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They Just Want Your Money

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I know this really shouldn’t come as a shock to me, but I’ve just had an important fact of life reinforced. Companies just want your money. I know I was probably being naïve to think anything else, but hey I love my rose tinted glasses.

This rude awakening occurred when my two year old son dribbled on my phone (hey, it happens) and sent the screen to wherever LCDs go to in the sky. I was a little upset as I was quite fond of my Sony Ericsson V800 but I was calm about it as I’d specifically taken out insurance with Barclaycard’s ‘Everyday Cover’ that covered me for loss or damage. After not hearing anything from them for a while I phoned to see what was going on. “It seems your claim has been rejected,” was the response.

“What? Why?”

“Because you only reported the damage three days after it occurred.”

“Huh?”

I was fairly stunned to learn that there’s some ridiculous stipulation that you have to report all claims within 48 hours, otherwise they can simply dismissed out of hand. Why this is I don’t know. What possible difference could it make if it had been 12 hours or five days? Ok, maybe six months would be pushing it a little, but I was more than miffed that I’d been paying every month for insurance that was, as far as I was concerned, less useful than an England footballer’s wife.

Despite my protestations to the monkeys in the call centre, no matter how high up the food chain I went, there was nothing I could do. The only course of action was to fax an appeal. Yes fax – apparently email hasn’t reached Everyday Cover.

What was absurd is that I could quite easily have just made up the date that the damage occurred. What was particularly galling was that I had actually phoned the company within 48 hours of the damage to discuss the claims process and actually told the person that I would first see if I could get it repaired at Carphone Warehouse first, a process that would take several weeks. At no point, was I told that this would invalidate my claim.

It seems that only when push comes to shove does the spectre that is small print loom up to spoil the party.

As a result I was particularly on alert when after buying a fan at a local Argos I was asked by the girl behind the counter if I wanted ‘an extended warranty with it’ with the same practised intonation as the classic, ‘would you like fries with that?’

To say I declined the offer would be putting it mildly.

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