Thursday, March 15, 2007

Computer says no...



So... my insurance wrangle goes on! After phoning them this week only to be told that there was nothing on my claim and that a quote had not been received and the work had not been approved my patience finally ran out. After navigating the voice system and being transferred the conversation went something like this:

Me (polite): Hello. I was wondering if you could let me know how my claim is doing. You see, I would like my car back as soon as possible and it's been over a week already.
Them (In voice of Little Britian Character "Carol Beer"): There's nothing on your file. We haven't received a quote from the garage doing the repairs yet.
Me: I'm sorry but you have. I was told you received it last week.
Them: No...
Me: I was told by yourselves it would be £1400 after you tried to write my car off.
Them: No...
Me (exasperated somewhat): What do you mean no?
Them: There's nothing on the computer...
Me: I was told the claim had been authorised and the repair would go ahead.
Them: No...
Me: So can you tell me what is going on?
Them: There's nothing on the computer. We're wating for a quote.
Me (Sounding like John Cleese a la Dead Parrot Sketch by now): But I was told that was all taken care of! What happens now?
Them: We need a quote from the garage.
Me: OK. So can you chase that then please?
Them: Yes...
Me: OK. Can you let me know as soon as possible when you know?
Them: Yes....

I kid you not. This is practically verbatum. This conversation did not leave me with a warm and fuzzy feeling and sure enough after 3 hours I wasn't rung back. Again. This time I had had enough so I rang and made a formal complaint. They asked me to go through all my problems. I was on the phone for a looooong time!

It turns out that the computer crashed when I first registered my claim. As a result I had two claims running when someone tried to correct the problem and I only had one number. Why the company reps I talked to previously couldn't spot this is beyond me. I now have the actual claim number with the information attached to it! The upshot is that I got an apology and they are assessing my complaint for compensation. Fact is I would much rather they got things right in the first place! It has been hard work and stressful so I have earnt any compensation they pay me quite frankly. I am hoping it will at least cover my excess but I doubt it somehow.

I rang the garage myself by the way. Turns out I will have to wait three weeks for them to get the new locks for my car. They have to come from Japan. Surely it doesn't take three weeks??

For those of you who have never seen Little Britain, the following clip should illuminate who "Carol Beer" is. Ladies and gentlemen, it would appear that I took out that insurance policy!


25 comments:

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Oh Dear...The incompetance....! Computers were supposed to make things easier, remember? Nobody accounted for the CRASHES!!! What a nightmare B-K...truly! I think I would be screaming on the phone or tearing my hair out at this point!

That video is hilarious but painful, too, un it's realness....!

I pray that everything straightens out very very soon! Locks----ARRIVE PLEASE! (lol)

Shephard said...

Wow. Sounds the same over there as here. Crossing fingers for you.

Love Carol Beer. Funny!
And the John Cleese comment made me laugh.

~S

Irish Church Lady :) said...

Thanks for sharing the Carol Beer video. I enjoyed that.

I didn't enjoy your story though. Too painful and utterly ridiculous. From now on take names (first and last) and phone numbers for everyone you talk to.

I hope it goes better soon!

Bob-kat said...

ICL - I did take names but each time I had to go through the same number as it's a call centre :-( I once asked to talk to someone I had spoken to before by name and I was told by the person on the line that they had never heard of her!

Now I have made a formal complaint I do have a direct line to someone with a name though!

Vid Digger said...

Computer crashed? Sounds more like these guys are giving you the run around. Good luck with these incompetent halfwits!

Hi, Michele sent me!

About my blog, the links on it are not active yet. And I tested my comments, and they work fine. Maybe your computer crashed when published your comment!

Yaeli said...

I LOVE Little Britain! They rock!
As for the garage and insurance company, they sound like complete sods! And tree weeks to get the new locks!? What are they doing? Custom making them or something?
Computer says no...

Michele sent me today!

kenju said...

That adds insult to injury, doesn't it? I am sorry, Bobkat. The video is cute, but I confess to not understanding a word of what that guy dressed as a woman said....LOL

Ps said...

