Good morning friends, family and others,
It has been a while since I’ve had a full-blown rant within these pages but I can hold back the tide no longer. This post is long and involves many asides to give background information and provide light humour for me the ranter.
As some of my long term readers may recall from mention in my earliest posts Mrs Bunny Chow and I were burgled back in March last year, we lost some of our most treasured possessions including but not limited to my grandfathers Omega, Mrs BC’s late fathers retirement watch, Mrs BC’s grandmothers jewelery, her late mothers jewelery. In the middle of the value scale (emotionally if not monetarily) we lost a whole bunch of consumer electronics, camera’s etc. etc. and then down at the bottom of the scale we also lost lots of really irritating things like my phone charger, I mean seriously a bloody phone charger, why steal someone’s phone charger, they’re not expensive it’s just irritating.
But anyway that’s just for background information to give you an idea of why I am shouting inside whilst bashing forcefully at my keyboard. The most irritating thing that was stolen was the spare keys to both of our cars, I say the most because now nearly a year later, we have spent the insurance money buying new stuff and whilst you cannot replace the sentiment attached to things that belonged to your departed loved ones, you can buy new stuff and it’s fun to be able to walk into a jeweller with a big voucher burning a hole in your pocket and go I’d like this, that and that, oooh and because we’re spending loads can we please have a big discount, thank you very much.
No I’m coming back to those car keys though, because they were not covered by our home insurance and being honest citizens we of course informed our car insurers of what had happened and attempted to make a claim to have the locks replaced. Hmmmm insurance company “we’ll offer you £100 per car”, hmmmm I don’t think that’s going to cover it, try closer to a grand per car, I shouted a lot at the time and made lot’s of poor telephone monkeys in regional towns question their will to live and tangle with a master of the telephone monkey game.
The long and short of it is after them confessing to me on a recorded call that had the cars been stolen they would have paid and that that yes they would indeed cover the lock replacements for both cars they were forced to do just that and to their credit they eventually did. This of course cost me my excess for both vehicles and meant that we both lost our no claims bonus.
At the same time as all of this wrangling was going on our car insurance was also up for renewal and we discovered that because someone had phoned our insurers and claimed that they might have hit one of our cars in their big 4×4 but they weren’t sure, at the time we had dismissed this and said, no the big 4×4 most certainly had not his us and that there was no damage to our car. Our insurers though took this months earlier reported and unclaimed for incident to assume that we were obviously high risk drivers because someone might have but didn’t drive into us tried to vastly increase our premiums.
Much more shouting at regional telephone monkeys and we managed to get this incident stricken from our record after they agreed to inspect our car for damage caused by this big 4×4 when it didn’t hit us months earlier. Surprise surprise they couldn’t find any damage from where the 4×4 didn’t hit us and struck the incident from the record bringing us back to just the two claims for the two cars keys and bringing us back to a still ridiculous but much more acceptable renewal premium.
We did shop around anyway and found them to still be the most reasonably priced option and stuck with them.
Right background to rant over and fast forward to the present day.
As mentioned we’ve just agreed to trade in the two cars for a newer single car as discussed earlier in the week and of course needed to organise some insurance for the new car as well as cancelling our policies for the cars we’re trading in. After doing lots of virtual leg work online and receiving all sorts of wild and wacky quotes ranging from the we won’t insure you at all because you don’t meet our demographic of never use the car but have it garaged and massaged only policies. To we don’t want your business but will give you a quote of £4000 per annum on the off-chance that you’re a moron and will buy it any way. To lots of the big advertising, big name insurers quoting around the £2000 mark down to the more sensible sorts of quotes that we were expecting around the £600 per annum mark.
Annoyingly cheapest on this list was our present insurer, but because of my past experiences with them I decided to ring a couple of the slightly more expensive options first, and what did I find out, that the cheapest three quotes we’d received were all from my present insurers trading under different names and that I might as well stick with the original letterhead as it was still slightly cheaper than going for the same company using a different letterhead. Aaaargh, I called them up and went through all of the usual what is your inner leg measurement and do you intend to actually use this car you are buying or just garage and massage it questions.
