Tag Archives: rip off

Car Insurance Time Again

Yes, it’s that time of year again, when the little man comes up against the gargantuan greed of the insurance companies.

I had a letter last week. The premium for this year is several hundred pounds up on last year, despite the fact that I have hardly been anywhere in 2020. It is, however, still about £100 cheaper than the year before.

I went on the Swinton site, as I’ve used them as brokers for years, but the drop down menus didn’t work and I couldn’t get into my account. Life is too short to waste time on recalcitrant technology. If you can’t keep your site working you don’t get the business.

I went to ‘Go Compare’. I put a lot of details in. In fact, I could probably describe myself as a writer of biography after all the personal detail I put in. Then I came to a question about how much my last claim cost. Regular readers may recall that I had a rather annoying accident a couple of years ago. How am I supposed to know how much it cost? I pressed the “i” in the circle and it suggested ringing the insurance company. Yes, that seems a worthwhile use of my time.

So I went on ‘Compare the Market’. More biography. More stupid questions. More reminders not to tell lies. Finally, having finished the forms I pressed the button.

They came up with 78 possibilities. The cheapest one was a company called “Go, Skippy!” It was cheap, but the name is not inspiring and the excess is monstrous. It’s also owned by Arron Banks, and as I don’t want to fund his political donations I am glad to give it a miss.

For just over a hundred pounds more I have a choice of two well-known names – Churchill and Liverpool Victoria. Churchill always did well for me until they started racking the prices up, and LV offered a slightly better policy for £5 less. I was tempted by Churchill because they had always offered a great service, but they had ripped me off in the end, so I went for LV.

So, today, for me, the clear winners were ‘Compare the Market’ and Liverpool Victoria. It saved me £360 on the cost quoted by Swinton and Aviva so, irritating as it was, I just had a profitable hour at the computer.

Me, moaning about computers and photographing birds

It’s been a strange Sunday. Julia’s laptop has been playing up and refusing to connect to the internet so we went to the computer shop where they told us it would cost £60 to have it sent away, after which they would tell us how much it would cost before we could get it back. Forgive my cynicism but that seems to me to be a good description of how kidnappers operate.

That’s how I ended up looking round Curry’s/PC World looking at new laptops.

It’s also how I ended up sitting in the car whimpering. It’s been an expensive couple of weeks, and the process of spending money

I’m sure it must be possible, bearing in mind the advance of technology and the economics of mass production, to build an acceptable laptop for around £150. We don’t need a terrabyte of memory or the ability to use huge amounts of graphics. We just want to write emails. surf the net and brighten up a few photos.

That’s before I even start on the evils of the new way of selling Microsoft Office. If you own a copy and haven’t replaced your computer in the last few years you’re in for a surprise. You don’t own it now, you just rent it for a year at a time. When your subscription expires you don’t have access to Office.

That’s like buying a car and only renting the ignition key.

After that I had to go to the park and photograph birds.