Rant the Sixth – Accidents Happen


Yes they do.  Particularly ones of the vehicular type, and this is usually the result (doesn’t look much at all does it? but enough to actually render the car undriveable. Anyhoo)….


Almost a week and a half ago now the Other Half had an accident in my car.  Not a problem, as he was OK and it’s a damn sight easier to fix a bit of plastic and metal than flesh and bone, (as you’d like to think, although I’m beginning to wonder) and there is this delightful thing called Car Insurance which is supposed to be there to help you out.

So I called them, within an hour of the accident, to explain what had happened and via a mutual discussion over Google Street View (an insurance god send) of the ‘incident’ location and a description of where the damage to my car was, they came up with a ‘not at fault’ answer. You’d like to think that meant great, and you wouldn’t have to worry about getting the car back that you desperately need because you drive 2,000 miles a month *just* to get to and from work!  THINK Again!!

I’m 38 years old, the last time I had an insurance claim was in 1995, where if you had fully comprehensive insurance you took your car to a garage, got it fixed, paid your excess and worried about the rest later.  Since the insurance company agreed that my partner, the driver at the time, wasn’t at fault I assumed the same would happen now.  I was somewhat wrong……

Here’s the timescale thus far…..


Sunday March 23 – 09:40

Accident Occurs


Sunday 23rd March 2014 – 10:15

Accident reported to Insurance


Monday 24th March – 12:19

After waiting more than a day to call me back regarding what is going on with my car I spend 30 minutes on the phone (at my expense) to the Insurance company to organise my hire car, which included a conference call to the DVLA just to prove I’m ok to drive a car. (well D’uh)


Wednesday March 26th – 10:00

Hire car company finally drop off car.  Admittedly because I was determined not to ruin the break away I was supposed to be leaving on two hours after the accident initially happened and wasn’t going to miss regardless of cost to me.

I also received e-mail correspondence requesting statements, drawings, & photographs of the road.

Thursday March 27th – 09:48

Nationwide Crash Repair collect my car for an “estimate” on damage repair costs. I’m promised at the time that I will contacted to inform me that my car has been received at the repair centre.   This *never* happens.

I wait…….

Monday 31st March – 12:19

I am told my car is

“going up on the ramps to check for further structural damage” which is fine, thorough checks are good think I.

I am also told

“I will call you back on Wednesday (Apr 2nd)  with a further update”

(I have the name of who called me)

At the same time I e-mail PDF versions of all hand written documents with regard to the accident to the insurance company.

Wednesday 2nd April

NO CALL received regarding status of car.

Thursday 3rd April – 16:14

Finally receive call from Nationwide Crash Repair detailing some (not all) of the repairs due to my car.  All of which are straight forward and simple.

The bumper needs a new plastic wrap, I need a new wing, wheel & suspension strut, the bonnet needs a repair. It’s all simple and straightforward.  Even I know that as a semi-enthused car enthusiast.  I love my car, and when things need fixing I know what’s what.

“We’re aiming for the 14th to get your car ready..”

Erm…. Ex-squeeze me, the what, what?!

It’s taken you thus far SEVEN days to work out what it needs.

You’re now telling me it’s going to take you ELEVEN days to put it right?!


It’s no wonder the costs of car insurance claims are going through the roof!  I have to have a hire car as I am currently driving over 150 miles a day.  The longer you drag this out, the longer I have an over inflated car hire charge to claim back.

18 days, seriously?!

I know several amateur rally teams whose service guys would have done this yesterday.  Would you like their phone numbers?



Rant The Fifth Part Deux – The Result


If there’s one thing I really love about Twitter, then it’s the speed at which it gets things done.  In this case less than twenty four hours.

From posting my rant to the first call back from Renault took just 17 minutes.  From then it took just 21 hours before my issue was resolved in a manner with which I was happy.

Today after the beating the perils of the British Postal service and part time accountants I received a cheque in lieu of the vouchers I was supposed to receive.

This has pleased me greatly, so thanks to Ben at Bristol Street Motors for showing some common sense and fixing it all.

