Friday, April 17, 2009


Then end of the story

Thanks for all of your posts - After a long and exhausting battle, Allstate paid up on the policy. Your support (on and off this blog) has kept me going on this and I thank you all.

The moral of this story is as the last poster said, "go with USAA." Many people would have given up with Allstate and just paid it themselves. We're in the process of switching companies right now.

We are thinking of focusing on the economy right now with everything that has happened this past year. Let me know what you think. New posts will follow!

Leatherneck Jim

Friday, June 27, 2008


Not in Good Hands with Allstate

Jim here again,
I'd like to encourage readers to log in on issues related to buying American, American manufacturing (what's left of it) and the death of customer service as we know it. Anyone who wants to share is welcome.

I'm a consumer just like everyone else and I've got my stories to tell. The latest is about Allstate Insurance Company. If you don't want to read my story, the end is "beware!" I wouldn't use Allstate Insurance ever again, but that's me.

I own a small cottage that has been in my family for over forty years. This year, due to a mix-up, the local caretaker did not close the house for the winter. As a result my pipes froze. I tried to notify Allstate's reporting line, but since I wasn't aware of any damage at that time, they refused to open a file or even document my report.

About a month ago, when we opened the house, we determined that there was damage, not extensive, maybe 2-3 thousand dollars. After 40 years with Allstate, I figured they'd pay for this modest claim. NOT!

First thing the adjuster says is, "There's a timeliness problem with your claim. Pipes don't freeze in June. We may have to deny the claim. So then I told him about how I'd called to report the matter, but they wouldn't take the report. Then the Allstate adjuster said, "How do we know you called us?" It's a good thing I know which phone line I used and that I save my phone records. It took me a while, but I found the actual phone call to prove I had tried to report the claim.

Okay, so I won that battle. Now I naively think, Piece of cake. They'll honor the claim. They'd be embarrassed to come up with another bogus reason to deny it! My optimism was premature. The adjuster then says that since the house didn't have oil, he was denying the claim. I asked him to read me the contract language he was relying on and he did. Turns out the adjuster really had to twist that contract around to deny the claim, but he was unwilling to talk further and told me flat out they were denying the claim. Nasty guy, too!

Now this kind of thing probably works with a lot of consumers. It takes a lot of energy to argue. I can't imagine a little old lady having the energy for a fight like this, and, after all, it's not $50,000. I have a suspicion that Allstate knows people won't fight that hard for a small claim. Anyway, I'm in this for the long haul. I called the supervisor. (The "Denial Letter" is still on its way.)

The supervisor actually returned my call, which I give her credit for. I explained why the oil ran out and how it wasn't negligent for me to have relied on a caretaker who does the same thing every year and has done for decades. She then started asking if I had a written contract with the caretaker! I'm still waiting for her final decision, but the point of all this is that Allstate is not very nice to its customers and you are NOT IN GOOD HANDS with ALLSTATE!

I don't make insurance claims very often (never from Allstate) and I have faithfully paid my Allstate bills over the years - Probably somewhere around $30,000 over the years if you include my parent's payments. Now we make a small claim and they're looking for any excuse in the book. At this point, even if they honor the claim, I've wasted a lot of time. If you have Allstate Insurance, I suggest you take a look at a better company. USAA insures everything else I own and they are very easy to deal with.

I'd like to hear your stories. Also, if you think I'm off-base, let me know that too! My next post will be about a company that went above and beyond to do the right thing.

Thursday, June 26, 2008


LeatherneckJim finally here!

Hi all,
Leatherneck Jim (AKA Jim) here and I finally can say that our re-designed website is up and running. If you've talked to me or my wife, Jane, you know that we're big believers in "buy American!" I ran into a fellow jarhead yesterday and we were talking about how I used to be an Electrical Engineer before my job went to India. I understand it's a beautiful country, so I'm glad my old job is in such a nice place. But back to buying American goods (and services) wherever possible.

Say what you want, but Americans have high standards when it comes to manufacturing. I know that our prices are often higher, but you really do get what you pay for and when you buy junk, it doesn't last - or worse! There's a discount store near us that is filled with attractive items that are knock-offs of high end goods. This place is a Temple to Chinese Junk (and I don't mean the boat!) Everything is made in China. Everything looks sort of like the good stuff and everything you buy there BREAKS or is poorly made or dangerous! Those great deals? The candle-holder my wife bought go so hot that it burned a big, ugly round circle on our dresser. The wood barrel we bought for storage - bled onto the carpet and stained it. I guess the stain wasn't quite "set" yet. The dog beds fell apart in less than three months. The "cashews" had tiny print that said "mixed with peanuts" hidden away in the back of the package. Good thing none of the kids has a peanut allergy.

But that discount store is packed with shoppers who pile stuff in their carts, unable or unwilling to consider that it's junk, it may be dangerous and it definitely won't last. But getting back to my fellow jarhead, I was telling him about my website and he said - with that "gotcha" gleam in his eye, "I bet you don't sell all American." I very proudly told him in fact I did only sell American and, I intend to keep it that way.

Thanks for stopping by and
Ride Safe,
Jim for fine American Made Motorcycle Saddlebags, toolbags, windshield bags, brackets and lots more.

Thursday, February 28, 2008


Hello World!

Welcome to Leatherneck Jim's Blog! Jim will be along any day now, so be sure and say "Hello".

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