Insurance Saga

On January 29th, I had a very minor car accident with a motorcycle, luckily we found a good lawyer specialized for this at the blase inzina injury attorneys. Due to a fresh fall of snow and ungritted roads, my little Clio decided that despite my turning the wheel to the right it would keep going in a straight line. I bashed into a high kerb onto some grass where I finally gained some traction, but in the process damaged the wheel and steering. In addition the driver’s seat airbag went off (check resources like StephenBabcock.com for the expert review of the case).

No other vehicles, no damage to anything or anyone and a simple job to quote for. Easy-peasy.

Unfortunately I was driving a car insured by Saga Insurance (my folks are in the age bracket where they can use this bunch of incompetent buffoons) so instead of being a simple claim, this turned into a marathon. At a certain point, I even wanted to sell my car as a scrap vehicle (find out more at SCRAPMYCAROTTAWA.COM if you need to get rid of unwanted car).

In brief, the car went at first to my cousin’s garage where they looked at it, diagnosed the mechanical trouble and told me it would be around £300 to fix it (no labour charge for family). However, he couldn’t repair the seats, seatbelt tensioners and airbag. For that it would have to go to the coachworks next door.

That quote came to over £2000 so it went from a quick fix to an insurance issue. An thus the fun began. Saga were contacted with the details on Monday February 1st and given the details of the problem. Remember, this is as simple as it gets. They had a quote ready for them and no third parties to worry about. It was a simple case of “is the car worth repairing or is it a write-off?”

After two weeks we started to nudge them again. Yes. TWO WEEKS. Apparently they were, and I quote “busy”. As if that’s our problem. Where I stay, the public transport sucks more than Dyson’s finest and the lack of a car was taking its toll on both my personal life and my educational one. A 30 minute drive to college equates to 2 1/2 hours using buses and trains.

After a further week or so we received a request for copies of all the drivers’ licenses. No reason why, or why it had taken three weeks for this request to come through. As far as we could figure it was another excuse for them to drag the claim out more to avoid coughing up.

At the end of the month my dad rang them and pretty much said if they didn’t get their thumbs out of their collective arses and make a decision one way or the other, he’d be taking his insurance elsewhere. My folks don’t just have their car insurance (two cars) with them, they also have the house, possessions and so forth. All of their insurance policies, basically.

By some amazing coincidence, the garage were contacted the next day and told to go ahead with repairs. Time since accident: almost 5 weeks.

Thankfully the garage were swift, and swifter still as a favour to my cousin especially when they heard about the death of my gran. Only a shame I couldn’t have had the car back much sooner so that I could have perhaps seen her a little more often just before she died.

And on to today, March 13th.

My dad got home late this afternoon to a letter from the insurance company dated March 5th. Note that this is after Saga told us to get the car fixed.

The letter states that they will contact us soon after they have made their decision as to whether the car is economically repairable or not. Erm. OK.

Further, as I seem to be the main user of the vehicle and I’m not meant to be (I’m a named driver) they have decided that they no longer wish to insure the car. Therefore as of 14 days from the date on the letter, which would be next Friday, the policy will become null and void and we have to go elsewhere.

Which is strange. If they wanted to null the policy on the basis I shouldn’t have been driving the car then surely they could have used that as an excuse to refuse a payout four weeks earlier. At which point I could have arranged to have the car repaired privately and had the damn thing on the road within a fortnight.

Essentially it looks like a case of left hand/right hand/no idea.

What worries me most is that this is a company that aims its product at the higher end of the age scale, and therefore one of the more vulnerable markets. A lot of over 60’s will freak if they get badgered by insurance people and may well give up or avoid claims as a result. Thankfully my dad’s not one of them, but I hate to think how many other policyholders would put up with this crap.

