Friday, February 24, 2012

The price of renewal.

Our car breakdown cover is due for renewal. We are currently with Green Flag and pay by a continuous payment to our debit card. The renewal notice came the other day telling us that we do not have to do anything because a debit will be made and our breakdown cover will continue. That sounds really customer friendly doesn't it, do absolutely nothing, they will debit our card and the breakdown cover will continue. The renewal notice states "And don't forget as an additional bonus you're now entitled to 2 years No Call Out Discount". And the renewal price quoted for their Recovery Plus package was a staggering £93.28 - gosh, I thought, that is steep!

A quick look on the internet and I found that I could get the same cover from the RAC for £89.00 and the AA for £101.00 - so at a glance, Green Flag is posting competitive rates. But last year I remembered that Green Flag was so much cheaper than the others, the choice was a no-brainer. I wondered what it would cost if I was a new customer to Green Flag ? A customer without the alleged 2 years No Call Discount. So I looked at the Green Flag website and the price for new customers on the same Recovery Plus package is £61.48 - that is some saving!

So I spoke to the Green Flag call centre on the telephone and asked them what was going on. Why can a new customer get the same cover for £31.80 less? I want to cancel my renewal and take out a new policy at the lower rate of £61.48 - how many forms do I have to fill or keys do I have to press to get this lower rate. The helpful guy asked me to hold whilst he spoke to his line manager. He then came back on the line and told me I can have the same cover for £53.00 because of my No Calls Discount, please could I give him my card details. So that was the deal I took with Green Flag . The Recovery Plus package for £53.00 which was £40.28 less than I would have paid if I had been too lazy to do my homework. I wish I could get paid £40 for doing work like that every day!

So the moral of the story is this: Businesses like customers to be lazy and will claim discounts are applied. Do not take these claims as gospel. Always do your homework and survey the market. Whenever you renew an insurance based product always get quotes from a range of companies as a new customer. We have experienced these price differences before and quite often you can beat the renewal price by going to your existing provider as a new customer - are you listening Mr Swinton? I do not think that Green Flag are any different from other companies, they all take the public to be lazy, illiterate mugs.

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