I had a moment that was tinged with a drop of sadness yesterday.
It was the end on an era.
I got a letter from my car insurance company the other day reminding me to renew my policy at the end of the month. As usual it had hiked considerably in the last year. That really pisses me off.
My tactic is to flit around the various companies on line and get quotes off them. I then phone my lot, give 'em the lowest quote and threaten to leave if they don't drop my premium. It usually works and I end up with a large discount.
My quote for this year was €494.69, for fully comprehensive and a few extras thrown in. I spent the last couple of days trying various quotes with various on line companies that I had never heard of. I even tried that company that has some ghastly American kid in their ads who really annoys me. I got a range of quotes that were more or less in the ballpark of my current quote.
There was one company that I nearly missed out on. It's the company where I have the house and our Penny insured. I gave them a tinkle.
I got onto a very pleasant chap who had to go through reams of questions.
"How many years no-claims have you" says he.
"Forty one" says I.
"Fuck me" says he.
"Impressed?" says I.
We went through the whole lot. Haw many years had I been with my last company?  How may points had I on my licence? [None. Not on the one I’m using at the moment, anyway]. How many miles did I drive a year [a couple of thousand] And so on and so on. At the end of a very long series of questions he finally gave me a quote – €330.26.
I phoned my lot and discovered they had a faulty phone system. I had to try about eight times before I got through.
I introduced myself and pointed out I had been a customer of theirs since 1972 [it even says that on my reminder] and that I wanted a really good deal. She said the deal I had was the best she could offer and it took my loyalty into account. I told her I had found a quote that was over €160 cheaper. "Hold on and I'll check with the manager" says she and she vanished for about ten minutes. When she came back from her discussions she offered to knock €100 off my premium.
What pissed me off was not their high premium or the fact that she was prepared to knock twenty percent off, it was the ease with which she was able to drop the premium without any concessions. She pointed out all the benefits they were giving me. I pointed out I was getting all those from the other company. She ran out of steam.
I told her to cancel my account.
I'm sorry to leave a company after this length of time. I must have been one of their longest standing customers.
But I ain't going to lash out €60 a year just for the sake of sentiment.