Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Stupid Lobbyist's Tricks

Beginning this year, Ohio agents who wish to (continue to) sell Long Term care insurance are required to take a new, specially-designed, eight hour training course. A while back, I did that and, at the conclusion of the course, received a "temporary" certificate of completion. I was advised to wait a few weeks, and then log on to the AHIP site to download "the real deal."
Well, one thing led to another, and I finally got around to getting my permanent cert. So one day last week, I clicked over to the site, and was stopped cold. The only way to sign in was to have an existing account (I was never given one, nor informed how to get one) or create a new account, which would require signing up (and paying) for a class. I hardly needed that, so I looked around and found an 800 number. Terrific, I thought, I'll have this taken care of in no time.
Not so fast, fella:
I called the number, and was directed to Scott's voicemail (as far as I know, this is his real name, and I see no good reason not to use it here). Left a message, and went about my business. As of last Thursday, however, still no return call, so I figured a little nudge was in order. Unfortunately, I had to leave another voicemail, because Scotty's obviously too busy to either return my call, or have "one of his people" do so for him.
That afternoon, Scotty did call me back, and we determined that the AHIP folks had an incorrect email address for me. He assured me that it would be corrected, and that I'd have the link I needed by the next day.
Well, Friday came and went, and no link, no cert. And again on Monday. So yesterday, having had my fill, I called AHIP again, and tried to go up the food chain. I left a rather detailed (and rather firmly worded) message, insisting on a return call by noon today.
Of course, we all know how that ended up.
All of which seems to underscore the folly in allowing those with a vested interest (such as a lobbyist) write and enforce the rules. It may be convenient for legislators, but it just begs to be abused. If this is how well organized AHIP is, by the way, I certainly hope the carriers that fund it demand a refund.
I have no doubt that I'll eventually receive my precious little piece of paper, but one of the perks of blogging is to make fun of incompetent organizations (or just incompetent folks at "normal" organizations). But I think it does point out the danger of having an industry lobbying group (i.e. AHIP) in charge of industry training: whom do you turn to when the lobbyist can't (or own't) fulfill such a simple mission as this?
What do you think, Scotty?
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