Yet you so stoically refuse to make the name of this AWFUL, INEEFICIENT,UNFRIENDLY insurance company public.I would probably have gone there and yelled and screamed and who knowsmay be even kicked the manager by now.(even if i didnt get the car,at least they would know how exactly I felt!)

Bob-kat said...

PS - I wnated to do all those things! Believe me. They know exactly how I feel!

mar said...

Computers cannot be blamed for human incompetence. Keeping my fingers crossed for you. Enjoyed the video!

srp said...

It reminds me of my days in medical school when things were so stressful and I kept thinking to myself... "What sort of lame brain are you, Roxanne, you're actually PAYING them to do this to you."

Thank goodness they found the problem, but why couldn't they order the parts and let you keep your car until they came in?

kenju said...

Michele sent me back, Bobkat. I still can't understand Carol....LOL

Just a trumpet player said...

Funny how companies always blame computers for their employees incompetence...

Michele sent me ; have a great weekend !

IndyPindy said...

Oh, yes...I feel your pain. I LOVE your blog layout and template!

Here via Michele's!

utenzi said...

Hey Bob-Kat. Michele sent me over to see you.

The entire insurance situation sounds quite annoying, B-K. I've had to submit several claims over the years for car accidents and I've never had a bad experience. Maybe I've just been lucky.

I'm not surprised by the 3 week transit time for the locks since they're coming by boat from Japan. I am surprised that they don't have any in stock anywhere in the UK.

TrueJerseyGirl said...

It is amazing how incompetent large companies are and that they don't prepare for things like computer crashes with, um, I don't know, a backup system? You are patient for even being able to deal with this, I would be screaming by now.

margalit said...

Isn't it pathetic to know that insurance companies the world over are slimesucking asshats. This is exactly what happens all the time in the USA. You know all those people that lost their homes in Hurricaine Katrina? Their insurance companies denied their claims. Really! I have to have insurance, but I hate to pay every frigging penny of it.

My assvice. Never talk to customer service. Go RIGHT to management.

Here via Michele

Claire said...

Oh hell...as soon as you mentioned Carol Beer I felt for you!! Hope it's all sorted out soon!

Carmi said...

What idiots! Two things you might want to consider doing at this point:

1 - Escalating this issue up the management chain of the insurance company. Nothing gets a case file kicked into high gear faster than a complaint to the c-level of the organization.

2 - Find a journalist who does consumer report-type coverage and get him/her interested in doing a piece on your experience. Consumer reporters LOVE to slap insurance companies around. It's almost like shooting fish in a barrel.

They've been sixth-letter-of-the-alphabet-ing you all along. It's time to zing 'em right back with a dose of their own medicine.

Re. the door locks: the MX-5/Miata is a low-volume car that's manufactured only in one plant - in Hiroshima - so the parts network is decidedly not very globalized. It's quite common for specialty parts to have to be shipped in.

Biff Spiffy said...

Croly hap. That sucks, and ditto the 'human incompetence' factor. You (and Carol Beer and John Cleese) made me laugh.

Is there a local agent you can see, or is this 'online-only' insurance? If you sit across the desk from the person you bought the policy from, that usually speeds things up and they'll take it personally.

Karen said...

Love your sense of humor through it all with Carol Beer! :+)

here from Michele's today.

craziequeen said...

Never seen Little Britain, but then I have had experience of the customer service you describe - my bank's call centre is in Bombay - that makes for some interesting calls..........

Oodles of hugs, my lovely friend.

You have SO got to get your Mazda back........

Oh, and I have told MB not to lose his keys - 'cos Mazda keys come from Japan.................

cq

Sarch said...

I have never seen Little Brittain before. From the clip it looks like I would be a fan. How funny.

Bobkat I'm sorry to hear you're still struggling with the monolithic souless insurance quagmire.

Moogie said...

Oh my...that is horrible. How frustrating that must have been. That is absolutely ridiculous! I feel angry and it didn't happen to me! Hopefully, they will square things away so you can get this all behind you!

David said...

horrendous inefficiency seems to span the globe, I am so sorry for the loss of your mind, it was one of the good ones, alas!