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Insuring With Norwich Union Direct - Abroad Call Centres


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Norwich Union Direct has most of its Customer Service base abroad. I have recently been dealing with a relatives motor insurance claim. My relative was involved in an accident where a Norwich Union Direct policyholder was at fault. The incident occured at the beginning of November and is a straightforward hit in the rear/side.

 

Despite Norwich Union Direct accepting liability, the claim has not been settled. The car was written off but as everything is handled abroad, the service has been appalling.

 

In addition to the above, my wife works for another leading insurer and has to deal with NU on a regular basis and has the same problems.

 

MY ADVICE TO ANYBODY IS THIS - IF YOU ARE HAPPY TO DEAL WITH A FIRM THAT HANDLES ITS CUSTOMER BASE ABROAD THEN FINE, BUT IF NOT, DON'T CONSIDER INSURING WITH NORWICH UNION DIRECT.

 

FIRMS SUCH AS CHURCHILL, DIRECTLINE, TESCO, DO NOT HAVE OVERSEAS OPERATIONS.

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This reminds me of a time when I worked for a Household insurer, and a Norwich Union insured car drove through the front of the house. I rang india to sort out Quantum (how much they were going to pay), got through to India & was told they were denying liability - on the basis that it must have been the houses fault!!!!

 

Believe me, the Insurance Third Party Department dont like communicating with India too

Abbey - owed £3260 - Paid up.

 

Barclays owed £2500 - Paid up.

 

Halifax, Mint & Egg - next on the hit list

 

Dont click on the scales - I'm quite proud of my little red dot! - As the little red dot has gone - click away!!!!

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Norwich Union Direct has most of its Customer Service base abroad. I have recently been dealing with a relatives motor insurance claim. My relative was involved in an accident where a Norwich Union Direct policyholder was at fault. The incident occured at the beginning of November and is a straightforward hit in the rear/side.

 

Despite Norwich Union Direct accepting liability, the claim has not been settled. The car was written off but as everything is handled abroad, the service has been appalling.

 

In addition to the above, my wife works for another leading insurer and has to deal with NU on a regular basis and has the same problems.

 

MY ADVICE TO ANYBODY IS THIS - IF YOU ARE HAPPY TO DEAL WITH A FIRM THAT HANDLES ITS CUSTOMER BASE ABROAD THEN FINE, BUT IF NOT, DON'T CONSIDER INSURING WITH NORWICH UNION DIRECT.

 

FIRMS SUCH AS CHURCHILL, DIRECTLINE, TESCO, DO NOT HAVE OVERSEAS OPERATIONS.

 

I completely agree with you!

My husband had an accident in August, someone crashed into the back of him, and it has been an absolute nightmare!!!

He still hasnt got the car back, they first told him it was being written off, then they were reparing it, then it was being written off, and on and on it goes.

We have received letters from the other party's solicitor saying norwich union have ignored all their letters.

When my husband rings, they cant understand him and vice versa.

One day he was on the phone telling them how unacceptable the service had been (after months of having no vehicle) because unbeknown to him a courtesy car was not provided - He got to a point were he realised the "advisor" wasnt listeneing at all, and just kept on repeating "mmh mh" to everything, so my husband said "your useless arent you" to which they replied "mmh mh" he said you havent listened to a word ive said have you - they replied "mmh mh"

 

An absolute joke.

The other party hasnt accepted liability, so my husband has no car and they have taken his no claims until they have decided who is at fault - when it is quite clear who is at fault.

 

We are still waiting.

 

We will never ever use them again, and we are warning every one we know also.

 

:mad:

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If you are unhappy - then complain straight to the top - contact details are as follows - this is the Head Office Complaints which are handled in the Chief Executives Office -

 

 

Mike O'Sullivan

Director of Customer Relations

Chief Executive’s Office

Telephone Number

01603 682556

Fax Number

01603 685359

E-mail address

osullim@norwich-union.co.uk

 

 

Hope this helps - please keep us informed

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I've got nothing against our fellow citizens of India, but as you all say, it is a bit much when they use them in call centres for English based firms and they don't understand our language. Had same problem when sorting out some issues with the "3" phone company. Every time I said something or asked the chap a question, he said " hold on, I will have to speak to my supervisor" And very often it is us who is paying the phone bill for their elongated conversations!!!! They said that having a call centre in India, reflects their "Global" operations. What a load of c**p, cheap labour more like! Mind you I do have a bit of a problem understanding our Scottish neighbours who again seem to be popular with call centres. Are they hoping that by confusing us we will go away!!!!

