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What made you UNHAPPY today!


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@Dan E I'd be ripping into tem via their complaints process. There's no way they should be able to defend that leaving a 91yr old with no heating for nearly two weeks is "reasonable" , and so they should be reimbursing for having to use your own engineer. Then if their own internal complaints process doesn't work, then via the Insurance (Financial Services) Ombudsman. 

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My dear Ma passed away last night in her sleep. She lives in Spain and this year has been in and out of hospital quite a bit. She did have a positive covid test a few weeks ago. This and complications

Wow. great job. You tipped the room 90 deg and emptied the crap out the windows?

Choice 1 - leave it there and replace all the parts that fail due to lack of use Choice 2 - drive it all year and replace all the parts that fail due to plenty of use   Mine's on 74k an

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That’s absolutely disgusting. These service agreements are very rarely value for money. Far better putting the cash aside yourself and having a decent engineer in your phone book.

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Just now, Barrykearley said:

That’s absolutely disgusting. These service agreements are very rarely value for money. Far better putting the cash aside yourself and having a decent engineer in your phone book.

You nailed that. Sarah just been talking to her mate who has put her mum into a home a couple of weeks ago and she has been paying £80 a month for BG HomeCare for a 2 bed terrace. You will be see me on Watchdog soon. When I asked the girl on the phone about BG’s SLA terms she didn’t even know what I was talking about 

 

 

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SLA ?? I’ll tell you what they are - it’s the promptness of removing cash from the bank account every single month and increasing the premium year on year based on the age of the boiler.
 

as for coming and fixing promptly- ah yes well - unprecedented demands, cold weather, pishe and bollocks excuses......blah 

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@Dan E unfortunately some won’t be helped. My MIL, I found out, had no house insurance. It lapsed when she finished paying the mortgage and because they didn’t write back to her she didn’t do anything. I arranged this and have been paying it for the last decade or more. (Wouldn’t want her to have to move in with us :lol:). But about 5 years ago I found out she has never ever moved her utilities and phone. My BIL lives with her. Her house is half the size of ours with half as many people in it than us. She has no money, yet is paying more than us every month. 
 

I repeatedly tell her to let me have the bills so I can sort out a deal for her. Nada, just makes excuses and reasons not to. This has been going on for 5 years. Not senile, just bloody minded/stubborn. 
 

She also pays BG monthly, although they have come out when needed over the years. 

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A Lotus is for driving, pork is for breakfast.

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@Colin P let me see if I can copy and paste my email to Jill at The Sunday Times. They’re all so frustrating, I am off to Switzerland the day after my 85th rave 

 

Hi Jill,

I am not even sure that you will believe this story but I think this needs to be put out there. 

So a bit of background, my Mother In Law, is 91 in May, is registered disabled, partially sighted, profoundly deaf and has broken both her hip and shoulder in the last five years, she also had a fall about 2 weeks ago and now has to live upstairs in her house with carers coming in 4 times a day with both myself and wife filling in with everything else. 

Yesterday morning at 08.15 one of the carers called to say she didn’t have any heating or hot water, this we didn’t think would be an issue as she pays for British Gas HomeCare, which was £824.69 for this year, we believe this has been in place for years as the policy is still in my wife’s fathers name and he died 25 years ago! We keep all of her paperwork at our house so I had the policy number, etc. 

So around 9am I called them and after about 30mins I got to talk to one of their agents explained the situation and my mother in laws disablement. He informed me that I would have to call the “Local Hero’s”and gave me the number. Being a practical chap, I was thinking this is most probably a frozen condensate pipe so I drove over there to try to resolve it. 

It turns out it wasn’t and the boiler was showing a fault, not being Gas Safe I decided to call the “Local Hero’s” only to be told that you have to book it on their website, my Mother in Law does not have the internet and I had forgot my phone so drove back to get my laptop and phone. 

Once back at Pauline’s I went on to their website and which said they had engineers available between 2 and 6pm, so I booked it which in turn showed me a screen saying an engineer would be in touch in the next 25 mins. We heard nothing, I did have the foresight to bring a electric heater from our house to keep her warm in her bedroom but no hot water is an issue as she is prone to urine infections and the last one put her in hospital for 10days which is the last place we want her to be at the moment. 

