Fuck You, Direct Line…

direct-line-ukWhat is it about insurance companies that they feel they can all take the piss out of their customers? Why do they all assume that their customers are thick? (Well, OK. I will admit the I may on thin ground with that last one)

This month my house insurance comes up for renewal and sure enough along comes the quote from Direct Line who will for my convenience automatically renew the policy on my credit card. I need do nothing. Nothing that is except swallow the 20% increase in the premium. Well, bollocks to that for a start!

I shop around. Tesco offer me better cover with a lower excess for less than I paid Direct Line last year, so I took out the policy. Than I rang Direct Line to cancel the renewal. Many minutes of menu systems and muzac later, I get through to a person!

When I tell them I’m not renewing, they immediately reduce the price to less than last year and around £1 more than Tesco. I quite reasonably ask them why they didn’t quote me that price in the first place. Their reply? “We’d rather make no profit than lose a loyal customer.” FFS!

Well, hard luck Direct Line because I’m off!

Ironically, as I explained to the lady on the end of the phone, if they’d quoted me a couple of quid more than last year then I would have just let it renew and not bothered to shop around. They really haven’t got a clue have they?

+ + + UPDATE + + +
Just got a very nice lady called Amy from Direct Line leave the following on Twitter :
It’s not our intention to cause frustration to any of our customers. Please DM me what’s happened as I’d like to help.”

I’m wondering which bit of the above she doesn’t understand? I thought I covered all the salient details.

No offence, Amy, but just read it…

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15 responses to “Fuck You, Direct Line…

  1. I think that they must get away with it because all the others do it. So they just play merry-go -round with each other’s customers.

    It isn’t always worth the shopping around. Being an old git on a motorbike who hadn’t made a claim in forty years, there seems to be a sort of base level for the premium that doesn’t vary much at all. I stayed with Hastings Direct for years doing the automatic renewal thing. I fell out with them when the payment didn’t go through for some reason, they sent me a cover note with the renewal notice followed by a letter saying that they hadn’t been able to make the payment and that they would cancel my insurance immediately if I didn’t sort it out. Since I had assumed that the second letter was just the new certificate I didn’t open it straight away and so became aware of the problem when I got the letter saying that my insurance had been cancelled and we will have our cover note back now please. Obviously I renewed with a different company. About a week later I got a call from Hastings in order to check that they had all my details correct. With such brilliant customer service I wonder how they stay in business.

  2. I had similar. I bought a new bike. My existing underwriter refused to cover it, so the broker managed to get a quote for around three times my premium, yet offered a much lower one on-line. They lost the business.

  3. Kath lissenden

    Have had cause for similar issue with Virgin mobile this week. W A N K E R S having already had them remove us from their cold calling list because Mr me has a tendency to say YES to things without thinking it through when he is told he is getting a better deal (not really his fault given the amount of anti psychotic meds he has to take) even if he’s is not. They suddenly started calling me again this week. What annoys me is it’s not just one or two calls it’s umpteen calls daily and when I reject the calls because I know all the virgin numbers off by7 heart now, the resort to withholding their number. These companies don’t get it do they. If I want their services or to upgrade to something more extortionately priced, just to get a newer phone that sings makes tea and plays the banjo i’d do so but I DON’T so stop calling me. I have complained again about this and told them to remove my number from cold calls once again. I tried email as talking to them is a total waste of time they don’t listen. The email address no longer exists ….WTF… so I had to use some form on their site, “thank you for your enquiry, we will attempt to respond within 30 days” …AHHH I see so an extra 30 days of annoying me with 6 phone calls a day thats another 180 calls on top of the 42 I have already received. So I sent a message on their social media saying if they didn’t stop immediately I was taking my custom elsewhere. Funny how a bit of public humiliation get’s results. So far today …..fingers crossed… no calls but I shan’t be holding my breath.
    I dare say Direct line have put up premiums to cover Harvey Keitels hollywood fees for their shitty ads.

  4. “…….(Well, OK. I will admit the I may on thin ground with that last one)……”

    Indeed you are, but in their defense, it is not so much they are stupid (which they are) but they are lazy AND conditioned by their Class-based culture to just accept what their betters have decided is good for them and acquiesce.

    “…….Ironically, as I explained to the lady on the end of the phone, if they’d quoted me a couple of quid more than last year then I would have just let it renew and not bothered to shop around. They really haven’t got a clue have they?…..”

