Magazine article The Spectator

Real Life

Magazine article The Spectator

Real Life

Article excerpt

Someone calling herself the Aviva Customer Experience Manager has been in touch.

I'm not entirely sure what sort of experience she was intending to give me but she ended up giving me a thoroughly horrible one.

I wonder if Aviva employed the Customer Experience Manager on the basis of her ability to give people horrible experiences or if the Customer Experience Manager has gone rogue.

In either case, she sent me a letter which she said was a full response to my complaint about the slow progress of my phantom car crash battle with the Slobs.

I have been puzzled, as you know, as to why we do not seem to be easily defeating their claim for back injuries when I have mobile phone pictures of their unblemished car.

The Customer Experience Manager is, and I quote, 'very sorry to hear that you are unhappy that an apparently low speed impact last November has led to a claim on your policy and that this is having an effect on your renewal premium'.

I don't like the tone of 'apparently low speed'. It sounds a tad sarcastic to me.

She goes on: 'I can assure you that we are investigating the claim thoroughly. We are being proactive and we are progressing the claim as quickly as the circumstances allow us to.'

What circumstances are these, pray? Is it the photos of the undamaged vehicle or the police witness who says there was no accident that is making things so difficult? Also, the word 'proactive' fills me with dread, as does 'progressing'. Proactive is no way to describe a yogurt, never mind a legal battle. And you can be sure that when someone tells you they are 'progressing' something it means they are trying very hard to make it go backwards or stand still.

'Unfortunately, as you have admitted colliding with the rear of the third party vehicle the only option open to us is to disprove the alleged injuries sustained by the third party.

To do this we have to obtain evidence to suggest that the impact was negligible.'

Yes, it must be hard to obtain evidence proving that the impact was negligible when you have been handed photographs showing no marks on the cars involved and phone numbers for independent witnesses who will swear there was no crash.

'We also require a copy of the police report, which does take time to obtain. …

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