So at around 14.30 I decided to call, the “Local Hero’s” I tried 11 times and every single time after the usual of listening to a recorded voice it would ring 4 times then cut me off! Frustrating to say the least and worrying as we couldn’t bring her home as we can’t get her down the stairs.

Eventually I rang back British Gas and spent 58mins on the phone (before getting cut off again) and during this call the only options they would give me were as follows 

Engineer to attend 23rd Feb

Go and buy some heaters (obviously I had already sorted this)

Ring back “Local Hero’s” (no use as they just cut me off every time) 

Source you own engineer 

By this time I had had enough and called a builder mate who got an engineer out this morning and is currently replacing the boiler as we speak at my own cost. 

Wanting to resolve this with British Gas I spent another 30mins this morning waiting for a webchat, eventually after speaking to one agent I got through to another who said a complaint had already been opened so I basically would have to wait, then she disconnected from the chat!! I have the print out of this conversation

I am now fuming, so ring British Gas again, on hold another 30mins but during this after I had given Pauline’s details another recorded voice said an engineer was to attend today between 8am and 6pm!! That was the first I heard of it and of absolutely no use because I had already sorted it out and Pauline cannot get down stairs to answer the door. 

I finally got through to a real person, who managed to cancel the appointment and apologised profusely to be fair. I tried to cancel the policy but I need to get Pauline on as a nominee, which will be a lot more difficult than it sounds as she gets confused and cant hear. But will do when I next go over there. 

This was the first time we have ever tried to call them out in what we believe is over 25 years and say the average cost at circa £500 a year that would be a total of around 12.5k over the years for a boiler service each year. Also how many elderly people have internet access, so they wouldn’t be able to book an appointment anyway. It worries me that people think they’re covered for this sort of occurrence but when the chips are down they are not. This was the sole reason we left it in place  

I have now got to wait 8 weeks for an answer apparently. 

 

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And stubborn doesn’t even cover it, when she broke her shoulder after the hip we put in a disabled shower and stairlift, to put the stairlift in they had to remove the handrail on one side. We went to drop off her shopping and she took ages to answer the door so we looked through the letter box and she was walking down the stairs around the stairlift with now only one handrail. FFS 

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Beware of Home Serve,  I have first-hand experience here. This is the company that will cold call and try to persuade vulnerable people to buy bullshit insurance to cover things that will already be covered on home insurance. They don't like it when they get challenged, and if you have elderly parents check they aren't paying twice for something they shouldn't be.

 

 

 

 

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Margate Exotics.

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We have 2 boilers (one in the house and one in the cattery) both Vaillant and both serviced annually (around £200).

Recently the cattery boiler had a leak. Vaillant offer a 10 year guarantee so I rang them. They came out and changed the expansion vessel, pump and circuit board. Total cost £0 - done under warranty.

Servicing is slightly more expensive as they are both LPG boilers so the engineer has to be LPG registered.

Dave - 2000 Sport 350
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@oneshot Valiant are brilliant. Nothing more to say.

On the other stuff to my untrained, simple mind it is bordering on fraud to extract money like this.

It's like insurance companies ( sorry @Colin P)and the auto renewals at inflated values. In fact it seems they invented this nasty practice to boost profits. Everyone else is just cashing on.

The people who run these "service" companies know what is happening but don't give a floor. Personally, I'd hang them by their genitals. I'm too soft these days.

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Alcohol. Sex. Tobacco. Drugs. Chocolate.  Meh! NOTHING in this world is as addictive as an Evora +0. It's not for babies!    

The first guy to ride a bull for fun, was a true hero. The second man to follow him was truly nuts!   

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I do accept your point @C8RKH but you really do need to do some research on the regulations here. The action already taken and the FCA proposals. Plus the value for money assessments required. 
 

some of these peripheral covers do however seem to fall outside of the regulations. 

A Lotus is for driving, pork is for breakfast.

