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Bupa health insurance cover for my family. I've tried it and I damn it. What a shambles. We signed up to Bupa to cover the whole family in the possible event that one or all of us may need an operation. We thought we would have peace of mind. More like I gave Bupa a piece of my mind.
Firstly we sent off the application forms, then a letter came advising us that a Bupa respresentitive would call at an appointed time. He did and he was late. We signed up under the National Farmers Union Scheme because that way we would save a lot of money on our subscription. We did get a good discount but we had to join the N.F.U. to do so. (Oooh arrrgh, him was worryin moi sheep).
Secondly the subscriptions could only be paid by direct debit. This they manipulated through out and is the main cause of my angst.
Thirdly, I found a discrepancy in the direct debits to Bupa, both in the amount paid and the day of which it was supposed to be withdrawn. Both were wrong so I contacted our Bupa representative on his mobile phone only to be told he had now left Bupa and retired.
He didn't know who they were allocating as a new rep for us.
Fourthly, We still haven't had word of a new rep to contact, even after phoning and asking.
Fifth. They abused the direct debit system again and withdrew 5 months worth of payments. I saw red and called Bupa.
The response was that they would refund me in full and it would take 14 days to do so.
I was not happy about this as the funds they had wrongly taken from my bank, just before Christmas meant I had to hurry to do something. I was very firm on the telephone and was adamant that I wanted to be repaid sooner as the money taken from my bank meant other direct debits would not have been paid and they would have bounced, resulting in bank charges. This is what I really didn't want to happen. Finally they offered to send a cheque out to me as this was, in their opinion, the quickest way for them to pay me back.
Then I had an idea.
I checked the direct debit guarantee.
This was a life saver.
I shall put a very important statement about this guarantee at the end of this gripe. It will be very useful to you.
The banks were closing in 2 days, it was just after Christmas Day and Boxing day so I had to rush out to the bank in the snow and freezing weather. Thankfully, the bank was open. I went in and explained what had happened and what Bupa had done. I showed them our agreement with Bupa and the bank agreed that Bupa were wrong to take that much money out of my bank account without firstly informing me in writing that they were going to do so and on which day they were going to do it. Right there and then the bank claimed back my money on an indemnity which is what the guarantee of a direct debit gives you.
If you can prove that either the company drawing from your bank account has made a mistake or that the bank made a mistake then you get your money refunded immediatley to your account. I was very, very relieved and overjoyed to have this happen, and very glad that I rushed around to my bank to sort it out rather than leaving it for the Bupa cheque to come and have all of my ohter direct debits bounce. I also had the bank cancel my direct debit to Bupa there and then. In my opinion they deserved it.
So two very important lessons learned by myself.
1) Please check your bank statements very, very carefully. (Especially if you have a Bupa subscription).
2) If you've paid someone by Direct Debit you are covered by the direct debit guarantee where you can get your money refunded if you can prove that the Bank or the person who drew money from your bank account on the direct debit has made a mistake or a wrongful withdrawal. (Yes you can get it all back).
I hope my experience with Bupa Health Care Cover has given you some idea of the pitfalls you may experience if you sign up with them. I was lucky,I got my money back,I suspect a lot of people haven't.
My advice is, shop around. Bupa may have big flash commercials offering you peace of mind, but the bigger they are the more they seem to treat you like dirt. Find someone who delivers what they are offering, probably on more sites like this one. I know I'm going to check out the consumers advice on the subject of health care insurance from now on so that's what I'm off to do right now.
Hope this experience has shed some light. Bye. Mirror.