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Hastings Direct Smartmiles, Have they stolen my money?

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I am really confused with Hastings Direct Smartmiles.


am 25, got my license 4 months ago and got myself a little car a couple of days later.


A couple of issues I have had with them,


Issue 1:

Insured it with Hastings direct Smartmiles as it seemed to be a good policy and for a good price.


Set up my appointment to have the blackbox fitted all fine.

The night before the engineer was due to come in the morning and fit the blackbox (which was a couple of days before the end of the two week grace period due to my hectic work schedule)


I got a call saying they wouldnt be turning up as the engineer had been taken ill, all fine and understandable so re-arranged it for a few days later.


Again the night before I got another call saying the engineer would not be coming due to where I live.


Hang on, they knew where I live when the original appointment was set up (and when I took out the insurance)


how are they only just realising the engineer can't get here?


Then told i would have to go to an authorised installer over 18 miles away to get it installed, annoying and so much for the installation being at my convenience.


this was set for a weeks time, way past the grace period, which of course meant I was getting hounded by letters and calls threatening to cancel my insurance policy as I hadnt had the box installed.


called them multiple times to explain the situation and confirm it wasnt my fault it was theirs and they promised not to cancel.


Carried on getting the letters.


the morning of the appointment i get a call from the installing garage asking me about my appointment as they had only just been told about it


. I confirmed it and explained the situation to them and they were very short to me about it due to the short notice which was understandable.


Got it done, then got home to put in a complaint to hastings re all the touble and threats id recieved


they said they would investigate it.

A few days later I get a letter from them saying the issue had been resovled and id be getting a £90 refund from the installation team due to my issues. great.

Except I NEVER got it.


Issue 2:

Fast forward a few months and im involved in an accident (not serious) which i agreed liability to as Id been pulling out onto a main road

, (the other person hadn't seen me pulling out and therefore hadn't slowed down).


They got a small amount of damage (A smashed headlight and a dent in the bonnet),

my car was written off.


eventually when my car had been taken away and inspected by an engineer to confirm it was a write off,

the engineer said I would recieve back the valuation of the car £1250 minus my excess which was £95.


she asked me how I would want the money to be paid with me either bank transfer or cheque, I stated bank transfer please.


Another week later (17/08/2016) i finally receive a text from hastings saying that my claim had been settled and I would recieve my payment within 7 days.

Finally I thought, I can start looking for another car!


Today (24/08/16) I called them during my lunch break to ask about my payment as I had not received it

they said it had been authorised on the 19th.


Got home and there was a cheque waiting for me.

Funny bank transfer huh.


Heres the good bit, the cheque was for £741, over £400 pounds less than I had been told!


Straight onto the phone to them again to find out what had happened

apparently as well as the excess they had also taken the £400+ as I pay monthly to pay the rest of my insurance for the year(which I hadnt been told would happen, just minus the excess), even though I had been previously told that my insurance had been suspended waiting for me to cancel it if i wanted.


He explained that I had 30 days to add another car onto my policy (which I also hadnt been told).


I informed him that I wasnt going to add another car onto my policy as I was thinking of getting a policy with the main arm of hastings when i got another car as i didnt want the black box anymore, and why have i been made to pay for the whole years insurance when Id only had it a few months and wasnt going to keep it anymore


Suddenly he was speechless and didnt know what to say anymore,

then said maybe you should speak to the total loss team as they were handling it.


He then put me on hold again for a while (about 5-10 mins)

said they seem quite busy do you want to call back, i asked to be transferred.


Another 5-10 mins later and someone picks up,

i explain the previous conversation and she says i have not idea what to do about that the people you were speaking to deal with all that stuff,

but its just gone past 6 pm so they cant speak to you any more about it today.


She then even laughed a little and admitted it saying 'yeah probably' when i said 'oh thats just typical thats probably why they transferred me here then'


Has anyone else had a similar experience or even heard of being made to pay for the whole years insurance when they dont even know if you will be keeping it any more.


Im fed up with this company,

safe to say they will never be getting any more business from me or my family again,

I'd rather pay a bit more to someone else that have customer service like this!


If anyone has had a similar experience or has any advice on what I could do I'd be very grateful!

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I get that but ive only used it for 4 months, surely if you get an insurance policy then only use it for a few months then cancel its only a £40-£50 charge and if youve paid the years premium already you get back the money for the months you havent used? so as paying monthly you just simply dont pay the rest of the year? Thats what happend with my old moped.

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but you had a policy for say £500 for sake of argument ... that is the cost to cover your car in the event of an accident be it repaired or written off or to repair the other car that you hit ... its done what it was there for so why do you only think you should only pay for part of it ... if you'd paid in full you wouldn't get anything back after a fault claim ... and when you said you admitted liability because you pulled out of a side road and the car coming toward you didnt stop ... it wasnt their position to stop it was your responsibility NOT to pull out in a dangerous manner ... and then people complain their insurance is expensive ...it beggars belief it really does

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If you claim on Insurance, you pay the full years premium. Has always been this way. You normally can then Insure another car for the remainder of the year and in the circumstances because of the errors they might allow you more than 30 days to confirm a change of car on the policy. You can't normally change the current box policy to a standard policy, unless you can get Hastings to agree to this, given the errors and hassle fitting box to new car.

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I see that makes sense now, so if i was to get another car and put it on the same policy, i wouldnt have to pay as much for the insurance, just whatever extra that car would cost to insure + the installation of another box? Im pretty sure i wont do this just trying to make sure i understand correctly.

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Well yes, you have paid the full premium for the year so if you then add another car on you would pay any additional premium depending on the tyoe of car plus an admin fee. It may also be that your new car is cheaper to insure than the previous one



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Ok thats not too bad then, thanks for clearing that up, still annoyed they didnt tell me it would happen though, I have checked the policy thoroughly now and there was nothing in it about that. Still tempted to leave but may just have to grin and bear it for another few months before leaving them to try and save a bit of money :/ Cheers for your help :)

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Probably cheaper to stay, at least to conclude the year youve paid for already



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I am not legally trained or qualified, any advice i offer is gleaned from experience and general knowledge, if you are still unsure after receiving advice please seek legal advice.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Try not to be too downhearted about your little mishap on the road. I doubt there is a driver today who didn't have a prang at the beginning of their driving career. It is better to buy insurance for the year if you can afford it. This way you don't pay interest or penalties if you forget one month. These can soon mount up.


What you need to do here is find something that is cheap to insure and run for a couple of years. This will allow you to build up some no claims bonus which will help your premiums no end. Have a look at the following article that lists the cheapest cars in the UK to run and insure.



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