Needless to say, we’re shifting my car insurance ASAP… along with all the other policies. Saga have just lost as much business as one person can possibly give them. But look at it from my parents’ point of view – if the company can make this much of a mess from the simplest of vehicular claims, would they really want them handling a house fire or flood damage? You’d better consult Singleton Law Firm and give them a call after a fire.

Hell, no.

It’s all well and good looking for the cheapest quote. But if that quote will get you abysmal service when what you need is help then it’s not worth the saving. And I’ve not even gone into the time spent on hold, the non-returned calls, the insistence on details being faxed rather than emailed and so forth.

Saga Insurance. Avoid. They are, in every respect as far as our experience is concerned, complete and utter ****.

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23 thoughts on “Insurance Saga”

  1. I’ve had a few dealings with insurance companies re car incidents and they’ve never been easy, although not as bad as what you’re experiencing. It is worrying that Saga are supposed to be marketed towards the older generation, who, when faced with all this hassle, may not claim for what they are entitled to. Hope all goes well and the car gets fixed soon!

  2. I agree that they do seem to be making things awkward for what could well be a very vulnerable segment of the population.

    Car’s back in my sticky little hands and I’m so glad. Back at uni on Friday and at least I know I can get there in 30 mins, not 2 1/2 hours required by public transport.

  3. Can I just point out that technically, meerkats are not rodents, Dr. Dolittle?! I agree about Saga…had a nightmare trying to get Dad travel insurance and gave up on them in the end (thankfully).

  4. Ok, fine – they’re “carnivora” but they look kind of rodent-ish. Smart arse.

    Glad your dad didn’t go with Saga. I’d not touch them with anyone else’s now. Getting the policies for my folks was easy enough, but the runaround when something happened… it’s like they have a guide on their desks on “how to lose customers”.

  5. I have just sold my car that was insured with Sage, phoned them up to cancel the insuranc only to be told that there is an admin charge of £50 what a rip off, just as bad as the bankers I would say, needless to say I will not be insuring my next car with Sage.

  6. Martin – that’s an example of having to check the small print. Cancellation fees etc are very common on policies. I gather my dad’s fighting a £75 change fee they landed him with as it was actioned before the policy was in place, which is rather cheeky.

  7. After 3 years of having my motor insurance documents sent to the wrong address and having an accident for which I was not responsible settled without advising me: SAGA immediately increased my premiums by a punitive amount. I now insure my car with Hastings at half the cost for the same cover.
    I now find out that SAGA home insurance has been using my premiums to insure a house that I have never owned and last lived their 3 years ago.

  8. Good grief. I would suggest – if you’ve not already done so – a strongly-worded letter with evidence to the insurance ombudsman. I believe my dad’s in the process of this as there were other issues regarding our dealing with Saga of which I’m not aware.

  9. I am an insurance broker and would urge anyone who is considering not just Saga, but any of the specialists providers who offer cover to the elderly to think again, particularly where house insurance is concerned. Remember Saga and companies like them have schemes for the elderly and these are not available for those under 50.

    If when you come to sell your house you have had the misfortune to have suffered flood damage or subsidence you could find insuring with Saga was a very expensive mistake. Your prospective purchaser is likely to want to insure with the same company you are with – indeed the existing insurer will usually be the only one willing to insure a house blighted by issues such as subsidence or flood. Your purchaser may find they are not eligible for a Saga policy and will not offer cover.

    Saga regularly changes the insurer of their scheme and you will find the scheme insurer is often less than enthusiastic about offering cover, even if they can. Why would an insurer retain what is seen as sub standard business from a connection they know they will eventually loose?

    Best advice is to insure your house with an open market insurer. In my experience Aviva (Norwich Union) and Ecclesiastical Insurance are the two best companies when it comes to continuing to offer cover for properties where there has been a problem. They will also offer cover to most prospective policyholders.

    Avoid Saga – they may sometimes be cheap but you very much get what you pay for!!

