Written on: 13/05/2013
I suppose that nowadays we are all driven to keep our costs down but sometimes these turn out to be false economies. Autonet Insurance is a prime example of this.
As long as you prepared to jump through all the hoops that they will undoubtedly ask you to you do once you have paid your deposit, then that's fine but beware, fail to jump through just one hoop and it could cost you anything from £30 to £50 each time.
This company do everything they can to make you call their customer service line at 10p per minute. You cannot get around this as they will ignore emails and even if you try their freephone number they will say it is for sales call only and cannot put you through to customer service.
A few examples that I had to do several times, in the end via recorded delivery as they ignored email:
Proof of no claims
Copy of driving licence
If you fail to jump through a hoop or immediately do their bidding and pay your fine for non-performance, they are like a rabid dog in their attempts to recoup what they now view as their money. They call you incessantly and when that doesn't work, they write threatening letters. When you question their attempts to take your money they set their own debt recovery company on to you; Lion Debt Recovery Service, a trading name of Autonet Insurance Services Ltd., who threaten with letters that say: Notice Of Pending County Court Action. Does anyone know of any other reputable or recognised insurance company that has its own debt recovery company? Lion then add further costs and try to make it look as though you have no way out but to pay them or they will take you to court and cost you even more money for debt recover charges, solicitor fees and court costs.
However, if you demand - as is your right - documentation to back up their claims, they go quiet for some time and then Autonet Insurance reappears just blatantly take the money from your bank. They have your bank details as you have to pay by DD and/or your credit/debit card details as you may have paid by this method or at least settled your initial payment by card. Then you will spend a couple of weeks writing to the bank/card company explaining your case and for most people this can be an extremely stressful process.
I therefore recommend that you read the small print of any cut-price insurance offer very carefully (Autonet particularly) and maybe spend a couple of pounds a month more on a recognised company that plays by the rules, rather than making them up as they go along.
Finally, if you have had a bad day through Autonet Insurance Services Ltd., I suggest that, like me, you write to the Insurance Ombudsman and the FSA.