Wednesday, 12 January 2011


We have been trying to sort out car insurance. What usually happens is that the Company we use sends us a reminder well in advance of expiry date, JP reads the new quote, swears a wee bit then writes a cheque and sends it off...job done.  This year Saz was down with us and she was horrified that we didn't 'Shop around' for a cheaper quote. The fact of the matter is that, although I am getting to be quite the expert on Bloggy things like linking, cutting and pasting, down-loading pics. etc., the finer points of the Internet are pretty much lost on me, and JP. has abandoned his Mobile phone as too complicated.

Bear with me folks.....

That afternoon Saz sat down at Paco's keyboard and looked through the Compare sites and found a policy that was, not only cheaper than the third party policy we had, but was fully Comprehensive. She spoke to our Insurance Company and they agreed to match it.

Still there...?

She left the next day and JP sent off a cheque and we waited for a cover note.
Then it was Christmas and the world shut down for a week or more, seeing as the New Year insisted on arriving.

He phoned and spoke to...Shiboogamo [sounded like] Cheque had not arrived...three days to go before expiry date.

Hey Ho. 5th January. JP Phoned again...spoke to Dean.  'Yes Sir, your cheque has arrived but unfortunately
the policy had expired and we cannot give you that deal.'

JP.When did it arrive?
Dean. The third Sir.
JP. But I sent the cheque on the 27th of December.
Dean. You must make a complaint to the Post Office.

I did make a complaint and was told that it was not the fault of the Post Office,they only collected the mail, it was delivered by the Royal Mail.

JP. So, how much more is it going to cost me?
Dean. We have your cheque for £144. we need another £44.

He wrote the cheque and I posted it that morning, with signed proof of posting.

Today, the 11th of January we received a policy from the Company that stated we now had Third Party Insurance on our vehicle as well as another envelope containing the information that our policy had expired and did we want to renew it. Plus renewed membership with spanking new cards, of  the well known  Club with the yellow vans...a membership JP had cancelled because they had demanded £190.

Girding his loins he  sat at the kitchen table surrounded by thirty two pages of requests, demands and  pamphlets that told us of the joys of membership,of  their unfailing devotion to their members and their willingness to be 'there for us'.

I hovered...tea and ciggies to hand.

Are you still there...?

Give him his due, JP kept it together, though at first he did sound a touch righteous. He explained the background, going into great detail, his voice rising a bit as he listened to  his own tale of woe.
 I made writing gestures...'get the name' I hissed. He wrote Joshz down on one of the many bits of paper.

'Oh,zat's good, you are a sweetie...' I heard him say. 'T'ank you...yes, I'll hold.'
To me he said...'She's really nice...just checking the details.'
'She is a he,' I hissed. He shook his head then turned back to the phone as he/she came back. The voice spoke for some time and I leaned in pulling the phone out so that I could hear. OK, so it wasn't Basso profundo but nor was it falsetto; it was one of  those male voices that sound  too feminine for a male voice and too masculine for it to be female.  It was definitely male. and the name was Josh.

'You are a darling...they should make you the boss.' JP was beaming... 'Thank you'.
 I withered, knowing worse was to come...
'You are a lovely lady...'
I'm semaphoring now, arms windmilling, head shaking...'It's a man, dummy.'  He finally caught on and went into gaga mode.

'Zat you 'ave managed to work out my bad Englieesh, when I so do not hear or speak too well, and ze phone crackle and pop.'

I'm on my knees with my fist in my mouth and tears spurting from my eyes by the time he hung up.

Not only did he/she fix us up with the original Fully Comprehensive policy we had originally agreed, she arranged for the £190 for membership we did not want, to be refunded.

And so ended a saga that had lasted three weeks.

It pays to be Gaga, and to find a guy/girl named Josh.


  1. Oh, this kind of thing would drive me insane.

  2. That has made me chuckle on a gloomy evening. Many thanks.

  3. lol too funny! I have visions and they have made my day!

  4. Oh my, I would lose my hair from pulling it out of insanity. LOL Thanks for sharing the story.

  5. Made me laugh a lot, Moannie, I am 'negotiating' with motor insurance companies right now. I have come to the conclusion they are ALL rip off Merchants. When I finally get hold of a human being after 20 minutes of listening to computerised menus I am in a strop and when an unintelligible Eastern voice finally kicks in I cannot understand a word. Unfortunately not all companies have a Josh.

  6. It always amazes me how they have such freedom to move the money around at will!!

  7. It's all terribly frustrating. I used one of those comparison sites, putting in that I had used a company car for the past 3 years and picked the best deal. When the paperwork came through, it turns out that they don't give no-claims bonus to company car users (other companies do) and so were going to charge me an astronomical sum. And more if I wanted to cancel. I gave up, but I shall have to do better next year.

