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Best way to make a complaint to Hastings Direct

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Hi,

 

I was wondering if anyone here knew the best way to make a formal complaint to Hastings Direct? I have attempted to make a complaint by telephone on two separate occasions, but I just get fobbed off with promises but no investigations as to why the problem keeps persisting.

 

In January 2012, I took out a car insurance policy with Hastings Direct. I deliberately ticked the various boxes that would ensure that I would not be subjected to marketing calls. However, shortly after the policy kicked in, I was being telephoned by Hastings Direct in relation to being offered additional products on my policy. Although I never answered these calls (busy at work and all that), dialling the number resulted in hearing an automated "you have been called by Hastings Direct..." stating it was to offer additional products. There was an option to press buttons to opt out, but it would cost money from my pay-as-you-go mobile (the number was 0845 286 6351) plus seeing as I was already opted out, I felt that Hastings Direct should sort the problem out.

 

I spoke to Hastings several times last year. On each occasion, the customer service rep would confirm that I was opted out of marketing calls and could not explain why it was happening. They kept on leaving notes on my account for the marketing team to stop calling me, but calls persisted.

 

I attempted to make a complaint via the telephone, however I was asked that if I received a letter promising it would stop, that I would agree not to take it further. I agreed, letter was received and calls admittedly stopped for a period of about nine months. It was at this point I found out that Hastings gave everyone's details to a third party and it was up to the third party to filter out those who did not want the calls.

 

In January 2013, I renewed my policy with Hastings Direct. Lo and behold, shortly after the renewed policy starts, the calls start up again. I have spoken to Hastings, who continue to insist I should be opted out. On 23rd January 2013, I attempted to make another telephone complaint. Again, I have been fobbed off with excuses. Apparently, third party contact is out of their control, but they fail to realise this is happening because they gave my details to the third party. They stated that sometimes they ring to check details with the policy, but I pointed out if it was important, that an actual person would leave a voicemail and leave a number which leads to a call centre rather than an automated message. I was also told to using the opting-out facilities, but why should I do the work for them when I'm clearly already opted out?

 

They are going to speak to the third party company again and send another lovely letter promising it will stop, but I just feel like speaking on the phone is a waste of time and that they will do anything to bring the number of complaints down.

 

I was wondering if anyone had had better luck using a different method? I want to know why they keep on failing to listen to my requests to remove my details for marketing purposes. I know my issues are not as bad as some, but the calls happen regularly and are an absolute nuisance! In fact, I don't even have the marketing number stored on my mobile, but I know it better than my own number the amount of times it has called.

 

Many thanks for your help in advance.


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Hi Good Sister, Thanks for taking the time to post here about your experience, I am sorry to hear that you are unhappy and that you have not managed to get this situation resolved. The calls you are receiving are our welcome call from our Customer service team and not relating to marketing. These calls happen shortly after a policy has been incepted or renewed. Please contact me directly with the contact details you have been receiving calls on and I will have your number removed from the lists. I will also engage our Customer Relations team to find out why this matter has not been resolved at your previous requests. socialmedia@hastingsdirect.com Many Thanks, Jamie

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Hi Jamie,

 

With all due respect, I was welcomed to Hastings both years with a letter - why on Earth would I require a telephone call to do exactly the same job? I asked to be opted out of all communication from Hastings and third parties (apart from essential calls). I'm sorry, but a "welcome" call from your marketing team is not essential. I do not have the time to answer calls at work at the best of times, if I had found out I was being welcomed for a second time, I would not have been impressed.

 

At the height of the problem last year, I was called daily by the number given in the OP - daily calls are far more likely to alienate me rather than welcome me!

 

When I was being bothered last year, I found out it was yourselves through the Who Calls Me website. That clearly implied that it was a number being used for marketing reasons, and in fact your colleagues seem quite willing on there to do what you try to do here and remove people's details. No mention that these could potentially be "welcome" calls. No mention on the numerous occasions to your call centre that I could have been experiencing "welcome" calls. In any case, the problem seemingly stopped after my first "complaint" so I would have assumed my number should have been removed from your contact lists. I should point out again that the number leads to an option to opt-out of calls - I would have thought I would have been unable to do that on a welcome call I must expect no matter what my call preferences?

 

If I had known the problem was going to happen this year too, I would have gone for a slightly more expensive policy for a quieter life (and possibly a meerkat or some other gift offered by comparison sites).


Any pearls of wisdom that I give on the CAG forums is based on previous experiences and knowledge I have gained from being on these forums. If you have found any comments to be helpful (mine or anyone else's) please click the star button under the helpful comment so you can help other CAG members with their decision making.

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