Written on: 09/05/2012 by planetwriter (1 review written)
Last year, I took out their Premier policy for £17 per month (which included a new customer discount). When my renewal came through this year, it had gone up to £27 per month. So, I rang M&S and asked what they could do about the cost. The upshot was, I downgraded the policy to Standard, which I thought would be an acceptable level (still on lifetime cover but £1000 per year not £7000). They told me quite specifically that I had 2 days to change back from the Standard to the Premier cover and after that I would have to take out a new Premier policy and lose my continuous cover benefits. Not a problem, I said, confidently.
A week or so later, and one week before the old policy expired, I took my dog Jess for her annual boosters. While there I asked the vet about a fatty lump on Jessie’s side. She advised a needle test to see what kind of lump it was (£90). The result of this was that Jessie had a mast cell tumour that needed to be removed ASAP. I booked her in for the operation 2 days before the old (Premier cover) policy expired. However, on the day of the op, the vet phoned and said now that she had gotten a good look at the lump it was a lot bigger than she had initially thought and because of that and its position she would prefer Jess to go to a specialist (£3000+). Unfortunately, this couldn’t be arranged within the remaining two days of the higher paying Premier policy so I was facing the prospect of paying out a couple of grand I didn’t have.
Faced with the prospect of future complications, big bills, etc., etc. I worked myself into a state as the day went on. My main thought was that I had killed my dog for the sake of £10 per month! In desperation, I rang M&S, told them the whole sad story – how I had downgraded in good faith, agreed to their terms and then days later found out that Jessie needed a major op and being cancer, that it might recur in the future and so and so on. I said I had nothing to lose and would they consider reinstating the original policy. Without any fuss, they agreed and did just that with no break in cover.
To say I was relieved is an understatement. Less than three weeks after the op, I received a letter confirming that the claim had been paid in full direct to the vet.
And so, I am shouting my prise for M&S far and wide. That they reinstated the policy when they had no obligation to do so was amazing. That they paid the claim quickly and without any fuss was fantastic. They might be a little bit more expensive, but in terms of service and compassion, they are brilliant and to my mind you can’t really put a price on that.
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