We live in a world where we take advice from a meerkat. Worse still, we are obliged to take advice from government ministers and that advice is to switch. Everything. All the time. Not that many years ago we took out car insurance with this or that company and there we stayed, our policies renewing year on year.
It was called customer loyalty. Now, as you know, we take the best annual offer and then, when the blighters try to stiff us on the following year’s premium, we up sticks and go to another company who is offering us the best annual offer and thus the cycle of irritation continues.
Finding Car Insurance Deals
The thing is – we do all the work. How did that happen? I’m sure I remember a time when companies would approach me with terrific deals yet now it’s the customer who has to spend time trawling around comparison sites (which are often not quite as impartial what they seem) or individual websites, filling out forms and seeking that illusive bargain.
Car insurance, Utilities and the like all require us to do this knowing full well that a lot of people will simply not bother because it is too much hassle. Ergo, customers unwittingly pay through the nose to subsidise the extra low rates charged to new customers. Yep; it’s a rip-off all right.
For example: Your power supplier probably offers you a selection of tariffs to choose from every year. To many people who don’t care to put in the hours, they are pretty much incomprehensible. Our Utilities were once nationalised. Then, in the Thatcher period, they were privatised one the basis that competition would mean lower prices for all. How we can laugh about that now!
Car Insurance Provider Sees The Light
Even the car insurance industry admits things are off-kilter. Mark Wilson, the boss at Aviva, is quoted as saying, “the car insurance market is “dysfunctional” and does not reward loyal customers”. He went on, “firms were tempting in new customers with prices that were “too low”, which put prices up for existing customers”. You can read this whole news piece from the Beeb here. It gets worse. It has been widely reported that insurance firms are routinely inflating the price of repairs. Read about that here and here.
Over the last few years TV watchdogs have highlighted all the ways we are legally robbed by big business. Official watchdogs seem to be as toothless as a trainee dentist’s granny. In the usual wearyingly familiar manner we are fobbed off with allegedly legitimate sounding ‘reasons’ why premiums have to be so high. Well, call me Victor Meldrew but I do not believe it. Not for one minute.
We all want to profit from life. That’s how commerce works, but we know full well that from the petrol forecourt to the power companies (that will drive your electric car) and on to the car insurance providers, they all have us spread-eagled across the barrel ready to be shafted one more time. It has to stop, although how to stop it is a problem. Until we have leaders with a bit of gumption we have to rely on switching. Let’s hope the words (and hopefully actions) of the Aviva CEO will result in a change for the better. Not holding my breath though. Geoff Maxted