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Hastingsdirect Unfair charge to change address.


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Below is my letter of complaint to Hastingsdirect;

 

''Dear Customer Relations Department,

 

I am writing to advise you of changes to my details.

 

 

To explain in more detail I telephoned Hastingsdirect today with regards to a change of address.

I was not informed by the call centre operator that it would incur a fee.

 

 

I was only informed at the end of the call that I would be charged £42.88 for it.

I immediately told him to cancel it as I wouldn't be able to afford the change for now,

my car insurance is due for renewal next month.

 

 

He refused and said I must pay the charge.

He told me that a Manager will be in touch within 30mins,

I waited for an hour and no one rang me.

 

My complaint is about lack of information and misinformation.

 

I would like you to Refund the charge of £42.88 due to be deducted from my account.

If the change of address will incur additional charges or affect my policy in any way,

I would appreciate it if you would let me know as soon as possible.''

 

I have just done some research online about Hastingsdirect

and I am inundated with a host of complaints about them on this issue.

 

 

I have tried to resolve it with the complaints department to no avail.

I will be contacting the Ombudsman if this complaint is not amicably resolved.

 

 

I will also be posting this to as many forums as possible.

 

 

My main question is this: Is it fair to charge £42.88 for just a change of address?!

Edited by Izzy2016
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Was it an admin fee (and if so were you informed of it when you signed up)?

 

Is it a change in premium to reflect a different risk at the new address (which would be entirely fair!)?

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£25 admin fee plus extra for the premium based on the new address,

£42.88 to press a few computer keys.

 

I as well as a few million car drivers in the UK do not read in detail the initial insurance documents we agree to.

 

I don't consider it fair for us to be penalized for it.

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if you up for renewal

then simply cancel your DD now

and pay your remain monthly by BACS/interweb bank portal?

 

 

dx

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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No. It is absolutely unfair. We would be delighted to help you with this because Hastings and others are such a nuisance with this kind of treatment of their customers that it's about time it was stopped.

 

Hastings are obliged to deal with you fairly and this is a statutory requirement imposed by the FCA in their ICOBS regulations. It is a breach of statutory duty to treat you unfairly. I think that charging you in this way, a fee which must surely vastly exceed the administrative costs of changing details, must surely be unfair.

 

Secondly, Under the Consumer Rights Act, section 51, in a contract for a service where no price has been agreed then a reasonable price will be implied. This means that if in the Hastings terms and conditions it doesn't specifically identify this level of fee for changing particulars, then they can only charge you a reasonable price. Of course it is a matter of proof as to whether or not this is reasonable.

 

I think that you should write to Hastings immediately and asked them to explain to you in how they account for the cost of changing the insurance details.

 

Tell them that if they cannot give you a satisfactory account for the use of your money, that you will be complaining to the FOS. Frankly, if you had the energy I would begin a small claim against them for breach of their statutory duty under ICOBS.

 

I can almost guarantee you that they will refund you the money – as a gesture of goodwill. Although that won't establish any principles, it will show that they are frit.

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if you up for renewal

then simply cancel your DD now

and pay your remain monthly by BACS/interweb bank portal?

 

 

dx

 

I paid the annual charge upfront, and I'm due for renewal by the end of July. I don't think I will be renewing with them.

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No. It is absolutely unfair. We would be delighted to help you with this because Hastings and others are such a nuisance with this kind of treatment of their customers that it's about time it was stopped.

 

Hastings are obliged to deal with you fairly and this is a statutory requirement imposed by the FCA in their ICOBS regulations. It is a breach of statutory duty to treat you unfairly. I think that charging you in this way, a fee which must surely vastly exceed the administrative costs of changing details, must surely be unfair.

 

Secondly, Under the Consumer Rights Act, section 51, in a contract for a service where no price has been agreed then a reasonable price will be implied. This means that if in the Hastings terms and conditions it doesn't specifically identify this level of fee for changing particulars, then they can only charge you a reasonable price. Of course it is a matter of proof as to whether or not this is reasonable.

 

I think that you should write to Hastings immediately and asked them to explain to you in how they account for the cost of changing the insurance details.

 

Tell them that if they cannot give you a satisfactory account for the use of your money, that you will be complaining to the FOS. Frankly, if you had the energy I would begin a small claim against them for breach of their statutory duty under ICOBS.

 

I can almost guarantee you that they will refund you the money – as a gesture of goodwill. Although that won't establish any principles, it will show that they are frit.

 

They said they charge a fixed £25 admin charge, plus a new premium charge for moving to a new area, which gives a total of £42.88.

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They said they charge a fixed £25 admin charge, plus a new premium charge for moving to a new area, which gives a total of £42.88.

 

If you change address, the risk changes and insurers will calculate any change, plus they will charge you an admin fee per the policy terms.

 

It is up to Hastings whether they waive any of this as a gesture of goodwill, given that renewal is due very soon.

 

It would be interesting if you got a new business quote from Hastings using your new address to see how this compares with what you have been paying. If you find it significantly cheaper, this might come in handy with your complaint that Hastings are trying to stitch you up by charging for amendment to the existing policy.

 

Agree with Bankfodder that Insurers do use captive customers to make money in these situations. They will apply a higher premium rate to mid term changes and admin fees to make money. Getting a new business quite might help with negotiations.

We could do with some help from you.

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Yes, I hadn't appreciated that the change of address was more than merely altering some address details on the policy. You now tell us that you had moved into a different area. Of course, this could affect the risk and where new circumstances are revealed can affect the likelihood of theft, for example, then it is quite normal for insurers to review the premium they are asking.