Rant the fifth (when you think it’s all over)


You know just when you think it’s all sorted, you can forget about it, and get on with far more important things, but the same poor customer service continues and the whole thing drags on forever?


I do 25k+ miles a year in my car, which is why I change them regularly. I’ve been buying Renaults since 2002. I’m on my ninth since then. You’d like to think that in that time their customer service has improved somewhat, sadly it seems, it has not.

I ordered my car on September 6th. I’ve had it since September 15th, I love it, and yet the saga of its purchase is *still* not finished.  I am still having to make constant phone calls chasing up what I am entitled to.

My official complaint with Renault is now two and a half weeks old, and yet we are still nowhere near resolution because once again inept people are unable to answer or return phone calls.

Here is the timeline of my saga thus far….

Friday 6 Sept 2013

I order my car. It takes 2 1/2 hours to thrash out the deal, but it is enjoyable, the dealership is great and hey a 2% deal is not to be sniffed at. Also, they have the car I want in stock so I can collect it the following Friday, the 13th (shut up), which means on top of everything I qualify for a £250 Amazon voucher.

W00T! Say I. I am happy, this has gone well, and I begin to look forward to Friday.

Tuesday 10 Sept 2013

I receive a phone call from the car dealer.

There’s a problem with your paperwork. Can you just fill all this in again?


(Thinks: Don’t start…..)

Wednesday 11 Sept 2013

I receive a phone call from the car dealer.

“I’m really sorry but there’s a problem with collecting your car on Friday. It’s been sold. We’re getting you another one and it will be here early next week.”


(Thinks: Here we go……)

Friday 13 Sept 2013

It’s my first opportunity to revisit the car dealer since the last phone call.  I firmly ask to be told what the hell is going on with my car.

“Well, there was one in our lot which had been sold by our fleet department, but wasn’t marked as sold so the salesman saw it and thought you could have it. When he realised he ordered another one, yours is actually due to arrive here this afternoon / tomorrow so you should be able to pick it up on Monday.”


(Thinks: Benefit of the doubt)

Saturday 14 September 2013

I visit the car dealer again to finalise my paperwork. In an effort to appear like they are pulling out all the stops I am told I can collect my car the next day.

(Thinks: Yay!)

Sunday 15th September 2013



No tax disc….

“That’s OK, says dealer, you’ll get it in the post in a few days, just keep this bit of paper in the car until you get it”


(Thinks: Yay, new car! Let’s just hope I don’t get pulled over for no tax, it’s blindingly obvious there is no tax disc on this car! Why the hell not?, The Other half  picked up a brand new car just a few weeks ago and he had one. I’m not sure I’m comfortable with this, but yay, new car!)

Friday October 4th 2013

To date I have received no paperwork,  letters or information from Renault about when I begin paying for my new car.  This is highly unusual, as let’s face it everyone wants their money back, and often the sooner, the better.

I call Renault.  The last thing I want to happen is for them to be unable to take my payment due to insufficient funds.  I need to know when to ensure  have the money available to cover the payment.  After five minutes of shrieking into an automated system the doesn’t recognise my agreement number or vehicle registration, I get through to a real person. I once more give over my new car registration number

“That car isn’t in our system yet, so we won’t have paid the dealer for that agreement.”

Oh, that doesn’t sound good, so I go on to ask if they can check whether the car dealer has settled my previous finance agreement for my old car.

“No, that account is still open. I suggest you go back to the dealer and speak to them to find out what has happened.”


(Thinks. FFS.)

I spend three hours trying to get hold of someone at the car dealer with no joy.

So this happens.

Eventually I get hold of the salesman who sold me the car. He however cannot help as he is currently miles away from the dealership chauffeuring someone higher up back to the airport.

(Thinks: no wonder they don’t sell cars if they treat salesmen as gofers)

Sunday October 6 2013

Receive apology text from car dealer manager saying he’ll sort it ASAP Monday.

