Military Consumer: Sound Off!

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The military community makes many of the same consumer decisions as their civilian counterparts. We all need to manage our money – and avoid rip-offs. But servicemembers and their families also face unique challenges, like frequent relocations and deployment. When a permanent change of station is on the horizon, a military family needs to rent or buy a new place to live, manage money while on the move, and be vigilant about dealing with businesses in an unfamiliar locale. A servicemember’s regular paycheck from Uncle Sam can make them a target for scammers.

That’s why the FTC has created the Military Consumer Toolkit and teamed up with the Department of Defense, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Military Saves, and many other partners to help servicemembers and their families navigate consumer decisions. We’d like to enlist your help in spreading the word to military personnel and families at your company and in your community.


Military.Consumer.gov provides quick, mobile-friendly tips. Say a servicemember wants to buy a car, manage their money during deployment, or continue their education. They can get started right on their phone at Military.Consumer.gov. Use the Toolkit’s presentation slides and talking points if you put on or participate in events for your military customers. Share the tips in your company or trade group’s newsletter and on your social media sites.

One last thing. There’s something else companies can do to help out our Armed Forces. This goes without saying – and we know it doesn’t apply to you – but share it with those who might need the reminder. If you support the troops, then the first order of business is good business practices. It’s shady to use mumbo jumbo and trickery to hook anyone. But using sketchy tactics and pressure on servicemembers? Our military community deserves better than that.

 

Comments

Why don't these payday lending programs have to follow the rule for loans when lending money to our military, whether it be active, retired and their immediate families? Title loans those companies found the loophole in which they will probably repo my car any day. Not only them but also NFCU after 8 years and still getting the run around from them when my husband past.

I am a native of Michigan. However, I am also stationed here. I understand that Michigan is a "no-fault" state, and that auto insurance premiums are amongst the nation's highest. However, for the past few years, I have been experiencing very high premiums. Premiums significantly higher than my peers. My most recent experience, with Progressive, I found my insurance premium to be 3 times higher than others. I understand that there are factors that play a part in individual insurance rates. However, what I don't understand is the company's unwillingness to explain which of those factors apply to me. I was told by a customer service representative that gender, location, driving history/record, and credit history are all deciding factors in regard to insurance premiums. However, beside my gender, I'm unsure as to which factors apply to me. Also, it is not stated within my policy details that there are fees associated with these factors. What they are doing is increasing the cost of certain policy coverages which ultimately raises the premium. Also, because I am active duty, I am being told that my health insurance (Tricare) does not cover me in the event that I am injured in an accident. Therefore, I am being forced to pay for primary personal injury protection coverage, rather than excess. There is so much wrong with this situation in my opinion. For example: myself and two of my coworkers decided to request a quote through Progressive. We all used the same information with the exception of our names, date of birth, and gender. My two coworkers were given similar quotes of around $1100 for six months. I was given a quote of $3167. As stated, we all used the same information with the exception of our names, date of birth and gender. That alone raised a red flag. Going further, we compared policies. The result was that even with the bare minimum coverage, a perfect driving record/history, my age (I am older than the two), and $1900 in discounts, my insurance was still significantly higher. I spoke with two Progressive service representatives. One representative was confused and admitted that she didn't understand why my premium was high. So, she spoke with a supervisor. Who didn't have a clear answer. The supervisor just stated that there were different factors contributing to my premium amount, and that I should speak to an agent in person. I plan to pay a visit to a local progressive agent. However, I'm sure that their answer will be the same, and everyone will continue playing the "I don't know" game. Meanwhile My insurance is approximately $700/month. This is extremely high for not just me, but others who are suffering in the same or similar situation. I plan to right a letter to corporate as well. But, I just wanted to put this information out, because I definitely don't feel it is fair at all.

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