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Author Topic: TERRIBLE TREATMENT AT HANDS OF POST OFFICE CAR INSURANCE  (Read 11272 times)

Offline chris

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POST OFFICE CAR INSURANCE - APPALLING HANDLING OF MY CAR INSURANCE.

By way of protest I am sharing my terrible experience at the hands of Post Office car insurance.

I took out a policy with Post Office Ltd earlier this month. They were offering a more competitive rate than my then current insurer.

I received a letter today claiming that because they "had been notified of an undisclosed claim" that this would be "updated on my policy with immediate effect" and that more money would be charged for my cover.

This "undisclosed claim" is utterly untrue.

Whilst I did contact a previous insurer a several years ago when someone scratched my car, in order to find out what the implications of a claim to repair such a scratch might be, in the event the scratch was trivial and so I elected to repair it myself, with T cut and a rag.

And when I rang Post Office Ltd to remonstrate, they even agreed that the value of the "undisclosed claim" was recorded on their system as "zero".

So, I asked, how can it be a "claim" if it has zero value attached? And what can I do about this?

"It's simple," said the plastic person on the phone. "ALL you have to do is get the past insurance company to confirm that you never made a claim and send that proof to us and then we will refund the money."

"So why," I ask, "given that you have obtained this information from a third party, why are YOU not asking for proof from THEM that it is true, and verifying the nature of it - given that it records a claim value of "0" Pounds - before writing to me to imply that I failed to disclose information and charging me accordingly."

"It doesn't work like that sir!"

No, I bet it doesn't.

So, in the eyes of Post Office Ltd, I am guilty until proven innocent. And guess who has to prove that they've been unfair?

Yep, me. And for being a good customer and someone who has never claimed on their car insurance I am being regarded as a liar until proven otherwise. As If I haven't got enough to do.

I am thoroughly disgusted by this treatment; I would strongly advise you to think very carefully before considering a Post Office Ltd insurance product for yourself, unless you are some kind of insurance company masochist with a penchant for this kind of appalling, accusatory customer service.
« Last Edit: 06/02/2012 22:58:17 by chris »


 

Offline CliffordK

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Re: TERRIBLE TREATMENT AT HANDS OF POST OFFICE CAR INSURANCE
« Reply #1 on: 30/01/2012 12:37:47 »
Call the insurance company back.  Hopefully you will get someone else on the line.

And, tell them that you appropriately disclosed that you did not make a claim X years ago.
You can always ask to talk to a supervisor.

I applied for new insurance here in the USA  a few months ago, and was surprised that they didn't even ask about prior accidents or tickets.  They just typed my name into their computer, and used that information without commenting on it.

I assume the USA now has some kind of insurance information sharing network, somewhat like the credit agencies who I've never authorized access to my personal information.
 

Offline Geezer

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Re: TERRIBLE TREATMENT AT HANDS OF POST OFFICE CAR INSURANCE
« Reply #2 on: 06/02/2012 22:51:18 »
Ooooo! I just found this thread. I've been using the "Recent Topics" button, but it doesn't seem to include the Chat forum. I will have to file an official complaint with the authorities.

At the risk of "rubbing it in", this is exactly the sort of @#$% that makes it highly unlikely my wife and I will ever return permanently to the UK. It's not that there are no similar foul-ups in the US - there are, but there does seem to be a much better appreciation of the need for customer satisfaction in the US. In the UK, it is frequently non-existent.

A silly example:

US - I'm buying groceries at the supermarket. The sales person at the checkout is extremely pleasant. "Are you having a pleasant day? Did you find everything sir? Would you like your items in plastic or paper bags? Would you like assistance to take your items to your car? Are you sure you can manage sir? There is still some ice in the parking lot.

UK - I'm buying groceries at the supermarket. The sales person at the checkout refuses to make eye contact with me, until he/she has to point out that I better get the finger out and start packing my stuff because I'm holding up the line, and, bye- the-way, those bags are going to cost you an extra 50p.

 

Offline chris

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Re: TERRIBLE TREATMENT AT HANDS OF POST OFFICE CAR INSURANCE
« Reply #3 on: 06/02/2012 22:54:35 »
Geezer - could you write to the Post Office for me about my insurance? You might get some action. I wrote them a letter pointing out my dissatisfaction last week and I'm still waiting for my reply...
 

Offline Geezer

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Re: TERRIBLE TREATMENT AT HANDS OF POST OFFICE CAR INSURANCE
« Reply #4 on: 07/02/2012 00:40:47 »
No problem! I wrote a letter to "The Gubernator" (Arnold Swotsit) while he was the Gov of CA after they stole $100 from my bank for an unpaid parking ticket on a vehicle that I never owned and I did get my money back. I never did get the $60 fee back from the bank charged me for the privilege (Washington Mutual) , but I closed all my accounts, and they went bust shortly thereafter, although it's not clear the two events were related.