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@Colin P I accept the regulations have caught up. The point you missed was it was largely Insurance Companies who devised this approach. Others have followed (e.g. utilities) where again regulation has eventually caught up. However I agree with you it needs to catch up elsewhere. No doubting where it started though! 😀

Alcohol. Sex. Tobacco. Drugs. Chocolate.  Meh! NOTHING in this world is as addictive as an Evora +0. It's not for babies!    

The first guy to ride a bull for fun, was a true hero. The second man to follow him was truly nuts!   

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There is another viewpoint though Andy. How would you like to be told how much you can sell your product for?

A Lotus is for driving, pork is for breakfast.

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Not quite the point Colin. But usually the market dictates the price. 

The point here is about people becoming captive in an abusive renewal cycle.

For many people I'd just scoff and say tough shit it's your own fault you should have shopped around. But we both know this is a law of averages game and the companies are gambling that enough people will renew automatically. So the price and profits rise and potentially the service falls. That's exactly why Regulations had to step in to stop the abuse! Otherwise, you telling me Companies would have stopped the abuse voluntarily? I call BS on that!

I get over excited though when it is the vulnerable who are the victims. 

Alcohol. Sex. Tobacco. Drugs. Chocolate.  Meh! NOTHING in this world is as addictive as an Evora +0. It's not for babies!    

The first guy to ride a bull for fun, was a true hero. The second man to follow him was truly nuts!   

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23 minutes ago, C8RKH said:

So the price and profits rise and potentially the service falls. 

The UK motor insurance sector is highly competitive and has been profitable for 4 years out of the last 40. Some analysts think it should apply for charitable status given claims paid compared to premiums.

However, I agree they are not all good. Hometree - avoid at all costs. My experience with them make Danny's BG issues look tame. They broke our boiler during its annual service and left us with a freezing house for 2 weeks. Complaint? Hmm "put it in writing and we'll get back to you within 8 weeks".

Sometimes the press is the only way to go.

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Now you see you’ve just committed what you criticise the media for. Lazy journalism and seeking the sensational. 
 

there are no excessive profits. The change in regulations requiring renewal and new business premiums to be the same will merely redistribute the premiums. So those who don’t shop around and move will pay less. But those who do will pay more. Overall the total premium won’t be affected. 
 

Additionally, contrary to your assertion the findings are clear. There is no evidence of targeting the vulnerable. What there is evidence is that in those auto renewing were a disproportionate number of vulnerable individuals. It was an unplanned consequence, not a strategy. The report is very clear on this. 
 

I take offence if you suggest a wholesale strategy by my profession to target the vulnerable. In all professions there are exceptions, but I can tell you from the inside that contrary to popular opinion (everyone loves to bash an insurer) the actuality of the industry doing the right thing is very very different. 

A Lotus is for driving, pork is for breakfast.

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Further to @Colin P , I'll add that I've witnessed discussions at very senior level in management where they've had cases where the T&Cs were followed and it resulted in a denied claim, but it's then reviewed. The decision was that the intent was that such situations should be covered, hence resulted in paying out on claims that technically were not covered, and T&Cs being re-written to clearly cover such things, with review of all claims denied on similar grounds.  Whether that would have been the view of senior management 20-30 years earlier, I don't know but I doubt was as customer-focussed.

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1 hour ago, Bazza 907 said:

The UK motor insurance sector is highly competitive and has been profitable for 4 years out of the last 40

I’ve been somewhat impressed recently - Daisy’s first year of insurance was £930ish fully comp with a black box - she got about £90 refunded over the year in good driving credit. Her renewal was daft - and insured elsewhere - £495. 
For a young driver I was very impressed with that.

 

just done my van again - £404...... the renewal for the tvr - absolutely ridiculous so I’ve let that lapse since it’s in millions of bits.

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Love the reactions!

Firstly, this discussion is not just about "insurance companies" so stop taking it so personally. FFS, if I took offence everytime someonE claimed that the error was a "computer fault" I'd be dead by now through a heart attack and high blood pressure - computers do not make mistakes - it is the people who programme them, and most frequently, the people who put the data in (often wrongly) that make the mistakes"

The selling of homecover type policies as an "insurance" does complicate things whether they cover cars, boilers, electrical equipment etc. As indeed, many of these companies selling these products are not "insurance" companies.  So calm down! (hard to say just watching Liverpool implode yet again, this time against Leicester - I have a lot of time for Rodgers so hard to feel too bad about it). 