Then we began discovering all sorts of interesting little asides, for example that because we’re not letting our old policies with them run for a full year we will not be entitled to claim any no claims discount that we’ve built up with them accrue we’d be starting again from scratch, so much for loyalty, it obviously means nothing to them, no of course it doesn’t they’re an insurance company and they have us by the short and curlies, we need insurance by law and they know it, ha ha ha ha, what a business plan they have.
Not to worry though Mr Bunny Chow we can offer you an accelerator policy which will allow you to accrue a years no claims discount if you buy a ten month instead of annual policy. Ok we’ll go for that then, right ok then move on, you’d like to pay monthly sir, we’ll that will be 15% more expensive, ok we’ll pay by credit card in one lump, of course no problem but we do charge you an extra £5.95 for the privilege of paying us by credit card.
Aaaargh, now because you are going from having two policies with us down to only the one policy it means that you lose the benefits of our advanced policy which means that we will no longer cover you for personal injury if hit by an uninsured driver and also in the event of total loss and you lose the right to a replacement vehicle whilst we investigate. Now I can add these options back on for you for an additional £56 each or if you were to take both and because I’m a smug telephone monkey and I like you I can offer them both to you for only an additional £91.60, No, well just remember Mr Bunny Chow that you cannot add these options on later because we’re and insurance company and have you by the short and curlies.
Right thank you for handing over your (actually Mrs Bunny Chow’s credit card) details and paying an additional £5.95 for the privilege, but because I’m a charming sales person with a regional accent and obviously paid far too well for anything but sales, in order to cancel the policies for your other cars I’ll need to transfer you to a moron in an Indian call centre, I will send you a free cuddly toy for your loyalty though…………..
“Ello my name is Sanjiv how may I be helping you please”, “I need to cancel the policies for my old vehicles please” Ok sir but please first I am asking for your inside leg measurement for security reasons I am needing to asking for this please, after going through this tedious process I hear cries for help emanating from the other end of the house and rush to the aid of Mrs Bunny Chow who has been attempting to persuade our toddler to try using his potty for the first time. Mrs Bunny Chow has succeeded in the persuasion but unfortunately our toddler has missed the potty. I hang up.
After operation clean poop off floor, now screaming toddler and side of potty, to be fair Mrs Bunny Chow was far more involved than me, I just fetched industrial strength cleaning products and attempted to control my gag reflex. Mothers are much better at this sort of thing and Mrs Bunny Chow is particularly amazing, I again attempted to complete operation
lets give our money to lots of crooks who have us by the short and curlies buy car insurance.
“Ello my name is Ranjeev how may I be helping you please”, Hello Ranjeev I’d like to cancel two of my cars off of my policy, “ok no problem sir may I please be having your inside leg measurement for security purposes please”, waffle waffle yada yada, “thanking you very much Sir now please I need to be speaking with Mrs Bunny Chow to asking for her inside leg measurements and to asking her please the same questions I have just asked you now please sir” I tried arguing but Ranjeev was nothing if not persistent thorough so Mrs Bunny Chow duly took the phone and repeated the same yada yada waffle waffle I’d already been through before giving Ranjeev permission to speak with me about one of the cars on the policy.
I should explain this a little further because we had two cars under one umbrella/multicar policy we each had one car insured with us as the main driver and as named drivers on the other car. So despite it only being one policy in order to do anything we both have to be present but hey what do you expect they’re an insurance company and have us by the short and curlies.
Anyway once the yada yada’ing and waffle waffling was over I could get down to the reason for my call in the first place, “ok no problems please Mr Bunny Chow I will be more than happy to be helping you with this request please, as we have you by the short and curlies we will be charging you please £42.95 to be cancelling your policies before the term has ended please, no it is not mattering that you are a loyal customer who has taken out a new policy we are an insurance company who has you by the short and curlies please and anyway please we are sending you a free cuddly toy for your loyalty please.
Aaaargh!!!! We got there in the end, our new car is insured from Saturday and the policies on our old cars will be cancelled from Sunday night, now I suppose I should probably get on the phone to the dealership and make sure that the car definitely will be ready for us to collect this weekend.