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Three months ago I was involved in a car accident that was absolutely no fault of my own, and as if that wasn’t stressful enough, the handling of the situation by my car insurance company: Elephant.co.uk, has been nothing short of a living nightmare. I would not usually write a review of something having had one bad experience, as my experience has been a catalogue of disasters over a period of time on their behalf, I feel as though my story is worth sharing! This review is the subject of their service and not of the website.
Straight after the accident I returned home and called Elephant. After spending forty five minutes (and several pounds) on the phone, I hung up feeling confident that my claim would be dealt with quickly and efficiently – it was a clear cut case of no responsibility on my part, and at first Elephant seemed competent. Wow, was my opinion about to change. I was told that my car would be collected from the roadside within the hour and taken to a nearby garage, all I had to do was to meet them at the scene when Elephant called me back, to empty the vehicle. Six hours later I receive a call from the garage asking me why I wasn’t at the scene – I had not yet received a call from Elephant, so I had no idea that they were waiting and they were about to leave minus the car! I managed to get there just in time, and I was told that the car was going to be taken fifty miles away – really handy!
As much as I enjoy a bit of culture, after what seems like hours listening to Fur Elise, I am sick of it! The shortest time I have had to wait on hold calling Elephant is six minutes, the longest time so far is eighteen minutes. I consider this to be unacceptable and completely unnecessary, especially when the call is costing you every second and there is no free phone number available.
Does anyone know what they are doing?
I was offered and accepted a hire car, but this also seemed to be a difficult issue for Elephant. As luck would have it, my insurance with Elephant ran out on the night of my accident therefore no one knew if I would be covered to drive a hire car. Three different people gave me differing advice from them trying to sell me a new policy to telling me to get cover on my husband’s car insurance for the hire car. It was only when I spoke to the actual hire car company that they informed me that I would be covered by their insurance – surely Elephant should have known this? Firstly I was told that I could keep the hire car for seven days after my claim is settled, then after I had had it for 22 days I was told that I was only entitled to it for 21 days throwing me into a complete panic, but then fortunately it went back to the original information, leaving me wondering if anyone there actually knew what was going on.
It took three and a half weeks for Elephant to inform me that my car had been written off. It took a further week and endless chasing phone calls and emails to get a settlement figure – then another hour on the phone at my expense to get a more realistic figure. I was fortunate that I had bought my car at auction and had picked up a bargain, being the honest person that I am, I had declared what I paid for the vehicle when I took out the policy and so Elephant were adamant that they were not going to pay anymore even though I had proof that the car was worth £800 pounds more. They insisted that I sent them three quotes telling them the true value of the car (even though a quick Google search easily found the answer and I don’t see why they couldn’t have done this themselves). They were insisting that they would put me back into the same position as I had originally been in, and it took me quoting their own Terms and Conditions (to give you the market value of the vehicle) and a lot of arguing to get a decent sum. Many people might have given up the fight which is probably what they depend upon, but by that time I was so frustrated by their poor service that I would have stayed on the phone all night until I got what I wanted!
You’re kidding me?!
This has to be the most unbelievable evidence of their incompetence. After six weeks I really wanted to get the matter wrapped up; I called Elephant – again – to find out the situation. I was told that the third party still hadn’t admitted liability and Elephant would “soon” be writing them to give them three weeks notice to admit fault. They also said that they had not received witness statements so asked me to give the witnesses a call to try to hurry them up! I was absolutely flabbergasted and then they admitted that they hadn’t even written to them yet for their statements despite being given their details on the day of the accident.
I have now spoken to dozens of people at Elephant, and each one sounds as miserable as the next. They can’t be bothered to talk to you, answer your questions incorrectly and inaccurately and are on occasion extremely rude. I do not feel as though Elephant are working in my best interests as the customer and I am disgusted that I have had to continually call them to hurry things along. I have still not received my excess because the third party still haven’t paid the claim, and as long as Elephant is in charge of the chasing of the funds, I am not expecting it any time soon.
Elephant might be one of the cheapest insurers around, but having had a dose of their customer service, I would rather have paid double for the policy if it meant that I might get a better service. It isn’t often in life that you generally have to claim on a policy, but I have to say that this is the worst and most exhausting service that I have ever received.
Also posted on Dooyoo under my username emmachilcott
A very clear and informative account of a truely dreadfull service from Elephant Insurance Company, as the writer states it isn't until you actually make a claim and need the insurance companies help do you find out the true service you will get! The Herd of Elephants will be avoided like the plague when I next renew my car policy. As you say it is worth sticking with a good insurance company even if you don't get a new customer discount but most people never find out how good or bad they are!
mum2boys82 04.04.2010 14:13
My insurance company (sourced through the AA) were really good at sorting out our last accident, also no fault of our own...might give elephant a wide birth now tho! Rebecca Xx