To whom should I address my missile missive?
 

Offline Geezer

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Re: TERRIBLE TREATMENT AT HANDS OF POST OFFICE CAR INSURANCE
« Reply #5 on: 07/02/2012 01:33:38 »
Perhaps you were not quite forceful enough? I always think it's important to set the tone of communication in the first sentence or two.

I would suggest something along the lines of:

"Dear Postman Pat,

Now look here, you little pip-squeak, there will be no OBEs for you if I've got anything to do with it......
 

Offline grizelda

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Re: TERRIBLE TREATMENT AT HANDS OF POST OFFICE CAR INSURANCE
« Reply #6 on: 07/02/2012 03:52:35 »
Couldn't you just pass their names along to Homeland Security? I'm sure a few weekend stays at the Syrian Hilton would teach them some manners.
 

Offline chris

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Re: TERRIBLE TREATMENT AT HANDS OF POST OFFICE CAR INSURANCE
« Reply #7 on: 14/02/2012 20:22:51 »
UPDATE ON MY SITUATION WITH THE POST OFFICE LTD CAR INSURANCE

I wrote to the named individual listed on the correspondence from the Post Office on 27th January, indicating my displeasure at the treatment I have received.

Despite over 2 weeks having passed since then they have not deigned to compose a reply.

How thoroughly disgusting, though I suppose not unexpected given their behaviour to date.

Has anyone else had the misfortune to deal with this company who appear to be striving to set a new world record in poor standards of customer service?
 

Offline Geezer

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Re: TERRIBLE TREATMENT AT HANDS OF POST OFFICE CAR INSURANCE
« Reply #8 on: 14/02/2012 21:03:35 »
It might have been better when it was nationalized!
 
Maybe you should write to Tony Benn.
 

Offline RD

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Re: TERRIBLE TREATMENT AT HANDS OF POST OFFICE CAR INSURANCE
« Reply #9 on: 14/02/2012 22:04:28 »
"Dear Postman Pat"

Don’t mess with Postman Pat : he’s a member of the Yakuza ...



[ no pinkies ]

and he knows where you live.
« Last Edit: 14/02/2012 22:06:43 by RD »
 

Offline chris

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Re: TERRIBLE TREATMENT AT HANDS OF POST OFFICE CAR INSURANCE
« Reply #10 on: 14/02/2012 22:22:04 »
 FURTHER UPDATE

I spent a pleasant 35 minutes on the telephone to "Customer Services"; I was informed that my letter was showing as having been received and that it had been sent to a different department to be dealt with.

"And when will they be condescending to reply to me?" I enquired. "I can't say," came the answer.

"And can I speak with them?" I ventured. "No, they only correspond by mail."

"Well no, they clearly don't even do that because I've been waiting nearly 3 weeks for an answer," I respond. "I can't say," I'm helpfully told.

Anyway, after the conversation had gone around in circles for half an hour during which I argued that the way I was being treated was a disgrace and that I was thoroughly disgusted that they'd not replied to me in a timely fashion (and perhaps this is a tactic intentionally employed by the company that causes complaint attrition because a proportion of the complaints evaporate or the plaintiffs die of old age or exhaustion), eventually the customer service employee, who's job, she informed me, is to "help customers", and having emphatically told me there was "nothing she could do and that I need to contact my old insurer", agreed to phone said former insurer herself tomorrow in an attempt to clarify this nonsense "zero value" claim and have it struck from the record.

I have asked her to call me tomorrow with an update.

Somehow I suspect that the answer will be that the insurer telling her that I have never made a financial claim will be insufficient and I will still have to attempt to contact the old insurer to obtain written proof from them.

I think I should make a programme about this; I can see "the naked consumer show" being quite a draw...

Chris
« Last Edit: 14/02/2012 22:25:10 by chris »
 

Offline RD

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Re: TERRIBLE TREATMENT AT HANDS OF POST OFFICE CAR INSURANCE
« Reply #11 on: 14/02/2012 22:49:26 »
... how can it be a "claim" if it has zero value attached?

An unsuccessful claim on an insurance policy, i.e. no money paid out, would still be a claim,
so the record stating “0 pounds” paid out is not evidence that no claim was made.



I think I should make a programme about this; I can see "the naked consumer show" being quite a draw...

Martin “money saving expert” Lewis has that gig covered, he’s got a website too ...


