Magazine article The Spectator

Real Life: Melissa Kite

Magazine article The Spectator

Real Life: Melissa Kite

Article excerpt

After I phoned the Aviva call centre for the ten thousandth time, a girl called Adele had to sort it in the end. If she hadn't, I would have climbed on to the roof of the House of Commons in an outfit made of Lycra, waving a banner bearing the legend 'Drivers For Justice!'

The poor thing wasn't too impressed with my hysteria at first. 'Help me, please!' I squawked into the phone. 'I've been fighting these people who claimed I injured them when I hadn't for three and a half years and this week the statute ran out on their claim -- not just ran out, really ran out. I mean, it ran out three years ago but then the lawyers extended it to give them another chance to submit evidence only they never did because there wasn't any evidence, and so this week the case was really, really closed and the lawyers declared it not my fault and everything should be all right, only it's not all right because my renewal quote came through at the same time and the whole thing of it not being my fault is not reflected in my quote and you want another £1,000 a year from me instead of £450, which is the cheapest quote on comparethemarket.com without an at fault accident on my file, but an at fault accident is on my file, because you won't take it off my file, even though it's been disproved and I've got nine years no claims discount, and when I rang in yesterday a man told me my file says you paid out £6,000 to The Slobs -- they're the people I didn't injure, by the way -- only you didn't pay them, that's a mistake on the file because they may have wanted six grand but they didn't get it, because we fought them, but all the while we fought them you charged me inflated premiums until I proved I didn't injure them and now it's over, only it isn't over because your call centre won't recognise it's over when you generate my renewal quote so it comes out at £1,000 still and I've been paying £1,000 instead of half that for three years and it was meant to end this week and it hasn't ended and ooooooohhhhh, help me pleeeeeeeeease!'

Adele took a deep breath. 'Miss Kite, you need to stop shouting at me.'

'Yes. Yes. I'm sorry. I know I do, but I'm not really shouting, I'm weeping. …

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