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You can move 3 doors down the road and have essentially the same risk, but incur a change to risk premium. When you do a change of address, a quote is done based on the revised details and it might pick up any change to rates. The rates on a policy are not frozen at the point policy was incepted or last renewal. The underwriters might revise rates up or down and when you make the change a recalculation will be made.

 

In this situation for Car Insurance, you will get customers tell their Insurers that the move has been delayed and will actually occur on tbe renewal date. Of course you should update your Insurance details from the correct date, in accordance with policy terms, but as cars are movable objects, people do tend to advise Insurers sometime after they have moved.

We could do with some help from you.

PLEASE HELP US TO KEEP THIS SITE RUNNING EVERY POUND DONATED WILL HELP US TO KEEP HELPING OTHERS

 

 Have we helped you ...?         Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

 

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When I first started to drive I got my first renewal through the door and it coincided with me moving address. I called them to tell them and they reviewed my quote and made it higher than the original renewal. I accepted and paid. Four months later I moved back to the original address. I called to tell the insurer and they charged me £200 for the address change (no admin fees were mentioned back then). The excuses on the phone were that it must now be a higher risk area that it was before (four months ago). I complained and they dismissed the extra charges. They just see it as a way of making money.

 

Has anyone ever seen a reduction when they change address to a less risky area?

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If you moved from say London to say Devon, you should see a reduction. But Insurers do have rates for existing policy amendments that are not competitive, so they extract money from captive customers.

 

The FCA or other body should really look at this issue, as it is not fair to extra money in this way, as deliberate policy, so they can offer discounted premiums to new customers.

We could do with some help from you.

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 Have we helped you ...?         Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

 

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Another trick they like to pull is if you negotiated a discount on the renewal price and then you amend the policy mid term, they will do a new renewal without the discount you managed to negotiate initially. So you either pay the penalty to leave or pay the new rate without the discount. They've got you hooked.

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I used the google comparison site to get my current deal which is due for renewal next month. Unfortunately, google has since discontinued their comparison service. All the comparison sites showing up are giving me double my current premium, maybe it's due to my house move. I moved from Colchester to Sunderland.

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I used the google comparison site to get my current deal which is due for renewal next month. Unfortunately, google has since discontinued their comparison service. All the comparison sites showing up are giving me double my current premium, maybe it's due to my house move. I moved from Colchester to Sunderland.

 

Think parts of the north east are high risk due to thefts. If you google high risk postcodes for Car Insurance, you will find articles quoting postcode areas.

 

Given the move to a higher risk area, then the premium adjustment is due. If you cancelled before renewal and took insurance elsewhere the admin fee for cancellation might make this option difficult. Plus you would lose out on having a full years no claims.

We could do with some help from you.

PLEASE HELP US TO KEEP THIS SITE RUNNING EVERY POUND DONATED WILL HELP US TO KEEP HELPING OTHERS

 

 Have we helped you ...?         Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

 

If you want advice on your thread please PM me a link to your thread

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Hi Izzy,

 

I'm sorry to see that you're unhappy with our fee and the additional premium to change the address, our customer relations team will be able to provide an investigation into your concerns and determine the quality of the service you received when asking for a cancellation quote as well. While we make every effort to ensure our fees are clear, straightforward and accepted before sale I appreciate that we can only tell you if there is an additional or return of premium at the time of the change. Thank you for letting us know about your experience, it's very useful for us to learn directly from customers about how it has been received.

 

Regards,

 

Joe

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£25 admin fee plus extra for the premium based on the new address,

£42.88 to press a few computer keys.

 

I as well as a few million car drivers in the UK do not read in detail the initial insurance documents we agree to.

 

I don't consider it fair for us to be penalized for it.

 

Again,new (recalculated) premium is fair.

 

£25 admin fee seems excessive, but "a few million other people don't read the documents" doesn't make some admin charge (that accurately reflects their costs!) unfair - only that a few million people should read the documents.

There is a "cooling off" period so that people can receive and read the documents .......

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Update:

I have just received a letter from Hastings direct dismissing my complaint and reiterating that they will be sending me an invoice for the sum owed.

 

Well, I'm resigned to my fate,I have decided to let this matter rest.

 

Suffice it to say that when my insurance is due for renewal next month,

I will not be renewing with Hastingsdirect.

 

I have just checked a new comparison website deep inside Google,

and the quotes I'm getting for my new address are the same quotes I received for my old address when I insured my car with Hastingsdirect.

 

 

I quickly changed the address details on the comparison site to my old address details,

and I was getting similar quotes plus/minus £20/year.

 

 

i don't honestly understand why Hastingsdirect considers my new address a higher risk when other insurers do not, and they now loose a £570/year customer because they fail to waive an admin charge for goodwill?!

 

Disgusting to be honest.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The fact is, they don't make it up on the spot. The person who dealt with you initial call simply typed in the info (no option, by the way, if you told them you'd moved) - and that's the calculation which arose. Had you moved the other way it would have gone down.

 

Waive the fee as a good will gesture? Possibly, but then I would want the same treatment if I moved and everyone would want the fee waived as a gesture of good will.

 

The fact is, the policy costs what it costs. I can well imagine you being unhappy with paying more, but that's the way it goes. Shop around.

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Agreed. I just got a quote through the post today from Hastings for £635.21 for the next 12 months. My investigation on a comparison site (not the popular ones) deep inside Google suggests that I can get it for about £570 per year. I will go for the cheapest option.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Update: I have switched provider and only paid £486 to renew my car insurance for the next 12 months. It helps that I had 2 years no claims discount as well. I would urge everyone to avoid Hastingsdirect, absolutely shocking customer service. Hastingsdirect is a company that would rather collect £40 fee and loose a £635/year customer, than waive the fee for goodwill and keep the customer.

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