The term “gaslight” comes from a 1944 motion picture, in which Charles Boyer uses psychological tricks to drive Ingrid Bergman insane. One of the tricks he uses is to slowly turn down the illuminated gas lights in a house, while telling Bergman that the lights are still at the same brightness, essentially trying to circumvent Bergman’s sanity.
That’s where we get the term “gaslight” today.
And that’s what Allstate tried to do to me.
Let me explain.
I used to be an Allstate insurance customer. Had life insurance, auto insurance, renter’s insurance, all of the above. But Allstate really never treated me like a valued customer, only as a money-siphon. This is a company that tried to cancel my auto insurance over a mystery $10 fee that they hid in the fine print of their auto policy, for instance.
In 2018, I cut all my ties with Allstate and went with another insurance company.
Which leads up to last Tuesday, when I received a letter from Allstate.
I opened the letter, and saw the following.
Dear Charles Miller,
Thank you for choosing Allstate Financial Services, LLC.
Your Account Profile
Enclosed is a copy of your Account profile, which includes certain personal, financial and investment-related information we have on file for your account.
Please take a few moments to carefully review your account infromation. In the future, please promptly notify your Personal Financial Representative of any change to your account information.
Wait, what??? I signed up for, wait a minute, did I sign up for… I don’t remember signing up for…
I looked at the information that the letter claimed I had. Yep, there’s my name, my address, my income … the phone number is an old one, a number I haven’t used in twelve years, but still…
At that point in time, I had three options.
- Option A – I signed up for Allstate Financial Services and completely forgot about it, which means senility has finally kicked in.
- Option B – Someone who now has my old phone number signed up for Allstate Financial Services, and Allstate mixed up their phone number and my current address.
- Option C – Someone is trying to compromise my identity and attempting to take out financial loans in my name, at which point in time I’m going to find this person and go nuclear on his tuchus.
And in the end, I determined it was Option D.
Option D was that Allstate was releasing targeted advertising letters claiming that the recipient had signed up for their service, in the hope that the customer would go, “Hey, I guess I did sign up, I must have forgot, let’s get to work on this.”
In other words … gaslighting.
Dirty trick, Allstate.
I contacted Allstate, I gave them the information, and they played the “I didn’t do anything wrong” card. “Oh, Mr. Miller, are you sure you didn’t sign up for our financial services? Let me connect you to a financial service representative, it’ll just be a short hold.”
Screw that. Allstate sent me an advertising scheme. All tangled up in direct marketing.
Well, you know what, Allstate? Two can play at that game as easily as one.
So since I “signed up” for your service, then perhaps you’ve “received” my claim for payment. I say that you’ve already approved my big payment. As you “agreed” to do, please forward that big fat payment to my bank account. I accept payment in cash, check, and even Chuckycoin (the equivalent of $5,000 per Chuckycoin).
Look, Allstate, if you’re going to “claim” I signed up for your services, then I’m going to “claim” that you pay me for those services. Understand?
That’s the thing with Allstate. They claim to offer you the good hands … and in reality, all they give you is one middle finger.