Quote
When is a claim not a claim? ...
http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=3680055
« Last Edit: 14/02/2012 23:08:22 by RD »
 

Offline Geezer

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Re: TERRIBLE TREATMENT AT HANDS OF POST OFFICE CAR INSURANCE
« Reply #12 on: 15/02/2012 03:07:39 »

An unsuccessful claim on an insurance policy, i.e. no money paid out, would still be a claim,
so the record stating “0 pounds” paid out is not evidence that no claim was made.


Which is obviously an idiotic "Catch 22" established by the insurance companies in their favor.

The US has a reputation for being "lawsuit happy", but if it came out here that the insurance companies had been pulling a similar stunt, somebody would initiate a civil class action lawsuit against them, and they would have to compensate everyone they took advantage of when they lost (which I'm sure they would.) This mechanism really does tend to keep large corporations on their toes. The cost of defending a class action suit can be enormous, so the last thing companies want to do is get into one.

I don't think there is a similar mechanism in the UK, so the only way to fix something like this is to drag it into Parliament, in which case, good luck! You can create a stink in the media, but it won't really do any good unless you can get an MP to support your cause.

(The above is my sketchy impression of how things work, but it's probably got a lot of holes in it!)
 

Offline chris

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Re: TERRIBLE TREATMENT AT HANDS OF POST OFFICE CAR INSURANCE
« Reply #13 on: 10/03/2012 10:11:36 »
UPDATE

The employee who had promised to call my former insurer and then call me with an update never did contact me as promised.

To date I am still waiting for a written reply to my original letter.

However, after a further barrage of raised-blood pressure telephone calls, eventually I was transferred to someone in a managerial position.

He agreed that it was unacceptable that I was still waiting nearly 3 weeks later for a reply to my letter from several weeks previously. He also agreed that it was poor form that the staff member who had promised to contact me failed to do so. He apologised for the considerable time I had wasted on the telephone dealing with this.

By way of resolution, he offered to telephone the former insurer himself and then to respond to me.

This he did the following week. The information he had for me was not ideal: despite my never actually having made a claim, the information I had imparted to the old insurer in deciding whether to make a claim counts as a claim anyway, regardless of whether I actually received a payout. Worse, this blot on my insurance copybook remains on the record for 5 years and will continue to have consequences for the onward cost of my insurance. So the reward for my honesty - and electing not to make a claim - is to be penalised.

There was one happy note, however. The fee hike that had been imposed has been refunded by way of compensation for the  trouble caused to me.

Whilst I am gratified that this has been resolved, I fear that next year I will be back to square one and being penalised again for a "claim" I never made.

I think that this treatment is disgusting; as someone who has never claimed on their car insurance - or been subject to a claim from a third party - throughout their driving career, I remain thoroughly sickened by the way I've been treated.

If you should find yourself in the same situation, with any insurer, I would urge you to complain in the strongest possible terms.
 

Offline CliffordK

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Re: TERRIBLE TREATMENT AT HANDS OF POST OFFICE CAR INSURANCE
« Reply #14 on: 10/03/2012 14:30:15 »
It sounds like quite an ordeal.

I think I would begin searching for a new insurance company early, assuming the "extra charge" is unacceptable.

I would think that the insurance companies would try to learn about any "pre-existing" damage to vehicles that are under full coverage.

So, the scratch you got in your car a few years ago.  If you had an accident, they would not repair the old scratch due to it being a pre-existing condition, or an unreported claim.  So, not hold it against you as a driver, but use it to evaluate the condition of a vehicle should that be necessary in the future.

Unfortunately, the insurance company probably won't give you much information over the phone if you don't identify yourself.
 

Offline Geezer

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Re: TERRIBLE TREATMENT AT HANDS OF POST OFFICE CAR INSURANCE
« Reply #15 on: 10/03/2012 21:10:22 »
Chris,
 
It sounds like something that should be exposed. By doing this the insurance companies are operating a sort of cartel. They are actually conspiring against members of the public, and that is not fair trade.
 
At the very least, you should have the ability to view the insurance history they maintain and be able to have this sort of nonsense removed from the record.
 

Offline RD

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Re: TERRIBLE TREATMENT AT HANDS OF POST OFFICE CAR INSURANCE
« Reply #16 on: 01/06/2012 13:30:25 »

I think I should make a programme about this; I can see "the naked consumer show" being quite a draw...

Martin “money saving expert” Lewis has that gig covered, he’s got a website too ...

that post may soon become vacant ... http://news.sky.com/home/business/article/16239564
« Last Edit: 01/06/2012 13:33:40 by RD »
 

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Re: TERRIBLE TREATMENT AT HANDS OF POST OFFICE CAR INSURANCE
« Reply #16 on: 01/06/2012 13:30:25 »

 

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