There is a problem. A procedure of long standing, at some point in the recent past, stopped being monitored for compliance. What should have been signed off on by your agent’s customer in order for you not to be responsible for certain consequences was not signed, and your people in charge of it are closing transactions without the critical document.
All of a sudden several events occur in which the omission to have that signature on that form produces substantial claims you did not intend to have to honor.
People in the chain are running around trying to get out of the way of accountability, and valuable customer and agent relationships are coming to the edge of collapse. These folks don’t have to do business with you. Your competitors would be very happy for them to move their accounts. And your company continued to evade responsibility, kicking it slowly up the chain of command to an inevitable assumption of responsibility, but not getting to Yes with sufficient speed and maturity to save yourself from all sorts of trouble and unnecessary expense.
In this interim, your gutless wonders are sending around emails that may one day become the exhibits in a dispute resolution proceeding that involves real bad faith sanctions. No one wants this on his watch, so each passes this trash slowly up the line in the hope that someone else will eat it. One person in the chain understands the issues perfectly and is lobbying his “superiors” to do what ought to be done. That person is being regarded by the cowards as not a team player. That person is now talking with a head hunter. The agents are fuming and are now calling state regulators (yes-you are in one of those kinds of businesses). One of the claimant customers is a well known plaintiffs’ trial lawyer. The claims are still not being paid. Your morons and cowards have now decided that what should be done in lieu of taking responsibility like an adult is to “kick it up to legal”.
Your legal department is not populated with excessive brilliance. Few companies in your business pay their lawyers enough to attract real insightful talent. At the very top echelon of your law department there may be a few with talent, but this matter won’t rise to that level. This is going to get worse – much worse.
There are jokes about this kind of situation. These include things like, oh well; we’ll just let the lawyers drag it out until they settle for very little. Some of this will get into the body of email traffic too.
What could have been resolved responsibly for a few million bucks will, by the time this is over, cost several times that, plus expenses and attorney fees, interest and bad faith sanctions. Add to that the expenses of dealing with the state enforcement agency that has now opened a file on you over this nonsense. Add to all the above, many millions per year in lost business that you would have enjoyed if your large agents whose clients got mistreated had not shifted their business to your competitors.
Why can’t your company just step up to the plate and write the check when it should be written? Why do you do this to yourself? Is it that you have so much business that you believe you don’t have to care about situations like this? What will you do if you ever have to work in a company where such arrogance is not accepted procedure?
First of all, why don’t you know this is happening? If you do know, why are you allowing it to play out in this destructive manner? Are you so into “team building” that you would allow unethical and unlawful conduct in the way you interface with those on whom you depend for revenue, just so your least worthy people don’t lose face? Why, if you are aware of this dynamic, are you not recognizing the person who is trying to get the company to act responsibly? Would you rather lose the few outstanding people by leaving them under the direction of lesser lights until they go elsewhere? Is this a valid B School case of crisis level mismanagement? It sure looks like it, doesn’t it?