By John Donovan
A couple of days ago I made a telephone call to Aviva to notify the company I was switching to another car insurer.
I had discovered that similar, although not identical comprehensive cover, could be obtained from a competitor at a lot less than half of the comprehensive insurance premium I was paying. Basically both policies allowed me to drive my car under comprehensive cover.
I had not bothered to check comparable prices for may years. I had left myself in the hands of a major insurer, Aviva, formally known as Norwich Union Direct, trusting they would remain competitive. Huge mistake on my part.
Further confirmation came that I was dealing with a greedy outfit when I discovered that it would take five minutes to be connected to a human who could deal with the cancellation. In the meantime, I could choose from either Soul, Pop, Jazz, or Classical music while being charged per minute for the privilege, because Aviva does not apparently have enough staff to cope promptly with cancellations.
When I did get connected – it could have been to someone overseas judging from the accent – I found out about Aviva’s loyalty bonus. A cancellation fee of £49, amounting to a quarter of the yearly premium charge from the new insurer.
I have checked the small print over several pages of the insurance papers twice and have not yet managed to find information about this sting in the tail. Seems I might need a magnifying glass or a lawyer to find that information.
Since I don’t want to waste time complaining through the usual bureaucratic channels, I decided to publish this article and will supply an update when Aviva takes the cancellation payment from my bank account.
Internet gripe sites provide an alternative solution for focusing attention on targeted companies. The impact can be devastating. Ask Shell.
We had a problem with one of our ISP’s some years ago – Pipex Communications Plc – and started a website to record our experience with that company. The website expanded over the years with contributions from many other disgruntled customers. By coincidence or otherwise, the company subsequently changed its name to FREEDOM4 Communications plc, shedding the tarnished name.
I may set up a gripe site focused on Aviva if this initial article attracts attention from others stung by the company.
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