Secondly, if you don't think "some" companies take advantage then you are, in my opinion,  unhinged! :) Again, we're not just talking about "proper" insurance companies.

There will always be examples of good companies and good service. Even I accept that. But again, hand on heart, you think there are no bad companies and bad service? Credit where it is due, I have praised and referred my home insurance company following their superb service when I had major water damage (again, documented on this forum but it was More Than and they were bloody brilliant). So I do try some semblance of fairness. 

So @Colin P, how is the price that insurance companies can charge being dictated? It's not is the honest answer. They are free to charge what they like. However, what is being dictated, is that they NOW have to treat all customers equitably, whether existing or new.  That is a welcome change in my mind and will stop loyal (or lazy) customers being "fleeced" to subsidise the attraction of new, fickle customers. Why should a loyal customer pay more so an Insurance company can offer a better rate to someone new?  Why does loyalty not get rewarded? So you see, as ever, there are always two sides to a carefully balanced story so I'm a bit pissed you called me lazy in my reporting, I could throw the same accusation at you as all you did was to present the view that best supported your case! :)

Also, you cannot with credibility say: "how would you like to be told how much you can sell your product for" as that is not true, it is not what is happening, as explained above.  If it was true, then there would be no need to shop around as everyone would be told how much they could sell their product for and so it would all be sold at the same price.  That would never happen as it is price fixing, no matter who does it. And also, please remember that the same now applies in other sectors, not just "insurance".

There is still a market factor at play, and within that market some companies trade on their service history (probably why Hiscox are always for me anyways several hundred pounds a year more expensive than More Than for home & contents) and charge more (or at least try to), and some trade purely on price, so charge much less but frankly couldn't give a shit when you need help. Also from experience, the more "premium" brands are not always that good at their service.

So moving on from typical insurance, the real angst in this thread is against those "service companies" that sell what they claim is an "insurance" against something, usually something that could go wrong and has an associated service (like a boiler service) attached to it.  It is these companies that we are really targeting here, not the pure white Insurance companies who are beyond reproach and never do anything wrong (I'll stay away from the various scandals over the years around door step selling, pensions, endowment mortgages, life assurance, travel and illness cover etc as I really do not want to wind any up or offend anyone in the Industry). As an aside, I have worked for two Insurance companies in my career - General Accident and General Portfolio. The first did very well out of General Insurance and I was lucky to work at their Worldwide HQ in Perth (onsite bar, silver service execs restaurant with great wine cellar, 25m swimming pool, sports facilities including sports hall, squash courts etc etc etc etc....). It was tough, but I did survive :) The second was, well, I'll just say it was an experience I try to forget.

I know where the issues are re the boiler cover. I know why it happens and why people end up getting a bad deal, and why some, vulnerable people usually, end up with policies that do not suit their needs and are expensive. If I know this, I suspect the people running the companies do to. However, it's easy money isn't it and so why would they do anything to change. Until of course legislation forces them to.

Legislation and regulation is introduced only after systemic issues are identified and usually after customers have been receiving a poor deal.  So if this has been introduced then the industries affected are the ones that need to look in the mirror. Not the consumers.

 

Finally, can someone enlighten me. When I take out insurance it's against a specific car. The NCB I generate is only for that car. (I.e. I can only transfer it/use it for that car or its specific replacement). So if I have 2 cars my NCB accrues for each car separately.  However if I have an accident, it affects the price I pay for all cars I have. So why is the insurance car specific and the NCB I build up from it car specific, and yet my history is not? Probably not explained it very well, but hopefully someone can decipher what I am asking lol.

 

Alcohol. Sex. Tobacco. Drugs. Chocolate.  Meh! NOTHING in this world is as addictive as an Evora +0. It's not for babies!    

The first guy to ride a bull for fun, was a true hero. The second man to follow him was truly nuts!   

