Also, friendly gal in Progressive commercials is not a real insurance agent.
USTOMERS across the U.S. are reporting similar disappointing experiences when visiting local Progressive insurance offices in town.
From all accounts, Progressive offices don't appear in any way like the ones shown in the commercials, in which gleaming white expanses are dotted with colorful bookshelves and kiosks filled with Progressive boxes.
"It's just a dingy old office!" said a woman from Boise, Idaho, who was so disappointed that she signed up with American Family Insurance instead.
"I asked them, I said, 'Where are your nice, shiny white floors, and where's that nice, chipper Progressive gal with the bib apron and blue headband?'" recalled the Boise customer. "They said she's just an actress, and doesn't even work there!"
A man from East Rutherford, New Jersey, concurred. "No way can you ride on the back of a shoppin' cart through our Progressive office," he confirmed. "And it ain't white, and there's no magic buttons to push, and no girl with the big hair from on the tube. Total gyp, I'm tellin' you."
Calls to Progressive headquarters were not returned, however a spokeswoman did reply by e-mail.
Relating to the all-white decor depicted in the television ads, the spokeswoman explained "it was designed specifically for our commercial presentation, and is not in any way intended as an accurate depiction of an actual Progressive Insurance office.
"Although," she continued, "we would never prevent a local office from designing their space in whatever manner they saw fit, even if that meant no computers or phones but lots of white linoleum instead."
The spokeswoman also confirmed that "Flo" the Progressive insurance woman seen on T.V. "is not a real Progressive employee, but rather an actress we hired to represent the enthusiastic spirit of our wonderful group of talented agents.
"However, even if she were on our staff," the spokeswoman added, "it would be physically impossible for her to be in every one of our offices simultaneously, due to the laws of physics."
Despite the nationwide expressions of customer dissatisfaction, the spokeswoman ended her e-mail by noting that Progressive Insurance was "not terribly concerned about losing customers," owing to a recent uptick in applications "from people leaving Allstate after not finding that nice black man standing in the rain near their homes assuring them they are in good hands."
© 6.28.11 Kate Heidel