Friday, 1 April 2011

Appalling Customer Service from Aviva

Travelling between pastoral visits yesterday, my car broke down for the first time in its 90000 mile history. No problem, I thought, I’ll call Aviva’s breakdown service. They’ll soon be here. Little did I know that my problems were just beginning.

Here is an approximate timeline for the rest of the day:

4.20pm – phoned Aviva to be told that they could take up to 3 hours to reach me. I was a bit flabbergasted, but felt I had no choice but to accept it. Anyway, in previous call-outs to AA/RAC etc they have tended to overestimate the call-out time.

5.20pm – received a call from Aviva. Someone would be coming to me at about 6.20pm. Did I want to go and get a drink somewhere? They would call when 15 minutes away. I went for the drink – no call.

6.20pm – returned to the car.

6.50pm – no sign of Aviva, so I phoned again to be told that my call-out would be at least an hour. Meanwhile, two friends stopped to see if they could help. I gratefully accepted a lift home for some tea.

8pm – received a call from breakdown man to say that he was 15 minutes away. My wife took me back to my abandoned vehicle.

8.20pm – breakdown man arrived.

9.20pm – car was finally mobile, and I got home frazzled and ready for a large glass of wine.

Well, Aviva’s website says that they aim to get to any call-out within 40 minutes. Only 3 hours 20 minutes late then.

After the benefit of a good night’s sleep, I phoned Aviva this morning to register my disgust. After being passed from pillar to post through Aviva’s telephone system, I received the unhelpful advice that they don’t promise to be there within 40 minutes from a woman who was clearly programmed to deflect any criticism. Eventually, I got an address to write to with my complaint.

Aviva – you should expect a letter soon! I will be asking you:

1. For an explanation as to why you took so long to reach me. Even your breakdown man (who was very good, by the way) was amazed.

2. To apologise for your appalling customer service.

3. Why I should pay you £100 or so for breakdown cover, when £50 would have got me a local call-out within the hour.

4. Whether you are going to offer me any compensation?

Readers, wish me luck. And don't use Aviva!

OK, rant over!

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