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Interestingly - and some may call me a cynic, I live just a 2 minute walk away from the futuristic gin palace that Norwich Union call their 'Customer CallCentre' located in North Glasgow, which was opened only last year.

 

Hunderds of staff are bussed in daily but it was only when I walked round for a quote, did I discover a few interesting things. Although the building is sual-branded NU and RAC Insurance (which would seem that this is yet another branding exercise), it was not a 'customer facing' centre. and if I wanted to speak to someone, I had to do it from the phone at reception. Fair enough. Where does India come in? Why, the Glasgow centre is SALES, and you get english speaking (ok then, Scottish) whilst you arrange to give them your money. Once you have done so, all other back-office functions, like renewals, claims and customer service are handled exclusively in India. Not a proportion, or on overflow, but at all times.

 

I decided not to bother. I also discoverd that Esure similarly - despite being based in Glasgow, now ship their calls to India. Sorry, but I'd rather support British jobs first, but I'm finding it difficult to ensure this happens, especially if NU's sneaky sales policy is commonplace.

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Believe me, the Insurance Third Party Department dont like communicating with India too

 

hahaha no kidding there

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I don't think this is do to with where the call centres are, India, Japan or Scotland for that matter, its to do with training, if they are properly trained then they can do the job. Most of the overseas staff are just computer operator and just read/follow the script.

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I've applied for a coachin secondment to Norwich Union in india, so fingers crossed I'll kick give em in the arse for u!

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I don't think this is do to with where the call centres are, India, Japan or Scotland for that matter, its to do with training, if they are properly trained then they can do the job. Most of the overseas staff are just computer operator and just read/follow the script.

 

I have to agree with that - i deal with many insurers on a daily basis and it is so frustrating having to tell insurance company staff the terms and conditions of their own products.

Cahoot - Rejection of offer sent 14/06/07

 

Barclaycard - S.A.R - (Subject Access Request) sent 22/03/07

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Its not all offshore centres that are the problem, its the language and terminology barrier. (a bit like in England we say Jay but some Scots say Jye for the letter 'J' ):confused:

Working for NU, I also resented our jobs going offshore but you find that majority of the advisors out there are as good, and on odd occasions better than the staff in the uk.

 

Lets face it there will always be staff who have habits of putting you on hold, cutting you off, talking to their colleagues and mis-informing you. Its commonplace in any Company - its staff monotony but should be down to the managers to clear it up, who alas will probably take a backseat as long as their team is hitting targets.:x

 

Like Ginge, i've applied for an offshore trainer role, :D as its not so much the product knowledge but more on customs and culture that needs to be improved so they understand things like 'immersion heaters' and the like. Remember offshore lifestyles vary greatly from ours.

 

With regards to Buzby, NU also has a modern contact centre in Norwich itself, yes this is sales but it also deals with RAC direct calls (sales & Cust' service). What you probably didnt realise is that M & S, Asda & Barclays also operate from the Glasgow centre for sales, & Customer Advice all underwritten by NU.

 

The whole point of being a "DIRECT" company is that you dont have walk in centres or shops. They are direct over the phone or web and by doing this they limit the amount of overheads which are passed to the customer. Yes there are drawbacks like not having a cover note immediately - but if you want one it can be arranged next day delivery using Royal Mail. If thats not good enough then a local broker will help you find cover, but then you may find a higher premium or less cover just to have this service from that broker.

In Insurance, thinking "It wont happen to me" could mean you dont have the cover you want at a time when you want it! - Dont always reject a Courtesy Car or Legal because you find the cost too much! Whats more valuable? YOU or the Policy Premium?

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Please add to my reputation if my reply was informative to you. (click the scales);) Replies offered by me are not linked to anyone, and is from my own personal experience.:grin:

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Working for NU, I also resented our jobs going offshore but you find that majority of the advisors out there are as good, and on odd occasions better than the staff in the uk.

 

Remember offshore lifestyles vary greatly from ours.

 

Offshore? are these call centres based on oil rigs or ships? I wish they would use a more correct term. :rolleyes:

 

If thats not good enough then a local broker will help you find cover, but then you may find a higher premium or less cover just to have this service from that broker.

 

You are equally as likely to have less cover provided by a direct writer. In fact NU are typical in charging you for extras as opposed to their non-direct policies.