  10. [b]WHEN IS CLAIM FREE DRIVING EXPERIENCE NOT A NO CLAIMS BONUS ?[/b]

    When the SAGA car insurance department decides it wants it to be.

    Scenario:
    You reach a certain age and buy a car for the first time in a few years after having driven for 10 years on a company car without incident, claims or convictions. When you get your car insurance quote you are subjected to a ridiculous premium because you are unable to provide “adequate proof of claim free driving”.

    After a period of wrangling with your preferred insurance company
    you provide a letter from your previous employers confirming claim free driving and get a quote, which is still wildly expensive in the circumstances,
    and comes with a the old carrot and stick caveat that after a year your renewal premium be substantially less due to the extra year that has been applied to the company no claims bonus letter provided.

    REALITY:
    Your motor insurance renewal comes around and the premium is MORE ! When you query the price you are advised that it is because you only have ONE years no claims discount. This is despite the fact that the insurance company verbally confirmed there was 10 years plus no claims history on file, however they will only confirm 1 year in writing on the renewal.

    THE SAGA …. Saga.
    SAGA Car insurance tell me they will not accept accumulated proof of claims free driving in order to calculate the level of No Claims Discount they apply to the premium. Elrich Howe a Supervisor on the telesales department confirms that their underwriters will only accept the last insurance companies no claims bonus confirmation, which in my case was one year. Having offered to prove the previous years claim free experience, Mr Howe declined advising that his underwriters treat everyone the same and the policy is to only accept what the previous insurer states on the renewal documentation regardless if it is correct.

    I thought underwriters were there to ‘underwrite’ a process which is defined as follows:

    [b]Insurance underwriters evaluate the risk and exposures of potential clients. They decide how much coverage the client should receive, how much they should pay for it, or whether even to accept the risk and insure them. Underwriting involves measuring risk exposure and determining the premium that needs to be charged to insure that risk. [/b]

    It is hardly an underwriting decision when a major part of the discounting process is ignored because as Mr Howe puts it, everyone has to be treated the same and the SAGA policy is only to rely on the info provided on the last insurers renewal.

    The last comment from Mr Howe can be amongst other things described as crass: Mr Howe suggested I might have the previous insurance company review the renewal letter and reflect a corrected no claims discount position. Of course that isn’t going to happen… lets face it why should the company who is about to lose their renewal business help it along its way.

    Mmmmmmmm…. and I though SAGAloo was an indian dish.

  11. So, basically, you’re saying that Saga are crap and rewrite the rules to suit themselves? Yup, seems about right in my experience as well.

  12. They are crap alright and I just got myself banned from the Saga members forum for having my opinion…. oh and I did call my ID “saga-insurance-sucks” that may not have helped!

  13. INCOMPETENT BUFFOONS doesn’t nearly cover it!
    I took out insurance last April, had a claim in August for broken laptop, was informed by Saga you are not covered as portable electricals notr covered! Then in March this year I lost my watch on holiday, told yet again you are not insured as only jewellery at home covered. when i took out policy i specifically referred to jewellery abroad as i travel a lot, and this was my main reason for wanting insurance. They said they listened to the recording and I didnt say this, THEY LIED! As i had a friend present and phone on loudspeaker when I had my initial conversation with them. Again they refused to pay out on my loss. Now policy was due for renewal and renewal letter arrived and said theywould take yearly premium from my debit card, i rang and said I DO NOT WISH TO RENEW SO DO NOT TAKE ANY MONEY FROM MY ACCOUNT. I see from my bank account they have withdrawn this money! I am 65 yrs old and recovering from cancer. SAGA ARE CROOKS THERE IS NO OTHER WORD FOR THEM, DO NOT DO BUSINESS WITH THEM – YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED. I have now written to Watchdog and contacting the Insurance Ombudsman and ringing by bank tomorrow to inform them a crime has been committed by Saga withdrawing monies from my account.

