are all told we should shop around aren't we but there are some
things that are just more trouble than they are worth. A superb
example is that of buying our energy but really, when you read
of all the anxiety that people suffer by doing that, you begin
to ask yourself "Is it really worth it?" As for mobile
phones, well I was very politely made to feel ancient a couple
of years ago when I had to upgrade from a Nokia with a flip-top
lid for one of these modern things, the young lady was so young
I doubt whether she had seen such a phone before. I was feeling
foolish enough before I went into the shop after losing my phone,
you have to be careless to lose a phone and I certainly was.
I had taken to keeping it my shirt pocket possibly so I could
get at it quickly in those exciting and rare moments that someone
phoned. me. I was taking rubbish to the tip one day and I think
it quietly slipped out and fell into the depths when I leaned
into the skip. There! I feel better now that I've told you.
I have begun to feel dread when it comes up to renewal time
on my car insurance, invariably it seems to to have jumped from
the previous year and I always mean to find a better price but
tend to put it off until it is so late that the automatic renewal
is triggered. It all seems such a bother and I yearn for the
old days when you could walk into an insurance broker and deal
with it face to face. I dislike trawling through price comparison
sites, I must say, I'm a bit dubious of them anyway, and have
you tried phoning up to cancel your policy? Always a call centre
with several stages before you get through to a human being
and all the time you have to listen to some tedious music abusing
your eardrums and giving you blisters on your ears. There is
always a particular number that you press for cancelling and
guess what? Yes, it keeps you waiting for yonks until you feel
like giving up, and sometimes do. I caught on to that some while
ago and started pressing the button for new business - much
quicker although you suffer a bit of guilt from cheating their
system - well, not a lot!
friend of mine who I have known for donkey's years, and is always
there when there is a pound to be saved, put me on to NFU Mutual.
I had never thought of using them before because I am not a
farmer and I didn't think that having two rhubarb crowns in
my garden and wearing wellies that happen to be green was sufficient
qualification. This friend, let's call him H to make things
a bit more personal, has a smallholding and speaks very highly
of NFU Mutual who have this rather clever idea where you can
insure more than one vehicle on the same policy. That appealed
to me, having the campervan as well as the car, so when I had
the annual missive from my present insurer I was ready for action.
I went onto the MFU Mutual website but you can't do it through
that, you have to go and see them - wonderful! I looked up the
nearest branch and was pleased to see that they have one in
Swansea. Within a few minutes, armed with my renewal notice
and the campervan details I was on my way, they had their own
car park and a young lady greeted me and took me through the
whole process entirely painlessly.
premium was £110 lower (roughly 25%), I was not stressed
and when the campervan comes up for renewal that will be added
on to the policy. They do home and contents insurance too!
was quick, it was simple and confirmed my belief that in spite
of the advances that have been made in technology it was
better in the old days. Hooray for the NFU Mutual!
there you are H, next time I see you I'll buy the first round!
You can buy the second.
scandalous example of how technology puts the consumer at a
disadvantage is when you try and pay in cheques to your bank
account. These days there probably isn't a branch nearby, if
there is there will be a big queue and although I don't mind
using cash machines for withdrawals I like to deal with a human
when I'm paying in cheques. And that is when the banks inconvenience
I left school, a century or so ago, I worked in the National
Provincial Bank (they are the 'National' part of NatWest). Banks
in those days had a manager that knew his customers (sorry girls,
but I think it was always a him) and there were clerks who sat
behind the cashiers with dippy-ink pens - not quite quills,
and blotting paper. You can feel the nostalgia can't you! When
you paid in cheques in those days you listed them on your paying
in book, the cashier checked them off, stamped the counterfoil,
the slip was torn out and placed with the cheques for processing
by the inky fingered clerks. All finished in less than a minute.
Nowadays however it takes four to five minutes because you have
to wait for the bank to update its records. Ok, four or five
minutes is not much of an inconvenience but when you add on
to that the time that it takes to stand in the queue before
you get there then you very soon begin to realise that you,
the poor customer are being rather unfairly treated.
stopped going to the bank now, all my paying in is done through
the Post Office, like NFU Mutual it's much quicker and far more
there you are! How to save money and time! You heard it first