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When shopping around for insurance for a brand new car I found Direct Line the cheapest so we took out a policy. Not expecting to need it we also agreed to a £175 excess charge (which means we have to pay the first £175 of any claim we make).
While out shopping one day we returned to our car to find the rear light and bumper smashed and nobody around.
As we had taken out no claims protection we decided to make a claim because the damge would cost around £1000 to fix. On contacting Direct Line we were told that we would lose one of our lives from the policy but could claim. However we would have to pay the excess even though we were not to blame because there was nobody else to claim it from.
We asked about a courtesy car and were told they don't supply them but to ask at the repairers. They told us to get one from Direct Line.
When the repairer picked up the car he realised it wouldn't fit on his truck as it was too long. He admitted he hadn't even looked at what he was picking up. He went away and we got a phone call from the garage asking us would it fit on a trailer. My husband replied "that depends on the size of traler, I can't see it from here!". The woman sounded flustered and said she would send it anyway. When it arrived there were two men with it and one of them said "perhaps we should have brought the big one". My husband suggested one of them drive it back which they hadn't thought of.
We were told at first that it would take a couple of days to fix. This stretched into a week then two. Every time we rang we were promised a call back which didn't happen. At one point we were told they couldn't tell us anything as a Direct Line representative had taken the file.
Later that day Direct Line rang us. They asked how the work was going to which we replied "you tell us, you've got the file". When we told them how unhelpful the garage was we were told to ring back if we had any more problems. As this is one of their designated repair centres we thought they would be more interested.
Twice we were promised the car back on a particular day and heard nothing. We always had to do the phoning.
It is now almost three weeks and I still have no car. As we have four children we can't manage in my husband's car as we won't all fit in.
I know some of the problem is the actual repairer but Direct Line arranged for it to go there and should be more interested when we complain. Now they have our money they don't seem to care that we are unhappy with the service.
Next time I buy insurance I will check to see whether a courtesy car is included and won't buy from Direct Line again.
courtesy cars arent on a lot of insurance policies, if they are they are at an additional cost or for a limited amount of time. Its worth checking your policy booklet, or ringing up and asking what your entitled to.
friedagaric 18.08.2004 01:59
Oh boy your review brought back bad memories. We too got conned into thinking there would be a courtesy car when there wasn't and struggled with work, kids etc. We are now with Norwich Union, best quote and deals with claims well. Hate their quote me happy adds though...more likely to put me off! :)
samt 12.02.2003 01:55
your comment was very helpful, thank i'll no never to try these people.