  14. I’d say if you launch a complaint against them – particularly in regards to the mis-selling of the policy – you may be in with a shout as they would have to produce that recording as proof. However, do be aware that you will (I’m sure) at some point have received some paperwork and it is, I believe, your responsibility to check that what’s been sent matches up with what you asked for.

    As many would say, though, Saga aim at the older customer and therefore should be more careful. heaven forbid they should be accused of *taking advantage* of their customer base…

  15. http://www.dagmar.org.uk/documents/Saga_Car_Insurance.pdf for the pics,

    This is the story:

    “Saga people do things properly”

    For example, they “Actively discourage the ownership of older cars” without telling you, and then they pellet you with hidden penalties when you need their help, if you had one!

    Insurance is a business of money for nothing. We seem to be at the point where insurance companies conduct business solely and entirely for maximum profits. This breeds abuse, and more abuse means more claims. More claims mean increased premiums and more money for the insurance companies pursuing their own growth.

    With a gap of only a few years, myself and my daughter have both had a claim against us, each by an employee in the car insurance trade. In my daughters’ case the insurance clerk put on the brakes on an old car on a busy roundabout, whereby my daughter could not avoid making contact with the vehicle. Initially, the insurance clerk confirmed that there was no visible damage to either of the vehicles, and later miraculously some major join on the chassis had been compromised, causing thousands of pounds worth of repairs… and this resulted in an accident insurance pay-out to top up the scrap value of the old car, which may have been in the region of £50.

    In my case, the employee possibly drove recklessly and speeded, while I was slow, because I had to carefully manoeuvre in a constricted space, and she rubbed the whole side of her car against my bumper and indicator light. First she assured me that she was not hurt in any way and later miraculously, she sustained a whiplash, needed hospital treatment, and was days off work for an injury that could not have been the result of the encounter.

    I felt that the nature of the damage and the distance which the other driver travelled after impact may have shown, that she was speeding and herself caused the accident by reckless driving. But Saga assured me that the Courts would assign the liability to me and would not want to see the damage, let alone trying to establish any other details that led to the accident.

    Once upon a time, Insurance was a means to mitigate losses by sharing unavoidable damage and making everyone safer. Today, reps of Personal Injury Solicitors stop you in the middle of the town to rack your brain about an accident you cannot remember, and your mobile will be inundated with £3000 plus offers if you reply with “Yes” to a law firm.

    Welcome to the World of Abuse.

    You may write to info@dagmar.org.uk.

    This is my full case :

    Accident on 19.04.11 at 18:02 hours at Swindon Road, Cheltenham, handled by Saga Car Insurance. Saga Policy Number 872458808

    After having emerged from Cleeveland Street, Dr C (60, 42 years clean driving record) had been manoeuvring around a car that flashed her to pull out, to turn right towards Folly Lane. Dr C had been out in the Swindon Road for approx. 5 seconds, when Miss “E” hit her. Miss “E” had been driving from North to South (on the map above from left to right). The accident happened in the middle of the road at a point when Dr C had already partly crossed into the opposite lane to continue travelling right. It seems that Miss “E” was not prepared to allow Dr C to complete the manoeuvre safely, and at an unacceptable speed she recklessly drove her hire car into Dr C’s bumper and left indicator. Technically speaking, it would have been her right of way. Even if Dr C would have been a pedestrian and claiming that right would have meant mowing her down? Probably, if Saga was the Judge.

    Miss “E” was running late to return the hire car. The accident occurred at 18:02 hours, while the office where she was returning the car closes at 18:00 hours. Miss “E” is an employee of the Enterprise rent-a-car company.

    Immediately after the cars had touched, Miss “E” took charge of the exchange of details, while she made these statements:

    “I could not stop.”
    “I do not worry, because it is not my car, but a hire car I am returning.”
    “I am not hurt in any way.”

