Mass. agent questioned how the agent locator worked on the site
A few weeks ago, a Mass. agent wrote to Agency Checklists in response to our article about the rising popularity of the new Project CAP/Trusted Choice website. Here is what he said:
Sadly the portal does not work – in fact it will hurt an agency – unless the agency is the lucky agency in the zip code closest to the “centroid” – that’s the crazy point from which the Trusted Choice agency locator measures an agency’s distance. It then orders the agencies by their distance from that point and reports that as the agency’s “miles away” even though the agency is inside the selected zip code and therefore “0 miles away”. Agencies in other zip codes can actually be listed above agencies within the selected zip code because of the way the “centroid” is calculated. Why doesn’t the agent locator simply treat all agencies within the selected zip code as “0″ miles away and then just randomly display them on each refresh or new search? It is very easy to program that.
But until that is changed (and they don’t seem too interested) unless your agency is lucky enough to be the one closest to that “centroid” you might be wasting your money. CEO Bacciocco’s comment that “TrustedChoice.com is the national platform for independent agents who want to be visible online in their local communities” would be more accurate if it read “TrustedChoice.com is the national platform for the lucky independent agents who happen to be closest to the “Centroid” in their Zip Code”. Hopefully this programming glitch gets corrected soon as a lot of money is being spent to direct consumers to TrustedChoice.com without a benefit to many member agencies.
In response, we spoke with both Frank Mancini, President and CEO of the MAIA as well as the TrustedChoice.com CEO Chip Bacciocco, who were both receptive to speaking with us and talking about this issue.
We wanted our readers to know that last week Mr. Mancini contacted us to let us know that Project CAP has fixed this issue to the satisfaction of all parties. According to the Project CAP team “…All agencies who are in the specific zip codes are listed as ‘Within Zipcode’, and the results are randomized with each query.”
“I think this is a good example of Trusted Choice and Project CAP responding to a concern that an individual agent had. This wasn’t hundreds of agents complaining of an issue; it was one agent….,” explained MAIA President Mancini. “…[O]ur hope is that if there are other issues, we can go to Project CAP with an effective solution.”
Mancini says the next big hurdle for the TrustedChoice.com website will be the launch date in Massachusetts for comparative ratings. Unlike other states, Massachusetts’ comparative rating system will be handled by Needham-based Boston Software instead of EasyLinks which will be handling the majority of the state’s comparative rating systems.