Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Progressive, Flo, and the Snapshot Discount

“That’s a buncha bullcrap” is the only thing you can really say about Flo. So you’re telling me that this actress who was relegated to the phone systems closet in Mad Men has somehow “made it” because she is now in some hypnotic white room staged as a woman we all want to punch in the face? If I hadn’t been with Progressive for the past 15 years I would boycott them based on their ad campaign alone.
Ever heard of the “Snapshot Discount®”? Of course you have. That’s because you heard it from That’s a Buncha Bullcrap Flo. What That’s a Buncha Bullcrap Flo is trying to get you to do is put a small device into your car that will allow Progessive to track you 24 hours a day for 6 months. Now THAT’S A BUNCHA BULLCRAP!

Initially we tried the Snapshot Discount® because we drive our SUV pretty infrequently and they offer up to a 30% discount with it. We ordered it and followed the instructions by putting the device into the OBD-II slot under the driver’s side of the dashboard. This is the slot that DEQ uses to test your emissions and the mechanic uses to charge you $100 to “diagnose” your Check Engine Light. It’s basically a USB port to your car’s computer system.
So we put the device in and started driving very carefully. VERY CAREFULLY. Because we soon found out that there were a few things Progressive was looking to ding us on:

1)      Number of trips
2)      Mileage
3)      Driving during DANGER hours
and finally…
4)       Hard Braking Incidents (Now That’s a Buncha Bullcrap!)

Hard braking incidents, as defined by Progressive, are times during which your vehicle is decelerating by at least 7 miles per hour per second. Think about that. How long does it take you to go from 22 mph to 15 mph? No idea, right? That’s why THAT’S A BUNCHA BULLCRAP!
We actually did very well with the SUV. We ended up getting an initial discount of the full 30%. You get that after 30 days. Then they tell you to leave that damn device in your car until the end of the 6 month policy! Now THAT’s a buncha bullcrap.

So we left the device in for months. Every time you drive the damn thing you drive in fear. You think about it constantly. You worry. You fret. You joke about it listening to your conversations but you end up believing it so you have phony confersations with your spouse about how safe you are (while you’re flipping the bird at a 90 year old woman who just cut you off…hypothetically). So after having this little demon in our car for nearly half a year I finally received an email from That’s a Buncha Bullcrap Flo to return the device. We had earned a (I guess) permanent discount of 28%. Shwew!
Well, you know I bought a Prius. What I might not have mentioned was that while I’m getting amazing gas mileage I actually have to pay a higher insurance premium than the Subaru it replaced. Why? I don’t know. It doesn’t make much sense other than Prius drivers are typically the worst drivers on the planet. What is it about environmentalism that makes people such a bad fit for soceity? The point is that we ended up putting the device in the Prius and then checking the log on the website daily. That’s a Buncha Bullcrap! I was getting hard braking incidents on top of hard braking incidents. And they added a really nice new feature to the Snapshot®…it beeped at me when I had an “incident”. Except that it didn’t beep every time! So now I’m thinking I had two incidents in a week when really I had 7! NOW THAT’S A BUNCHA BULLCRAP!!!!

By the end of the Snapshot® trial I had lost 6 pounds, 3 years off my life and was rewarded with a 2% discount. Thanks for nothing, That’s a Buncha Bullcrap Flo, thanks for nothing.