I have a dispute with car insurance company Quotemehappy.com.
It continued to take monthly premiums long after I had cancelled the insurance and obtained cover elsewhere.
I tried to contact the firm via a number I got from the internet, but the call was answered by a person from Aviva who told me Quotemehappy was nothing to do with them, even though it is the parent company.
It ignores emails, and I only got a response when I cancelled the direct debit.
J. K., Salford.
One reader was left extremely unhappy after accepting a quote through car insurance company Quotemehappy.com
Your problem comes down to one core issue. When you took out the policy with Quotemehappy.com in 2013, you chose to pay monthly.
This was set up on an auto-renewal basis, which would have been made clear at the point of purchase, says Aviva.
At renewal time each year, you should have received an invitation directly to the email address that you provided at that time. These renewal notices made it clear that unless you cancelled, your policy would be renewed.
But you changed your email from TalkTalk to Gmail and didn’t tell them.
In the meantime, you took out new insurance with Hastings Direct in November 2014, but didn’t know you had two policies until your new insurer spotted it and told you in March 2017. You tried emailing, but got no response.
There are two points to make here. The first is that the email — a copy of which you sent to me — is next to useless!
It came from your new email address and you failed to provide a policy number or your home address, so how on earth did you think they could identify you from just your initial and surname?
Then there is the email address: firstname.lastname@example.org. Aviva says that this address ‘was never used for customers, sent to customers, or featured on the website’. It adds: ‘We have double-checked all Mr K’s communications and it was never sent to him.’
However, when you phoned Aviva, surely somebody could have escalated your complaint. The good news is Aviva accepts that you had dual insurance throughout this period and has now refunded the full £921.69.
There’s a couple of lessons here for all of us. If you are dealing with an organisation by internet, then tell them if you are changing your email address, otherwise they can’t contact you.
Secondly, if you’re paying monthly for your insurance, then make sure you cancel it when you swap to someone else.
You have YOUR say
Every week Money Mail receives hundreds of your letters and emails about our stories.
Here are some from our article about motorists being left stranded for up to 12 hours by the AA and RAC.
My problem was that I couldn’t get through to the RAC. My annual fee is £129.99, and in 29 years I have called them four times.
When I broke down recently, I sat listening to recorded messages on loop for 35 minutes. I felt helpless.
V. L., London.
I consider the AA to be a remarkable institution. When I had a flat battery, I was told an engineer would be there within 35 minutes.
He beat that and made it in 35 seconds. Apparently, he had been in the same car park as me at the time.
E. G., Cambs.
The RAC kept putting my breakdown premium up year after year. On the two occasions that I needed them during my eight years of membership, they were less than useless and extremely unhelpful.
I’ve now moved to Green Flag.
A. H., Stockport.
I can’t fault the AA. I’ve had to call them twice in 12 months — the joys of having a clapped-out 2005 Ford Focus.
I recognised one of the guys who came to help me as a former Britain’s Got Talent contestant. He was a really nice chap.
A. K., Wolverhampton.
We have smartphones these days. We don’t need the AA or RAC. You can find a million local mechanics and tow trucks without leaving your car.
Anyone still paying these big companies for cover each month needs their head examined.
B. Y., London.
Some of these roadside assistance mechanics are given unrealistic performance targets.
It means if they don’t find the fault in about 30 seconds of examining the vehicle, they just pass the job onto the vehicle recovery crew. This causes massive backlogs.
M. G., Staffordshire.
I am a landlord. The tenant who has just vacated my property left behind some Virgin Media equipment including a wi-fi box and cabling that protrudes from the ground in a huge loop right across the front door.
Neither Virgin nor the tenant sought my permission to install this equipment.
I rang Virgin to ask for the cable to be removed and what I should do with the equipment.
I was told because I was not ‘our customer’, and due to data protection issues, it couldn’t take notice of my request. I asked to speak to a supervisor, but again data protection prevented this.
There are times when data protection is code for ‘can’t be bothered’. And this is one.
Staff may not have been able to discuss the details of the account with you, but this is your property, so of course someone should have been able to talk about the equipment.
If the person you spoke to did not feel able to handle it, they should have allowed you to speak to a supervisor.
Virgin has apologised that the cables were left exposed, and an engineer has now removed them.
The account was in the tenant’s name so will not have an impact on you.
The tenant is unlikely to have needed your permission to have cable TV installed unless you had a term preventing this in the tenancy. If there was damage to your property, this was, no doubt, covered by the deposit.
You also asked about getting rid of the equipment.
Well, you followed the correct practice by putting Virgin on notice that if they did not arrange collection by a specific date, then you would dispose of it. In fact, Virgin does not want the equipment back, so you can do so.
I have written to Prudential about an insurance policy passed to me by my mother, who is now deceased. It was taken out when I was nine and I’m now 73. It says it was payable at the end of 56 years.
Prudential has written to me saying that it has no monetary value, but why is this?
P. C., Hertfordshire.
You have an old-style industrial policy which was probably sold by an insurance salesman who visited your parents’ house.
People commonly bought these so they’d be able to provide a decent funeral if their children died young or to provide something for the children if they survived.
My mum bought one for each of her children with the idea that it would buy us a suit for our first job at the age of 16 (though I wanted jeans for the sixth form).
It turns out that your policy was surrendered in December 1981 with £27.73 being paid. Prudential has now written to you with full details.
- Write to Tony Hazell at Ask Tony, Money Mail, Northcliffe House, 2 Derry Street, London W8 5TT or email email@example.com — please include your daytime phone number, postal address and a separate note addressed to the offending organisation giving them permission to talk to Tony Hazell. We regret we cannot reply to individual letters. Please do not send original documents as we cannot take responsibility for them. No legal responsibility can be accepted by the Daily Mail for answers given.