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Be careful what your 'Freebie' could cost you
Lifestyle Group Insurance (LSG)
Member Name: ridgeway27
Lifestyle Group Insurance (LSG)
Advantages: Good cover, if you're prepared to fight for it
Disadvantages: Stressful, Difficult, Time Consuming.
Unfortunately, having had a particularly stressful experience with them, I have been waiting for dooyoo to accept this company so that other people can perhaps be made aware of what they may be signing up to.
Many people may not realise they are insured through LSG, or Lifestyle Group Insurance, because they are an Insurance provider for banks... For example, when your bank offers you every type of insurance if you sign up to a particular type of account... Well, by signing with Lloyds, then your mobile phone would be insured through these guys (LSG).
Initially, the deal sounds good - you pay the monthly premium for the bank account (£7.50 at the time) and a whole host of benefits are thrown in (which I will not go into as I am reviewing my experience with LSG).
My younger brother signed up to this account in order to insure his new iphone 3gs within his account. He was asked to register the IMEI (a code which is personal to every handset) and so long as he did not claim within the first 30 days, he would be covered.
So, in October (four months after having this phone) he finds that his iphone's touchscreen functions are not working and the screen began blanking out... Being under warranty he sent it off to Apple for their engineers to inspect and repair it. They claimed that it had suffered water damage, but having always kept this handset in a case and protecting it from any potential harm (this phone was very well looked after!) my brother did not see how this could have been possible. Even so, he had the insurance and decided to use it.
After contacting LSG - using an 0870 number on every occasion, they sent out a claim form, and asked that it be filled in and sent back to them so that they could analyse the claim.
This was done, and a £30 cheque to cover the policy excess payment was also included. After about ten days of not hearing anything, follow up calls were made, and eventually they decided that they would like the handset to be sent to them, which we also sent along using recorded delivery.
Now it seemed pretty straight forward that when there is a claim of damage, they would replace or repair the handset, but all of a sudden they wrote back denying the claim with no reasons whatsoever.
My brother decided to appeal this decision, and was informed that he could, but after a decision had been made from the appeal, he would have to accept it regardless of whatever the outcome may be. He agreed and they again wrote back stated that they would not pay the claim.
Now, this process had begun in October, and in January he was still without his phone - and after countless telephone calls chasing documentation and decisions, this was just taking the 'biscuit' - so to speak.
This is when he told me about their decision to return the £30 excess and handset and leave him to sort this out. Having held many different types of insurances myself in the past I knew that they had to state why they were refusing, so read through their terms and conditions to try and decipher why they could possibly be declining settlement of the claim.
I actually read the Lloyds account policy booklet all the way through, and could not find anything at all - the only slightly relevant condition for refusal was if a claim was not reported within 48 hours of an incident.
As there had not been an 'incident' (i.e. robbery, incident leading to any accidental damage) there was no term or condition which I could see to deny this claim, in fact, I could find more reasons for him being covered than not, and became incredibly infuriated with the realisation that they could be fobbing people off with ridiculous or no reasons.
Once armed with knowledge of the terms and conditions which supported my argument (!) I telephoned them myself. I was informed that a second appeal had already been exhausted and that that was pretty much it. I then informed them that I would be complaining because after reading their terms and conditions there was nothing there to support their decision, and that if they were relying on the 48 hour condition then they obviously had not read the claim form on which it had been clearly stated that the phone had been sent to Apple first.. etc etc
Details of my complaint were recorded and I was promised a phonecall within the next few days - they had not kept any of their other promises of callbacks, so imagine my surprise when not only did I receive a call the following morning (on a Sunday) from a senior manager, but he apologised for their oversight and then informed me that the money for a new iphone would be be in the Lloyds account within ten days. He then asked if there was anything else he could do for us and provided me with an 0800 number which linked to him in case of any other problems or queries.
I was so prepared to argue my case, that their acceptance actually took us by surprise - especially considering the many months of arguing which had preceded this.
While we had received the correct decision eventually (be it via stress and hassles) my brother did cancel the premium on his account simply because he had only taken it up for the mobile phone cover, and he would much insure direct with Apple or elsewhere, rather than endure LSG again.
Even so, I have since compared it to other policies available, and it is very good value for money so long as they adhere to their terms and conditions, and people have the energy and patience to chase/argue with them.
For anyone insured with them - Good luck, and hope this helps...! (",)
Summary: Good luck! Be armed with T&Cs and need lots of patience!
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