Cahoot - Rejection of offer sent 14/06/07

 

Barclaycard - S.A.R - (Subject Access Request) sent 22/03/07

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You are equally as likely to have less cover provided by a direct writer. In fact NU are typical in charging you for extras as opposed to their non-direct policies.

 

 

Not at all. They tailor the quote to what you want. Yes the extras are available, but if you dont want them why have them ?

In Insurance, thinking "It wont happen to me" could mean you dont have the cover you want at a time when you want it! - Dont always reject a Courtesy Car or Legal because you find the cost too much! Whats more valuable? YOU or the Policy Premium?

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Please add to my reputation if my reply was informative to you. (click the scales);) Replies offered by me are not linked to anyone, and is from my own personal experience.:grin:

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Benjee, did u get the position?? No one that applied at clubline seems to have been accepted, its been filled with ppl for NUI life, in distribution

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Not at all. They tailor the quote to what you want. Yes the extras are available, but if you dont want them why have them ?

 

Yes but why should an NU Direct policyholder have to pay for the privilege of being provided a courtesy car when this is free on NU's non-direct policies. I and most other people would consider this an essential part of a motor policy.

Cahoot - Rejection of offer sent 14/06/07

 

Barclaycard - S.A.R - (Subject Access Request) sent 22/03/07

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As you say "You" consider this to be an essential part. There are plenty out there that dont. Same as legal expenses, personal accident and protected no claims.

Its down to personal preference. You would be surprised at how many dont take the add ons, then find they wish they had in the event of a claim.

 

NU Direct and NU operate 'similair' policies but not the same. The whole point of direct is that you choose the cover you want and in most cases, going direct can still save you money than going via a broker who will add theyre percentage.

Many people dont realise that if they use a broker, the policy may be underwritten by one company, the legal by another, the courtesy car provided for a limited time and so on. Using a direct provider, 9 times out of 10 these are dealt with 'in-house' by that company - thus saving you ££

In Insurance, thinking "It wont happen to me" could mean you dont have the cover you want at a time when you want it! - Dont always reject a Courtesy Car or Legal because you find the cost too much! Whats more valuable? YOU or the Policy Premium?

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Please add to my reputation if my reply was informative to you. (click the scales);) Replies offered by me are not linked to anyone, and is from my own personal experience.:grin:

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NU Direct and NU operate 'similair' policies but not the same. The whole point of direct is that you choose the cover you want and in most cases, going direct can still save you money than going via a broker who will add theyre percentage.

 

I am insured with NU and decided to see how much money an NU direct policy would save me (and it did save me money) a whole £8.00 but that was without a courtesy car, no foreign use cover and the privilege of £320xs that the NU Direct website defaults to. If I were to purchase a like for like policy then the NU direct version was £172 more expensive even though mine includes a broker commission. ;)

 

the courtesy car provided for a limited time and so on.

 

NUD policies are also limited in this respect to a maximum of 14 days. You seem to forget the hidden cost such as the £52.50 cancellation fee that NU Direct charge as well (which on a premium of £300 is approx twice as much as the broker commission!!).

 

I have nothing against direct insurers but i do get a bit fed up of brokers being painted as the bad guys by direct insurers when they clearly are not.

 

Anyway this is all getting a bit argumentative and counter productive so I will leave it there. :)

Cahoot - Rejection of offer sent 14/06/07

 

Barclaycard - S.A.R - (Subject Access Request) sent 22/03/07

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Interesting to read everyones comments I would just like to add ours:

 

We insure our car thru my partners aunt as she's 68 with max no claims we drive a Volvo 850 2.5 20v CD 1996 worth about £2000 the cheapest quote we had was £500 odd from CIS with £250 excess, next I tried NU (and every year since I have shopped around with the same result) our quote from NU for the above was £260 odd last year with £50 excess, courtesy car cover and business use 1.

 

No one else even comes close to that at all its quite astounding. 2 years ago a motorcyclist destroyed our previous car turning left from the right hand lane on a roundabout (he got his prosecuted big style) anyway called NU and spoke to someone in India who took the initial details then under an hour later I had someone from the UK check the details and take the rest of them they were great tbh.

 

Anyway until there's someone out there that will insure us in this fashion with my partners aunt, myself (31 driving licence since 1993 3 points for speeding) and my partner (34 prov licence only) for that kinda money then I guess we'll be sticking with NU, oh and we get the full package breakdown cover for £70 a year too.