    Subsequently she put in a claim for an alleged whiplash injury. Miss “E” rubbed the full length of both doors on the car she drove against Dr C’s bumper and indicator light, and failed to bring her vehicle to a stop for a further 4.5 meters. In Dr C’s opinion, technically speaking, she could not have sustained a whiplash injury from this kind of contact.

    This was the reply that Dr C had received, when she wrote to Enterprise asking them whether they seriously believe that this accident could have caused anyone a whiplash injury:

    Dear Ms C,

    Sorry to hear about the accident you had involving an Enterprise rent-a-car
    employee and vehicle.
    At the time of the incident Enterprise Rent-a-car provided your insurers
    with details of the accident and the damage caused to the vehicle. The
    insurers acting on your behalf accepted fault in the accident and the
    invoice for damages to the vehicle were duly paid by them.

    We have no further comments to make on the matter or any other parties who
    may now be pursuing a claim.

    Yours Sincerely

    John Rice
    Enterprise Rent-A-Car

    This was the damage on Dr C’s car:

    The Saga appointed garage quoted nearly £1800 to repair this damage, that you see (or not), and Saga declared the car a “Total Loss”. The “repairs” that were listed included a new bumper at a cost of £300 plus to “remedy” the smudges (these were subsequently cleaned off and the bumper is as good as new) and a new light unit at the cost of £300 plus, while the light was perfectly fine, but a piece of plastic broke off (and this was subsequently glued back), etc. When ridiculous replacements which did not need replacing were eliminated, the actual full repair came to slightly more than one third of what had been quoted, and that cost may have been warranted also by the “market value” of the car.
    Even without any repair, the only damage that prevented the car from being roadworthy involved an indicator light. This could have been put into an appropriate working order for less than £100. But for this damage Saga wrote off a car that Dr C meticulously maintained engine-wise, and a young rep told her that Saga actively discourage the ownership of older cars. What is the incentive for doing this?

    That principle did not appear in the policy. Not even in the smallest of print. While no one would have asked for an MOT once a properly qualified garage would have completed and checked the positioning of the indicator light, once the car had been written off, Dr C had to get 6 months premature MOT, and a VIC check, yet to come. The final settlement was £257 (after deducting Excess and a retention figure), but after the MOT, and the VIC check, she may have been left with less than £100 from Saga, and a £700 loss for second hand repairs as a result of an accident that was perfectly preventable.

    If it is a legal requirement for insurance purposes to only use new parts regardless of how superficial the damage may be, then perhaps this is a case to suggest a review. Getting a whole new bumper over a few cleanable smudges on an older car is unjustifiably wasteful, in fact ridiculous, and no sensible owner could ask for it, even if the insurance company paid for the repairs.

    Dr C recalls the initial representative telling her that “they may be able to repair her car without using all new parts”. Why was this idea not pursued by Saga?

    This is Dr C’s car:

    Refer to pic

    The insurance assessor stated that the car had 7 owners and a faded bonnet, and it was worth £450.

    Dr C presented other quotes. Because Dr C wanted her car back, she settled for a slightly increased sum of £650, which still roughly equated to only about half of the value of a Diesel of a similar age and with even higher mileage!

    … Then, several months after the accident, came a letter from a personal injury solicitor claiming that the very cheerful Miss “E” who assured Dr C that she was not hurt in any way, now made a personal injury claim for whiplash injuries, 2 days of incapacity, and hospital treatments! Well, this at least, sounded amusing!

    This will have been the approximate positioning of the three cars when they met:

    Refer to pic

    The red line on the silver car indicates where the damage to the Enterprise-rent-a car had been.

    There was a 30 mph speed limit and the accident happened in perfect visibility on a dry road.

    When Dr C phoned Saga/Acromas, another young male representative told Dr C, who has an independent witness to this conversation, that the young woman:

    “Rightfully pushed Dr C out of the way!”

    NHS regulations enable anyone to self-certify for up to 7 days and anyone off the street can walk into any physiotherapy department at a hospital, without a medical referral, and they can claim any unproven injury, and on request, could walk out with a confirmation of attendance at the hospital.