    Au contraire, mon ami, they have a well crafted and thoroughly researched clue.
    They have Actuaries who develop algorithms and Marketers who develop Psych Profiles.
    Insurance Company A has 1000 ‘loyal customers’ who get a renewal notice this week. All are told to expect a 20% increase. For our maths purposes, the old premium was $100. Therefore total income was $100,000 last year BUT they do not expect income to be $120,000 this year.
    The Actuaries and Marketers have predicted the following Loss/Gain scenario vis a vis last year’s Total Income of $100,000:

    Firstly Company A’s smart women/men have decided ‘20%’ (not 19 and not 21) is the ideal percentage increase to levy – it maximizes/optimizes their eventual income for next year.
    1
    100 customers cancel and leave. They go to Insurance Company B.
    Loss of $10,000.
    2
    100 customers arrive from Insurance Company B who left because Company B upped their premiums 20%. Company A charges last year’s rate.
    Gain of $10,000.

    #1 and #2 assume Company A maintains its total Market share vis a vis Company B.

    3
    700 customers call to complain and are offered reductions in the 20% increase in order to ‘keep a loyal customer’. Some customers will be happy with a 10% increase over last year. Others will only accept 2% Average increase is about 3%, maybe 4.
    Gain of $2,100 to $2,800 Let’s say $2,500.
    4
    50 customers will accept their lot in life and pay the 20% increase and then go kick the dog or smack the wife/kids/husband/neighbour.
    Gain of $1,000
    5
    150 customers will call, and in order to ‘keep a loyal customer’, their premiums will have to drop versus last year. Average decrease is about 3%, maybe 4.
    Loss of $450 to $600. Let’s say $500

    If you do the sums, Company A has increased its income to $103,000 – a 3% increase – which is what their Accountants calculated was needed to maintain profitability.

    Innit?

    • Yep – I get it.

      Mind you, as an ex-accountant (many many years ago!) I believe all accountants should be barred from commercial decision or running campaniles. That’s why when I had my own company, Mrs D was the sole director and the only person allowed to sign contracts…

      • “…..That’s why when I had my own company, Mrs D was the sole director and the only person allowed to sign contracts… …..”

        The Tutor is an ex-bean counter too; before he embraced the Dark Side and went to Doctoring school. And if you are in any way similar to him, I reckon Mrs. D installed herself as the sole director with signing authority because she could! And there ain’t nothin’ you could have done about it!
        Puny man!
        The Tutor has a framed one of thesein the two meter by two meter office/toilet/bedroom/kitchen area of his three story, four bedroom, three bathroom house I allow him to use. That poster was famous in The Canadas back in the day. Apparently.

        I’ve no idea if that link is going to work. If not, here:

      • Actually it was my idea. I put my money where my mouth is. No accountant should ever be allowed to run a company!

        Question : How do we make more money for the company>
        Answers :
        (Businessman) Buy cheaper, raise prices, sell more product
        (Accountant) Revalue the buildings

        See what I mean?..

      • “………Yep – I get it……..”

        I figured you would. In fact, I figured you would not need me to pixellate any of that, but I felt a need to be patronizing. I also had a strong desire to be a vile cliché in the process, so as an Asian, I figured I’d show y’all how I excel in Maths.

      • I noticed your new masthead. Isn’t that an insult to The Right Honourable Neville Chamberlain? And possibly even Hitler?

        How to hire an Accountant
        Question: What is 2 + 2?

        Accountant Candidate #1, thinking it is a trick question: “5?”
        Accountant Candidate #2, taking the question literally: “4!”
        Accountant Candidate #3 , the successful candidate: “What ever you want it to be!”

        You’re still a puny man and I am sure the gracious Mrs. D will agree with me.

    • Furor Teutonicus

      XX They have …… Marketers who develop Psych Profiles.XX 😀

      That is why I almost make a RELIGION out of answering their quetionaires.

      😀 😀 😀 😀

      You think for ONE fucking minute, they are any where NEAR acurate when they are convinced I have 20 Rolls Royce, and 16 people living in my two bedroom flat, because I told them I did?

      One can get EVER so inventive when talking to these dip shits.

  5. I kicked DL into touch years ago when they wouldn’t give us contents insurance on a rented property because there had been subsidence in a property thirty yards away. Getting rid of Virgin was like shit on my shoe until I found that they had a well-hidden, unlabelled office in Sheffield. Handing paperwork over the counter under their cameras worked.