Product Type: Quoteline Direct in Insurance
Newest Review: ... I stress advice, I 'enquired' as to whether I was covered and if so what the process would be. I was told in no uncertain terms that I... more
A fine old mess!
Member Name: jayandfoo
Advantages: None !
Disadvantages: Poor Customer services when they know they have you as a Customer
Our car insurance was up for renewal at the end of January 2005. We had previously been with the AA but felt that there were more competitive prices to be had.
Although I don't drive, I take charge of the day to day running of things like Insurance and bills, so it was my mission to find a cheaper quote for my partner. At the time we had an M Reg Ford Escort and paid £550 per year Fully Comprehensive. I had previously used Insurance search engines such as Confused.com and Money supermarket but felt that I may get a better deal by dealing directly with the Insurer.
I initially used Google to search for 'Cheap Car Insurance quotes'. The search provided me with the details of many of the larger Insurance companies such as the AA, Norwich Union, etc. I had approached these companies online the previous year and their quotes were always much higher than the smaller companies.
After my somewhat unsuccessful search on eBay, I went on Yell.com and typed in 'Car Insurance covering Manchester' and was rewarded with an array of local Insurance companies. Many of them were big Insurance companies with local branches near me. Yell.com provides the full company details such as address and telephone number and, for those companies who have one, a website.
Quoteline Direct seemed to be the only Insurance Company I hadn't heard of, so I decided it give it a go. They were also quite local, based in Old Trafford, Manchester.
I clicked on their website link, on Yell.com and it quickly took me to their home page. Their website address is www.quotelinedirect.com. The layout of their website is clear and easy to understand. It gives you six main options - Private Car Insurance, Home Insurance, Commercial Insurance, Motorbike Insurance, travel Insurance and Breakdown cover. I clicked on Private Car Insurance. You are then taken to the Interactive Private Car System where you can then enter your details to get a quote. The quote took around 5 minutes to complete and the information they requested was clear to understand. After entering all information, they calculate the quote and offer you a further £2.00 off your quote if you choose to enter a prize draw. Unfortunately, as I later learnt, this meant that my email address was passed onto god knows how many companies and I am receiving quite a bit of spam as a result.
My premium was then displayed on screen and it offered a substantial saving of over £100 per year. This was by far the best quote I had had and decided to take it. Unfortunately, you cannot complete your quote online. You are provided with a Reference number and they ask you to call them to complete the quote.
I promptly rang them and gave them my website quote reference number. They retrieved the details but had to go through the whole process again to verify the information. Although I realise this was for Data Protection reasons, I was a bit miffed that I had previously provided them with this information and presumed that all I would need to do was ring up, give them the reference number and pay my deposit.
It took around 10 minutes for them to complete the quote and arrange payment. However, there was a benefit to ringing as they offered around a further £20 off the policy.
If you choose to pay monthly, rather than annually, you can pay your deposit by either Credit or Debit card and your monthly payments come out of your account by Direct Debit. I'm not too sure if there are set payment dates but our payment was taken out of our account on the 7th of each month.
After paying the deposit and accepting the policy, it took around 5 days for the paperwork, including the temporary Policy Note, to arrive. Even then we were not issued with the 12 month Policy note but one for a month, as we had to sign and return paperwork which essentially asked us to agree to the Policy and its Terms & Conditions. An SAE was provided to us for this purpose.
We sent the paperwork off and again received our 12 month policy note around 5 days later.
In the 2 months that we were with them, we had no problems. Payments were coming out on the specified date and we were more than happy with the price, even if it was a bit of a pain going through their rigmarole.
However, only last week, we purchased a new car. As we were happy with Quoteline direct, we decided we would stay with them and I logged onto their website to do a quote for the new car so I could get an idea of price. I obtained the quote, which I was happy with and rang them.
I got though to Customer Services and explained that we already had a policy with them and we needed to change the car details on the Policy. I was put through to Sales. I again explained that we already had a policy and we needed to change the car on the policy. I was told that we couldn't just change the car details but that they would have to take me through a new quote. This concerned me a bit as this is not what has happened in the past - you ring them with you new car details and they tell you how much extra, or less you have to pay. I didn't see the point in doing a new quote so I again explained this. At this point I had been on the phone for 20 minutes. I was told that the Sales advisor would need to speak to his manager. I was left on hold for a further 15 minutes. I know this as I have a timer on my phone so I knew exactly how long i had been onto them.