  8. I've given up haggling or shopping around for best rates now - just rely on good and prompt service.

    Quite hilarious that lady gaga bit!

  9. This was fantastic! Thanks so much for sharing!

  10. I feel your pain/frustration. I hate to deal with insurance agents, 'though I have to say that my last encounter was more pleasant than most. Your JP is too funny!

  11. I detest these greedy insurance companies. Quote a great low price. Then every six months it goes up a few dollars, like you won't notice. And by the time you are a "loyal" customer the rate has more than doubled. Nightmare. But sure glad you got a yuck out of it all.

  12. oh my too funny. Glad it all worked out in the end :D

  13. Ok, that's pretty good, what you're talking about

  14. oh my word what a hilarious story! I am so glad everything worked out and you now how the insurance you want and need.
    Blessings to you today.

  15. Ha ha very funny but extremely frustrating too! There is an award over at mine for you, on the post It's for me, really? Collect it if you want but I won't be offended if you don't. Have a lovely day :)

  16. haha, really crazy and hilarious! glad you could sit down and describe it all so well :) made my day :) I can basically see you on your knees :) joining in on the laughter!!

  17. I know where you are coming from regarding the guys in the yellow vans. I too had an austerity busting quote for renewal so I decided to ring them to cancel. I told them I that I was taking out membership with the guys with the blue vans. The yellow vans gave me an immediate no quibble reduction of almost 65% in membership fee. I Wish I had called them a couple of years earlier!!!!

  18. Loved the story! Made me chuckle!

  19. A riot. I feel like I'm forever negotiating. I'm going to have to practice more Gaga.

  20. I too have just renewed my car insurance. I decided to shop around. Discovered the best deal was with the company with whom I already was. So I rang them to impart this information, to say I would be sticking and could I renew with just a couple of changes... A couple of changes has produced about six different letters in the post, each with a new cover note. I assume the sum is greater than the parts, and somewhere out there I have full car insurance...

    Then yesterday I receive a call from the company, asking if I was happy...I began on my tale of letters, when it transpired that the girl was not interested but simply wanted me to take out further 'optional' extras on my policy...I told her, as nicely as I could manage, what to do with her 'optional' extras...

    E x

  21. Cute. At least pain-in-the-ass insurance is good for going Gaga!

  22. I am in the United States. My brother-in-law is our insurance salesman since 1975. We got our renewal notice on our house, which is a small 3 bedroom, half-brick, half rotting siding in a subdivision where every other house is the same floor plan. We bought (or mortgaged) this house 16 years ago for $72,000. We still owe $56,000. He was insuring it for $123,000 and our premium was going to cost us $1,370 for the next year. I nearly died. I contacted him and asked if he could get the cost down so his brother could retire this year. He got it down to $750 for the year by insuring us for $100,000. I don't understand why it can't be insured for just the amount we owe on the house so the bank will come out clean if it burns to the ground or is ripped away by a tornado. Anyway, as we get poorer by the day, my brother-in-law continues to flourish. I hate insurance, both automobile and house! It's all a rip-off! When hail destroyed our roof, they paid us $800 towards a new roof, then to finish paying us another $1,000 whenever we roofed it. Of course, we didn't have the money to roof it, so they got out just paying us $800 and we still need a roof. We haven't had a car accident in 25 years, but our auto insurance goes up yearly! We pay $240 a month. So, basically, I work half a month just for insurance....and that doesn't include health insurance or life insurance. I am depressed now. I think I will go cry.

  23. * Laff *
    I'm glad it worked out for the good!

  24. Haha! How hilarious! It pays to never give up with these companies. You'll always find someone kind and helpful. :)

  25. I found this blog randomly. And this post had me LOL. It's great to read something from a writer who sees the sense of humour in life:)

  26. You do know the art of finding humor in exasperating circumstances &putting it down nicely.I sure am glad my husband deals with all this non-sense but he too comes near to pulling out his hair.What do you know- even he refuses to get into the intricacies of his mobile.I am still struggling to get better at the computer.

  27. Too Funny! I really enjoyed this! I read it the other night, and forgot to comment, so I came back to read and laugh again.

  28. glad I stumbled upon your blog. It's a real pleasure to read your writing.

  29. Delightful read. And the fact is I used to work for a huge Insurance company that needed to be bailed out. Wink!

  30. I just ran across your blog and loved this post.. Thanks so much for writing it and I'll be following along! :)

  31. Funny short story. The asides in red were a nice touch.

  32. Love this story!!!! I can so relate...and, I live all the way across the pond in Lubbock, TX!