    Evidence without an actual injury report (with supporting proof such as x-rays, or photographs) from a qualified medical practitioner is, for legal purposes, not worth the paper on which it is written. Saga/Acromas have not informed Dr C what evidence, if any, Miss “E” may have presented in support of her personal injury claim, and the young man to whom Dr C spoke on the phone did not seem familiar with how easy it is to obtain a piece of paper confirming attendance at the hospital following an alleged injury. (In 2011.)

    Unless Saga inform Dr C in writing that Miss “E’s” personal injury claim was scrapped, in Dr C’s understanding, Saga will have invited an ex-post personal injury claim that is making people laugh. Dr C will use the example to show how far, in her opinion, the milking of insurance possibly got amongst the employees in the trade. For which all customers are paying with an increased premium.

    Dr C is obliged to know whether a valid personal injury claim arose from her accident, and the fact that Saga seems withholding the possible outcome of their investigations more than a year after the accident, is leaving it open. Dr C is required to make a declaration regarding personal injury in order to obtain further insurance quotes, and she expects that information ASAP.

    Dr C has forwarded several replies (after dutifully downgrading her files to doc, so Saga could read them with their 9 years plus old software). But Saga/Acromas would not accept any fault in the way they handled the case, and were keen to refer Dr C to the Ombudsman.

    Policy expired, but still not the End!

    Dr C’s annual cover with Saga/Acromas has run out on 21.03.2012. When Saga sent her a Renewal Schedule, Dr C phoned Saga and made it clear that she could not be more unhappy with the service, and will not be renewing. In a current letter Saga confirms that during an even later telephone call, on 16.03.2012, Dr Cathar’s intent not to renew was clear. But on the 21st March 2012 Saga attempted to draw out of Dr C’s account a payment for the policy.

    By the 20th March 2012 Dr C entered into a contract with another insurance company and that local office insisted that Dr C gets from Saga the number of years of no claims left. Dr C has a landline and a mobile and she phoned Saga while the current Insurer was on the other line. Saga told Dr C that she is left with the “default” which is 4 years of no claims bonus, and the new premium was calculated from that, while a confirmation in writing was due to follow from Saga. No such promised letter from Saga arrived, until the new insurer threatened Dr C with cancellation. Following further phone calls to Saga a letter confirming the number of years did arrive in the second half of April, but now stating only two years of no claims, contrary to what Dr C was told on the phone – which meant a further loss to Dr C, because the new insurer increased her premium. In a subsequent letter Saga acknowledged that their telephonist misinformed Dr C on the number of years by stating “default” which is four years, but allegedly the telephonist then carried on correcting herself and stated that two years are left. If that is true, then Dr C missed the fact that she was given two contradictory pieces of information from Saga during a single conversation, as upon being given the first information of 4 years, Dr C diverted her attention to the new insurer on the other phone to whom she passed on that information, in good faith.

    Following the discrepancy in the number of years, a very dissatisfied Dr C phoned Saga yet again, and she spoke to a helpful representative who gave her the name of “Dan” and promised to retrieve the telephone recordings, and even gave Dr C his extension. Days passed and when no reply materialised, Dr C phoned Saga and asked to speak with Dan. After some waiting Dr C’s phone call was terminated, and it would have been left at this, should Dr C not have pursued the matter in writing and via the Ombudsman’s Office.

    Saga then offered Dr C £20 compensation for increasing her premium by more than £40, for damaging her reputation, and for making her to look a fool.

    With all avenues of reaching an amicable solution exhausted, the case now awaits the decision by the office of the Ombudsman.

    Dr C would like to make these suggestions:

    1. If an insurance company “actively discourages the ownership of older cars”, this must be stated in the contract by giving examples of what this means, and those with older cars must confirm that they have read this. Dr C believes that by not being told anything about the policy prior to the accident, Saga withheld from her important contractual information which affected her claim.

