From Columbus, Ohio — 09/15/2009
When I read the Jobvent reviews of Nationwide before I started working at the company last winter, I thought for sure that the reviews on this website had to be skewed by underachieving whiners who couldn't recognize a good company. I was wrong. Here are the reasons why I've given the ratings I chose for this review.
Pay (+3) -- I work in a customer service environment and make nearly 30K. I believe this is more than fair given the averages among customer service professionals.
Respect (-1) -- My supervisor is very respectful of us, but the company's interdepartmental relations are in disarray. I've worked for insurance companies before, but I have never had so many experiences with agents, processors, claims agents, and others speaking disrespectfully or argumentatively to one another. There is a constant battle between agents and phone representatives. This could all be fixed with an interdepartmental meeting, but I doubt that will ever happen.
Benefits (+3) -- There are several critical assessments of the company's benefits on Jobvent, but I think the benefits are pretty good. I do feel that the emergency room copay is too high, but there is no copay to see the dentist or other specialists. That is quite good. For a single person, I pay around $50 per paycheck. Many have written that $50 for a single person is too high... I don't recall ever paying less than that at other companies in the past 10 years. There are also various discounts for purchasing goods and services at other companies. I like that.
Job Security (-2) -- I scored the job security aspect at "negative two" because there have been so many layoffs in recent months. We are told that our department is safe, but there's no such thing as a "sure thing" in this economy. I don't blame Nationwide for this issue. Layoffs are just an ugly truth of the current workforce.
Work/Life Balance (0) -- I chose a neutral score of "zero" because my job responsibilities end when I walk out the door each day. As a sidenote, the employee engagement survey asked me if I would refer my friends or family to Nationwide. When I responded "No," the survey asked me why. I thought it was a bit forward to ask "why..."-- I felt imposed upon and did not feel comfortable answering that question. However, I answered that the rates are too high and we have an abnormally high number of service issues.
Career Potential/ Growth (1) -- I chose "one" because I naively thought that this would be a good company to grow with, but I've learned that growth opportunities are somewhat minimal and can take a really long time. Most of the people who move around in the company do so laterally, from what I've learned. There are opportunities to be promoted to supervisor and manager, but I am seeing that it is "who you know" and not "what you know" that counts. Prime example: there is a young lady who was hired with our group who is constantly called upon for special projects (sign that she is being groomed for a promotion)... It is widely known that she improperly fraternized with our trainer. I wouldn't believe it if it wasn't happening right under my nose.
Location (+4) -- I like my work location. It is in a safe, easy-to-access area with a low cost of living.
Coworker Competence (-3) -- Nationwide is a huge company with four or five call centers Nationwide. Each center has its own way of doing things, its own workplace culture, and seemingly- it's own work ethic. Many of the call center representatives at our company are known for failing to follow through with promises, dodging voice mails, and failing to research matters which can lead to serious processing issues. Likewise, some of our processors are less than conscientious when it comes to their work. We prolong the process of helping our customers because we are constantly having to fix **our own** hair-brained mistakes. I understand that we are all human, but some of these issues indicate a lack of training and there is currently no process in place to calibrate our efforts. We even have a rule that prevents my department from phoning the processing department... We are a bureacracy, and we don't have to be that way. It's frustrating.
Work Environment (-3) -- I love the people in my department, but I am frustrated DAILY by our AWFUL technology. Rather than having one or two reliable systems, we have seven or eight that don't communicate with one another. One system will show a premium amount of "X..." Another system will show a premium amount of "Y..." We can't do a same-day homeowner's insurance quote on an existing policy due to system limitations. We have to process it overnight and hope that it goes through properly. Quoting takes FOREVER because we have to manually input things like vehicle rating symbols and discount codes. (Mind you, we spend oodles of time LOOKING THESE SYMBOLS UP in a massive online database). We are light years behind other insurance companies. This is unacceptable for a company of our size and caliber in 2009.
I also hate that we are regularly taking such aggressive rate increases across the nation. (10 to 25%)... Customers are leaving in droves, but the company doesn't seem to care. That's pretty alarming. I don't feel proud to work for a company that would price gouge its policy holders in such hard times. Yes, I understand that we had a rough fiscal year in 2008, but our response to it seems greedy and insensitive. We could keep more customers if we took more conservative increases over two or three years, or if we tightened our underwriting standards. We have also resolved to stop allowing customers to insure at below 100% of replacement cost. This makes us an industry outlier... It's a ploy to force existing insureds to pay more money-- and it's sad.
So that completes my assessment. Yes, it was long, but it's all true. Sad... I now understand why Nationwide is the second WORST place to work according to employee surveys on Jobvent