We have our mortgage with the Halifax, so when we renewed our car insurance a year or so ago, it seemed an obvious choice to try out the delights of Halifax. We had a Ford Fiesta at the time (If you search hard enough, you will find my dooyoo review of it!). Anyway, "touching wood", we never had an accident and our no claims bonus remained protected. Earlier this year, it came the time for us to renew our contract with Ford Finance, except, to cut a long story short, we felt we were being ripped off by Ford, so we gave the car back. We hunted round for a better deal, and decided to purchase a Kia Shuma. (Also, see my review!) Whilst we were swapping the cars over, I needed to be insured for both vehicles for a week, so I contacted Halifax by telephone, it took all of five minutes to get it sorted, and I was able to do just that. Then, after enjoying the pleasure of a new "Y-reg", shiny, luxurious car for a grand total of THREE weeks, we were travelling back through a village called Uppingham, slowing down for some speed bumps, when..... CRASH! Someone crashed into the back of our brand new car!!! Arggggh! Anyway, everyone was OK, his car was actually much worse off than mine, but it meant a repair job. As it was Bank Holiday Monday when the accident happened, I phoned Halifax on the Tuesday morning, first thing. I explained the situation, and the telephonist seemed to think that it would be quite a simple matter, it was obviously the other chap's fault, and we would be able to get things moving as quick as possible. He told me to wait for their BodyShop people to ring me back in an hour's time. Well, two hours passed and no-one hang rung me back. Therefore, I was on the phone again, and repeated my story. A while later, someone phoned me back, saying that someone else would phone me back shortly, advising of a time when we could get the car seen to. (With it so far??) Anyway, t
hat they did, BUT....the lady told me that a man would have to come and have a look at my car first, before they booked it in, and as the man was on holiday, it wouldnt be for another week, and as he was away on holiday, she couldnt fix a time or day. I therefore put the phone down, feeling a bit short-changed. I therefore decided to ring back the original Halifax person and explained all this, asking whether this was normal procedure. She assured me that it wasn't, and suprise suprise, the other lady rang me back, with suitable details of a reccommended garage where the repairs could take place. All I needed to do was wait for that garage to call me to arrange an appointment. Yes, you guessed it, hours passed and the garage hadn't phoned. Therefore, back on the phone again. Eventually, I got through to the garage and booked a date for the repairs. I then moved onto the subject of a courtesy car. "Yes", replied the garage-man, you will be able to have a Fiesta or a Ka for the week. "No good to me" I replied, as I went on to tell him that my daughter's pushchair, accessories, and other paraphenalia will not fit in the back of a Fiesta, and we only have the one car, so this would not be good enough. "Oh dear," replied the garage-man, well, we can't do your repairs then, I suggest you get back to Halifax." So, there we were, back to square one. I then rang back the Halifax, recounted all the above to several different people, and was told that, yes, this is true, if you require a courtesy car, you are only qualified to have a "Class A" vehicle - ie. Fiesta-size car. I then argued that, well, if I had a family of four children and crashed my Space Cruiser MPV thingy, then a Fiesta would do fine, then, would it?? They obviously didn't have a leg to stand on, as then the Halifax guy matter-of-factly told me that I could choose my own garage for repairs, rather than one of their aut
horised garages! If they had stated that in the first place, I would have phoned my local Kia garage up in the first place!!! Anyway, the ironic thing about all this was that the very same evening, the insurance company (Direct Line) of the bloke who crashed into me telephoned me to offer any assistance at all in the procedings, and even offered to pay for the repairs straight away without the need for me to go through my own company. Doh! I wait in anticipation, as I am due to collect my repaired Kia Shuma tomorrow!