    2. The Highway Code recognises two situations where liability tends to be automatically assumed:

    a) A car being hit from behind is always the responsibility of the second driver. (This bears logic, though it is increasingly abused.) But also:

    b) An accident involving a car that turns and a car travelling straight is always the responsibility of the driver who turns. This once more seems very logical, but there can be a host of other relevant circumstances which could amount to a valid exemption to this rule. Such as what length of time is necessary for the completion of a manoeuvre in progress? (There was also a row of cars waiting to move forward after Dr C, and several cars waiting behind the driver who stopped for her.) And the speed and degree of care by which the party “established on the road” approaches/handles the scene. Theoretically speaking, a car could break down in the middle of the road. Would other drivers be obliged to hit it? In the given case, time-wise “established on the road” was Dr C, whole 5 seconds prior to Miss “E’s” car reaching the same spot, and common sense would have expected a driver who sees another car struggling in the middle of the road to slow down, or even stop. (In the initial recorded conversation, Dr C described in detail, that the manoeuvre was particularly difficult. But Saga took no notice.)

    c) At the time when Dr C learned to drive, it had been stipulated that all road traffic participants have the duty to avoid an accident. Dr C’s case proves this is no longer a requirement. Therefore, all drivers who learned to drive before the Courts abolished the soundest principle on the roads should receive a letter with this re-education.
    d) Denying the possibility of any exemptions to situation as per b) makes emerging from any point onto a road highly dangerous and the last question that still remains is, if Dr “C” would have been on foot, crossing the road, instead of driving a car, would Miss “E” still have “rightfully” killed her? And if not, why should contradicting principles apply to a victim on foot to a victim in a car? Miss “E” drove over the limit and recklessly. In her own words “She could not stop” even after the accident occurred. If proper procedure was followed, this should have been taken into consideration.

    Unless the Office of the Ombudsman supports the case with Court regulations that specifically exclude any exemptions, such as mentioned above, it will be understood that Saga have not applied the proper procedure and have not approached the claim in a sound and unbiased manner.

    During Dr C’s initial account the representative responded to what Miss “E” had to say, and since Miss “E” immediately tried to nail the blame on Dr C, Dr C was told that it will have to be left at that.

    Unlike presumably Miss “E”, Dr C is not British since birth, but only since 1983, and she still speaks with a slight Eastern-European accent. She was born in Bratislava, and noticed that this fact can at British authorities, such as the British Courts (A small claims case of 31. March 2005), override all other considerations. No matter what the circumstances may be, people speaking with an Eastern European accent are always wrong; certainly when it comes to a dispute with a subject who does not speak with an accent, even if suppressing the Eastern European accent speaking person’s claim results in humiliating damage for the rest of the British society in the eyes of the rest of Europe.

    Marketing

    Saga have an impressive website by highly skilled professionals. The result is a pretty and seemingly effective façade purchased to bring in more money. This table taken down from the Saga website in April 2012 claims that all complaints were closed within 8 weeks. Dr C’s, till this date (May 2012) open complaint, falls into the period indicated.

    Dr “C” believes there is also a law against publishing incorrect or just misleading information.

    Would the Office of the Ombudsman please comment on the table below in the light of Dr C’s complaint. During the conversation when the No claims were discussed in April 2012, Saga representative stated that Dr Cathar’ complaint is “still open”.

    If Dr C’s case is still open in Saga/Acromas files, then the pretty table below states a lie, even if Dr C’s case was the only one still open from that period.

