Sunday, January 29, 2006

Updated - Confused.com. Do you mean rippedoff.com?

Bloody insurance companies wind me up - I visited http://www.confused.com the other day to try and get cheaper car insurance. The site works well, asks you a number of questions and then returns a list of quotes from a number (20 odd) of insurance companies; the idea being that you buy from them and they get a cut from the company you choose. Fair enough.

I chose Swinton (part of Its2Me) because they quoted £55 less than my current renewal fee and voluntary excess was "N/A" (I currently have £100 excess on all claims except windscreen).

Deciding to continue I filled in a few more details only to find that the voluntary excess had gone from N/A to either £100 or £250. A bit miffed that I'd been conned enough to come this far I decided that a £55 saving is still OK, especially on a like for like policy (I chose the £100 as I had no choice but to choose one), so out comes the credit card and out goes my money.

Two days later the paperwork arrived kindly telling me that my excess is in fact £175. WTF? How does it go from £0 to £175?

So I get on the phone to be told that the site clearly states all this (it didn't) and when I told them I would be cancelling the policy becuase getting ripped off is not one of my favourite hobbies I was told to just send back the papers with a covering letter and I would get a refund minus a £30 fee! Oh I'm so happy I'm now paying for their misleading web site and ever-increasing excess amount.

As instructed by the lady on the phone I have sent off the letter and am awaiting some form of response. I also emailed confused.com to let them know because it's a shame that such a good site cannot be trusted to point you towards companies that don't mislead you. That was Monday, and I am still awaiting a response.

Bastards!

Update: A week later I telephoned to check this had been cancelled and they denied all knowledge of receiving the documents and promised to send out a form where I could re-request my "mislaid" documents. On getting home there was a letter dated the day after I sent my documents thanking me for my letter of complaint!
A few days after that both confused.com and Its4Me got in touch to state that my policy would be cancelled and that the £30 fee would be reduced to £15.
So the lesson here is that the 14 day cool-off period doesn't mean you won't get stung anyway.

In defense of confused.com they were the ones that got Its4Me to actually contact me and and give me at least some of my money back. They have also said they are looking into why their site didn't state the excess.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Without knowing the full extent of insurance law, shouldn't your cancellation fall within the 14-day "cooling off period" which all insurance companies are required to offer?  Because the consumer's right to cancel is a legal obligation, it's surely unlawful to charge you to invoke your rights?!

Huw said...

Simon,
Your post about Confused is Naive to say the least. All insurance companies are clamoring to get on to aggregators such as Confused as it is an brilliant source of revenue. Confused have helped you and from my dealings with them will sort this out. However it isn't their fault, it is the marketing departments that do with it.
By the way, do you still play drums and like Van Halen / Metallica

Anonymous said...

Note the Update to the blog that clearly states that confused.com helped sort out the issue and are updating their site to make it clearer about when excess is charged.

Simon Sherlock said...

Blimey comments all over the place. Huw, as somebody above said the post was updated to clear confused.com of any wrong-doing except that a) the site was wrong so the trust factor is no longer there (well you should check the results carefully at the very least) and b) it took them over a week to answer my email telling them they were giving out duff information (which is shite customer service).

The comment about being charged for what is supposed to be the 14 day cooling off period still stands as it is a rip off, though admittedly by Its4Me rather than confused.com.

As for the other questions drop me an email and tell me what you're up to. Here's not really the place.