Consumerism Video games

There goes my August spending money

Yowzers. It’s been 7 years since I bought the house.

And it’s been four years since I bought the car.

At the time I bought the car, the dealer I bought it from had just paid the rego, so it’s due every August. This year it’s $696.50.

Obviously because I bought the car in August, the insurance is also due every August. $369.05 (It can be paid monthly, but this is 15% more expensive.)

And… you guessed it… the house insurance is also due. $673.35

Can someone remind me, when/if I decide to upgrade the car at some stage in the future, not to do it in August?

  • I also just got a rates notice… happily the next installment for that isn’t due until late September.
  • A reminder why, despite their groovy advertising and the promise of cheaper premiums for people who don’t drive much, I don’t insure with Youi

Actually do plan to use a little spending money: to help fund From Bedrooms to Billions, a documentary on the beginnings of the UK video game industry. Nostalgia ahoy!

I’ve donated $100. And that was before I discovered the music they’ve used for the trailer — which starts at the 3 minute mark in the following video:

From Bedrooms to Billions – Teaser Trailer from GRACIOUS FILMS on Vimeo.


Unwanted phone calls, and a higher premium? Youi insurance FAIL

Got my car insurance renewal from Bingle. $375.10. I’ve had it there since 2009.

Thought I’d quickly look around at insurers known to take low car usage into account.

PayAsYouDrive… whipped through the form, and it came up with $426.50 for the minimum 5000 kms per year of driving. A more conservative 7000 kms came back as $477.80. So they’re out. (By the way, their web site has improved since the problems I had with it in 2009, which at the time prompted them to respond on my blog. But it doesn’t appear to cater for anything other than a policy starting today, even though I was already currently insured. Odd.)

Youi. Asked for a mobile number to send me a PIN. Annoying, but they say it’s to prevent robots getting into their system. Not sure I believe that, but ok, I went through web form, got to the end and…

…it announced I’m a “preferred customer”, and, without giving me the option: one of our highly skilled advisors is busy calling you right now to finalise your quote.

Sure enough the guy rang up a minute later.

I was cranky. I didn’t want a phone call. I hate making phone calls about insurance, and I don’t have the time. That’s why I used the web site. Heck, this type of transaction is what web sites are made for.

I told the guy so, and asked him to pass that on to his management, and I reluctantly agreed to have him ring back later. (5-6 minutes on the phone, he promised.) After all, perhaps it would be cheaper than Bingle… though it would need to be a significant amount to overcome the inconvenience of the phone call, and the deceptive web site.

You know what Youi, you’re not getting off to a good start on the whole customer-relationship front. If I’d wanted to discuss it on the phone, I would have clicked the “Quote by phone” button instead of the “Quote online” button.

Youi web site

So anyway, I took the subsequent call. The bloke was polite, quick and professional, but the questions included nothing they couldn’t have asked online.

Except this: he asked who I was currently with, and what their premium was. He said Bingle is a hard one to compete with, and Youi’s cover is better, with more benefits (which may well be true, but what do I care if I have never ever claimed, and drive so little that, touch wood, I’ll never have to?)…

Here’s the kicker: He said that the best premium they could offer me is $466.85.

Yes, after all that, after wasting my time with an unwanted phone call, Youi was $91.75 higher than Bingle.

I think at this point you can guess who’s getting my money.