since this was Tuesday I should expect the money by Friday. She said she couldn’t promise that. I repeated her couple of days back to her and she said she really didn’t have any control over how long a couple of days was.

Bottom line. Folks, this is the customer service department at the beloved AARP. They are simply and very honestly one of the worst service organizations in the world and their assertion that they are serving the elderly is frankly BS. From trying to get out of paying legitimate life insurance claims to trying to slow pay on legitimate refunds they are borderline evil to our parents and grandparents.

PS I will update this tomorrow but the last person I talked to asked me to fax a copy of my trustee documents and a death certificate. She gave me the number. I wrote it down and then read it back to her and she confirmed it. I typed it into my efax and read it back to her again and she said that was right. It has come back now 3 times undeliverable and I can hear it coming. This is going to delay it a couple of more days because I wrote down the wrong fax number.