 

Oh and if anyone wants to know to insure the car in our name most insurers want about £1200 per year lol

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Interesting to read everyones comments I would just like to add ours:

 

We insure our car thru my partners aunt as she's 68 with max no claims we drive a Volvo 850 2.5 20v CD 1996 worth about £2000 the cheapest quote we had was £500 odd from CIS with £250 excess, next I tried NU (and every year since I have shopped around with the same result) our quote from NU for the above was £260 odd last year with £50 excess, courtesy car cover and business use 1.

 

Anyway until there's someone out there that will insure us in this fashion with my partners aunt, myself (31 driving licence since 1993 3 points for speeding) and my partner (34 prov licence only) for that kinda money then I guess we'll be sticking with NU, oh and we get the full package breakdown cover for £70 a year too.

 

Oh and if anyone wants to know to insure the car in our name most insurers want about £1200 per year lol

 

If your aunt is the policyholder and you/spouse are the named drivers requiring business use(and not your aunt) then it is highly unlikely that Class 1 business use is providing the correct cover for you.

 

Class 1 business use *usually* only covers the business of the PROPOSER and/or their SPOUSE ONLY.

 

I would seriously advise you to check the certificate wording carefully and speak to the insurer for clarification.

Cahoot - Rejection of offer sent 14/06/07

 

Barclaycard - S.A.R - (Subject Access Request) sent 22/03/07

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Good to see a couple of NU employees kicking around. Yes, the india secondments went to Distribution staff, they may soon have to relocate there.

 

I would like to raise a couple of thinking points though.

 

I really do respect Aviva as a company, despite the threat of job losses (which are common everywhere), I have the chance of working for a very forward thinking and pro-active company. I learn alot in my job, i have many development opportunites, a half decent salary and a pension from a company that will probably never go bust (unless i have just given it the Enron curse).

 

As a customer though I am not happy with the jobs going to India and would rather they have stayed in the uk, however, most uk people are lazy. There were hundreds of jobs advertised but couldn't fill them. You might as well stay on benefits. India provided an immediated talent pool. Most if not all of the employees are graduate (so they have a brain, you think india is bad? try talking to liverpool!).

 

Where the indians are good at is process jobs (ie they are good at following directions) as I found out. I made a claim and was offered the worse customer service ever. My repairer could not give me a courtesy car (which i desperately needed), so they left me with a banged up car for 8 weeks while they booked my repairs in. Trying to explain that i need a car that i had paid for and was entitled to was unreal. The police had even confirmed the car was not roadworthy.

 

The other 3 repairers that they offered me refused to give me a car as i lived too far away. Weird huh? What if i decided to go to London for the weekend? Trying to explain this to india was a nightmare. Couldn't they go the extra mile and arrange a solution? I believe that a british person would have been more inclined to go the "extra mile" for me and sort it out.

 

As a result i don't do business with NU (house/motor/travel/pet insurance/health) because of that claim experience.

 

When it comes to indian call centres I find that most people are not willing to put their money where their mouth is. Companies with call centres abroad have lower costs FACT, and as a result their policies are cheaper FACT.

 

Most people only have a problem with India when they have to make a claim and are unsatisfied by the result. A bit of a scapegoat culture. And most people who insure with NUD do so because of price. People keep buying! So if you want to be heard, pay more and support companies like Direct Line who have only UK call centres, but do your research. Most other companies in the UK have sales centres in the uk, but claims abroad. ASDA, Barclays, HSBC, RAC, M&S, and the list goes on, these are just the AVIVA ones.

 

If you have a problem with offshoring then do your research and buy british, but you will struggle, and you will pay more for it. Does that guarantee a better service? Then chose your company wisely.

 

While NU have offshored there are thousands of people working really hard to give customers the best possible experience. Making a claim is never a nice experience but remember you are dealing with the market leaders. Most companies tend to look at NU for directions, what they do everbody else follows (i.e. increased premiums for young drivers).

 

Offshoring is really a touchy subject, but remember that most people only have a problem with it when they have an unsatisfactory claim (maybe they were not 100% honest to try and save a couple of pounds and got caught?) Other than that it all tends to go well.

 

I used to answer the phones a few moons back and you would get people calling asking to cancel because of indian call centres, and most had a bad claim. Young drivers as main drivers on mom's insurance. Mom driving a modified Saxo as her 1st car and the volvo as her 2nd, mmmmm.

 

Ultimately though if you feel so strong about this then do your research, find out which companies are UK based only (keep up to date to make sure they haven't offshorsed). Do this for everything not just car insurance telephone/mobile/broadband/car/home/travel/pet/life/income protection/pensions/ health and believe me, you will struggle and you will pay more for it.

