Archive for June, 2011

PostHeaderIcon A Guest Blog by Karen Rosenberg Caccavo

Could You Lose a Client over $1?

by Karen Rosenberg Caccavo, MBA, Personal Money Manager

One of the things I do for clients as a daily money manager is uncover and banish “hidden” fees that clients inevitably pay–but shouldn’t have to. Some are large, others are small, but they all add up and annoy the heck out of my clients–and probably yours (and you) too!

I was recently reviewing a client’s bank statement and noticed that the insurance premiums for his home and auto were being automatically deducted in two separate payments each month and a $1 service fee was being added to each payment. I called his insurance broker to ask why the premiums weren’t deducted as one payment (with a single $1 fee) and was told, “The client has to ask us to do this.” I pointed out that the client is on a fixed income and meets with his broker every year to review his account but did not know that this simple fee saving option was available. The broker’s reply to me: “We don’t look at every client’s bill in detail.”

Because I DO look at my client’s bills in detail, I asked for the change to be made to his billing immediately, reducing his monthly “convenience” fee from $2 to $1. But I was told that there would be a one month delay as the next deductions were “only” 8 days away.

When I got off the phone and conveyed the information to my client, he was angry. “I’ve been insured with this agency for 30 years,” he said, “But now I want to switch.” He insisted we submit a “broker of record” letter so he can change insurance brokers.

I can’t help but wonder about the broker who lost this client after so many years–not to a charming lizard who also sells insurance, but by subjecting his client to $1 in unnecessary fees!

Karen Rosenberg Caccavo, MBA is owner of Personal Money Manager, a daily money management firm. She can be reached through her website, or or LinkedIn.