The Sales advisor eventually got back to me and put me back through to Customer Services. They said that they would need to speak to my current Insurer, as they are only a broker. Again, I was on hold for 10 minutes. Eventually, I was told that the change of car details would need to be faxed to the Insurance Company, as they do not accept these details over the phone. It would be done immediately and I would receive a response from them within the hour. This was on Thursday 17th Match. We planned to pay for the car on Friday 18th and so it was now a matter of urgency. Had I anticipated all of this messing around, I would have rang the week before!
I did not receive a call back from them within the hour and rang back after this time, to speak to the advisor I had previously spoken to. H e was on the phone and so I left a message and asked if he could call me back immediately. I gave three different numbers that he could contact me on. By 6.30pm that evening I had still not received a call back. I had originally contacted them early afternoon that day.
I rang them again and was kept on hold for around 30 minutes while they located someone who could help me. Someone eventually came back to say they close at 7pm and there was no-one there to help.
After becoming extremely irate by this time, I demanded a message be left for the advisor dealing with this issue and asked them to call me back first thing in the morning, when they open at 9am.
They didn't........I had to call them again and was told that the Insurers had 'finally' got back to them and the new quote would be over £1,000! I asked them how they had managed to come to this when I received a quote off their website the previous day for over £350 less. They asked me if I had entered the correct details in on the website to which I replied I had.
I decided that as I was getting nowhere with them, my Partner could ring. He contacted them immediately and spoke to the same advisor, the advisor told my partner that there is no way insurance for our car (a 2.0L Renault Megane Coupe) would be less than £1,000 and I must have entered the wrong details - I didn't!
They really weren't helping the situation and we felt that their total lack of concern with regards to our situation was not acceptable. After further searching, we decided to go with www.quinn-direct.com (review coming soon!). They offered us an excellent deal, and I KNOW I entered the details correctly.
The downside to it is that we now have to pay a cancellation fee of £56.00 to Quoteline Direct. I know this is to be expected but I really felt they didn't do all they could to help.
Overall, I was initially happy with the service but it became apparent the advisors I spoke to didn't really seem to want to help and continued to dispute everything we said to the point of becoming downright rude!
Just in case you do want to contact them for your Insurance needs, here are their details:
0870 444 0870
This company have gone down even further in my estimations!
Last week, we received a letter from Finsure Finance, the company who provided the finance thorough Quoteline Direct to enable us to be able to pay the Insurance premiums in instalments. Apparently we owe them £321.00 in unpaid Insurance premiums!!!!!
To say we were surprised was an understatement! When we cancelled our Insurance with them, we agreed a cancellation charge of £56.00. I wasn't over the moon about this but we accepted it - it was part of the contract that we signed, that we would be charged a cancellation fee should we cancel. We paid the £56.00 and thought that was the end of it.
In the meantime, we sent our Policy note back to them via 1st class mail. Guess what….they didn't receive it. But they only decided to tell us this over 2 months later, when issuing us with a final bill.
After a very long conversation on the phone with the morons at Quoteline Direct, they said that as Finsure had received confirmation that the 12 month Policy note had been returned, they decided they would just keep on charging us!
I argued with the 12 year old on the other end of the phone that them not receiving the Policy note back was hardly our fault - the fact that they didn't even contact us to let us know they hadn't received it totally dumbfounded me - any 'proper' type of company would keep on top of things like this.
I was asked if we still had the Ford Escort …er, no! That's why I initially contacted Quoteline Direct to change the Insurance from a Ford Escort to a Renault Megane. They said that we would have to sign a 'Lost Policy Note Declaration' to say we don't have the Policy note. They also made us aware that if we do have it, we could face prosecution for using a no longer valid Policy Note. Bloody fools!
Anyway, we received the 'disclaimer' for the Policy Note on Saturday and duly returned it signed and sealed. I also put a little note in to say how unimpressed we are with their service and if they continue to issue demands for payment we do not owe, then I shall have no hesitation in contacting the Financial Ombudsman.
They rang Jay this morning to say that they had received the disclaimer but now want confirmation from the DVLA that we have sold the car - it seems they don't believe that we don't own it anymore. The 'advisor' seemed bemused at the idea of us contacting the Financial Ombudsman - let's hope he laughs on the other side of his face when I do!
Sooo…they want the letter we received from the DVLA confirming transfer of ownership. Except I don't have it anymore. I'm very good at throwing things away and presumed that we would never need it…..I'm now facing hours on the phone to the DVLA and Finsure Finance to resolve this situation and to see if we can obtain some sort of documentation from the DVLA to confirm we sold the vehicle.
I shall never ever use Quoteline Direct again, no matter how cheap they are. I can't abide companies who don't try to do the best for their customers and these certainly haven't tried at all.
Summary: Customer service