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That was a TEENSY bit sneaky, Geico

July 16th, 2013 at 12:39 am

I get a 10% discount on my auto insurance because I've completed an on-line defensive driver course. Whether or not you can get the discount depends on your state laws. In many states, the discount is only available for seniors. Fortunately, here in Texas it is available for all drivers. A course certification lasts for 3 years. The course currently costs $19.95. (Edit: Looks like it cost $19.95 back in 2007 too! Nice to see that the price of something has held steady.)

DH has completed the same course. Because we have 2 cars, we both have to take the course to qualify for the discount on both cars.

I got an Email on July 9 from Geico that read in part:

QUOTE:
It has been almost 3 years since you took the National Safety Council Online Defensive Driving Course for your Geico policy. Your insurance discount may be running out. You can check with Geico to verify your eligibility.

In appreciation for being a loyal Geico and National Safety Council customer, we are offering you a 10% discount when you take the recently updated Online Defensive Driving Course and use the coupon code ...
END QUOTE

It's a rainy night so I thought I'd curl up with a cup of tea and complete the course. First I pulled the "Auto Insurance" file out of my trusty Rubbermaid tote that contains all of our important financial documents and looked at the certificate from when I completed my last course. It expires Oct 24!!! I have over 3 months to go. Nice try, Geico. Instead of completing the course today I just entered a reminder to re-take the course the weekend before the expiration date on my Google calendar. I also checked the date DH's certificate expires and entered that too so I can remind him.

Glad I took the 10 seconds to check the expiration date. Saved me some time and a bit of money too.

I *really like* Geico ... We have been insured by them for about 20 years ... But I think their Email was a tad sneaky, if not misleading.

"Trust, but verify."

9 Responses to “That was a TEENSY bit sneaky, Geico”

  1. scfr Says:

    SA blog tidbit: The most responses I've ever received on a SA blog entry was the first one I did on the defensive driver discount. The original entry was in 2007 and comments have been posted as recently as April of this year!
    http://scfr.savingadvice.com/2007/12/13/defensive-driving-co...

  2. Analise Says:

    Yes, I agree that was sneaky of Geico. Other businesses are just as tricky. We've gotten renewal notices for magazines about 6-8months before the expiration. Just recently, dh was going to pay a renewal until I asked him to check the expiration date... December!!

  3. marvholly Says:

    I have been getting renew notices for the grandkids magazines for a couple of months. they ALL wee Christmas gift subscriptions so they starte in Jan.

    I will be holding these & waiting severa months before bothering.

  4. rob62521 Says:

    Geico isn't the only sneaky folks...AARP send us a thing to renew our membership...it doesn't expire until April 2014.

  5. Merilu Says:

    Our termite company starts in February for a policy that ends June 30. I always ignore it until it is much closer to the time it expires. When I asked about it, I was told: 'Most people have to save for it so we start billing early.' Of course the statement that comes gives a payment due date of the end of February, end of March, etc.

  6. baselle Says:

    Operative word here is "may". They were hoping you didn't see it.

    My Net10 phone, definitely a pay as you go dollar saver, also sends renewal notices at 10 days and 3 days early. Okay, but note that if you renew at the time of those notices, Net10 sets the next monthly notice at the exact time you renew, not at the former due date. In other words, if you renew 3 days early your month is 10% shorter for the same monthly dollar. Sneaky no? And if you keep doing it, well, they can probably squeeze 13 monthly payments out of ya.

  7. MonkeyMama Says:

    That reminds me, our newspaper did that too. We'd pay ahead of time (1 year) for the discount. I noticed it renewed way early, and they said it was because price went up so they shortened the term of the subscription. Rolleyes I know they are hurting for money, but tactics like that do not help their cause. {Of course we said, "Um, heck no!!" and that might have been when we decided to stop getting the paper}.

  8. scfr Says:

    MM - We recently stopped taking the (Sunday only) paper also. Service had gotten so spotty (lots of missed papers), so we decided we'd just pick it up at the grocery store since we usually shop on Sundays.

    Our subscription ran out the 1st of the month and when we got the renewal notice we just ignored it. We got a couple extra papers even though we had NEVER signed up for any sort of auto-renewal plan. When I got a "courtesy call" about our subscription, after much explaining about why we were not going to renew, the rep asked if I wanted to "take care of my $4.xx balance with a credit card" ... He then proceeded to tell me that it was THEIR policy to automatically renew a subscription if it wasn't cancelled and we owed them for the extra papers we never requested. I told him I really wasn't happy about that and wasn't going to pay because we never signed up for auto-renew, politely cut him off, and ended the call.

    What happened to you is worse, though. What is the point of a subscription if not to lock in the rate?!

  9. baselle Says:

    Re:subscriptions. Reminds me of the Seinfeld scene at the car rental agency. Big Grin "Anybody can take a reservation ... what we want you to do is HOLD a reservation."

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