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Yes exactly. And how an they call it comprehensive and then put exclusions,its either comprehensive or not. My accident in the car affected my motor cycle insurance even though my no claim was protected

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hindsight: the science that is never wrong

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@C8RKH no one has said all insurance companies are squeaky clean. No industry can claim this, however you have made sweeping statements about the industry as a whole, thereby tarring all with the same brush. Deliberately, as I am fully aware of why you tagged me in the first place, being your mischievous self. 
 

Current proposals from FCA are basically that you can only have one price, regardless of whether renewal, new biz, through a broker, direct, via a comparison site etc etc (all of which have different cost bases). Then there are Value for money tests, so through COVID we have to prove that products bought pre-Covid are still value for money. So if a customer can’t use their car, is their insurance VFM?  
 

Then there is the media about the cost of insuring a high rise block of flats that have been built with flammable materials. Of course it is all the insurers fault that the premiums are unaffordable, we should just insure them anyway, at a loss and risk £100ms claims , after all we’ve an endless pot of money. Never mind the fact that we simply don’t want to cover them and I personally have been campaigning for 20 years to stop builders building them like that and the govt allowing them to. Oh and why won’t insurance companies pay to put them all right, er because it not covered, nothing has been damaged.

This of course leads on to BI claims for Covid. There are a few policies that cover this. Only a few. Here I will agree with you, some that went to court never should have done so. The claims should have been paid, but most policies do not cover BI from pandemics. Why? because A even if we wanted to the insurance industry does not have enough money to pay for the entire world economy, we know this so we don’t cover it. And B, generally we insure things that are damaged.  Nothing has been damaged. Why would you think it was covered? Which leads to the major issue here. 
 

People want the cheapest insurance every time, them when something goes wrong or wears out they expect insurance to pay for it, regardless of whether it is covered or not and when it isn’t they moan like hell about it. Read the policy, it’s all in there. 
 

Final point. Insurers are duty bound not to pay claims that are not covered. To do so is detrimental to every other policy holder, as their premiums are what pays the losses. 
 

NCD. It’s a discount for not making a claim. It comes off of the calculated risk premium. The risk premium is based upon your history. If you have had an accident it affects your risk premium, not your discount for not having claimed on that particular policy. 

A Lotus is for driving, pork is for breakfast.

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6 minutes ago, Colin P said:

being your mischievous self.

Moi?  Never!  I know you can take a rib tickle, just like a few others on here (Barry, Sparkles, Dan etc) but you also know it ain't personal and I'll still buy you a beer when we finally get back to the IoM! :)

By the way Colin, re the below from your last post. I 100% agree with you and the Industry here. I honestly do and am not just blowing smoke up your arse. In my view the liability for the high rises is with the local authorities who should have stopped it happening through planning. The builders, who bloody well knew what they were doing.  So if you asked me to attend a protest about why Insurance companies are being asked to pay re the below, I'd join you, and shout with you!

 

 

Then there is the media about the cost of insuring a high rise block of flats that have been built with flammable materials. Of course it is all the insurers fault that the premiums are unaffordable, we should just insure them anyway, at a loss and risk £100ms claims , after all we’ve an endless pot of money. Never mind the fact that we simply don’t want to cover them and I personally have been campaigning for 20 years to stop builders building them like that and the govt allowing them to. Oh and why won’t insurance companies pay to put them all right, er because it not covered, nothing has been damaged.

This of course leads on to BI claims for Covid. There are a few policies that cover this. Only a few. Here I will agree with you, some that went to court never should have done so. The claims should have been paid, but most policies do not cover BI from pandemics. Why? because A even if we wanted to the insurance industry does not have enough money to pay for the entire world economy, we know this so we don’t cover it. And B, generally we insure things that are damaged.  Nothing has been damaged. Why would you think it was covered? Which leads to the major issue here. 

Alcohol. Sex. Tobacco. Drugs. Chocolate.  Meh! NOTHING in this world is as addictive as an Evora +0. It's not for babies!    

The first guy to ride a bull for fun, was a true hero. The second man to follow him was truly nuts!   

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