Upon opening my mail about three weeks ago, I was reminded by my Insurance Broker, Hastings Direct that it was the time of year once again to renew my van Insurance.
The letter told me all the legal stuff including that I could try to get it cheaper elsewhere as well as how much it was last year and the fact that, once again, it will cost even more this year.
Eventually I got to the section that told me if I was happy to renew, then I need do nothing and they would take the payment from my Credit Card they have on file and my Insurance will continue uninterrupted.
About a week or so later I opened my letters, and saw I had received my Insurance documents along with a letter telling me that “Although we have renewed your Policy we haven’t received payment, so it’s important you contact us as soon as possible. If we don’t hear from you your Policy will be cancelled on 19th June”.
As the 19th was only a few days away, and not wanting to forget, I got straight on the phone and called the number they gave me in the letter.
Well, I’m glad I called when I did because I soon realised they were probably going to take until the 19th to answer it. After a few seconds of legal stuff about how they are regulated etc etc. I got to that stage in the call that everybody dreads… “All our operators are busy, your call is important to us blah! blah! blah! after which I am seranaded by mind numbing music which just as you start getting used to and find your fingers tapping along to the tune, suddenly it is snatched away in order to repeat the voice telling you once again how important you are as a customer blah! blah! blah!
After five minutes or so I decided I was hungry and went off to make a sandwich and a nice cup of tea for myself and my dear wife. On returning I could still hear this racket coming from the speakerphone telling me they are very busy blah! blah! blah!
After eating my sandwich I had a genius idea and decided I would try their website and in this day and age was sure I could make the payment there. I went to the web address on the top of the letter and after looking round the site including the FAQ section, found that paying for my Insurance was even more difficult than I first thought. I looked for the contact section where I could send an email telling them that I had at least tried to call but without success.
Then all of a sudden a little popup window appeared in the right hand corner of my screen which was labelled “Live Chat Speak to an Operator”. Lovely, I thought just what I need, I duly clicked on the little window and it popped up asking me about five questions about what it was I wanted… GUESS WHAT IT TOLD ME…. Yes you’ve guessed it “All our operators are busy blah! blah! blah!…. please call this number”. Which was the same number that is still holding on the phone right next to my computer. Unbelievable… after 35 minutes someone finally answered.
I remember thinking to myself, be nice it’s not his fault he just works there. A very nice young man called ‘Sucha’ answered and asked me for my policy number. I asked him “How long is the record?” he said “sorry?” I said “How long is the record, I feel I am in the running for breaking it”.
He said “I’m sorry, I don’t follow”. I told him that I had been waiting for him to answer the phone for over half an hour and that their website, after offering live chat told me to call on the phone. He said he was sorry about that and they were very busy and the wait I had experienced was about normal for a Monday Morning, even though it was now 2pm.
He eventually took my card payment and hopefully I won’t have to worry about it anymore for a year. I cannot think what would happen if I had to go through the claims process.
Hastings Direct… Very POOR show.
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