Monday October 7 2013

Another visit to the car dealer is called for after I receive a text from the manager querying the settlement figure on my old car.  After a lengthy, apologetic statement lamenting his having to do extra work, and cocking it all up due to his lack of administrative staff he confirms my car has been paid off.

Apology accepted, I say thanks and then have to ignore his attempts to berate me for ranting on twitter. He was apparently aggrieved somewhat that his boss (who uses twitter) called him to ask what was going on and he didn’t know…..

(Thinks: Tough titties. Do your job properly I wouldn’t have to rant on twitter)

But it is all too easy to complain I decide and so, believing the matter now sorted I do however, do this.

(Thinks: Bloody Typos)

Thursday October 10 2013

After allowing enough time to pass in order for records to be updated, I call Renault to confirm my old agreement has been cleared.

“Yes, in fact you have an overpayment. I’ll arrange for the refund you should have it by the end of next week.”

(Thinks: Yay!)

Since this has been done, I ask when the first payment on my new car will be….

“I can’t tell you, we haven’t paid out on that vehicle yet.”

(Thinks: FFS)

Thursday October 17th 2013

I finally receive a letter stating I’ll start paying for my car on the 28th November.

(Thinks: Result!)

Thursday November 14th 2013

It’s now been two months since I got my car and a month since I last heard from Renault, but as yet there has been no sign of my promised £250 Amazon voucher.  I call Renault.  I end up have to make an official complaint as the only way you can get through their automated systems to speak to an actual human being is by choosing this route.

After a lengthy conversation where I am told how to claim it, I then prove to the Renault agent I can’t because I don’t have the option on that particular screen of their website.  She tries for herself, confirms this is true and says 

“I’ll look into it…”

Friday November 15 2013

The pleasant complaint agent from Renault calls me to tell me

“I’m still looking into it”

Monday November 18 2013

The pleasant complaint agent from Renault calls me again to tell me 

“I’m still awaiting responses”

Wednesday November 20 2013

The pleasant complaint agent from Renault sends me a text as I miss a couple of her phone calls.

Renault UK
Dear Mrs Parker
I am currently still waiting on an update re: Amazon vouchers. Once i have further information i will be in touch with you.
Kind Regards
Taylor Graham
Customer Support Manager

Friday November 22 2013

I have as yet heard nothing about my complaint, so I call Renault yet again.  The pleasant complaint agent is unavailable. In order to try and speed up the process, I email her a PDF copy of my order form proving when I ordered my car.  I tell her that over a week waiting for a phone call back from a car dealer to confirm when I ordered my car is unacceptable. I also let her know I am out of the country for a few days and that  I expect this resolved when I get back.

(Thinks: why do I have to keep chasing everything? Why can’t people just do the job they’re supposed to do, so I don’t have to keep poking them with a stick?)

Wednesday November 27 2013

I am back at home, I have been for over a day, but I still haven’t heard from Renault.  I call them AGAIN. My complaint agent is on annual leave. Her relief is aware of what is going on, has seen my email, has chased the dealer the previous day and is awaiting a call back.

“I’ll call them again straight after this call, and I will text you with updates if that is acceptable?”

(Thinks: Of course, any update is better than none right?)

TODAY – Monday December 2 2013

I haven’t heard a word from Renault since my last call to them on Wednesday.  Up until now I have been polite. I have accepted failings where they have occurred due to simple human error. It happens, we’re not all perfect right? So I call Renault AGAIN.


My complaint agent is still on annual leave and the person dealing with my complaint is now not taking my phone calls and not calling me back.

I’ve had enough.  How hard is it to find two minutes to return a phone call.  The car dealer can’t do it, Renault it now appears can’t do it, and yet I have apparently all the time in the world spare to keep ringing them up and trying to get this sorted.  It’s poor, pathetic and shoddy service.

I’m sick of wasting my time, my energy, on my visits to dealers, and I’m fed up of spending my money on premium rate phone calls, just to try and get what I was promised.

So here is my rant, posted on every social network I  have access too, and publicised anywhere else I can think of too.

Someone sort this bloody problem out.