    Refer to pic

    Saga particularly claim that their focus is on customer care. On the internet, in brochures and in advertising only. When the young clerks administering the schemes let their hair down, or even get it ruffled, the situation is quite different. Dr C does not mind if she is called a whining old bat, possibly even a ……. Slovak whining old cow, because if nothing else comes out of her case, she is satisfied that the recordings of the telephone conversations she had with various clerks at Saga sufficiently expose Saga marketing as a bubble that holds no resemblance to reality – the actual policy is impolite and anti-age in every apparent respect. This is not unusual, it is the norm for the car and the insurance trades alike, only Saga seemingly invested heavily to pretend that the nature of the beast does not apply to them. And this, in Dr C’s opinion, is the worst part of the story, because it amounts to a mockery of the elderly, that is of Saga own customers.

    When the complaint was lodged, Saga claimed to have 8 weeks to resolve it. In the meantime, Saga claimed at least 3 times those 8 weeks, all over again, and it seems that they pretend to be starting with a “new complaint from scratch” each time their explanations are dismissed. In this manner, more than 52 weeks have passed without any progress.

    The case is no longer about the rectification of damages claimed by Dr C in her communication to the Ombudsman, but about the fact, that the accident, its consequences, and the way it was handled by Saga/Acromas, now absorbed more than a year of Dr C’s life, while she was insulted and humiliated by telephonists, and she could have used the time and energy to earning money, or simply enjoying life.

    24.05.12.

    © 2012 dagmar.org.uk

    Direct any queries regarding copyright ownership to dagmar.org.uk

  16. Longest comment ever, but if it helps to get the stories out there… Well worth a read for anyone considering Saga as an insurer.

  17. Oh boy Dagmar what a saga.
    I was however not prepared to waste any precious days of my life as when i first posted on here it was my birthday, and the numbers are getting bigger and time is going by considerably faster these days.
    Neither the insurance ombudsman or the banking ombudsman did anything to help my case.
    Saga refunded the premium they withdrew from my account, after i “kicked off” big time on the phone. That wasn’t enough for me, i “kicked off” even more at the way they ran their business and said i was going 100% public with this, they almost immediately offered me half my claim for my watch, which was £500, they paid me £260. So I didn’t waste any precious days of my life and that is exactly how i wanted it.
    Insurance is about satisfying the investors plain and simple and this has to change, as its now beyond a joke.
    I refer to them as crooks, because that is what they are plain and simple.
    I am now back with LV, lets see!
    I would never in a million years use Saga again, they are the very worst band of crooks i have dealt with in any business.

  18. Hi Guys,

    I am very sorry that you too had problems, and particularly Tricia, it must have been very upsetting. One could not expect from an insurance company that they will understand sentimental value, least of all Saga. Though they themselves cannot let go of their antique computers. Well, I have to say, that on reflection, I find it all quite hilarious and have added some new pictures to my blog, accordingly: (And a couple of essential comments I hope you will agree with, at the beginning and at the end.)

    http://www.dagmar.org.uk/documents/Saga_Car_Insurance.pdf

    They should not think that older folks are unimaginative, cannot be creative, and do not understand the importance of marketing.

    I do not have the socialising facility on my blog, but it is great that Mosh kindly accommodates us all, and no doubt our numbers will grow. Instead of just writing to their Ombudsman, we ought to forward links to our own friends and acquaintances, so it gets to be known where to leave the compliments for Saga.

    My prediction is that within 24 months Saga will be sold and stop trading under that name.

    A wonderful day to all! It is great to be over 50!

  19. I couldn’t use Saga myself if I wanted to as I’m a spritely 38!

    Adding links to other pages and referring to one central archive is always a good idea as it gives such pages a higher “ranking” on Google. Therefore more people should see them if they do a casual search. Sadly, a lot of people earn money these days for “Search Engine Optimisation” (artificially tweaking sites to shove them to the top, above such complaints) and for threatening legal action against those who are voicing perfectly truthful complaints in public. I had it happen to me with another company (ParkingEye, the bunch of money-grabbing, legally dodgy pirate scum) so I had to take a similar post down.

    The more places you put a story, especially if you can get it hosted outside the UK, the better!

    Spread the word!

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