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It's covered for all drivers for that use checked and double checked and its only used for me to travel to and from work and between sites whilst at work (I work at several different schools) so the journey between home and school 1 is commuting travelling to school 2 is classed as a work journey.

 

Anyway have taken a lease van from work now as the car was costing us £300 in unclaimable fuel each month and with the new van tax rules I wont have to pay a penny of income tax against it and the excess is £50 as well so why not :D, oh and I upset a few of my colleagues as I picked up my van (someone elses hand me down) it was a 2004 Astra van I had it 3 days and got a call saying the lease co want to swap it out so went in and got a brand new Astra van (the new shape Astra) with 200 miles on the clock, 1.9 CDTi engine and 6 speed gearbox so im happy :)

 

So come April our premium will either stay the same or drop slightly :D so there are some "good" stories to come out of NU, although I would consider going elsewhere after their generous cash donation to Ipswich Town FC grrrrrrrrr

 

;)

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We insure our car thru my partners aunt as she's 68 with max no claims we drive a Volvo 850 2.5 20v CD 1996 worth about £2000 the cheapest quote we had was £500 odd from CIS with £250 excess, next I tried NU (and every year since I have shopped around with the same result) our quote from NU for the above was £260 odd last year with £50 excess, courtesy car cover and business use 1.

 

No one else even comes close to that at all its quite astounding. 2 years ago a motorcyclist destroyed our previous car turning left from the right hand lane on a roundabout (he got his prosecuted big style) anyway called NU and spoke to someone in India who took the initial details then under an hour later I had someone from the UK check the details and take the rest of them they were great tbh.

 

Anyway until there's someone out there that will insure us in this fashion with my partners aunt, myself (31 driving licence since 1993 3 points for speeding) and my partner (34 prov licence only) for that kinda money then I guess we'll be sticking with NU, oh and we get the full package breakdown cover for £70 a year too.

 

Oh and if anyone wants to know to insure the car in our name most insurers want about £1200 per year lol

 

Rich good to hear you had a good experience with them, but with regards to your policy that does not seem right to me.

 

Check your policy details to show who they have as the registered owner and keeper of the car (your aunt i presume). Also check to see who the main driver of the car is, is it yourself or your aunt (your aunt again i believe)? And please check the post code where the car is kept overnight. I would imagine that this would be at your aunts address and that yourself and your partner live at a different address.

 

So if the car is registered at your aunt's address, in her name and is registered as her car then you may have a problem and this would affect the type of business cover you have. Saying that, most people only need business class 2 with buisness class 1 being a bit overrated.

 

Anyway, check your details and if unsure give them a call as you may find yourself uninsured. If this is the case and they bump the prices up then you can argue with them, not just now but possibly at renewal as well.

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I work for another insurer and cannot stand dealing with NU Direct. I believe some of their Indian staff are not even employed with NU (outsourcing the offshoring to save a few more quid) and they in particular act aggressively. They will phone 5 times in an afternoon asking you to admit liability on a case you told them the first time you were disputing.

 

When you get fed up with it and chase them you get cheek and abuse. They are obviously being told to behave like this. I had another NUD indian phone me to get £105 back. Being busy I advised i would get the file and do the cheque when I got a chance. Working with high value personal injury claims a cheque for that amount is the least of your worries. I was phoned twice more that day by the same person to ask if i had done it yet.

 

Understandably this was annoying me, you have 21 days to put the cheque on after the request and at worst I would have done it the next afternoon. The phone went again at 2 minutes past nine the next morning and by that time I had had enough and made up my mind that this cheque would not be going on until day 21. After about 3 days the clown tried to complain to my manager and was chased again.

 

They are doing this day in day out to people just trying to do a job in the UK. I would never buy any form of insurance from NU as a result.

 

And by the way I have nothing against India or Indians - I got a 3 month secondment out to my company's offshore centre last year and had the time of my life. The people are fantastic and generally do a good job. They will also carry out instructions to the letter which is why I know these people are being instructed to harass us.

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I had no idea they were that bad.

 

Their accounts staff in Scotland are almost as bad.

Cahoot - Rejection of offer sent 14/06/07

 

Barclaycard - S.A.R - (Subject Access Request) sent 22/03/07

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Yeah Nelly I actually get the same sort of treatment when I deal internally with them. It can be really frustrating at times!

 

I think most companies who choose to offshore found this problem. Definetly a cultural difference, the next challenge is to educate them.

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